DENVER (KDVR) — Is the pandemic over? President Joe Biden thinks so.
He said so Sunday night in a primetime interview. Now that comment has people asking what it means for Coloradans.
Experts say it is too soon to tell if that’s true yet.
“You know, I think it’s really difficult to say. We certainly hope the worst of COVID-19 is behind us but we know that COVID-19 is unpredictable and we know there is always potential for new variants to emerge,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said.
She said Coloradans should stay vigilant, even after the president’s comments. This is what he said on TV Sunday night: “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID, we are still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one is wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. So I think it’s changing.”
The president’s comments led to criticism from health experts and lawmakers online. Some Republicans asked if this means an end to vaccine mandates and the usage of emergency powers. Others questioned what that means for emergency funding.
What’s Colorado’s status with the COVID-19 pandemic?
“The Governor shifted his focus to recovering from the COVID pandemic last summer, and is glad that President Biden has finally done so as well,” a spokesperson for Polis’ office said. “The only COVID Disaster Recovery Executive Order that is still in place focuses on ensuring state access to federal funding and the ability of certain health care providers to continue to work in Colorado.”
State leaders are encouraging people to go to take advantage of the omicron-targeting booster shots the state is making available.
“We know that the virus is here to stay. And thankfully we have new tools like the omicron dose of vaccine to protect us this upcoming season. So we certainly encourage individuals to receive that vaccine and their influenza vaccine as we get into this fall respiratory virus season,” Herlihy said.
COVID-19 numbers in the state are trending down from where they were in July and August. Herlihy said that trend should last until October.