JeffCo mobile vaccine clinics

Mobile vaccine clinic

In order to work in-person, county and municipal workers in Jefferson County workers will have to be vaccinated in the coming weeks or face weekly COVID-19 testing, under a new health order passed there earlier this week.

The county's board of health approved the order Monday, according to a press release sent Tuesday evening. Employees who work either in government-operated offices or who interact with the public are required to show proof of vaccination by Nov. 1, or else they must submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The order will remain in effect until the county "has experienced twenty-one consecutive days" of moderate or low transmission rates. According to state data, the county has had high rates of spread over at least the past two weeks.

Only employees who are able to work 100% remotely are exempted from the requirement, according to the order. 

The order "is an appropriate protective measure for Jefferson County to take at this time, given the current circumstances with COVID-19 and the Delta variant," Greg Deranleau, the head of the county's health board, said in a statement.

Between Sept. 3 and Oct. 3, the county averaged one COVID-19 death each day, according to the press release. Hospitalizations and deaths in Colorado have climbed overall in recent weeks, despite promising early signs in the latter half of September that the current fifth wave was starting to subside. State health officials have expressed concern that this latest spike is an ominous sign for the winter months. Last November and December brought the heaviest surge of hospitalizations and COVID-19 deaths here since the pandemic began in March 2020.

"While cases of COVID-19 in Jeffco were beginning to trend downward, this progress has started to stall, and I am very concerned we will endure another fall and winter marked by preventable illness and death, similar to this time last year, if we do not all act now,” Dawn Comstock, the executive director of the county's public health department, said.

The order follows a more-restrictive measure that took effect in Denver earlier this week. That measure required a sweeping number of government and health workers be vaccinated by Oct. 1. Any employee out of compliance and without an exemption faced termination. Similar vaccination requirements have been instituted for state employees, as well as most health care workers across Colorado.

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