EL PASO COUNTY — Counties across Colorado just transitioned from red on the COVID-19 threat dial to a less restrictive orange status. The switch happened in many counties before meeting the required data points. The change was motivated in part by the consistently dropping COVID-19 incident numbers over the past month.
El Paso County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson cautions everyone to not lose sight of the metric showing trends for COVID-19 incidents. The month of steady decline, this week is now flattening in El Paso County and has started back up at the state level.
"We really have to pay attention that we're beginning to plateau at a higher level than we would want to be at. So, it's imperative that we stay the course." She says prevention measures cannot become casual.
The start of vaccinations adds another layer of defense against the virus. Only, Johnson says these first days of vaccine are like getting a few drops of water after a long time in the desert. "We have to embrace that this is a process that is going to start slow and gain momentum and it's heralding that the rains are coming."
The vaccination process started just weeks ago. "So now that we're three weeks,” said Johnson, “We're having to start that second dose for people we vaccinated three weeks ago.” It means limited shipments of vaccines are still designated mostly for front-line medical workers who are working the closest with COVID-19 patients.
There are many senior citizens in Colorado who heard Gov. Jared Polis say they are now eligible for the vaccine. Because of the current limited doses in most counties, it will likely be another week or two before there is enough supply to start vaccinating the age 70 and above group.