Denver COVID-19 Status Update - April 14, 2023
Published on April 14, 2023
Public Health Emergency Ending; Prepare Now for the Transition to the New Normal
The federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will come to an end on May 11, 2023, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing fight against the pandemic. However, it is important to note the threat of COVID-19 still impacts many people and individuals should continue to take precautions to protect themselves and others.
To prepare for this transition, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) encourages everyone to keep up with public health guidance and make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations. Vaccines have proven to be highly effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization. As a reminder, vaccines are currently free and you can get one without having to show identification, insurance, or proof of medical history. Some changes people should be ready for when the PHE ends include:
- At-home COVID-19 tests will no longer be free. Insurance companies will no longer be required to cover the cost of at-home test kits. While some private insurers may continue to cover all or some home tests, there will be no longer be a nationwide rule.
- Expect to pay more for any COVID-19 tests performed at a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office. The requirement barring insurers from charging copays, or any other cost-sharing fees related to COVID-19 testing during the PHE ends next month.
- COVID-19 coverage is scheduled to lapse for seniors and others in the federal government’s Medicare program. Without coverage, those on Medicare could be on the hook for potentially significant out of-pocket costs related to COVID-19. Some members of Congress are currently petitioning the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to extend the Medicare coverage, but people who depend on Medicare should be on the lookout for any changes in their plan.
- COVID-19 vaccines and treatment drugs will remain free for the time being. Under the federal Vaccines for Children program, COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available at no cost for children through 18 years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, on Medicaid or Medicaid eligible, and/or Alaskan Native or American Indian. Plus, the COVID-19 vaccine is considered preventive care. Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B without cost sharing, and this will continue. Private insurance plans and Health First Colorado, the state’s Medicaid program and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), will also continue to cover the vaccine at no charge to enrolled members.
- State mobile bus vaccination clinics will operate until May 11, 2023.
Individuals should continue to practice good hygiene habits, such as washing their hands regularly. People who are immunocompromised should continue wearing masks in crowded public settings and people who think they are at risk are urged to consider masking up in public.
While the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency is almost here, the fight against the pandemic is not over. DDPHE continues to urge everyone to be mindful and take precautions when going about their daily routines. If you feel sick, stay home and get tested. More information and resources are available at denvergov.org/covid19.
Last Call for Free COVID-19 Test Kits at Denver Rec Centers
Free, at-home testing kits are still available at most Denver recreation centers. Until the current supply runs out, free COVID-19 test kits will be available on a first come, first served basis. At that time, DDPHE and Denver Parks and Recreation will discontinue the free testing kit program. Testing for COVID-19 continues to be one of the best ways to minimize the spread in our community. Alternative outlets for at-home test kits include:
Don’t discount those old tests you haven’t used. The expiration date on the package may have been extended. The Food and Drug Administration’s website provides a list to check and see which tests are still good.
If you test positive, stay home and contact your health care provider for treatment. Effective treatment for COVID-19 is available if it is administered within five to seven days of symptom onset. More information and resources are available at denvergov.org/covid19.
Denver County Current CDC Level: Low/Green
Denver County Current Status
*Numbers represent data as of Tuesday, April 4, 2023, and are subject to change.
Denver residents 6 mos. and older initiating vaccination – 1st dose received: 87%
Denver residents 6 mos. and older completing vaccination – Fully vaccinated: 79%
Denver residents 5 yrs. and older receiving booster dose- after initial vaccine series: 54%
Denver one-week cumulative incidence rate (7-day average of cases per 100,000 population)
As of 04/12/23: 29.2 per 100,000
Denver one-week average positivity rate*
As of 04/12/23: 8.2%
Persons hospitalized with COVID-19 in Denver County: 17 (as of 04/12/23)
Cumulative Denver positive cases: 227,519 (as of 4/13/23)
Cumulative Denver deaths from COVID-19: 1,568 (as of 4/13/23)