Each day, you will receive a COVID-19 update, focused on what you need to know, what you need to do, and what you need to share. Please print this out to share as a Huddle Sheet with your team.
What You Need to Know
COVID-19 Epidemiology Data
As of 10:30 a.m. today, Denver Health had 50 inpatient COVID-19 cases (+6 from yesterday).
Note: COVID testing continues to increase in Denver – last week there were more than 5,000 tests per day on Denver residents. Denver Health does about 10% of those tests. For more information, please visit the Denver Public Health COVID-19 Data Summary. (Please use Edge or Chrome.) The website is updated daily and contains data on cases, hospitalization, deaths, testing and symptom monitoring.
NEW: Denver Moves to “Level Red: Severe Risk” on Friday
Yesterday, Governor Polis and CDPHE released an update to the COVID-19 dial framework, adding “Level Purple: Extreme Risk.” This new category is for “counties where hospital capacity is at extreme risk of being overrun. At this level, all businesses must significantly curtail in person functions and people must stay at home except for necessary activities.”
Fifteen counties, including Denver, will move to “Level Red: Severe Risk” as of Friday, Nov. 20. This means that everyone is required to stay at home except for grocery shopping, exercise, and necessary activities. Only critical businesses are open. This is triggered when there are:
- More than 15% positivity rates.
- 350+ cases per 100,000.
- Greater than two new COVID-19 hospital
admissions per day.
For more information on each level in the Dial framework, please visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-dial
What You Need to Share
NEW: COVID Return to Work Guidance
Important please read thoroughly
- Employees with COVID-19 must receive clearance from COSH to return to work. This requires a 10-20 minute telephone visit with a COSH provider.
- We strongly encourage employees to call COSH (303-436-7155) to schedule this telephone visit 8 days after onset of symptoms (or 8 days after the positive test if no symptoms developed). If the 10th day from onset of symptoms (or from the positive test if no symptoms developed) falls on the weekend, schedule the telephone visit for the Thursday or Friday before the 10th day.
- Employees must meet the following criteria in order to be cleared by a COSH provider to return to work:
a. Fever free (< 100.4F) for greater than 24 hours without use of fever reducing medication, AND
b. At least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms and/or
symptoms are improving, whichever is longer. If you have not developed symptoms, clearance will be 10 days from the test date.
4. Once an employee is cleared to return to work, COSH will e-mail the employee their clearance form.
5. It is the employee’s responsibility to update their manager regarding clearance.
NEW: Visitor Guidelines Available in Spanish
In an effort to continue to support staff in their communication of the visitor guidelines, we have had the current guidelines translated into Spanish. The Spanish versions of the Inpatient and Outpatient Guidelines are attached to the policies in PolicyStat.
UPDATE: Work From Home
All WFH employees should continue their current work arrangement unless otherwise directed by their leader. Protecting the health and safety of all Denver Health staff members is our first priority. Over the past eight months WFH staff have helped slow the spread of COVID-19 and successfully supported our front line workers while working remotely. Thank you for all that you have done and all you continue to do to support the amazing work happening at Denver Health.
As expected, COVID-19 continues to be in our lives, and will be into 2021. Earlier in the year, department leaders developed more permanent or longer-term WFH plans for individuals and teams that could successfully work from home. We ask all staff who are able to work from home, please do so for the safety of everyone. If you haven’t been working from home, but feel like you could do so successfully, please work directly with your leader.
UPDATE: How to Manage Patient/Visitor Pushback Against Masking, Visitor Policies
Denver Health is issuing general guidelines and talking points (below) for staff who may encounter patient and/or visitor frustrations with our Visitor Policy or safety measures on masking and social distancing. Please familiarize yourself with these communication methods and reminders to better help navigate these conversations.
- Set the tone: Communicate what to expect for patients and visitors proactively and with compassion (if patient raises his/her/their voice, continue to keep calm and use a respectful tone). Use clear and caring language that conveys both what individuals need to know before arriving at the care setting and the “why” behind the restrictions (see “Visitor Guidelines FAQ”).
