DENVER — Colorado Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19. He was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist.
Today's event focused on a continued effort to increase the vaccination rate across the state as counties see a rise in cases tied to the delta variant of COVID-19.
Polis focused on the importance of wearing masks, even if not mandated to minimize spread. Dr. Herlihy covered data on breakthrough cases, where someone vaccinated still becomes sick, specifically on data that shows older vaccinated people are more likely than children to have this experience. The rate of breakthrough cases remains less than 1%.
This morning, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced a new public health order that will require all Denver city employees, teachers and school staff, and others in congregate care settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September. Read more
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the state has seen 575,082 documented cases of COVID-19, 32,859 hospitalizations, and 5,586 outbreaks, and 7,208 deaths due to COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020.
Last week, Governor Polis announced all state employees not vaccinated against COVID-19 are to be tested twice a week and wear masks indoors over concerns over the delta variant and to be in line with the latest federal requirements.
“I have heard from state employees who are terrified that their unvaccinated co-workers will give them COVID-19 and want vaccination mandated, and from other state workers who have hesitation towards the vaccine,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “I think this middle road is the right one to take, respecting the right of state workers to decide while also talking effective steps to address the legitimate safety concern of fellow state workers.”
The governor’s office said the requirements will go into effect Sept. 20.
The testing will be free and required for any state workers who have not verified they are fully vaccinated with human resources or through the myColorado app.
The state said once a state employee has been fully vaccinated, they won’t have to submit proof of their twice-weekly testing.