Our Masks are Our Passport to the Colorado We Love
A new campaign encourages Coloradans to wear masks as much as possible when they leave the house, you can watch the public service announcement in the video player above.
In a news conference Thursday, Governor Polis said, “here in our great state, your mask is your passport to the Colorado we love, and will play an important part in keeping yourself and those around you safe. Studies show that men are particularly reluctant to wear a mask, because they think it makes them look weak or uncool. But real weakness is being too insecure to wear a mask and then spreading coronavirus to your family when you get back home. At the end of the day, wearing a mask allows us to enjoy more of the Colorado we love.”
Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 092, amending and extending prior Executive Orders concerning non-medical face coverings, to provide discretion to employers and operators of places of public accommodation to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering. This Executive Order takes effect immediately.
Governor Jared Polis addressed Coloradans directly Monday night and announced an extension to the stay-at-home Executive Order.
The Executive Order will now remain in effect until April 26.
“We are beginning to see the impact of the actions we have taken so far, but I can’t stress enough the importance of staying home during these next few weeks,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We have to keep this up for a little while longer in order to return to a level of normalcy in our economy and our society. Right now we need to dig deep into our souls to muster the resolve, the courage, the fortitude to carry on and do our patriotic duty as generations have done before.”
According to a News Release sent out from the Governor’s office, Colorado is beginning to see the impacts of the social distancing measures. The state has seen a 60% reduction in traffic on Colorado roads since the beginning of March and is beginning to see the effects of the stay at home Executive Order.
In addition, when COVID-19 first appeared in Colorado, the number of cases was doubling every 1.5 days, now it’s doubling every six days, meaning the spread of the virus is beginning to slow.
Click here to read the full text of the speech as prepared for delivery.
Watch the full address here.
Don’t Let Measles Be Your Travel Souvenir
What you need to know about Measles before the summer travel season
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been nearly 840 cases of measles across the U.S. so far in 2019. Colorado has seen one confirmed case, and while there have been zero confirmed cases in Mesa County, measles could only be a plane ride away.
Dr. Phil Mohler, Medical Officer for Mesa County Public Health, explains, “Grand Junction and many communities in Colorado, as well as Nationwide, are at imminent risk for another measles outbreak.” Mesa County experienced a measles outbreak in 1994. In December of that year, there were 62 confirmed cases.
There are pockets of unimmunized and under-immunized populations in Mesa County that could put our community at risk. When you look at the most recent data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, you see Mesa County’s vaccine rates are as low as 80% when it comes to the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.
- Alternative schools (1,064 students)
- 79.7% of students are up-to-date on MMR vaccine.
- 22.3% of students have at least one vaccine exemption.
- 9.5% of students are exempt for all vaccines.
- Elementary schools (8,796 students)
- 93.8% of students are up-to-date on MMR vaccine.
- 4.9% of students have at least one vaccine exemption.
- 1.6% of students are exempt for all vaccines.
- Middle schools (4,510 students)
- 95.3% of students are up-to-date on MMR vaccine
- 5.2% of students have at least one vaccine exemption.
- 1.0% of students are exempt for all vaccines.
- High schools (6,536 students)
- 95.9% of students are up-to-date on MMR vaccine.
- 3.9% of students have at least one vaccine exemption.
- 0.9% of students are exempt for all vaccines.
Dr. Mohler says that the immunization rates in the alternative schools are disturbing. With measles, 92% – 95% of any population needs to immune to measles to prevent an outbreak. Herd immunity is the concept wherein if a certain percentage of the population is immune, that disease will not spread widely. Plus, the measles virus has some other unique and troublesome characteristics. Patients with measles are contagious 4-5 days prior to getting one of the first physical symptoms, a rash. Additionally, transmission occurs not only person to person – but it is airborne as well. Infectious droplets can remain in the air for up to 2 hours, so that means it can be transmitted in public spaces, even without person to person contact. Plus, the multiplying factor is huge, “The average number of new infections caused by each case of measles in a totally susceptible population is 12 to 18, compared with influenza where 2-3 cases occur,” says Mohler.
Mesa County Public Health has highly trained professionals willing to answer any questions about vaccines and help parents make the best decision for their children. Our clinic has been answering an increased volume of calls from community members with questions about vaccines. Other trusted sources for information about vaccines include the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information, call 970-249-6800 or visit health.mesacounty.us.