In a letter to health care providers Tuesday explaining updated vaccine distribution plans, state officials said they have set a “wildly important goal” of vaccinating 70% of adults age 70 and older, alongside moderate risk health care workers and first responders, by Feb. 28.
Updates to the vaccine distribution plan include an expansion of Phase 1B to include adults 70 and older and certain front-line essential workers, according to a state news release.
By Jan. 15, the letter said, the state anticipates “finishing the majority of remaining Phase 1A health care workers.” In combination with moderate risk health care workers, first responders and adults 70 and older, the letter said it needs “everyone to focus on vaccinating these critical populations while ensuring no dose goes to waste.” There have been 127,000 vaccine doses documented in the Colorado Immunization Information System since Dec. 14, according to the letter.
The news came as Boulder Community Health announced plans to ramp up daily COVID-19 vaccinations, and that people 70 and older had started receiving the shots Monday. Meanwhile, the county reported Tuesday that there were an additional 182 new coronavirus cases, but no new deaths.
Richard Sheehan, Boulder Community Health’s director of marketing and public relations, said Boulder Community Health has been vaccinating people since Dec. 16. To date, Sheehan said, there have been more than 2,700 COVID vaccinations administered.
“We have steadily ramped up our volume of daily vaccinations,” he wrote in an email. “We did 460 vaccinations (Monday) and are aiming for 500 per day. (Wednesday) we will vaccinate a mix of Phase 1A and 1B groups, including first doses for patients age 70 and older and first responders, along with second doses for BCH patient care providers and their support staff.”
Sheehan said Boulder Community Health has received one shipment of Moderna vaccine containing 2,200 doses and four shipments of Pfizer vaccine totaling 4,250 doses.
The state’s plan for vaccine distribution is based on federal guidelines, which, Sheehan said, are designed to dispense the limited supply in an ethical and transparent way.
“We started with the highest-risk health care workers — patient care providers and their support staff who are in direct contact with COVID patients for at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour period,” Sheehan said. “We then vaccinated inpatient and outpatient care providers and their support staffs. Additional groups that we have started vaccinating include physicians and support staff at clinics associated with BCH (but not direct employees) and first responders like Boulder police and fire departments, Boulder-based AMR employees and the University of Colorado Police Department.”
Sheehan said people are being notified as soon as they are eligible to schedule an appointment for vaccinations. He said there are plans to expand vaccinations based on receiving additional vaccine supply.
Through the Boulder County Public Health notification system, residents can sign up to be notified via email when they’re eligible to get a vaccine. People can sign up at bit.ly/3ni2ybo. In the letter, state officials said they hope by the end of the week to announce how people 70 and up can schedule appointments with hospitals and health systems.
The new case numbers reported Tuesday bring the county’s total to 15,333 positive or probable coronavirus cases, Boulder County Public Health reported. The death toll remained at 184. There have been 421 people hospitalized. After reporting a decline in hospitalizations Monday, the county saw a slight climb from 51 to 53 hospitalizations Tuesday, according to Boulder County Public Health. The current five-day average percent positivity rate was reported as 5.4%. There have been 271,746 diagnostic tests among among Boulder County residents.
Carolyn Nohe, communications manager with the Boulder Valley School District, said the district’s online coronavirus dashboard was up to date and that there weren’t any current cases to report.
St. Vrain Valley School District reported on its online coronavirus dashboard that there are 13 active cases, split between eight students and five staff. The district has had a cumulative 558 cases, with infections in 384 students and 174 staff.
The University of Colorado Boulder reported that during testing Monday, there was one positive test result found, according to its online coronavirus dashboard. There was no campus isolation space in use. The university took 85 diagnostic tests and 825 monitoring tests on Monday. Since the start of the school year on Aug. 24, the university has reported 1,726 positive results; 16,152 diagnostic tests completed; and 75,092 monitoring tests performed.
Boulder County on Monday moved from level red to the less restrictive level orange on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s coronavirus dial. University leaders had announced late last year that they planned to start the semester remote with the hope to move to in-person classes in February, but that it would be contingent on the county moving to a lower, less restrictive level.
Joshua Lindenstein, CU Boulder spokesperson, said the governor’s announcement on Front Range counties moving to level orange was encouraging news.
“We are continuing with our existing plan for a remote start to our spring semester on Jan. 14 and in-person instruction and student activities resuming on Feb. 15,” Lindenstein said. “We will confirm our spring semester plans with our campus community by Jan. 14.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 3,458 new cases, bringing the state’s total cases to 346,893. There have been 4,991 deaths among cases, and of those, there have been 3,921 deaths because of COVID-19. There have been 18,818 people hospitalized. Of Colorado’s more than 5.7 million population, there have been 2,183,221 people tested.
St. Vrain Valley active cases
SVVSD elementary schools
- Central: 1
- Eagle Crest: 1
- Mead: 1
- Northridge: 1
- Rocky Mountain: 2
SVVSD middle schools
- Coal Ridge: 1
- Trail Ridge: 1
SVVSD high schools
- Silver Creek: 1
- Thunder Valley PK-8: 2
- Timberline PK-8: 1
- Central Administration: 1