‘We’re not there yet’: UCHealth doc says now is not the time to let our guard down

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s COVID-19 numbers continue to trend in the right direction, but one of UCHealth’s top doctors says declining cases is not a reason to stop practicing basic mitigation strategies like mask-wearing and social distancing.

“I will give everyone a sense of caution,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, Senior Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UCHealth.

“We don’t know when that next wave is going to come and we’re not at the point yet where we’re done with this,” said Barron.

Barron says there is a sense of relief in the hospital without an influx of new coronavirus patients.

“With the optimism is also the hope that this is the trend we continue with,” said Barron.

She says they still have surge plans in place in the event cases start to rise. But another wave of COVID-19 could look different, as a majority of those who are most vulnerable are receiving the vaccine. Barron says that could result in fewer hospitalizations and deaths. 

“The goal is that those groups that we know are going to be most affected will hopefully have high levels of protection. That doesn’t mean they’re not going to get sick — they probably won’t get as sick, which is key,” said Barron. 

More Colorado counties were downgraded to Level Blue on the state’s COVID-19 dial this week. As of Saturday morning, 27 counties will be operating under Level Blue — just one step from the least restrictive level in the state.

Barron says easing restrictions in parts of the state is not an excuse to ignore COVID-19 precautions.

“This is not the time to say, ‘Well, I’m not going to do this anymore because I’m tired.’ We’ve used the marathon analogy before but we really are on that last section of the race — you’ve just got to get to the finish line and life will be so much better,” said Barron. 

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