In case you missed it: Colorado COVID-19 notes for the week

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Cases are rising among kids, but there’s hope on the horizon.

By Drew Kartos | | May 7, 2021, 11:48 p.m. MST

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We’ve recently seen a decreasing trend in the number of cases, but it’s still uncertain if this will last. The highest rates of disease transmission are occurring among younger populations – especially among 11-17 year-olds. As expected, this fourth wave is looking a little different as more older Coloradans are getting vaccinated and the virus spreads among those who are unvaccinated. While the vaccines are only available for those over the age of 16, the FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year-olds as soon as next week. Here’s what else is trending:

  • The B.1.617 (India) variant has been identified in Colorado. It’s considered a variant of interest; not a variant of concern. While there is limited information about this particular variant, early evidence suggests it could be more transmissible, but there is minimal impact on vaccine effectiveness.
  • About 40% of eligible Coloradans are fully vaccinated. Over 2 million Coloradans are fully vaccinated, and over 2.6 million are immunized with at least one dose.  
  • Updated mask order. According to the new order, masks are not required in public, indoor places if 80% of people show proof of vaccination. You may show the vaccination card you received at your vaccine appointment, a picture of your vaccination card on your cell phone, or a copy of your immunization records as proof.
    • Masks are still required in schools, child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, emergency medical and other healthcare settings, personal services and limited healthcare settings.
    • In counties with one-week incidence rates over 35 per 100,000, masks must be worn in public, indoor places where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present.

It’s all about the little things this Mother’s Day

From juggling work and virtual school for their children to taking care of a newborn during a pandemic, motherhood has looked very different this year and moms have seen their share of challenges. For many, this will be the first time seeing their mothers since the start of the pandemic; for others, it will be yet another physically-distanced virtual celebration until their family is vaccinated. And for some families, they will be mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19. This Mother’s Day, it will be the little things that make it special –– a long-awaited hug after being fully vaccinated, a conversation reflecting on the year, or enjoying some time outdoors. As more people are vaccinated and restrictions are easing, this will be a Mother’s Day to remember and cherish.    

Paid sick leave

Worried about taking time off from work for your COVID-19 vaccine? You’re entitled to paid sick leave for your vaccination appointments and recovering from any side effects that prevent you from working. Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires employers to provide paid leave for employees experiencing an illness, injury, or health condition that prevents them from working. Now you can go ahead and schedule that vaccine appointment.   

The bottom line: We’re continuing to track any new variants found in Colorado and investigate whether or not they’re of concern. Many Coloradans are getting vaccinated, but there are still far too many open appointments. We are awaiting FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year-olds.