JCPH Provides Update on COVID-19
As the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread in the county, especially among unvaccinated residents, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) shares an update on the current situation in Jeffco. The department also reminds residents of safe and effective mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19, including infection by the Delta variant.
“We have heard from residents that it is a confusing time and that it has been difficult to know how to safely go about daily life as the pandemic persists. This is understandable, especially after going from a safer start of summer to seeing cases and hospitalizations surge again,” said Christine Billings, Head of the Office of Pandemic Response, JCPH. “We are committed to continuing to share current, transparent COVID-19 data and evidence-based prevention strategies with our residents so they are armed with the information they need to make choices to protect themselves and their loved ones. Luckily, we have learned a lot about this virus over the past year and a half, and public health prevention recommendations have evolved based on science to meet current needs. There are several important prevention measures that, when layered together, we know are very effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19 while our county remains a high risk area.”
COVID-19 Data for Jefferson County
- From August 23-29, there have been 767 new cases of COVID-19 (131.5 per 100,000 persons) in Jeffco, a 68.2% increase from the same time period last month (456 new cases from July 23-29).
- Hospitalizations among Jeffco residents have doubled with the 14-day rolling average increasing from 0.4 per 100,000 persons during July 10-23 to 0.8 per 100,000 persons during August 10-23. Currently, there are 41 Jeffco residents in the hospital with confirmed COVID-19.
- Of all new cases in the past two months, 83.5% were among people who were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated. 82.9% of hospitalizations in the past two months were among people who were unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.
- As of August 30, 71.9% of residents ages 12+ are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and another 5.1% are partially vaccinated. Given the increased transmissibility of Delta, public health experts estimate that at least 80% vaccination coverage is needed to reach herd immunity.
- The Delta variant, which spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another compared with earlier strains, represents nearly 100% of cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.
“At this point in the pandemic, reading or hearing data about COVID-19 can seem routine or intangible. In reality, these numbers represent our Jeffco community members — neighbors, parents, children, friends and coworkers — who are still suffering from this virus. As a community, there is a lot we can do right now to help get the pandemic back under control for ourselves and others,” Billings said. “Easy actions like getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors and getting tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms will help keep our kids in school, our homes and workplaces safe and, hopefully, allow us to enjoy the upcoming fall holidays together while staying healthy.”
Layered COVID-19 Prevention Recommendations
- Get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best path to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and everyone ages 12+ should get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are immunocompromised, it is recommended that you get an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four weeks (28 days) after your second dose.
- All three COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, but for those who were waiting for full approval to be confident in their choice to get vaccinated, the FDA recently gave full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for people 16+. The first full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine is an important milestone that should reassure anyone who has concerns about getting vaccinated.
- Find a free COVID-19 vaccine close to home, any day of the week, at www.jeffco.us/vaccinesignup.
- Wear a mask indoors. CDC recommends that everyone ages 2+ wear a mask in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, in high or substantial risk areas. While COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective at preventing COVID-19 and serious illness from the virus, breakthrough cases are possible and additional prevention steps can help lessen the chances of getting sick. Masks are safe and effective and are not harmful to children’s mental health.
- Masks are required for everyone ages 3+ in schools and childcare settings in Jeffco, per PHO 21-002.
- If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed, get tested. We remind residents that if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to COVID-19, get tested and isolate until you receive your results. Get tested even if your symptoms are mild and even if you have been vaccinated. If your test is positive, continue to isolate for 10 days.
- The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath, but symptoms can also include fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
- Visit www.jeffco.us/testing to find a list of free testing locations across Jeffco.
- Add other layers of protection when possible. Social distancing, avoiding large crowds, gathering outdoors rather than indoors, improving ventilation (air flow) and regular handwashing are additional ways to prevent COVID-19.
“As families continue to balance everyday activities with COVID-19 risk, these layered mitigation steps can help give them some clear guidance and peace of mind as we continue to live with COVID-19,” Billings said. “We have the tools to protect ourselves, we just need everyone to use them.”
For more information about COVID-19 in Jeffco, including current data, vaccination locations, testing sites and more, visit www.jeffco.us/coronavirus.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.