See below for updates on COVID-19 cases and variants; vaccine, booster and testing information; mask requirements; and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
COUNTY-WIDE MASK ORDER TAKES EFFECT DECEMBER 7, 2021
On December 3, 2021, the Clear Creek County Board of Health (BOH) passed a public health order requiring face coverings to be worn by all those 3 years of age or older in all public indoor spaces effective Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at 12:00 AM. The new BOH Resolution 21-06 shall be suspended when Clear Creek County has experienced at least 21 consecutive days in Moderate or Low Transmission or when the Colorado Crisis of Standards of Care Plan has been deactivated.
Additionally, the counties of Jefferson, Adams, Denver, Arapahoe, Boulder, and Larimer are similarly requiring face coverings to be worn in all public indoor spaces.
It is critical that we all work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community healthy.
Please visit the Business Support page for printable "Face Coverings Required" signage.
NEW COVID-19 VARIANT CONFIRMED IN COLORADO
On December 2, 2021, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Colorado. The case was identified in an adult female resident of Arapahoe County who had recently traveled to Southern Africa for tourism. She is experiencing minor symptoms and is isolated and recuperating at home. She had been fully vaccinated and was eligible for the booster vaccine but had not received it yet. People who have recently traveled internationally should be tested 3-5 days after their return with a molecular or PCR test, regardless of symptoms or vaccination history.
Colorado is the third state to detect the Omicron variant and was the first in the nation to identify the Alpha variant last December thanks to the sophisticated team of CDPHE epidemiologists and scientists at the Colorado State Laboratory. CDPHE has multiple, sophisticated monitoring programs to detect the presence of variants:
- The state lab, along with private and commercial labs, conducts genome sequencing on samplings of tests. Genome sequencing allows scientists to detect the variants. Colorado is fourth in the nation for percentage of cases genome sequenced, based on recent CDC surveillance data.
- The state leads a wastewater monitoring collaboration with wastewater utilities, to monitor levels of COVID-19 virus particles found in wastewater. Studies have shown that almost half of individuals who develop COVID-19 have detectable virus particles in their stool before, during, and after their infection, including people without symptoms. The state lab looks for genetic markers in wastewater and is able to identify markers consistent with the presence of COVID-19 variants, including Omicron, through wastewater monitoring.
What is Omicron?
Omicron (B.1.1.529) is a new variant that was first detected in November in South Africa, and may be responsible for an increase in cases in that country. CDC announced that the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health confirmed the first case of Omicron variant in the United States on December 1 and a second case was identified in Minnesota just prior to Colorado’s confirmed case. There is still a lot to learn about the Omicron variant, but due to some of the mutations on the spike protein of the virus, it is possible that Omicron might be more transmissible, or immune response may not be as effective. The World Health Organization has classified this variant as a variant of concern.
How can we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities from COVID-19?
- Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19 and its variants and help avoid the worst outcomes -- severe illness, hospitalization, and death -- among those who do become infected. All Coloradans age 5 and older should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. All parents and guardians of children aged 5 to 17 should make appointments for their children to get vaccinated without delay. All adult Coloradans should get fully vaccinated and boosted.
- All Coloradans age 6 months and older should get vaccinated with the flu vaccine.
- Help protect the health care system and slow the spread of germs by following basic public health guidance – get vaccinated, stay home if sick, wash hands frequently, and wear a mask for extra protection.
COVID-19 UPDATES as of NOVEMBER 30, 2021
COVID cases continue to increase. Currently about 1 in 50 Coloradans is actively infected with COVID-19. Hospitals are reaching full capacity and are experiencing staff shortages. The two major contributing factors to the ongoing increase in cases and hospitalizations in Colorado and across the country continue to be the unvaccinated and the Delta variant.
CLEAR CREEK COUNTY
TOTAL CASES: 891 – an increase of 20 cases from last week; 50 new cases in the last 2 weeks; the 21 active cases in our county require contact tracing and ongoing follow-up communication by our nursing staff; many residents are on quarantine.
