DENVER (KDVR) — The number of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado has started to slowly dip again after a fourth wave that appears to have peaked around early May, but Colorado, the United States, and the world at large are far from ending this pandemic.
About a month ago the state announced that it would be ending use of its COVID-19 dial framework and handing control back to the local county health departments. Initially most counties planned for a 30-day transition phase to assess how things are changing. As we near the end of that period another round of decisions needs to be made by the end of this week.
At the same time, the number of people getting vaccinated has also stagnated. Currently only about half of all Coloradans have had at least one dose of vaccine, and about 40% are considered fully vaccinated – a far throw from the 80% that is expected to be necessary to reach herd immunity.
With this happening, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced that the state will be working with businesses to create vaccine clinics at their offices, similar to the way some businesses offer flu vaccine clinics.
“People can just get vaccinated right over their lunch hour or on break. If you are at an employer, work in HR, run a small employer, run it with a trade association, and you’d like to get on-site vaccinations for your folks, you can go to https://covid19.colorado.gov/atworkvaccinationsco,” Polis said. He said the state will help host these programs for businesses of all sizes.
He also reminded workers their employers should be giving them at least four hours of paid time off to get vaccinated.
“You can absolutely tell our Department of Labor and Employment Division of Labor Standards; they would like to hear if there are any violations,” Polis said.
The federal government is unveiling a new effort make the process accessible as well.
“Now there’s Uber and Lyft saying they’re going to offer free rides for folks to and from vaccination sites so if transportation was a barrier, we’re going to make it easier for folks to get to and from vaccine sites,” White House COVID Senior Advisor, Dr. Cameron Webb told FOX31.
The ride share announcement is part of the president’s effort to get 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4th.
Polis is hoping more young people getting vaccinated will get Colorado to that threshold before then. He said community efforts are working; announcing the state’s mobile buses have been able to administer 5800 doses of the more 350,000 delivered to hard-to-reach communities.