Colorado health officials said on Thursday that it was time to allow counties to set their own limits on COVID-19, even as coronavirus hospitalizations and new infections continued to develop in the wrong way.
Scott Bookman, the state commander of the COVID-19 incident, did not rule out any nationwide action if the hospital’s capacity became threatened by the virus’s growing spread. Still, he said, moving solutions to restrictions at the local level is the best way to take into account differences in the number of cases around the country and the impact of rising vaccinations.
“The time is right,”
The Colorado Department of Public Health on Friday will remove almost all state restrictions regulated by its color-coded dial and allow local health authorities to set their own restrictions – or none at all.
Denver and most other subway counties stick to the dial for another month, but move down to Blue Level, which will allow restaurants and gyms to operate at 100% capacity with a 6-foot social distance, and bars that do not serve food, may reopen for the first time since last summer.
A few weeks ago, the possibility of hospitals being overcrowded again seemed unthinkable, with more people getting vaccinated and the cases leveled off. But that scenario reappeared in the state’s latest COVID-19 modeling report when it was published on April 7.
The model predicts that if people make significant behavioral changes after the state makes its advisory framework for recruitment, hospitalizations could increase to 1562. If that happens, it won’t be as bad as during the fall wave, when close 2,000 people were hospitalized on the peak day in December, but this will again exceed the previous peak in April 2020. Hospitals did not run out of beds during the autumn wave, but staff said they were overwhelmed and exhausted.
As of Thursday afternoon, 541 people had been hospitalized nationwide with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, the highest level since early February. The average duration of seven-day cases decreased to 1429 per day, but the percentage of tests that returned positive remained high.
The model predicts that about 368 people will die from COVID-19 between April 1 and July 1 if trends continue towards the end of March. According to the scenario in which the dial is no longer in force and people are making major behavioral changes, mortality could rise to 1399.
Dr. Eric Frans, chief medical officer in Colorado, Department of Public Health and the Environment, said overall compliance with the wearing of masks and other restrictions is high, giving him confidence that the state can safely ease the restrictions. It’s important to keep wearing masks, stay 6 feet away from people you don’t live with, and isolate yourself at home if you feel unwell, he said.
“I think the people of Colorado were good at what we were doing right,” he said.
Bookman urged people who experience symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested and those without symptoms to continue to be quarantined if they are near someone with a positive test. The number of tests has decreased as more people have been vaccinated, he said. However, the percentage of positivity is increasing, which suggests that people who have not yet been immunized are also not tested.
“When in doubt, go for a COVID test,” he said.
Investigation of vaccination incidents
The state will begin increasing visits to vaccine providers in the near future to make sure they handle doses properly after shutting down Dr. Moma’s health and wellness clinic in El Paso County from the vaccination program.
People who have been vaccinated on the spot have been told to take another shot, as the doses may have been stored at the wrong temperature, making them ineffective.
Bookman did not say whether the state had conducted the necessary inspection at the Moma clinic before sending her doses, citing an ongoing investigation. Potential sites must have a doctor or other licensed medical provider in good condition and must certify that they are able to meet all requirements, he said.
“Obviously we are incredibly disappointed that this happened,” he said. “It’s an incredibly isolated incident.”
Despite some inequalities, the rate of vaccinations continues to rise in Colorado, with 75,000 shots fired twice last week, the British National Guard in Colorado said. General Scott Sherman.
On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis said the state would share information this week about “breakthrough” cases – when a person has been infected even though he has been vaccinated. Bookman said Thursday that the state is still preparing the data.
Johnson and Johnson’s pause continues
France gave brief information about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during a press briefing on Thursday.
A committee advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extended a break for new vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson, launched for most of next week, to get more information on whether rare blood clots are actually more common after receiving this vaccine. .
At first blush, it looks like they could be, France said, but deciding on that is like trying to estimate the moose population in Colorado based on how many people you see driving from Denver to Durango.
“At first glance, we have more moose, but it may be a coincidence. You need to do more research, “he said.
After further investigating the clotting problem, the commission could recommend continuing, stopping, or stopping Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, or recommending that some groups avoid them, France said. The six cases announced this week involve women under the age of 50.
The pause shows that systems designed to identify rare potential complications have worked, he said.
“Everything is working as expected,” he said.