x
Breaking News
More () »

'Don’t throw it away': Expert says masks will come back as Coloradans return to pre-pandemic activities

Dr. Ricardo González-Fisher talks to 9NEWS about returning to normal pre-pandemic activities for people who are fully vaccinated.

COLORADO, USA — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) announced on Friday that Coloradans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can "live life normally." 

This is a sentiment that Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher of Servicios de la Raza shares as long as people are fully vaccinated with two COVID-19 vaccines and a booster. 

“The governor mentioned that we will have 97% protection if we have two vaccines and the booster," Gonzalez-Fisher said. "This will drop to 82% if you only have two vaccines."

In this week's segment, both González-Fisher and Vanessa Bernal from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) joined 9NEWS Watch anchor Chris Bianchi to discuss the current COVID-19 state numbers and what Coloradans should expect upon returning to "live life normally."

RELATED: How Colorado's Latino community can learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations

Gonzalez-Fisher advised residents to be aware as they go back to pre-pandemic activities and not dispose of their masks completely because he believes this protection is temporary.

“Because some of the protection that we have right now comes from natural immunity from people who were not vaccinated and got the infection, this natural immunity will last for two or three months," Gonzalez-Fisher said. 

"We may have a surge again in three or four months," he added.

Bernal said that even though there are high levels of immunity in Colorado right now, "We can see that COVID is still here and unvaccinated people are still at a high risk." 

For the week of Feb. 28, Bernal said Colorado's numbers show:

  • 238 new cases reported 
  • 22 new deaths among cases reported
  • 348 number of persons hospitalized with COVID 
  • 58% of those currently hospitalized are not vaccinated
  • 30 new hospital admissions

According to Bernal, the seven-day average positivity is currently sitting at 4%, and "the goal of the state is under 5%.”

Bernal said that 81% of people in Colorado have received at least one dose of the vaccine but the percentage of people in the Hispanic community that is vaccinated still lags behind at only 39%. This number is slightly up from last month's number of 38%. 

Credit: CDPHE

"It is moving," Bernal said of the small increase."It is moving slowly, but it’s moving," adding that the vaccine "is the best tool to protect us and our community."

Servicios De La Raza, the state's largest nonprofit serving Latinos, continues to work to bring more resources and information about COVID-19 to residents of Colorado who are the most difficult to reach.

The organization offers an extended-hour clinic every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. located at 3131 W. 14th Ave. in Denver. No appointment is needed.

This weekend, Servicios will host a drive-thru clinic on Saturday, March 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their office. Attendees don't need an appointment and they will not need to get out of their cars. 

"Come in through the parking lot, get the vaccine and drive home," said Gonzalez-Fisher.

Credit: Luis de Leon

RELATED: Is natural immunity better than the COVID-19 vaccine?

RELATED: Will a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine be necessary? Expert clarifies doubts

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Vaccine 

Paid Advertisement