==State of Colorado
Boulder County Health Department
Due to the Delta variant causing a surge in COVID-19 cases, Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) strongly recommends that all individuals 2+ wear masks in all indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.
On Aug.11, just 16 days after moving into substantial transmission on July 26, Boulder County moved into high transmission, which is the highest level of transmission of COVID-19 under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transmission tracker. The CDC recommends that all individuals, including vaccinated individuals, wear a mask indoors in public in counties with substantial or high transmission.
“Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Boulder County due to the Delta variant. We are continuing to follow a variety of metrics, including the CDC’s guidance, data and recommendations that will help us protect the health of all people, keep our businesses open and preserve our hospital and healthcare resources,” said Camille Rodriguez, BCPH Executive Director. “In line with CDC recommendations, Boulder County Public Health strongly recommends that all individuals wear masks indoors in public due to prevalence of the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible and might cause more severe illness than prior strains in unvaccinated persons, including in younger populations.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) first detected the Delta variant in Colorado in April of this year. On July 18, CDPHE variant tracking indicated that the Delta variant is responsible for more than 95% of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado.
As the COVID-19 landscape evolves with the Delta variant, BCPH is monitoring cases, testing, outbreaks, hospitalizations, deaths and other metrics as well as working closely with CDPHE, our healthcare partners and monitoring CDC guidance and CDC metrics.
BCPH’s goals are to prevent unnecessary deaths and significant illness, particularly as we see more information regarding the high rate of long-term symptoms in COVID-19 patients, and to preserve our healthcare system capacity.
As Public Health Order 2021-4 sunsets on Aug. 15 at 11:59 p.m., the county will no longer look only at hospital admissions to dictate levels on the prior state dial. BCPH is actively working to define a robust set of metrics that will have indicators that match the transmission landscape set by Delta.
“Previously, hospital admissions dictated the dial, but given that the Delta variant is quickly changing conditions, we must look at the evolving data and information concerning Delta to formulate the best strategies to safely keep our community open,” Rodriguez added.
BCPH encourages everyone eligible (12+) to get a vaccine as soon as possible since vaccines are effective at fighting variants, and strongly recommends wearing a face covering while indoors.
Concerns about the Delta variant
==The Delta variant is the predominant strain in Colorado
==The Delta variant is two to three times more transmissible than the strain circulating last summer ==
==On average, people infected with the Delta variant had 1,000 times more copies of the virus in respiratory tract as compared to those with other strains
==Someone catching the Delta variant is more likely to become infectious sooner and spreading the virus earlier in the course of the infection
CDPHE tracks variant data information
Larimer County Health Department
Due to the rapidly increasing threat of the Delta variant, primarily among unvaccinated people, Larimer County Health officials are calling on unvaccinated residents to make the decision to get vaccinated without delay. Additionally, officials are strongly recommending that all community members, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks in public indoor settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“There are simply not enough people vaccinated yet and wearing masks in public indoor settings is an additional step we can all take to reduce the spread of the virus,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.
The B.1.617.2 Delta variant is now the predominant strain of the virus spreading in Larimer County. Many residents have reported not knowing where they were exposed, indicating a high level of community transmission. In addition to being more contagious than previous variants, some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated persons.
In just the past two weeks, the seven-day case rate has doubled while the rate of positivity has also jumped above 7% in Larimer County.
Of Larimer County residents admitted to the hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19 from May 1 to August 9, 2021, 85% were unvaccinated and 3% were only partially vaccinated.
The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant, but no vaccine is 100% effective.
Some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
Some data show that vaccinated individuals who experience a breakthrough case caused by the Delta variant may be able to transmit the virus to others. This data prompted the CDC to recently recommend mask-wearing indoors for everyone, including those who are vaccinated.
“The COVID-19 vaccine data continues to demonstrate that the vaccines are overall safe and effective even against the variants currently circulating. In fact, they are now recommended for use during pregnancy based on data supporting their safety and effectiveness in pregnant patients,” says Paul Mayer, MD, Medical Officer Larimer County.
“The impact of the Delta variant is setting us back. Larimer County is once again experiencing a high case rate and, unfortunately, increasing hospitalizations. Vaccination and masking are the best tools that we have for turning things around and ending this surge,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.
Variant data, including a list of all counties known to be impacted by the Delta variant and the number of cases identified, is available on CDPHE’s COVID-19 data dashboard at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data
Larimer County vaccine clinic dates and times can be found at www.larimer.org/covidvaccine or by calling 970-498-5500 during the week. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to anyone 12 years old and older. Walgreens locations throughout Colorado also offer free testing in most of their locations.
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/covid19 or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth
State of Colorado Health Department
The Fourth Amended Public Health Order 20-38 requires
==unvaccinated people to wear masks in specific settings, including medical facilities (including long term care facilities), homeless shelters, prisons, and jails.
==The state also requires universal mask use for staff, visitors, and residents in residential care facilities regardless of vaccination status.
==The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) encourages people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks in all other public indoor spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In July 2021, the state updated the practical guide for operationalizing CDC school guidance, recommending that local public health agencies and school districts consider either mask requirements for all unvaccinated individuals or a masking requirement for all individuals in schools, particularly in higher-risk environments.
Local communities and businesses may have additional mask restrictions. CDPHE encourages all Coloradans to keep masks with them in public and wear them if asked.
Everyone age 2 and older must still wear masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. This is required by federal law for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.