COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis is providing an update on the state's response to COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.
News5 is carrying this on air and online scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
The governor began the press conference with the update that `1 in 115 Coloradans are believed to contagious with COVID-19.
Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, broke down how the state's COVID-19 data is impacted by vaccine rollouts. The state is currently seeing a steady downward trajectory over the last two weeks and a similar trajectory is being seen across the country. In comparison, Colorado currently has fewer COVID-19 cases than most other states.
Polis said the state is still waiting on vaccine supplies and referenced President Joe Biden's goal of administering 100 million shots by the end of his first 100 days in office. During Biden's remarks over his vaccination plan, Biden also said he plans to use the Defense Production Act to work with private industry to accelerate the making of materials needed to supply and administer the vaccines, from tubes and syringes to protective equipment.
Polis encouraged the 70-and-older population to not be discouraged if they are waiting to receive a vaccine and that they will be able to get the vaccine when available. Earlier this month, the governor announced he was informed about the lack of federal reserve for the second doses and there is no influx of doses "contrary" to what they were told. During that press conference, Polis outlined the vaccine anticipation for the next few weeks in the state:
- Jan. 18-24 = 77,950 doses
- Jan. 25-31 = 77,950 doses
- Feb. 1-7 = 90,000-100,000 doses
Polis said he is confident the current levels of supplies will be maintained and the state is practicing "real-time management" with vaccines to ensure people receive the second dose as recommended.
About half of all vaccine doses go to Colorado hospital systems, with 20% going through community health clinics, 20% through local public health agencies and 10% through retail pharmacies, which are helping vaccinate nursing homes.
The governor said the state is 85% done with vaccinating those in Phase 1A.
Herlihy presented data on the state's transmission control level, showing the introduction of vaccines will help "save lives over time." She said if the state maintains a 78% transmission control can minimize the number of deaths that occur over time as a result of COVID-19.
She also mentioned the COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7 strain, does not currently show an impact on vaccine efficacy, but if it becomes widespread it can impact hospitalizations. The B.1.1.7 strain was first discovered in the United Kingdom in late 2020. While the strain is not thought to be deadlier than other forms of COVID-19, the strain is known to spread more rapidly and more easily than the original strain of the virus. Click here to learn more about the variant. She said there have been 10 cases identified in the state.
In response to a question regarding the state's dial, Polis said it is anticipated the dial will wind down late spring/early summer.
This follows his press conference Polis urged providers to offer phone lines for vaccination information to serve the older population in Colorado. He shared information on vaccine hotlines across the state that Coloradans can use to find more information. For those numbers, click here.
The Colorado Department of Public Health presented a vaccine access map to determine where they can increase efforts and identify areas where pop-up clinics would be to increase accessibility. Dr. Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE, reiterated the vaccine is free and everyone has access regardless of immigration status.
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