Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the scenario is trying comparatively vivid in Colorado, although state well being officers mentioned Friday they’re planning in case the virus offers one more setback.
Colorado confirmed its first COVID-19 instances two years in the past Saturday, although it’s probably the coronavirus already was circulating within the state at that time. Since then, the virus has contaminated about 1.3 million folks in Colorado, hospitalized greater than 60,000 and killed greater than 12,500.
New instances and hospitalizations are persevering with to pattern down as a result of so many individuals are not less than quickly immune following the sky-high wave of an infection brought on by the virus’s omicron variant, mentioned Jill Hunsaker Ryan, govt director of the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Atmosphere.
“Case counts have decreased to ranges not seen since final summer time,” she mentioned at a information convention Friday. “If you’re vaccinated and boosted, go stay your lives.”
It’s not clear how lengthy that immunity will final, although, significantly in individuals who aren’t vaccinated, Ryan mentioned. The state well being division is planning to scale up its response once more if the virus unleashes one other wave this fall or winter, she mentioned.
Emily Travanty, director of the state’s public well being lab, mentioned they’ve partnerships with 43 wastewater programs to observe the general quantity of the virus circulating in these communities, and to search for new variants. That covers about 55% of the state’s inhabitants, they usually’re working to arrange new partnerships to observe different components of the state, she mentioned.
Whereas wastewater sampling is helpful in detecting asymptomatic instances, it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to go get examined if you happen to’re feeling sick, mentioned Dr. Eric France, Colorado’s chief medical officer. That provides the state further knowledge about how the virus is spreading, he mentioned.
“We all know that COVID-19 goes to be with us for the foreseeable future,” he mentioned. “I believe it’s all of our responsibility to be in search of new COVID instances.”
The well being care system will regularly take over a lot of the duty for testing folks and vaccinating in opposition to the virus, because it does with different ailments, mentioned Scott Bookman, the state’s COVID-19 incident commander.
However the state will proceed to have a task in encouraging extra folks to enter the well being care workforce, responding to outbreaks in high-risk amenities like nursing houses, bringing the vaccine to hard-to-reach communities, and stockpiling protecting tools and testing provides in case one other surge hits, he mentioned.
“We are going to proceed to arrange for what the long run could maintain,” he mentioned.