May 1 National Target for General Public Vaccine Eligibility!

May 1 National Target for General Public Vaccine Eligibility!

San Miguel County announces that May 1 is the national target for general public vaccine eligibility. Face coverings and continued precautions remain necessary; July 4 timeline for near-normal small gatherings

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With vaccine supply projected to increase in the coming months, eligibility is expected to expand by May 1. Face coverings, hand washing and limiting group size continue to be an important avenue to a less restrictive summer.

“I think the next two or three months could go in one of two directions,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, in an interview with National Public Radio. “If things open up, if we’re not really cautious, we could end up with a post-spring break surge the way we saw a post-Christmas surge. We could see much more disease. We could see much more death.”

The recent climb in the number of new cases of COVID-19 across the United States has reinforced the need for precautionary behavior and personal accountability. Pandemic fatigue and loosening restrictions could prompt another surge this spring.

New variants are circulating throughout the country amongst already high weekly case counts throughout the country, the CDC director warned that progress may be stalling as cases have increased 3.2% within the United States and deaths due to COVID-19 have increased 2.2% week over week.

The state of Colorado continues to reduce disease incidence. If Colorado remains on the current trajectory, state-wide hospital demand and infection prevalence will continue to decline. Infection prevalence will be comparable to last summer by as early as late April. According to current state modeling, if restrictions are lifted significantly now, cases are likely to increase drastically. The data supports a safe reduction in restrictions as early as mid-April.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

“With support from increased vaccine supply and clinics, if we can stick to our pods or households, wear masks and follow the five commitments, we could be in a really good place by summer,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The nature of our population in the spring months with decreased tourism puts San Miguel County in a good place to continue the downward trajectory if diligent practices remain in place.”

Last night, President Joe Biden announced an accelerated plan for COVID-19 vaccine rollout with a goal for all adults to be eligible for a vaccine on May 1. According to recent phasing, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment projects that the state is on track to open vaccine eligibility to the general public by mid-April. San Miguel County Public Health is prepared to scale up vaccine clinics as soon as supplies and phasing allows.

President Biden said that by Independence Day,”there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get together and have a cookout or a BBQ in your backyard.”

With continued diligence, the July 4 timeline applies to smaller gatherings in backyards rather than parades and fireworks shows. This timeline is only achievable with cooperation from all in continuing to wear face coverings, maintaining physical distance and following federal guidelines meant to slow the spread of the virus in the coming months.

Public Health has confirmed eight new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from March 9 through 11. Of these cases, six are confirmed as residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation. As of release time today, there have been 839 total COVID cases among residents to date with 7 active cases.

To learn more about the county’s wastewater data and current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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