MONTHLY COVID-19 VIRTUAL TOWN HALL
Please join our next monthly forum for updates from Dr. Ryan, County Public & Environmental Health Director, followed by a community Question & Answer session.
DATE: Thursday, September 23, 2021
TIME: 5pm to 6pm
Due to scheduling conflicts, this month's town hall was changed from the 16th to the 23rd. We apologize for any inconvenience.
TOWN HALL QUESTIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN ADVANCE TO BE ADDRESSED. YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS ARE REQUIRED.
Some of your questions may be answered in our FREQUENTLY ASKED COVID QUESTIONS section below. If you have specific questions related to the recent County Public Health Order for our schools, it may be helpful to review the School District's answers to Frequently Asked Questions at: https://www.ccsdre1.org/
TO JOIN THE VIRTUAL TOWN HALL:
Click here to join on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/94411844596
Click here to Livestream on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Clear-Creek-County-Colorado-130701711250/
COVID-19 UPDATES as of SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
CLEAR CREEK COUNTY COVID DATA
TOTAL CASES: 626 – this is up 46 from last week
NOTE: There were 80 new cases reported in Clear Creek County in the past 2 weeks alone. Our Public Health nurses worked over the holiday weekend to coordinate additional testing and conduct contact tracing in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Clear Creek County. We are experiencing our highest case count since the pandemic started, in a much smaller portion of our population, with more post-holiday cases expected.
TOTAL DEATHS: 4 – no change from last week
TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 30 – this is an increase of 1 from last week
VACCINATION RATE: 66.3% of our eligible population is vaccinated with at least 1 dose
If you have questions, and/or have transportation or mobility issues that are keeping you from getting vaccinated, please call our PUBLIC HEALTH COVID INFO LINE at 303-670-7528.
COLORADO COVID INFORMATION
- The aggressive Delta variant is impacting younger age groups more than previous variants.
- Youth under the age of 12 are especially vulnerable since they still cannot yet get vaccinated.
- Less than 100 pediatric ICU beds are currently available in the state of Colorado.
- 98% of those currently hospitalized or dying from COVID are unvaccinated.
- 40% of our state’s available ventilators are currently in use.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently updated its COVID-19 website to include new breakthrough data: https://covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine-breakthrough
- For more CDPHE information: https://covid19.colorado.gov
U. S. COVID INFORMATION
- More than 12,000 Americans died due to COVID-19 in the past week. Since the start of the pandemic, over 653,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19. (SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University).
- COVID-19 exposure, cases and hospitalizations continue to surge in all 50 states, with more post-holiday cases expected. There are currently more than 40 million cases in the U.S.
- Every age group under 50 has surpassed its previous record number of hospitalizations.
- The largest increase of hospitalizations is those aged 30-39 and children under 18, both of which are 30% higher than their previous peak.
- Currently, only 52.9% of Americans are fully vaccinated
COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH VACCINATION CLINICS
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available at no cost for those age 18+
WHEN? WEDNESDAYS | 10am to 2pm | Walk-In - no appointments needed
WHERE? Idaho Springs | NEW LOCATION - Clear Creek Collaborative Care Center at 1969 Miner Street - 2nd Floor
To reduce wait time at vaccine clinics:
- Pre-register at: https://www.comassvax.org/clinic/search – enter CLEAR CREEK COUNTY in the LOCATION box and then click the SEARCH button. Find the clinic you're interested in and self-register.
WHERE ELSE CAN I GET VACCINATED?
For more information on other COVID-19 Vaccinations in Clear Creek County, vaccine clinic locations outside of the County, and frequently asked questions, please proceed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Page.
Additional test dates, times and locations added for free PCR tests for those age 2+
WHEN? TUESDAYS & THURSDAYS | 8am - 2pm | Drive-Through
WHERE? Idaho Springs | GRAVEL LOT BETWEEN THE BUS BARN & DIGGER FIELD - by the Rec Center at 1047 Miner St.
GEORGETOWN SITE COMING SOON
Due to increased testing and low staffing, COVIDCheck now requires appointments at all sites:
Check for schedule updates at: https://www.covidcheckcolorado.org
For more information on COVID-19 Testing in Clear Creek County, please proceed to the COVID-19 Testing page.
For information on Covid-19 test sites in Jefferson County, please visit: https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter/View/22251/List-of-Jeffco-COVID-19-Testing-Sites
FREQUENTLY ASKED COVID QUESTIONS
I WENT TO A LABOR DAY GATHERING, SHOULD I GET TESTED?
COVID-19 symptoms usually appear within 2 to 4 days of exposure. People with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, this means they or you have COVID but are not exhibiting any symptoms. You should get tested if:
- you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- you have been in close contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID and they have symptoms
- you are or will be in close contact with a member(s) of the vulnerable population
- you are experiencing one or more COVID symptoms, even if they are mild and even if you have been vaccinated
If you have symptoms or have been exposed, you should isolate until you get your results. If your test is positive, continue to isolate for 10 additional days.
COVID-19 symptoms may include: fever or chills, cough, fatigue, sore throat, headache, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, post-holiday surges in COVID cases have occurred 7 to 10 days after associated social gatherings.
For more information on COVID-19 Testing, please proceed to the COVID-19 Testing page.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?
