During a public meeting held on October 11, the Jefferson County Board of Health voted to approve Public Health Order 21-005, which requires all county and municipal government workers to get tested for COVID-19 weekly or submit proof of full vaccination in order to report to work in person. The Order goes into effect on November 1 at 12:01 a.m., and will remain in effect until Jefferson County has experienced at least twenty-one consecutive days in CDC’s moderate or low transmission categories.
“Public Health Order 21-005 is an appropriate protective measure for Jefferson County to take at this time, given the current circumstances with COVID-19 and the Delta variant. While vaccination against the virus is the most effective preventive measure and our path out of the pandemic, this testing requirement will help reduce cases and outbreaks among the Jefferson County and municipal government workforce and serve as an additional measure to do our part to protect the public with whom we interact,” said Greg Deranleau, President of the Board of Health.
While COVID-19 vaccination is not required under Public Health Order 21-005, county and municipal government workers who submit proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to their employer are exempt from the weekly testing requirement (unless their employer chooses to require weekly testing for all employees regardless of vaccination status).
Individuals who are fully vaccinated are less likely to contract, and therefore less likely to transmit, the virus to others. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), as of today people who are vaccinated are 3.4 times less likely to get COVID-19, 4.3 times less likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 3.6 times less likely to die from COVID-19.
Based on CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker, Jefferson County remains a high transmission area. From October 1-7, 2021, there have been 930 new cases of COVID-19 (159.5 per 100,000 residents) in Jefferson County. From September 18-October 1, 2021, there have been 1.1 average hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. From September 3-October 3, 2021, an average of 1.1 Jefferson County residents died of COVID-19 every day.
“While cases of COVID-19 in Jeffco were beginning to trend downward, this progress has started to stall, and I am very concerned we will endure another fall and winter marked by preventable illness and death, similar to this time last year, if we do not all act now,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, JCPH. “This Order is based on evidence-based strategies to help lower the risk of COVID-19 when people are interacting in indoor public settings and provides a strong path forward to better protect our community. Thank you to all of the workers impacted by this Order and to all of the Jeffco residents who have already stepped up to protect one another by getting tested regularly or by getting vaccinated.”
To view the full Public Health Order 21-005, click here. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.
For more information about COVID-19, including free COVID-19 vaccination sites, free testing locations, mask information, current data and more, visit www.jeffco.us/coronavirus.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.