Anyone attending an indoor unseated event of 500 or more people in Denver, Broomfield, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder and Jefferson counties will need to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 19, according to a document. modified public health. ordinance issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The public health decree lists “concerts, receptions, bars, dance halls and auctions” as examples of large events without a seat.
Sites that already require customers to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test may continue to use the testing option until December 1, after which all participants must demonstrate that they have been vaccinated, in accordance with to public health.
The vaccine requirement will remain in place until Dec. 31, depending on the order.
The move comes as the state faces the possibility of running out of hospital beds by the end of December if the current rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 continues. According to state projections, more than 2,200 people could be hospitalized with the virus by January 1, in combination with patients with other non-COVID conditions to occupy all available hospital beds in the State.
Gov. Jared Polis, who has so far refused to renew a statewide mask mandate, has previously said vaccine warrants at large sites could help slow the spread of the virus. A spokesperson for his office did not immediately return a request for comment on Sunday.
State public health officials activated “crisis standards” for hospital staff last week and began discussing how to ration care should it become necessary.
“The strained hospital system is proof that we all need to do our part to help slow the spread of the virus within our community,” Arapahoe County Council of Commissioners Chairperson Nancy Jackson said in a statement. press release Sunday.
Metropolitan counties worked with the state health agency to coordinate the new vaccine mandate, according to the press release. Douglas County, which recently left the Tri-County Health Department to create its own public health agency, is not included in the vaccine order.
The mandate will not apply to churches and places of worship. To be considered a seated event for the purposes of the vaccination mandate, according to the public health decree, 100% of participants must be seated. And sites can request an exception to the vaccination mandate if they show they have put in place other comparable mitigation measures, according to the order.Colorado had the third highest rate of new COVID-19 cases compared to the nation’s population on Sunday night, behind only Minnesota and a worsening New Mexico, according to the New York Times virus tracker.
On Friday, the most recent day for which data is available, 1,476 people with confirmed COVID-19 were hospitalized in Colorado, a level not seen since December 13. At the worst time of last year, 1,847 people were hospitalized with the virus.
According to state data, 81% of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated.
Ninety-four percent of the state’s intensive care unit beds were occupied as of Friday, with just 90 available. This, however, was an improvement from the worst time last week, when only 72 intensive care beds were available.
The vaccination mandate only applies to events in the six named cities and counties, but Sunday’s amended public health ordinance “strongly encouraged” all jurisdictions and sites to implement a mandate for them. indoor public events. Many large venues, including the Boulder Theater and seated facilities such as Denver’s Ball Arena, already had vaccine requirements in place.
A representative from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said no one was available to discuss the order on Sunday.
Updated at 6:25 p.m. on November 14, 2021 Due to an editorial error, the original title of this story incorrectly stated what type of events will be covered by the new mandate. It applies to events without a seat.