FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. — Fremont County Health Officials said their local vaccination reporting is not matching up with the state’s numbers.
According to the Colorado COVID-19 Vaccination Data dashboard, only 37.5% of the eligible population in Fremont County has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment (FCDPHE) and the local Board of Health disagree vehemently with these numbers and are working tirelessly to advocate the state to have them corrected.
Offenders in the 6 Department of Corrections and 4 Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities are counted in the county’s base population. However, inmate vaccine data is not being reported in Fremont County’s vaccination rates.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), offenders have been
required to report their home address when vaccinated instead of the local facility address where they are currently residing. This means offenders living in Fremont County correctional facilities who are vaccinated are not counted in Fremont County’s vaccination rate. Approximately 7,400 offenders currently are housed in Fremont County correctional facilities.
As of June 9th, the Federal Correctional Complex in Florence reported that 62% of offenders, 1,444
individuals have received at least one dose of vaccine. Unfortunately, even though requested repeatedly, vaccine data for offenders in the Colorado Department of Corrections facilities in Fremont County has not been provided to FCDPHE.
“Fremont County consistently hovers at the lowest levels of vaccination rates,” said Kayla Marler, FCDPHE
Director. “Those numbers are wrong. They are not scientific. They must be corrected, but we continue to hit a wall when we ask for resolution. This shouldn’t be that difficult.”
Fremont County officials have repeatedly asked the state to correct these inaccuracies by including the vaccinated offenders who reside in Fremont County in our vaccination rate, or by taking the offender population out of our base eligible population rate.
“Our residents need to know we are doing much, much better than the state’s numbers indicate,” Marler said. “Our citizens have done an excellent job with the vaccination, and we thank you all for your diligent efforts.”
UPDATE: The state’s joint information center released the following statement Friday morning:
“We are working closely with Fremont County. Vaccination records typically are tied to an individual’s home address. The Colorado Immunization Information System does include the vaccine records for individuals who are incarcerated, but that vaccine record typically includes their home address upon intake at a correctional facility, not the address of the correctional facility. That can be confusing when trying to track the vaccinations administered in a county where there are correctional settings.”
“We recently received aggregate county-level data from the Bureau of Prisons, so we can now include these doses in Fremont County’s data on the website. With both federal corrections and the state Department of Corrections doses included, Fremont’s rates would be 49.1% for individuals who have received one dose of the vaccine and 45.3% for those who are fully vaccinated.”
“We are working toward including this in our publicly-facing data so that it will more accurately reflect Fremont County’s COVID-19 vaccination status.”