Governor’s Community Engagement Update on COVID-19 

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April 20, 2021

Community Leaders,

Carlena here with the Governor’s Community Engagement team! In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below are some updates and information that the Governor provided. We appreciate your support in helping to share these updates with your network. With the rise of COVID-19 in Colorado, it is critical that Coloradans continue taking critical safety precautions like wearing your mask, staying at least six feet away from others, and limiting any socializing to your household.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date:

Topline Update

Over the last 13 months, the State has seen 493,029 total cases, 27,017 hospitalizations, 2,847,921 completed tests, and 6,359 total deaths (6,211 are due to COVID). Every death is a tragedy. There are families and friends mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.

Yesterday, April 19, the State reported 1,963 new positive cases and 553 new hospitalizations.

In terms of new cases, 7 of the last 14 days have had an upward trend in the 7-day moving average of newly reported cases. In terms of hospitalizations, 7 of the last 14 days have had an upward trend in the 7-day moving average of new hospitalizations. The deadly virus continues to be very prevalent in our state right now, and it remains critical that people wear masks, stay at least six feet away from others, and avoid socializing with people outside their households whenever possible.

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily, and can be found here.

Colorado Exposure Notification

You have the opportunity to further protect yourself and your loved ones with a feature on your phone that notifies you if you have been exposed to someone contagious with COVID-19. By opting in through your iPhone device settings or downloading the app onto your Android device, you can better protect yourself and your family.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please get a free, quick, and easy test. Visit to find a testing site near you.

Post-Vaccine COVID Cases

Today, Governor Polis was joined by State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy who provided an update on post-vaccination “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases in Colorado and our latest trends. There are several concerning trends we’re seeing in Colorado today. Variants of concern are on the rise and because they’re more easily transmissible, the number of new positive cases are also increasing, as well as our hospitalizations.

The demographics of people testing positive for COVID are different, so the risks are different. At the beginning of this pandemic, we learned that Coloradans over the age of 60 are many times more likely to be hospitalized and tragically, die due to COVID-19 complications.

Now that 65.2% of Coloradans 60 and older are fully vaccinated, and we’re vaccinating more public-facing workers everyday, we need to to ensure that all Coloradans get the vaccine because no one is immune to this deadly virus.

In Colorado we’re seeing a 93-95% reduction in reported positive cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated people compared to non-vaccinated.

It’s very clear that vaccinated people minimize their risk of getting and spreading this virus significantly. That’s exactly as advertised and what we need to keep in mind when we’re making choices about our personal health, which affects the wellbeing of our communities.

As we have said many times before, COVID-19 vaccines do not provide 100% protection, and the vast majority of other vaccines do not either, meaning there is still the potential for breakthrough cases, which are people who test positive for COVID-19 after receiving one dose or are fully immunized.

Dr. Rachel Herlihy stated that here in Colorado, only 819 fully vaccinated people have been infected out of over 106,965 total cases from the end of January through April 19th. That’s only 0.77% of total new cases over the last three months.

The Governor provided an overview of the effectiveness of other common vaccines:

• MMR is 93% against measles
• Dtap which kids get to prevent whooping cough and tetanus is 80-90%
• The flu shot is 40-60% effective
COVID-19 vaccines are among the most effective of all vaccines.

Post-vaccine cases are rare, but are not anomalies for the COVID-19 vaccine or any other vaccine. That’s what makes COVID vaccines normal and why it’s crucial we continue taking precautions until we can see the impacts of more vaccinations flatten our curve.

We all want to experience that impact in our daily lives — not just observe the trendlines.

If we want to enjoy the many things we once took for granted, we need to continue:

  • Wearing masks
  • Social distancing
  • Getting COVID tested
  • Getting the vaccine as soon as one is available to you

Through April and May while we work to get the majority of Coloradans 16 and up fully vaccinated, these are the measures that need to be taken to enjoy measurably more normal lives later in the summer and take full advantage of better, brighter days to come.

Community Vaccination Sites Walk Ups & Same Day Scheduling

The data shows just how small the impact of COVID can be if you are fully vaccinated, but it also shows what happens when we don’t take precautions and don’t take full advantage of the vaccine. In Southern Colorado we’re seeing concerning trends. The current R-naught value in the Pueblo area is 1.6 compared to a flat R-naught of 1.1 in most other parts of our state.

At the same time, we are seeing less interest in vaccines in the area compared to the rest of the state. There are plenty of open vaccine appointments at the Broadmoor World Arena and Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo sites. If you live in Southern Colorado — especially in Pueblo or El Paso County and have not yet received your vaccine, you can sign up to make an appointment at a drive up and walk upsite today:

Walk-ups are welcome at The Ranch, Colorado State Fairgrounds and Ball Arena sites. This week we have same-day appointments available at all of the sites. Find an appointment and sign up online at:

UCHealth Open Scheduling

As we continue gaining ground in the race against this virus, major providers in Colorado have been working around the clock to streamline their vaccine scheduling appointment systems.

UCHealth has rolled out an open scheduling option for any Colorado resident seeking a COVID-19 vaccination to log onto their website and sign themselves up.

You don’t need to be a UCHealth patient to use the system and receive a vaccine at the next available time.

Available appointments are listed at UCHEALTH.ORG/COVIDVACCINE.
If you need to schedule over the phone, call (720) 462-2255 for English or (844) 945-2508 for assistance in Spanish.