When the County Public Health team is notified of a positive test result, the will let that person know that they are required to start a mandatory 10-day isolation. This means no direct interaction with others, including family members.
Contact tracing begins immediately to determine if others were exposed to the highly contagious virus. Any close contacts of the COVID-positive person are required to quarantine for 14 days, starting on the last day of contact with the positive individual, since this is the time frame during which the virus may develop. Adults and children may develop and spread COVID-19 to or from others for 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Many people are asymptomatic, meaning they feel well and do not have any symptoms, but they have the virus and are contagious.
Isolation and quarantine both mean that the identified person(s) should not leave their place of residence except for any required testing or if there is a medical emergency. Because of the potential to be in quarantine or isolation, and for other emergency situations, Clear Creek County Public & Environmental Health recommends that you have a “safety net” in place – a two-week supply of food, medication, and other essential items in your home so that you do not need to leave and potentially expose others. If possible, you should also coordinate with friends, family members and/or neighbors to help you with any other assistance you may need.
For more information on COVID-19 Testing, please proceed to the COVID-19 Testing page.
MORE THAN 50% OF ELIGIBLE AMERICANS ARE VACCINATED, WHY IS COVID SPREADING EVEN MORE NOW?
The highly aggressive Delta variant is being spread primarily by the non-vaccinated who are not wearing masks at social gatherings or during travel. The Delta variant is causing more and more people to get sick, even those who have already been vaccinated or who have had COVID.
For more information on other COVID-19 Vaccinations, please proceed to the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Page.
ARE ADDITIONAL DOSES OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE NOW RECOMMENDED?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for moderate to severe immunocompromised individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and have completed the two-shot series of Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) or Moderna. This third dose, preferably the same brand as the first two doses, is not considered a booster, it is needed to raise the level of immunity in immunocompromised systems to full capacity. This third vaccine dose is recommended at least 28 days after the second dose.
ARE BOOSTER SHOTS NOW RECOMMENDED?
Full FDA approval is expected later in September for booster shots for those who are 8 months out from their second dose of the two-shot series of Pfizer or Moderna.
WHAT BRANDS OF THE VACCINE ARE APPROVED FOR WHAT AGES?
The Pfizer vaccine received full U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for those aged 16 and above. Pfizer is available for those aged 12 to 15 under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J & J) continue to be administered to those aged 18 and older under the FDA’s EUA, with Moderna‘s full FDA approval expected in September. J&J has not yet submitted for full FDA approval.
Clinical trials are still underway to determine vaccination doses and approval for those under the age of 11. To assure product safety and effectiveness, the FDA regulatory and approval process includes extensive clinical trials, thorough reviews of data, and facility inspections to assure consistent production.
All federally authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and help protect from severe illness. For more information on vaccine development: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/distributing/steps-ensure-safety.html
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 are occurring more 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, 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.
- Clear Creek County Government is requiring 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 layers of protection should be added when possible – social distancing, avoiding large crowds, gathering outdoors rather than indoors, and regular handwashing.
WHAT IS THE COVID-19 PROTECTION PLAN FOR OUR SCHOOLS?
Currently, greater than 90% of Clear Creek School District staff are fully vaccinated, but less than 35% of our Middle School and High School students are fully vaccinated. Clear Creek School District and Creek Public Health are dedicated to keeping your children healthy and safe and to maintaining in-person learning. To achieve these goals, the following public health protocols are in place to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19:
- hand washing stations at the school
- mandatory masks for all while indoors
- promoting vaccinations for all who are eligible
Until the majority of our student body is vaccinated, these measures will remain in place.
On September 2, the County Board of Health passed a public health order (Resolution 21-05) that requires:
- all students and staff to wear masks at local schools
- twice weekly testing for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, who participate in extracurricular activities that involve traveling and/or mingling with students from other districts, such as athletic competitions.
Universal masking for all Colorado schools and child care settings is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more science-based information on COVID-19 and youth, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/transmission_k_12_schools.html
For more information on school protocols, please visit: https://www.ccsdre1.org/
WHEN WILL WE REACH COMMUNITY IMMUNITY / HERD IMMUNITY?
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 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 or not. 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
STAY INFORMED WITH SCIENCE-BASED DATA
>Clear Creek County Public Health
- COVID INFO LINE 303-670-7528
- Visit: http;//www.clearcreekcounty.us/covid19
- Listen to the COVID updates at the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) meetings
- Listen to Dr. Ryan’s live KYGT interviews following the BoCC update (archived interviews posted on our website — https://www.clearcreekcounty.us/1211/In-the-News )
- Participate in our monthly COVID-19 Virtual Town Halls
- Follow the County’s Facebook page and Nextdoor posts
>Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: https://covid19.colorado.gov
>National and World 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/
LISTEN TO DR. RYAN'S LIVE KYGT RADIO INTERVIEWS
- 9/14/21: https://youtu.be/4IQBNM8k71g
- 9/07/21: https://youtu.be/Qenm8hxBYxI
- 8/17/21: https://youtu.be/8zoxWqOKwbA
- 8/10/21: https://youtu.be/Y1HRqcoV5wc
- Previous interviews: https://www.clearcreekcounty.us/1211/In-the-News
Thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. Your answers will help shape the future of our county and better plan resources and support. Results are being compiled and will be shared when available. More information about the survey can be found on our COVID-19 COMMUNITY IMPACT SURVEY page.