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COVID-19 and Flu Season Updates

The following write-up was produced by our Associate Director of Quality Assurance, Laura Viers:

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to provide a quick update on COVID-19 in the state.

On September 12th Governor Polis extended the statewide mask mandate. The mandate first went into effect in July and is reviewed every 30 days to extend the order as necessary. The order requires wearing a mask or face covering, that covers the nose and mouth, when entering or moving within any public indoor space.

Over the last few weeks, Colorado has seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and increased hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Colorado has moved to using a dial framework to determine the “openness” of each county. This is a change from the previous statewide level’s we saw several months ago. The dial framework has five levels and individual counties may move between these levels. Counties determine their level based on 1) new cases- the rate the virus is circulating in a county 2) percent positivity- is there sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the rate of viral transmission  and, 3) the impact on local hospitals- whether hospitalizations are increasing, decreasing or stabilizing. Counties consult with CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) to move to less restrictive levels when they meet and sustain all three of these metrics for two weeks. Use this link to see what level your county is in.

As Colorado experiences an overall increase in cases and hospitalization, it’s important we remain up to date and stay diligent to protect ourselves and others. The best way to protect yourself, the individual’s you support, and your family is to continue infection control practices. This includes wearing a mask when you are in public, staying 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with and wash your hands/ use hand sanitizer frequently especially after touching shared surfaces and before and after taking off your mask/ face covering. 

As summer comes to an end and fall is just around the corner, so if flu season. This year more than ever the CDC encourages people to get a flu vaccination. Everyone over the age of 6 months is encouraged to get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Vaccinations for high risk person’s is especially important. Many risk factors that put people at high risk for complications due to COVID-19 also put people at high risk for experiencing complications due to the flu. These risk factors shared by both viruses are; people over the age of 65, chronic health conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart and lunch conditions and women who are pregnant. COVID-19 and the flu share many similar symptoms which may make it difficult for physician’s to diagnosis which virus someone is suffering from. There are several options to get your flu shot however because of the pandemic and social distancing measures, most places will require an appointment. You can get a flu shot at your local pharmacy, community health clinic or primary care physician’s office, call first to schedule an appointment.

As always please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or your RPC with any questions you have.

Thank you,

Laura Viers
Associate Director of Quality Assurance

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