TOTAL DEATHS DUE TO COVID: 7 – no increase from last week
TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 45 – an increase of 1 from last week
VACCINATION RATE: 71.8% of our eligible population is vaccinated with at least 1 dose
- Scroll down for LOCAL TESTING & VACCINATION information and FAQs
- Call: PUBLIC HEALTH COVID INFO & MESSAGE LINE at 303-670-7528
- Follow the County’s Facebook and Nextdoor posts
- Participate in/listen to COVID updates at the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) meetings
- Listen to recordings of Dr. Ryan’s live KYGT interviews: https://www.clearcreekcounty.us/1211/In-the-News
- The current number of daily cases in our state is now in excess of 2,177 (7-day average).
- Currently there are 1,473 people hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19 in Colorado.
- 92% of our State’s ICU beds are currently in use for COVID and other patients.
- 81% of those currently hospitalized are unvaccinated.
- 82.05% of the State’s eligible population is vaccinated with at least 1 dose.
- As of November 30, Colorado’s vaccination rate for first doses among the 5 to 11 age group has surpassed 20%, making Colorado the eighth highest in the United States trailing only seven other states. 98,848 Colorado children in the 5 to 11 age group (20.6% of the estimated 5-11 population in Colorado) have received at least one dose of the two-dose pediatric Pfizer vaccine since the CDC approved it earlier this month. Additionally, 5,617 or 0.6% have received their second dose.
- CDPHE recently made several additions to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine data dashboard to provide additional details on youth vaccination rates and Colorado’s overall population vaccination rates. The vaccine data dashboard now includes:
- New age breakouts in statewide vaccination data in multiple new age ranges, including 5+, 5-11, and 12-17. These new breakouts join the existing 12+, 18+, and 65+ data sets already available.
- The percentage of the entire Colorado population that has been vaccinated with one dose, as well as a breakout for those who are fully up to date (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson).
- Age breakouts and population totals are sourced from 2020 population estimates from the State Demography Office in the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA).
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COVID IN OUR STATE: https://covid19.colorado.gov
- Currently, there are over 80,000 new cases of COVID reported each day in the U.S.
- To date, there have been over 48.4 million confirmed total cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.
- In the past week alone, more than 6,000 additional Americans died due to COVID-19.
- Since the start of the pandemic, more than 778,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19.
- To date, only 60% of Americans are fully vaccinated.
FOR MORE NATIONAL AND WORLDWIDE COVID-19 INFORMATION:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Johns Hopkins University of Medicine: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
- National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
- World Health Organization (WHO): https://covid19.who.int/
CLEAR CREEK COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH PROVIDES FREE COVID-19 VACCINES & BOOSTERS updated 12/04/21
WHEN? WEDNESDAYS | 10am to 4pm | Walk-In - no appointments needed | Pre-registration strongly encouraged
WHERE? Idaho Springs | Clear Creek Health & Wellness Center at 1969 Miner Street - 2nd Floor
- Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and boosters are available at no cost for those age 18+
- As of December 1st, CC Public Health no longer carries the adult Pfizer vaccine for those age 12+
- Pediatric doses of Pfizer vaccines are available at no cost for those age 5 to 11
Moderna boosters are recommended at least 6 months after the second dose. J & J boosters are recommended at least 2 months after the first dose. According to the FDA and CDC, it safe to "mix & match" vaccine brands.
To reduce wait time at vaccine clinics, PRE-REGISTRATION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED:
- Pre-register at: https://www.comassvax.org/clinic/search – enter CLEAR CREEK in the LOCATION box – do not enter any other information or check any boxes – and then click the SEARCH button; there is no need to enter any other information. Find the clinic you're interested in and self-register.
- If this is your second dose or booster, please bring your vaccine card!
For details on other COVID-19 vaccination sites in Clear Creek County, vaccine clinic locations outside of the County, and more vaccine information, please proceed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Page.
COVID-19 TESTING IN CLEAR CREEK COUNTY updated 11/30/21
FREE nasal swab (PCR) and saliva tests for those age 2+
GEORGETOWN on MONDAYS | 8am - 2pm | Drive-Through
Dirt Lot by Mt. Buzz & Georgetown Market - near the Corner of Argentine & 11th
IDAHO SPRINGS on TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS | 9am - 2pm | Drive-Through
Clear Creek Health & Wellness Center at 1969 Miner Street - parking lot
Due to increased testing and low staffing, COVIDCheck appointments are recommended:
Check for schedule updates at: https://www.covidcheckcolorado.org
For more information on COVID-19 Testing, please proceed to the COVID-19 Testing page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PEDIATRIC VACCINES
Can kids age 5 to 11 get the COVID vaccine and be better protected over the holidays?
