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$100 Walmart gift cards being offered at some Colorado COVID vaccination sites

Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said the majority of COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths between January and June were among the state's unvaccinated population.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths are among the state's unvaccinated population during an update on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination efforts on Wednesday.

Polis said that 95.7% of COVID hospitalizations between January and the end of June were among people who were not fully vaccinated, and said the rate was similar for deaths among COVID patients.

"It's very different when it's a positive case in someone who's vaccinated versus someone who is unvaccinated," Polis said.

Just over 71% of the state's eligible population is fully vaccinated, and Polis said Colorado is focusing on reaching out to the estimated 10% to 15% of residents who have not been vaccinated but are willing.

"It's going to be harder to get from 70% to 80% than it was to get from 0% to 70%, but we are ready for the hard work," Polis said.

Tara Trujillo, COVID-19 vaccine campaign manager for the state, detailed a number of efforts the state continues to support to boost vaccination rates, particularly in underserved areas.

One campaign that was highlighted was the Colorado Comeback Cash Gift Card Giveaway. Participating state-sponsored testing sites will give out $100 Walmart gift cards while supplies last. A list of vaccination sites offering gift cards can be found on the state's website.

Colorado Community College System Chancellor Joe Garcia also announced the Shot for a Scholarship initiative which offers scholarships to any of the roughly 25,000 students who have been vaccinated at any point.

Garcia said that 67 scholarships will be given out through the partnership with Amazon, including five $1,000 scholarships and two $5,000 scholarships.

RELATED: Polis enacts COVID-19 disaster recovery order in Colorado

Polis ended the public health emergency on July 8, rescinding all remaining COVID-19 executive orders that he put in place by issuing a new executive order.

The Colorado COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Order is the new executive order, which keeps some of the policies from the now rescinded executive orders.

RELATED: Amazon to end testing for COVID-19 at warehouses this month

Since the declaration of a public health emergency on March 10, 2020, Polis issued more than 400 COVID-19-related executive orders. However, it was closer to 50 specific COVID-19 executive orders, with the remaining orders extending previous ones every 30 days.

Just some of the executive orders included:

  • Preparing alternative care sites
  • Creating the color dials
  • Suspending in-person learning
  • Issuing mask orders
  • Reducing red tape for health care workers

The Colorado COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Order extends some of the policies from the previous executive orders.

RELATED: Northern Colorado business leaders ask Polis to end extra federal unemployment benefits early

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