Keeping our vulnerable populations safe during this move forward

Information from State Representative Leslie Herod’s Newsletter:

As of Monday, there were 10,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 508 deaths. In Denver, there are 2,095 cases with 121 deaths. The case data shows that we are all at risk for contracting the virus, but our elders are being hospitalized and dying at higher rates than other age groups. It is critical that we stay home as much as possible to protect seniors from this disease.

Coloradans 70 and older make up just 18% of confirmed cases statewide, but account for 77% of deaths.

Senior care centers continue to experience some of the worst outbreaks in the state. Deaths among residents of nursing homes and senior care centers account for 63% of the 508 total coronavirus-related deaths in Colorado through Wednesday.

To help stop the spread among this vulnerable population, Governor Polis introduced a set of new measures to shield nursing homes and senior care centers from COVID-19.

By May 1, nursing homes and senior care centers are required to create and submit detailed plans on how they will isolate facility residents with COVID-19 symptoms. Governor Polis will deploy the Colorado National Guard to conduct testing at three of the largest nursing homes in the state. Other personnel will be available to help with testing in other facilities as needed.

The state will also provide 200 isolation beds, at St. Anthony’s North in Westminster, for sick seniors if space isn’t available where they currently live.

Caring for residents of senior care centers has been a difficult and dangerous task for workers at these facilities. They are also on the frontline and deserve our gratitude.

These steps are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 among older Coloradans, but they are just one part of the overall containment strategy. The most effective way to protect seniors in your community is to stay home and cover your face when you must leave.

Our most vulnerable are our most valuable. Let’s do our part to make sure our seniors don’t contract this deadly virus. We will get through this together.