The Omicron surge seems to be coming to an end, with new COVID-19 cases steadily dropping in the U.S. To scientists and infectious disease experts, the decline of cases can be a sign that COVID-19 is reaching the end of its pandemic phase and will transition to endemicity later this year.
In this regard, several U.S. states are also beginning to switch from a crisis mentality to a more forward-thinking endemic approach to managing and living with COVID-19. Spearheaded by California’s S.M.A.R.T.E.R. strategy, Colorado is also following suit, announcing its own road map to move past a COVID-19 emergency response.
Colorado COVID-19 Response Road Map
Colorado’s efforts to shift to an endemic response to COVID-19 are centered on reducing the likelihood of future health emergencies. Part of its plans include:
- Improving hospital readiness
- Improving COVID-19 testing and treatments
- Expanding the workforce in the healthcare sector
- Updating and optimizing plans on health and virus surge
- Improving indoor air quality in schools and public places
- Promoting federal policy changes for mass testing
- Providing additional funds and resources for healthcare job training
- Investing in COVID-19 research
At par with the CDC’s initiative to loosen mask mandates, Colorado is also looking into eliminating mask-wearing requirements in indoor spaces. However, according to Colorado Governor Jared Polis, residents are still recommended to carry masks when going outdoors and wear them in public settings.
A Journey Back to Normalcy
Colorado’s roadmap is most significant for fully vaccinated residents, who, according to Polis, can begin their return to normalcy. As of writing, over 69% of Colorado residents are fully vaccinated, 78% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 34% have received their booster shots.
Governor Polis calls on unvaccinated individuals to protect themselves and help the state return to its pre-pandemic status by getting vaccinated. Further, he advises immunocompromised residents to speak to their doctors about the possibility of getting a fourth vaccine dose.
As one of the pioneering states adopting strategies that look ahead and are focused on living with COVID-19, Colorado is integrating prevention plans in its road map. According to Governor Police, the priority now is to normalize COVID-19 into its healthcare system to prepare and prevent future health emergencies.