Next group of Pitkin County vaccine recipients on tap for Thursday
Pitkin County received nearly 1,700 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, which will be administered Thursday to the next group of eligible residents and workers, an official said Tuesday.
The state public health department provided 1,668 doses of a combination of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, though officials believe they can get 1,699 doses out of the allotment, County Manager Jon Peacock told Pitkin County commissioners Tuesday during their regular weekly work session.
The Thursday clinic at the Benedict Music Tent parking lot is the first to include the so-called 1B.4 phase of the state’s vaccination schedule, which includes people age 50 and older, restaurant workers, transit employees, human service workers, faith leaders, local government officials and people ages 16 to 49 with at least one high-risk condition.
So far, 6,000 people have signed up in Pitkin County for that grouping, and Thursday appointments filled in about 15 minutes, Peacock said.
Including those who receive vaccinations this week, that means about 12,000 Pitkin County residents, workers and second homeowners will have been vaccinated by Thursday, he said.
While the county’s Census population is about 18,000 people, current estimates of Pitkin County’s population, including second homeowners, those who work in the county and long-term visitors, is between 40,000 and 45,000 people, Peacock said.
In other COVID-related news:
• The county’s move to Orange level restrictions Wednesday at 6 a.m. may partially be in response to the fact that Pitkin County has one of the highest COVID-19 testing rates in the state, he said. Pitkin County’s rate is two-to-three times higher than other counties, he said.
“I suspect we are detecting more (cases),” Peacock said, adding that there is no uniform rate across the state.
• The state’s new COVID Dial 3.0 goes into effect this week and mainly includes new guidance for counties in Green or Blue level restrictions.
However, one major change that will take place April 16 involves state public health orders, he said. On that date, the state will “devolve” its public health orders into guidance for counties rather than mandatory rules.
In other words, after April 16, county boards of health will be able to create health orders that are less restrictive than state orders, Peacock said. Previously, counties could create orders that were more restrictive than the state but not less.
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