Open vaccine availability could break the spell of recently rising COVID-19 cases


DENVER (KDVR) — Publicly available vaccines should hopefully tamp down on Colorado’s and the nation’s late increase in daily COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Jared Polis announced today that COVID-19 vaccines will be available to all Coloradans over 16 years of age beginning Friday, April 2. Shortly before, New York City announced that it will vaccinate any New Yorker over 30.

Publicly available vaccines are coming just as cases are rising again following a sustained drop since last fall’s peak. Nationally and in Colorado, cases stopped falling in late February.

They have risen since mid-March. Colorado had 14 new cases per 100,000 on March 16. On March 27, it had 17 per 100,000. During the same time period, new U.S. cases rose from 16 to 18 per 100,000.

This comes only shortly after the governor announced a change to the state’s restrictions criteria that was largely expected to allow many counties to begin loosening restrictions.

The national average is not rising on the strength of a handful of a few states. Colorado is one of the 35 U.S. states whose new daily cases have either gently turned or dramatically swooped upward in March 15.

Only Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, the Carolinas, Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Utah still have declining numbers. The rest of the county are trending upward.

Polis points to these numbers as rationale for Coloradans to keep up with the familiar COVID protocols such as social distancing and masks.

“Now is not the time to stop social distancing, stop wearing your mask,” he said. “We don’t want to make these sacrifices all for nothing.”

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