As the winter holidays continue and families and friends gather to celebrate, metro Denver public health and hospital partners — including JCPH — remind all Coloradans that COVID-19 is still an ongoing health crisis impacting hospitals, schools, and local communities. We encourage everyone to take steps now to decrease COVID-19 transmission, assure continued in-person schooling, and ease the strain on our health care system.
- Get vaccinated (for those 5 years of age or older).
- Get a booster vaccine dose (for those age 16 and older) if it has been six months since the second Pfizer or Moderna dose or two months since a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- Get an influenza vaccine (for those older than 6 months).
- Wear masks when in public indoor spaces.
- Get tested if experiencing symptoms.
- Stay home when sick.
- Keep gatherings small and hold them outdoors when possible.
Colorado and the metro region have seen recent slowing in new cases and hospitalizations from record highs just a month earlier. However, hospital capacity remains critically limited, which puts every Coloradan who may experience a health emergency or have routine health care needs at risk. Statewide, hospital bed availability is around 5% for both intensive care unit and medical/surgical care beds.
In addition, the Omicron variant, already present in Colorado, is spreading rapidly in other countries and now also in parts of the United States. Current research suggests that COVID vaccines, especially if supplemented with boosters, provide strong protection against infection. We cannot become complacent while our counties still have very high case rates of COVID-19 and increasing hospitalizations due to influenza season.
From JCPH, we hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.
Dr. Dawn Comstock
Jefferson County Public Health