Denver COVID-19 Status Update - May 11, 2023
Published on May 11, 2023
Federal Public Health Emergency to End Today
Today the federal public health emergency (PHE) declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic will end. The declaration has been in place since 2020 and impacts many aspects of public health and public health federal funding. While the end of the PHE signifies an end to the emergency phase of COVID-19, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will continue to manage the virus like other endemic infections.
“It’s impossible to measure the many ways COVID-19 impacted our city and the after-effects we are still facing,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “As the public health emergency ends, I want us all to remember the enormous steps we took to protect one another during this unprecedented challenge. We are continuing to move forward in our recovery, but we cannot forget those we have lost.”
Over the course of the past three years, Denver has not hesitated to take the necessary steps to protect public health. Using data to inform decisions, the city acted quickly in March of 2020 and throughout the ensuing years to save lives and protect hospital capacity. Nearly 1.8 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Denver, over 87% of Denver residents received the original vaccine series.
“We will not soon forget the innumerable ways COVID-19 changed our communities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have lost 1,568 Denverites to COVID-19, leaving behind a hole we will never be able to fill,” said DDPHE Executive Director and Public Health Administrator Bob McDonald, “The end of our responsibility toward each other's health and well-being does not end as the public health emergency expires. We must continue to practice good health and hygiene habits and take advantage of available resources to keep our communities healthy.”
While many federally funded programs will sunset with the end of the PHE, resources such as free vaccines and boosters will remain available to the public.
As the PHE ends, the frequency of publicly-run vaccination clinics and free testing will change. COVID-19 coverage is also scheduled to lapse for seniors and others in the federal government’s Medicare program. People who depend on Medicare should be on the lookout for any changes in their plan. Additionally, some Denver residents enrolled in Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) might see changes in their coverage. To ensure you’re receiving Health First Colorado communications about your coverage, update your contact information and keep an eye on your mail. Additional information is available from Denver Human Services.
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.
CDC and FDA update and simplify COVID-19 vaccination schedule
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) simplified the COVID-19 vaccination schedule for most people. CDC’s updated recommendations follow the Food and Drug Administration’s amendments to the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech omicron vaccines. Updated recommendations give the green light for an additional booster shot if you’re 65 years or older or immunocompromised as well as the discontinuation of Pfizer and Moderna’s original formulation of COVID-19 vaccines. Individuals who are 65 years or older or those who are immunocompromised can receive their second omicron booster at least four months after their first dose.
The CDC now recommends those who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 start with the bivalent vaccine, also known as the omicron vaccine. If you’ve already been vaccinated, the number of doses and the timing of those doses changes based on age and if you’re immunocompromised. Additional information about vaccine recommendations can be found on the CDC’s COVID-19 website.
Additional information about vaccines can be found on the DDPHE COVID-19 website.
COVID-19 media inquiries going forward
As of tomorrow, the DDPHE Department Operations Center News email inbox will be unmonitored. Media inquiries related to COVID-19 should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denver County Current CDC Level: Low/Green
Denver County Current Status
*Numbers represent data as of Wednesday, May 10, 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 05/09/23: 15.5 per 100,000
Denver one-week average positivity rate*
As of 05/09/23: 5.02%
Persons hospitalized with COVID-19 in Denver County: 11 (as of 04/28/23)
Cumulative Denver positive cases: 227,634 (as of 5/08/23)
Cumulative Denver deaths from COVID-19: 1,568 (as of 5/08/23)