Colorado will make changes to its coronavirus telephony system in the spring to reduce restrictions on businesses and the movement of people once the majority of those age 70 or older are inoculated, said Jared Police.
People over the age of 70 account for about half of the COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state and about 75% of the coronavirus deaths. Police said in an interview with the Colorado Sun that Colorado plans to vaccinate 70% of people in that age group by the end of February.
“There will be an intermediate stage, where there is enough vaccine for a sufficient number of people, where many of the most vulnerable groups are protected, but the epidemic is still there,” Polis said. “… that changes how we view hospital capacity and limitations that hurt people’s emotions, psychology, or their ability to support themselves.”
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The governor, who is a Democrat, said that this phase will require a “more sustainable and different way of looking at things.” Greater emphasis will be placed on the social, emotional and economic crises that have balanced the public health emergency.
Polis did not provide any details on what the changes to the telephony system might look like, but said discussions with local public health authorities were already underway.
The key, however, is to change restrictions in a way that does not overcrowd Colorado hospitals with coronavirus patients. “This is our North Star,” Police said.
The governor said preliminary discussions are also taking place with local public health officials about the end of the epidemic in late summer and how to deal with the restrictions at that point. “We’re all very excited about that,” Police said.
Police and his public health team have faced criticism for the Colorado Coronavirus Telephony System, which uses the county’s COVID-19 metrics – including cases, hospitalizations, and positive rate testing – to determine which restrictions should be enacted. In November, the governor drastically changed the communication system to prevent counties from being forced into closures, and then last week allowed some counties to move from red level restrictions to orange level restrictions even though their coronavirus metrics indicate that more restrictions should be maintained Strictness.
These decisions sparked accusations that the police were manipulating the restrictions despite the public health situation. The confusing communication system has also been called.
But the governor defended his actions as necessary to prevent the economy and people’s mental health from further deteriorating.
How do we incorporate all these legitimate needs of people? Polis said of this thinking: health need, economic need, social, emotional and psychological needs.
Polis said these considerations were in effect when he decided to move provinces from red level restrictions to orange level.
“(The red level) was never designed to be a level that we could live in for an extended period of time,” Police said. It is not a way of life. It is not economically sustainable. It is not socially and emotionally sustainable for people. But it is an effective short-term intervention. Together with better choices and behaviors for people, it has helped lower infection rates from the highest levels we saw in early December. ”
Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have decreased dramatically since early December, although case numbers have started to rise again in what is attributed to the Christmas bump.
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