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Public Health - News

Posted on: November 18, 2021

Board of Health Urges Governor Jared Polis to Take Statewide Action to Address COVID-19 Surge in CO

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Jefferson County, Colo. — The Jefferson County Board of Health today sent a letter to Governor Jared Polis requesting statewide action to address Colorado’s sustained surge in COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations. The current surge is creating serious challenges for the state’s hospital system and putting residents at unnecessary risk for illness, hospitalization and death from the virus. 

“The continuing rapid proliferation of COVID-19 and Delta variant cases within our state and county continues to be of grave concern,” said Greg Deranleau, President of the Jefferson County Board of Health. “Despite extraordinary work from local public health organizations, impressive vaccination uptake and provision of boosters to any adult in the state, Colorado’s hospital capacity has been compromised to the point of medical care rationing. Our number one priority as the Board of Health is to promote and protect the health of our residents, and we will continue to take action to address this surge in Jeffco, but we strongly believe a consistent statewide approach is the best way to reduce the spread of this virus in a meaningful way.”

In Jefferson County, from October 28-November 10, there have been an average of 2.4 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. On November 15, when the data was last updated, there were 102 residents currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. There have been 16 fatalities among Jefferson County residents due to COVID-19 in the last week (November 8-15), and on average, more than 1 death per day among Jefferson County residents since July 9, when cases started increasing. More than 92% of ICU hospital beds are in use in the Denver Metro Area.

The letter calls on the governor to take the following statewide actions to control the spread of COVID-19:

  • Following the guidelines of the CDC, implement a temporary executive order requiring face coverings in all indoor public spaces for all individuals two years and older regardless of vaccination status, in the spirit of the previously enacted statewide mask order. Masking has been shown to be an effective measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. This is extremely important given the upcoming holiday seasons where both local and out of state families and friends will gather for indoor activities. The Board of Health also requested the flexibility for local jurisdictions to implement mitigation procedures in certain settings, such as a vaccination passport program, in lieu of universal masking requirements.
  • Engage in and prioritize a stakeholder process to discuss and implement innovative ways to increase our statewide vaccination rate. 

“We are committed to doing our part to help control the virus in Jefferson County, and like other public health leaders — including the Metro Denver Partnership for Health, the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and individual local public health agencies — request the Governor to take immediate statewide action. We have been successful in mitigating surges before when we all work together,” said Deranleau. 

About the Jefferson County Board of Health

The Jefferson County Board of Health members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to make policies and decisions that will help promote health and prevent disease in the county. The board encourages public input into its decision-making process and welcomes community participation at its regular hearings. For more information, visit the Board of Health webpage.

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.

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