On Aug. 12, 19 of Colorado’s leading healthcare organizations, including the Colorado Dental Association, joined together in urging support for the following steps to stop the spread of COVID-19:
- All healthcare employees should become vaccinated.
- Join us in expressing support for healthcare organizations that independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff, with local factors determining whether, how, and when such policies are implemented.
- Individuals ages 2 and older should follow CDC guidelines for mask wearing indoors, especially children returning to in-person learning this fall.
With case counts and hospitalizations once again on the rise, we felt it was time to issue a strong message of support for the two best tools at our disposal: vaccines and masks. Recognizing the politicization that has occurred around both, we thought that a strong showing of the healthcare community could lend support to those who have already made difficult decisions, as well as to those who may be considering such action. As such, the linked statement was developed.
The healthcare community has prided itself on leading by example throughout the pandemic, and the organizations signing on to this consensus statement believe all healthcare workers should be vaccinated. Ultimately, this is a workforce and patient safety issue, and vaccinations are critical to protecting both.
In order to achieve this goal, Colorado has a growing number of healthcare organizations independently mandating vaccines for their workforce. Signatories of the consensus statement are also expressing support for healthcare organizations who are independently adopting policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff, with local factors determining whether, how, and when such policies are implemented. This statement of support was issued when several other healthcare organizations also announced vaccine mandates for staff. They will join UCHealth, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and Banner Health who have already informed staff of their vaccination requirements.
In addition to vaccinations, we know that additional measures remain necessary in order to manage the virus. While everyone is tired of wearing masks, they remain one of the most effective tools at stopping the spread of COVID-19. Masks are important for all Coloradans, but especially school age children 12 and under who are currently ineligible for the vaccine and returning to in-person learning. Therefore, the organizations listed in the attached release are also endorsing the most recent CDC guidance related to masking.
Colorado is in a much better place than we found ourselves one year ago, but now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. Coloradans have shown time and again that if we work together, we can achieve anything—and COVID-19 is no different.