COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) hosted a press conference on Thursday to discuss how the state is tackling monkeypox.

CDPHE said they are using the lessons learned from the pandemic to help address monkeypox.

“We’ve learned a lot over the last two and a half years about how to scale a large public health response rapidly,” said Scott Bookman, Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response Director. “So I think a lot of that muscle memory has certainly come right back in our work on monkeypox to date. You know, obviously when we talk about COVID and comparing them, they’re very different viruses.

CDPHE said they are working with local public health officials and businesses to help address monkeypox in the state.

“Doing all of this in partnership with local public health and our community response will really look like partnering with local businesses to host vaccine clinics to reach those who are at the highest risk locations,” said Bookman.

Denver Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Connie Price, stated there is a greater chance to control the virus.

“There’s reason for concern for monkeypox because we are seeing an increase in infections,” stated Dr. Connie. “The reason we are concerned and paying attention is that we have an opportunity that is much greater than what we had with Covid, to actually control it.”

The state department said they are limited in supplies of the vaccine and they are hopeful more will come.

“We are prioritizing that vaccine to the places where we are seeing the largest amount of community spread and where the need is to the need is the greatest right now,” said Bookman.

Bookman said they are prioritizing the vaccine to places with the largest amount of community spread.

As many students head back to school, several questions where asked about monkeypox in schools.

“We are, of course, talking to partners across the state and encouraging the routine practices that we use now to prevent communicable diseases in schools are practices that really should continue for monkeypox,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herihly.

CDPHE published a monkeypox data dashboard with the latest information about monkeypox in Colorado.

“One of our pillars was talking about how public health will always be monitoring the situation and always ready to scale our response and that we would communicate to the public any changes,” said Bookman.

The dashboard shows statewide demographic information including one’s race, ethnicity, age, gender, and sexual orientation. You can access the dashboard on CPDHE website.