Yes. In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer vaccine to age 5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in this younger population. Now children aged 5 to 17 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
- COVID-19 vaccines went through clinical trials and an approval process to ensure they met FDA standards for safety and effectiveness.
- Clinical trials showed the Pfizer vaccine is safe and 91% effective in the 5 to 11 age group.
- The dose for younger children is one-third of the dose for adults and adolescents.
Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help avoid the worst outcomes -- severe illness, hospitalization, and death -- among those who do become infected. Getting vaccinated means kids can look forward to holiday activities, participate in extracurricular activities, have fewer interruptions to in-person learning, and see family and friends without worrying as much about getting COVID-19 or having to quarantine and miss out.
There are many options for where your child can get vaccinated:
- Ask your child’s health care provider if they offer COVID-19 vaccines in their office.
- Ask your child’s school if they plan to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics; Clear Creek schools are.
- Check with your local Public Health Department to see if they offer Pfizer for kids; Clear Creek Public Health does:
Do you have any tips for my child’s appointment?
There are several ways you can help calm your child during their COVID-19 vaccine appointment, such as reading stories, watching videos, reassuring your child, and answering their questions. Ask your child’s doctor any questions you may have or for any advice you need.
After your child is vaccinated against COVID-19, celebrate your child’s success and reward them for taking an important step in keeping themselves and others safe and healthy. Let your child know that side effects are common. Their body is learning and practicing how to fight COVID. Talk with your child and help them understand that they will need two doses of the vaccine to keep them safe and healthy.
Get the facts and find vaccine providers that offer Pfizer vaccines for children by visiting:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BOOSTERS
Why are boosters recommended?
Booster doses provide extra protection from COVID-19. A booster dose will help increase immunity levels and protect those who are most at risk. A booster dose can also improve protection against the Delta variant. Boosters are recommended because vaccine effectiveness varies by vaccine product and may decrease over time. A booster dose can help protect you, your family, and your community from COVID-19. Clear Creek County Public Health offers vaccines and boosters: https://www.clearcreekcounty.us/1295/COVID-19-Vaccine-Information
Who should get a booster and when?
Anyone 18 years and older should get a booster dose six months after receiving either Pfizer or Moderna and two months after receiving the J&J vaccine. There are more than seventeen hundred vaccine providers across Colorado, including Clear Creek County Public Health.
Do I have to get the same brand as my first dose(es)?
No, you can get any authorized vaccine for your COVID-19 booster. CDC and the FDA have authorized a “mix and match” strategy for boosters -- you don’t need to get the same type of vaccine as your initial doses. For example, if you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine for your first dose, you would be able to get a booster dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J.
How much do boosters cost? What should I bring?
Boosters are free and no identification, proof of insurance, or medical history is required. Providers should not ask you to pay for a booster dose or any other administrative costs, even if you don’t have health insurance. If a vaccine provider is demanding payment, you can report them by completing the following form: covid19.colorado.gov/VaccineConcerns or you can call 1-877-COVAXCO (1-877-268-2926).
Bring your vaccination card to your appointment so that your provider can fill in the information about your booster dose. If you have lost or misplaced your COVID vaccination card, you can get your immunization record through the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) Public Portal or the myColorado app.
For more information on boosters, visit covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine-booster-eligibility
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED COVID QUESTIONS updated 11/10/21
I PLAN TO VISIT FRIENDS & FAMILY OVER THE HOLIDAYS, HOW CAN I BE SAFE FROM GETTING AND/OR SPREADING COVID-19?
Getting a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine before gathering with others is the single best way to prevent the spread of the virus. Coloradans have demonstrated a desire to keep each other safe during the pandemic, with over 79% of eligible Coloradans already receiving a first dose of a life-saving COVID-19 vaccine. This year, we are fortunate to have the benefit of vaccines, but it is important to also follow other public health recommendations and protocols.
Vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalization, but science shows now that immunity from the vaccine does wane. With waning immunity, vaccinated people can spread COVID-19 and non-vaccinated people and other high-risk individuals are at particular risk. Adults 18 and older who received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago should get booster doses to stay protected. You can get any type of vaccine for your booster dose, it doesn't have to be the same type as the vaccine you already received.