- A reminder: Hospitals nationwide (including Denver Health) are taking measures to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, staff and the entire community. Apologize for the inconvenience; the policy is in place to protect our vulnerable patients as well as staff taking care of sick and infected patients.
- For the Visitor Policy: These are temporary measures for allowing visitors in a way that supports the need for physical distancing and minimizes the risk of transmission.
- For the Masking and Social-Distancing Policy: Mask wearing and social distancing is considered a necessary step in COVID-19 infection control and is required in all healthcare settings. However, we cannot turn people away for scheduled or unscheduled medical care if they refuse to wear a mask.
- Exceptions – People who do not have to wear a mask include: Patients that are 10 years old or younger Patients or patient’s caregiver that state that they cannot medically tolerate a face covering
- If the patient or visitor becomes aggressive or you feel threatened, contact Security at x67444.
- If patient/family/friends demand to speak with someone above you, contact your supervisor or manager.
Staff Reference and Reminder: Visitor Guidelines can often change during the pandemic, but the most updated version is always found at www.DenverHealth.org/visitors.
REMINDER: Eye Protection Required for Staff
Face shields are the preferred method of eye protection. Goggles do not protect the wearer from all splashes or droplets. Goggles offer less protection, do not protect your mask, and will not be supplied for this purpose. If wearing a face shield disrupts your ability to properly function in your daily job, talk to your manager and call Infection Prevention at 2-BUGS (x22847). In such instance, Staff may be approved to wear googles from home. Eye glasses are not considered a substitute for goggles or a face shield. For a full FAQ on this requirement, visit the Denver Health COVID Help Center.
NEW: PPE Update
Please see below for a consolidated PPE tracking summary breakdown. All green for this week. The PPE Update will be included each week in the Wednesday communication with staff.
PPE Type Total Stock
Daily Avg Issue
% of Target
Full Face Shield
Iso Gown - Bunny Suit
Iso Gown - Washable
N95 Mask (3M 1860)
N95 Mask (3M 8000)
N95 Mask (Duckbill Regular)
N95 Mask (Duckbill Small)
N95 Mask (Small)
PPE Type Total Stock
Daily Avg Use
N95 Mask (3M 1860 Alternate)
N95 Mask (Duckbill Regular Alternate)
N95 Mask (Donated Reg)
N95 Mask (Small Alternate)
N95 Mask (Donated Small)
Nitrile glove usage has increased substantially in the last week and is now above our weekly allocation last week, but we still have between 40 and 50 days backup supply.
Disposable isolation gown usage increased substantially this week as our COVID patient numbers increased and are now above our weekly allocation. However, we are still receiving our allocation in full. We also bought a substantial number of an alternate Halyard gown to top-up supply. The ED and other areas still continue to use our launderable gowns to conserve supplies of the disposable gown. In the next ten days we will add another 6,000 launderable gowns to our fleet which should reduce our usage of disposable gowns and allow us to build up safety stock of disposable gowns once again.
All N95 respirators have shown very significant increases in the last weeks. However, we still have good levels of stocks of the 3M 1860 and 1860S, plus very significant stocks of 3M alternatives to both of them. We still have around 100 days’ supply of both 1860 and 1860S and are receiving our usual weekly shipments. Once again we have found an additional one-off buy of duckbill regulars which should ship to us next week.
Usage of our regular Halyard procedure mask has increased but our usage is still slightly less than the quantity we’re buying in a week. Our safety stock is still over 300,000.
Purple top wipe usage is stable to increasing slightly but we are receiving our full allocation and have built up reserve stocks and we have no concern on the supply.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Coronavirus Information Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Coronavirus Information Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Information
Please email COVIDemail@example.com with any questions.
Denver Health COVID-19 Resources:
COVID-19 Staff Resources section on our website
Denver Health COVID-19 Help Center which allows you to search for documents and resources