Gov. Polis provides update on state’s COVID-19 response & efforts to scale vaccine clinics for booster doses

[On Tuesday], Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 response and efforts to scale clinics to make more first and second and booster doses available to Coloradans. Governor Polis was joined by State Epidemiologist Dr. Herlihy who discussed the omicron variant of concern (B.1.1.529) and the latest case trends.

Among those hospitalized with COVID-19, 16.4% (233) are vaccinated individuals and 83% (1,186) are unvaccinated. More than 41% of eligible adults have received their booster in Colorado.

Last week, thanks to the diligent team of scientists and epidemiologists at CDPHE, Tri-County and Boulder County Health, Colorado became the third state to detect its first case of omicron. Since then, at least nineteen states have detected the variant. Gov. Polis noted today that though omicron is being identified in more states every day, the Delta variant continues to be the dominant form of COVID-19, and potentially the more deadly form.

Gov. Polis applauded the work of teams at the state and local public health agencies to quickly sequence COVID cases for omicron detection with methods including wastewater surveillance to deliver results and Dr. Herlihy announced today that CDPHE had detected the omicron variant in Boulder municipal wastewater.

“Our administration has built up robust testing capacity and we’re grateful to all of the team members at our state lab and local partners for discovering variants of concern quickly. As we approach the holiday season and New Year, it’s still the Delta variant that is taking Coloradans from us before their time so we urge Coloradans to get vaccinated,” said Gov. Polis. “Get vaccinated and boosted at one of the many community vaccination sites across our state because no one wants to bring COVID-19 with them into 2022.”

While researchers are still investigating the extent to which the omicron strain has spread in the U.S. as well as the severity of disease, it is likely that the omicron is more easily spread than previous variants that have emerged including the Delta variant (B.1.617.2). Dr. Herlihy discussed the data behind the health impacts of COVID-19 in populations who have received a booster dose versus fully vaccinated people who have not yet received their booster, demonstrating that vaccines and boosters decrease the likelihood of catching COVID-19 and being hospitalized.

“As we learn more about omicron’s ability to spread and the severity of disease it causes, the highly transmissible and potentially more deadly Delta variant continues to be the dominant form of COVID-19 in Colorado,” said Dr. Herlihy. “We are seeing the clear impact of getting a booster dose. If boosted, you are 9.7 times less likely to become a COVID case and 47.5 times less likely to be hospitalized than if you have no protection at all. We must continue leveraging the effective tools we have at our disposal and move forward with getting eligible people in Colorado their booster doses.”

Image: The Office of Governor Jared Polis

 

Governor Polis acknowledged that many people have faced challenges in booking a booster appointment at their local pharmacy. In response, the state has and will continue to scale up eight vaccination sites across the Front Range that offer longer hours (select sites open 7 days a week) for more Coloradans to get their first, second, and additional doses of the vaccine. Each of these clinics recommends appointments, but can accommodate walk-ins if the doses are available:

Arapahoe Community College (Lot B) – 5900 S Santa Fe Drive, Littleton CO, 80120

Aurora Municipal Center (drive-thru) – 15151 E Alameda Pkwy, Aurora, CO 80012

Chapel Hills Mall – 1710 Briargate Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Citadel Mall (parking lot next to JCPenney) – 680 Citadel Dr E, Colorado Springs CO, 80909

Douglas County Fairgrounds – 500 Fairgrounds Rd, Castle Rock, CO

Jogan Health, LLC Tri-County (in Jefferson Marketplace) – 500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock CO, 80104

La Plata County Fairgrounds – 2500 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301

Pueblo Mall – 3201 Dillon Drive, Pueblo, CO 81008

Weld County Clerk and Recorder Building – 1250 H Street, Greeley, CO 80631

  • Hours of operation: Tuesday – Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 6:10 p.m.; Wednesday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m.

  • Register online for an appointment

Beyond the large-scale sites, mobile vaccination buses are making stops in communities across the state, along with a series of clinics hosted at the Ball Arena in Denver. The bus will be at Ball Arena until 5 p.m. today, and again on December 10 from 12 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Avalanche game to make it quick and easy for eligible people to get protected against COVID.

Coloradans can view the full list of clinic dates and times, as well as other mobile vaccination clinic stops by visiting covid19.colorado.gov/vaccines.

View today’s press conference and see frequently asked questions regarding the omicron variant.

This press release was provided by the Office of Governor Jared Polis.