- Plan a gathering where everyone over the age of 5 has been vaccinated.
- Stay home if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, are positive for COVID-19, or have had recent close contact with someone with COVID-19.
- Wear a mask and practice physical distancing while shopping. If you can, use curbside pick-up for groceries.
- Plan your shopping list so you can get everything done in a single trip. Going in a single trip not only saves you precious time; it also helps the environment and decreases your exposure to COVID-19.
- Ask your guests to test for COVID-19 before the gathering. There are free community testing sites all across Colorado.
- Consider hosting a smaller, shorter, outdoor gathering. Outdoor events are generally safer than indoor events; smaller groups are generally safer than larger groups; and shorter gatherings are generally safer than longer gatherings.
- Keep a list of guests and their contact information so they can be notified quickly in the event of a COVID-19 exposure.
- If gathering indoors, improve ventilation by opening windows and doors (if it’s safe to do so) or running your heat, AC, or an air purifier.
Additional recommendations and guidance are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I WENT TO A SOCIAL GATHERING, SHOULD I GET TESTED? WHAT HAPPENS IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
For more information on COVID-19 Testing, please proceed to the COVID-19 Testing page.
WHY IS COVID STILL SPREADING IF 60% OF ELIGIBLE AMERICANS ARE FULLY VACCINATED?
The highly aggressive Delta variant is being spread primarily by the non-vaccinated who are not wearing masks at social gatherings or when they travel. The Delta variant is causing more and more people of all ages to get sick, even those who have already been vaccinated or who have previously had COVID.
SHOULD MASKS STILL BE WORN IN PUBLIC?
Yes. The Delta variant is extremely contagious and spreads 50% faster than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. “Breakthrough” cases continue to occur frequently with those who are fully vaccinated. Immunity gained from already having had COVID will most likely not prevent you from catching the virus again.
- On September 2, 2021, the County Board of Health passed a Public Health Order that requires all students and staff to wear masks at local schools. For more information, please visit our Public Health Orders & Guidance page. View the full Resolution 21-05 HERE. For more information on school protocols, please visit: https://www.ccsdre1.org/
- Clear Creek County Government requires all staff to wear masks while at work in any public space and/or while interacting with others.
- Masks are now required to be worn in all public areas of the Clear Creek County Court facilities, including in the courtrooms.
- Clear Creek County Public Health recommends that all local businesses require their staff, regardless of vaccine status, to wear masks while at work.
- The CDC now advises all Americans aged 2 and older to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, in high or substantial risk areas.
- Everyone 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.
Additional protection should be added when possible when in public – social distancing, avoiding large crowds, gathering outdoors rather than indoors, and regular handwashing.
WHEN WILL WE REACH COMMUNITY IMMUNITY / HERD IMMUNITY? WHAT ABOUT NATURAL IMMUNITY FROM ALREADY HAVING COVID?
When we were only dealing with the original strain of this virus, about 75% of the total population needed to get vaccinated to stop the spread. Currently, only about 53% of Americans are fully vaccinated and the Delta variant is causing more and more people to get sick, even those who have already been vaccinated. These are called “breakthrough” cases. Because of this, we now need at least 85% of the total population to be fully vaccinated to reach community immunity.
Having already had COVID-19 may not prevent you from catching COVID-19 again, especially the very contagious Delta variant. The longer we go without achieving immunity for the majority of the population, the greater the chance for more and stronger variants to emerge and continue to spread. To protect yourself and others, in addition to getting vaccinated, you should also limit your interactions with those who have not been vaccinated and wear a protective face mask in public.
HOW CAN PATIENTS/CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS SELF-ADVOCATE IN PROTECTING THEIR HEALTH IN VARIOUS PLACES OF BUSINESS?
It is your right as a patient/customer/client of any business establishment to ask “Are all of your staff members vaccinated?” Asking this question is not a violation of HIPAA because you are not asking the employer to share any individual employee information. You can also ask any individual employee directly, “Have you been vaccinated?” or “Which vaccine did you get?” It is their choice to answer you and it is your choice to continue patronizing that establishment.
To request additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your staff, and/or to receive more information on business/special event guidance, please contact Rebecca Abrahamson at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-389-2177