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Colorado reactivates Emergency standards (diverting patients who call for an ambulance)
January 7, 2022 — the state reactivated its emergency standards, called crisis standards of care, for emergency medical services. It’s the first time the state has done that for EMS since the pandemic took off in April 2020. Ambulance transport might happen in “only the most severe cases,” and where an ambulance will take a patient for care could include clinics, surgery centers, urgent care centers, or other alternate sites in addition to hospitals. Or that crews could consider not transporting patients under 60 years old.
Boulder County, CO – 1/10/22 – Cases of COVID-19 in Boulder County have risen drastically over the past two weeks, growing to the highest rates since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
Nearly 1 in 4 (24.5%) of the individuals tested in Boulder County have been confirmed positive with COVID-19 as of Jan. 10, and positive cases are climbing in nearly every age group, especially those ages 23-34—from Dec. 20 to Jan. 10, positive cases of COVID-19 increased by over 82% in people in that age group.
“With the devastating Marshall fires, Boulder County residents are struggling to withstand a disaster within a disaster,” said Camille Rodriguez, Boulder County Public Health Executive Director. “The devastation caused by fires, along with the continued pandemic, highlight how important it is that we come together, show compassion and empathy and do everything we can to keep our family, friends and communities safe and healthy.”
The surge is largely due to the highly transmissible omicron variant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the omicron variant now accounts for 92.9% of COVID-19 cases across the country.
The increased number of people with COVID-19 has created a significant increase in demand for testing and has added stress to the county’s already heavily burdened hospitals and health care providers. Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) shows that the number of people being hospitalized has also risen quickly. In one week, beginning Dec. 26, the average number of patients admitted to hospitals in Colorado increased by 80%.
Take these steps to stay safe:
Get yourself and your family vaccinated– Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including the booster, and get your flu vaccine. Vaccines are safe, effective, and free for anyone aged 5+, and they drastically reduce the chance of hospitalization and death.
Get a booster– Everyone 12+ can now get a booster if it has been at least five months since the conclusion of their original two-dose regimen. Getting a booster as soon as eligible ensures the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization. An up-to-date list of vaccine providers can be found at org/CovidVaccine.
Wear a snug fitting high quality mask with multiple layers of non-woven material (such as N95, KN95, KF94 or equivalent) for optimal protection – With omicron’s increased transmissibility, it is especially important to wear a multi-layer, snugly-fit mask such as a KN95, KF94, or the best mask is a a snug fitting mask on your face and is made of multiple layers of non-woven materials, such as a KF94 or KN95. Snugly fit means that there are no gaps around the edges of the mask, including at the chin, cheeks, and that the nose piece fits well over your face. For the general public, wearing a mask that fits snuggly and is made of multiple layers of non-woven material is more important than any particular brand or model. See Boulder County’s mask recommendations. Per Boulder County’s Public Health Order, everyone 2+ is required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while indoors and should consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings.
Increase airflow and ventilation– While indoors, use HEPA filters or increase ventilation and airflow by opening windows or increasing air circulation.
Avoid large gatherings –Move gatherings outdoors and avoid crowds if you can. Work remotely and support employees and customers to work/connect remotely when possible. Consider reducing the size and duration of gatherings.
Wash your hands– Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Get tested and isolate if you’re sick – If you have been exposed or suspect that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you feel sick (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell or sore throat), get tested and isolate or quarantine if necessary. In any case, do not go into public spaces if you are sick.
If you are going to get tested, plan ahead, be patient and expect potential delays.
Rapid at-home tests are available for free from CDPHE. Although rapid at-home tests provide a high level of convenience and fast results, they are considerably less accurate than laboratory tests like PCR. Follow up any negative at-home rapid antigen test result with a PCR test to confirm results.
Isolate for at least five days if you have a positive test, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
COVID-19 resources in Boulder County:
Vaccine providers: org/CovidVaccine
Isolation and quarantine guidance: org/quarantine-isolation
Marshall Fire:Marshall Fire – Boulder County
Travel: Travel | CDC