DENVER — There are 501 Colorado residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday during his update on the virus.
Of the 501, seven children ages 10 and under are among those hospitalized. Additionally, 10 of the hospitalized are in the 11-19 age group.
Polis said the state isn’t currently in jeopardy of overwhelming its hospital capacity.
As kids begin going back to school, Polis said the state is offering schools the option of free voluntary rapid testing for students on campus.
Polis cited the Denver Broncos’ high testing standards as the reason they were able to continue operating, and schools should take note.
The testing option is free, and the state can even provide a contractor to take care of school needs with the testing. Polis said the testing is paid for with federal funding.
Information on this program is available on the state’s COVID-19 website.
The state is providing medical-grade masks to schools, and Polis said Colorado recommends masks be worn in schools but is not yet mandating them. Though, if schools can’t prevent the spread of the virus on their campuses, the state may look at taking stronger measures.
He added that the state will do everything in its power to ensure schools keep in-person learning, and the state will not allow a lack of mask-wearing to cause schools to go remote.
Polis said quarantined classes are on the table, and you may see short-term remote learning if there are COVID exposures.
>> Watch the full presser from August 12 below
A return to full-remote learning, Polis said, would occur only in another emergency situation.
The governor also put out a reminder that the state is continuing its free Walmart gift card program.
The state is offering $100 Walmart gift cards (while supplies last) to anyone who receives a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating state-operated vaccine site.
Details on who is eligible, and a list of participating vaccination sites are available on the state’s COVID-19 website.
During his last COVID briefing on Aug. 2, Polis announced that the vaccination rate in the state is just over 70% of eligible Coloradans. Polis is aiming to get the state's vaccination rate to 80% – which he said will be harder than it was going from 0% to 70%
Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, said during the same briefing that 95.5% of new cases of COVID-19 are the delta variant. The state will require that all unvaccinated state employees undergo twice-weekly testing for COVID-19 effective Sept. 20 until the transmission of the virus reaches a lower level, Polis previously announced.
Statewide, there are 501 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Aug. 11, and there have been an average of 920 new cases of the virus per day over the last seven days, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Under the newest CDPHE guidelines, counties may have to enact increased COVID-19 restrictions if hospitalizations in their region exceed 85% of capacity.
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