As the Omicron wave of the pandemic subsides, we want to update you on how we’re using our local data to make decisions. The COVID Coordination Task Force continues to meet 2-3 times per week, and today, we share 3 messages.

  1. Encouraging signs of recovery

    1. New diagnoses of COVID-19 are declining sharply in Colorado and Denver County

    2. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and the percent positivity among people tested at Denver Health have declined sharply since the peak in January, and most patients hospitalized with COVID are there for other reasons.

    3. Importantly and thankfully, COVID-19 infections among our employees have similarly declined and are now at or below where they were in the fall.

    4. Our ability to provide outpatient therapies for COVID-19 continues to grow, allowing us to better address the needs of our patients and staff.

  2. Transition to voluntary masking in non-clinical areas for vaccinated employees

    1. The indoor mask mandate in Denver expired on February 4th, the Denver Public Schools mask mandate will expire on February 25th, and similar mandates are expiring or being lifted around metro Denver, Colorado and the country.

    2. Consistent with federal recommendations, Denver Health continues to require masks in all PATIENT-FACING SETTINGS for staff, students, visitors, patients and volunteers. This provides an added layer of protection in areas where people are sick and may be immunocompromised or lack immunity to COVID.

    3. For non-patient-facing areas in the hospital and clinics (like breakrooms and huddle rooms) and in administrative buildings, Denver Health will return to voluntary masking for vaccinated employees on Monday, February 14. We came to this decision after reviewing the data for what’s happening with our employees, in the hospital and in our community.

    4. We acknowledge that people will have different levels of comfort with this change and encourage employees to adopt a masking practice that is right for them. Employees who have exemptions for vaccination are required to wear a mask in all areas for their safety and the safety of others. If you have any questions or concerns about the masking requirements, please reach out to your leader or email COVIDinfo@dhha.org.

  3. Recognition of clinical teams

    1. While we make this policy change for non-clinical areas, we recognize that our clinical areas and our healthcare workforce remain incredibly strained. COVID infections and hospitalizations are dropping rapidly but hospital occupancy remains high and relief for staff in those areas will lag. We appreciate your continued persistence, resilience and relentlessness to serve our community. Please share your questions, concerns, and suggestions for how we can best support you.

~The COVID Coordination Task Force

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