Coloradans who are already UCHealth patients can visit their My Health Connection online patient portal and simply click on “Appointments,” then select “Schedule Appointments.”

Thanks to UCHealth, our major health providers, and community health partners, we have adapted to meet the increased demand for vaccines by creating more ways for folks to sign up for a vaccine appointment at their convenience.

As always, for more information on vaccine providers offering appointments in your area, including our six state-run Community Vaccination Sites, please visit COCOVIDVACCINE.ORG or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).

Get the Most Out of Your Dose

Some providers are reporting a significant drop in mortality rates as more Coloradans are vaccinated in their clinics, meaning more of us are surviving. This is great news and a relief to thousands of families in our state as we hope to put an end to more than a year of devastation.

The challenge now is getting to the point where we can all thrive again.

Lately, younger Coloradans, those in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, have been saying that they are healthy and young and therefore are putting off getting the vaccine. Others say, “I had COVID-19, I survived, I’m young and therefore I dont need the vaccine”. Well now is the time, and when you get vaccinated you are not just doing it for you, you are doing it for your community, your economy, and the people you love.

Every future plan we make and opportunity missed due to the pandemic is another reason to gain immunity. That is what thriving, not just surviving this pandemic can look like if we take the initiative, sign up to get the vaccine, and encourage everyone we know and care for over 16 to do the same.

The data and science is clear. Your community depends on it for future stability and growth. We’ve made too much progress and have sacrificed too much to lose our grip during this fourth and final wave.

We have a clear shot at normalcy. Let’s take it so that the economy we all depend on to live, gets the boost needed to bring us all the way back.

Colorado Employee Ownership Office Launches Documentary

The Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s (OEDIT) Employee Ownership Office has produced a documentary, Own It: A Colorado Story, following 5 employee-owned companies throughout the state. It will air on PBS 12 at 7:30pm on May 20th. They will host a virtual viewing party starting at 7:20pm to introduce partners, show the film, and host a discussion panel featuring the businesses from the film.

View a sneak peek here:

Visit this link for more information and to register:

State of Colorado Job Openings

We are looking for new individuals to fill the following positions! Please feel free to share these openings with your networks.

Quality and Utilization Management Division Director, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

  • Description: This position exists in the Cost Control & Quality Improvement (CCQI) Office to provide leadership and management for the processes and teams responsible for the UM Program, the Quality & Health Improvement Section, and the Quality Performance Section. The position serves as the Director for the Quality & UM Division and reports directly to the CCQI Office Director. Position provides leadership and program development expertise not otherwise available at the Department and serves in a role that leverages clinical and quality related experience to further develop and implement the Department’s Quality Improvement (QI) Program. This position guides staff to triage quality and metrics-related issues or questions that arise.
  • Application Closing Date: 4/23/21
  • Apply:

Senior Director of Marijuana Enforcement Division, Department of Revenue

  • Description: This position is responsible for managing and directing the activities of the Marijuana Enforcement Division including licensing, communications, regulatory compliance, industry education, enforcement, and investigations. The Director must ensure the Division meets all requirements and deadlines as outlined in the State Constitution and the Colorado Revised Statutes relating to the regulation of marijuana in Colorado.
  • Application Closing Date: 4/23/21
  • Apply:

Director of Domestic Violence Program, Department of Human Services

  • Description: The Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) welcomes your interest in the Director of Domestic Violence Program. This position ensures program administration and is responsible for enforcing standards and monitoring compliance and effectiveness of local programs statewide. The Director supervises the Domestic Violence program and is a liaison to the Office of Children, Youth, and Families around communication strategies for the Domestic Violence Program.
  • Application Closing Date: 4/26/21
  • Apply:

Director of Communications, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

  • Description: Manage communications, content management & design, media relations, social media, and other staff with a focus on streamlining, simplifying and standardizing member, provider, partner and stakeholder communications. Supervisory duties such as planning & monitoring workflow, establishing work schedules, making hiring decisions and resolving problems. Provide communication and messaging expertise across the entire Department/Agency for strategic initiatives and, in addition to direct report staff, provide guidance to a team of communication liaisons and deployed communications professionals to ensure office communication plans alignment with Department and brand standards. Develop and oversee processes and procedures that standardize communication and design planning, tracking and evaluation of communication effectiveness across Department programs.
  • Application Closing Date: 5/2/21
  • Apply:

State Boards & Commissions Openings

We are continually looking for qualified candidates to serve on almost 320 boards and commissions that oversee a large variety of subjects and make a wide range of decisions affecting your day-to-day lives as Coloradans. These boards are a tremendous opportunity for Coloradans to help govern and give back to the great state of Colorado. You can find upcoming openings and immediate openings due to resignations below:

Upcoming Openings/ Openings Due to Resignation:

• Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund Board
• Regional Air Quality Council
• Stock Inspection Commissioners
• Board of Directors of Colorado Humanities
• Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise
• Scientific & Cultural Facilities District Board
• Advisory Committee on Governmental Accounting
• State Board of Chiropractic Examiners
• State Board of Psychologist Examiners

To apply, fill out an application at this link. To see other Boards and Commissions openings for the rest of 2020 and part of 2021, you can visit this link.

If you have any questions about Boards and Commissions, please contact Nikky Patel, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions at

We greatly appreciate your help to share information during this crisis, and we will continue to send regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or needs from our office. Thank you for doing your part.

We are all in this together!

You can view the Governor’s press briefing and listen to his full remarks here.


Office of Governor Polis
200 E. Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203

200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203