Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment take over outbreak investigations in residential care facilities

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STATEWIDE – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will lead outbreak investigations at residential care facilities, which will standardize rapid response and ease the workload at local public health agencies.

Starting in December of 2021, COVID-19 outbreak response activities in residential care facilities will transfer to CDPHE, continuing over several months with the end goal being CDPHE leading all COVID-19 outbreak investigations in residential care facilities by April of 2022.

Approximately 90% of residents at these facilities are vaccinated, and CDPHE is working with these facilities to ensure their compliance with the requirement to vaccinate 100% of all staff. The population that resides in residential care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living residences, are at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe illness and death.

Investigations at residential care facilities take more time as they require regulations and licensing requirements overseen by CDPHE. Centralizing investigations will standardize and maximize efficiency for all parties involved as well as will facilitate a faster deployment of resources such as testing rapid response teams, staffing resources and monoclonal antibody distribution.

“Throughout the pandemic, local public health agencies have done a tremendous job leading COVID-19 outbreak response activities in residential care facilities in their jurisdictions. We applaud them for their   tireless work responding to the pandemic,“ State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said. “We are committed to doing all we can to help their continued efforts, and to protecting our state’s residents who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. We are confident this transition will streamline our statewide response.” 

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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