Boulder County Public Health hopes to open COVID-19 vaccine clinics to reach marginalized groups

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Following discussion from earlier this year on a push for an equitable vaccine distribution, Boulder County Public Health officials hope creating mobile and community COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be among the tools to help inoculate people who are marginalized.

The plans were discussed Wednesday during public health’s weekly COVID-19 Community Update, which also provided details on proposed changes to the state’s coronavirus dial and shared local coronavirus data. The meeting followed Boulder County Public Health’s online report of 64 new coronavirus cases, but no new deaths.

Chris Campbell, emergency management coordinator with Boulder County Public Health, talked more about the county’s approach for equitable vaccine distribution.  He said the county wants to eliminate barriers for racial and ethnic minorities, as well as other marginalized individuals, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Systemic challenges, historical injustice by the medical community, as well as transportation gaps and access to technology are among those barriers, Campbell said.

The county is looking at ways it can operate mobile clinics to reach people who are homebound. Plans are also in the works for setting up community vaccination clinics in areas identified by residents. The idea is to give people a place where they would feel safe and comfortable being vaccinated, like a faith-based community location. Campbell said the county is close to identifying sites and hopes to implement the community clinics in the next several weeks.

“We want this planning work to be driven by community members,” Campbell said. “We are collaborating with cultural brokers, community connectors and community organizations and listening and hearing what the gaps are and creating strategies around that.”

The county has a call center that people can call to get connected with providers, if they don’t have internet access. The call center can be reached at 720-776-0822.

Jeff Zayach, executive director of Boulder County Public Health, discussed Gov. Jared Polis’ proposed new state coronavirus dial system, Dial 2.0. Depending on the level of virus transmission, the changes would relax requirements and use a seven-day sample for incidence rate, instead of a 14-day sample for determining where a county stands.

Zayach said the county doesn’t yet know when the proposed new system could go into effect or how it would affect the county.

He also said he had “good news” to share Wednesday. Zayach said the county’s incidence rate of new positive cases is continuing to come down, alongside hospitalizations. Last week, he said the incidence rate was between 280 and 290. State data Wednesday showed that the county’s two-week cumulative incidence rate was 270.5. Since mid-December, he said the county’s percent positivity rate has been below 5%. Boulder County Public Health data Wednesday showed that the current five-day average percent positivity was 3.3%. Zayach attributed the decreases to people following public health orders. He encouraged people to “keep up the good work.”

The county’s 64 new cases reported Wednesday bring the total to 17,497, according to Boulder County Public Health’s online coronavirus dashboard. The death toll remained at 232 people. There were three new hospitalizations recorded Wednesday and a total of 19 people in the hospital due to COVID-19. The most recent peak of hospitalizations in late November showed 131 people in the hospital. Throughout the pandemic, there have been a total of 472 people hospitalized due to the virus.

The University of Colorado Boulder reported on its coronavirus dashboard that testing Tuesday revealed nine positive test results. The university also completed 156 diagnostic tests and 699 monitoring tests. There was no campus isolation space in use. Since Jan. 4, there have been 208 positive results; 2,772 diagnostic tests taken; and 12,365 monitoring tests.

Boulder Valley School District showed 18 active cases and 204 quarantines, among 189 students and 15 staff, according to the district’s online coronavirus dashboard.

In the St. Vrain Valley School District, there are 24 active cases among 20 students and four staff, the district’s online coronavirus dashboard showed. Throughout the school year, there have been 525 students and 210 staff who have tested positive, for a cumulative 735 cases.

Campbell said that with 32 vaccine providers in the county, there is the capacity to vaccinate 20,000 to 22,000 people a week. However, he said that there isn’t yet enough supply to make that happen. To show the disparity in supply week by week, he said last week the county allocation was 800 doses and this week the it was 7,000 doses.

Roughly 52% of Boulder County’s 70 and older population vaccinated, Campbell said. There are roughly 15,000 people in this age group that still need vaccination. Campbell said the county will also work diligently in the next three weeks to vaccinate the roughly 2,500 moderate risk health care workers, before moving on to the state’s phase 1B.2, which includes community members who are 65 to 69 years old and education providers. As of Monday, public health data showed that there have been 7,097 people fully vaccinated; 21,505 who have received their first vaccine and a total 28,602 who have received at least one dose.

Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported on its dashboard that there were 399,267 cases. Among the cases, there are 5,664 deaths, and of those, there have been 5,390 deaths due to COVID-19. There have been 22,117 people hospitalized. Of Colorado’s more than 5.7 million population, 2,417,653 people have been tested.


Boulder Valley School District cases, quarantines

BVSD elementary schools:

  • Bear Creek: 1 active case; 19 students and 5 staff quarantined
  • Birch: 1 active case; 16 students and 1 staff member quarantined
  • Eisenhower: 1 active case; 14 students quarantined
  • Ryan: 1 active case; 26 students and 1 staff member quarantined

BVSD middle schools:

  • Angevine: 2 active cases; 6 students quarantined
  • Broomfield Heights: 1 active case; 5 students quarantined
  • Nederland Middle/High: 1 active case
  • Nevin Platt: 2 active cases; 13 students quarantined

BVSD high schools:

  • Boulder: 1 active case; 13 students quarantined
  • Broomfield: 1 active case; 2 students and 1 staff member quarantined
  • Centaurus: 1 active case
  • Monarch: 1 active case; 8 students quarantined

BVSD departments:

  • Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies: 1 active case; 17 students quarantined
  • Community Montessori: 2 active cases; 46 students and 3 staff quarantined
  • Early Connections Child Care: 1 active case; 4 students and 4 staff quarantined

St. Vrain Valley School district active cases

SVVSD elementary schools:

  • Columbine: 1
  • Erie: 1
  • Hygiene: 1
  • Northridge: 1
  • Prairie Ridge: 1
  • Rocky Mountain: 1

SVVSD middle schools

  • Altona: 1
  • Coal Ridge: 1

SVVSD high schools:

  • Erie: 4
  • Longmont: 2
  • Mead: 2
  • Niwot: 1
  • Silver Creek: 1
  • Skyline: 2

Other campuses:

  • Career Development Center: 1
  • Soaring Heights PK-8: 2
  • Timberline PK-8: 1