Colorado is looking at an endemic COVID response transition

“What doesn’t kill you will mutate and try again,” says a DU biology professor.

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado’s public health agency is seeking private assistance to take on aspects of COVID-19 response management. The question is: Is this a sign that the state is ready to move from a pandemic emergency response to something more common, like the flu?

“You see everyone has a great desire to move forward and get through this pandemic. Obviously it’s been an incredibly difficult two years and we all want to get on with our lives,” said Scott Bookman, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment COVID-19 incident commander.

The request for proposals says the state is looking for people to identify the factors that trigger different responses, establish the role of NGOs, and set a timeframe for doing this.

“So we’re looking at the short-term and long-term scenarios and starting to plan for how you might live with this virus in a more endemic environment,” Bookman said. ‘ said Bookman. “What we do know is that we’re going to have to evaluate everything here and really look at how we’ve been providing services to this pandemic over the past few years and think about how we’re starting to move a some of this work into the more traditional settings of the health care system. ”

The document says the budget for planning this transition could be between $100,000 and $170,000, and they are looking to start this as soon as February 15. The plan also includes the option to switch back to the mode. emergency if new dangerous variants appear again.

Continuing from the COVID emergency?

How does the public carry on while COVID is still here? With CDPHE studying how to treat COVID as an endemic disease rather than a pandemic, Problem Solvers asked University of Denver professor Dr. Phil Danielson what exactly that means.

“The term or endemic stage of this disease is predictability, and that’s something we haven’t found a lot in this pandemic,” said Danielson. “And up until this point, the disease has been anything but predictable.”

Danielson runs the University of Denver’s saliva lab, their response to on-campus COVID beats.

“The state is doing the right thing by planning for the future. But in the end, the virus will tell us when it moves into the circulating phase. I think there are definitely some encouraging signs of how the virus has mutated so far,” said Danielson. “But I think we’re out of the weeds yet? No, not yet. And maybe a few months, maybe a year. But all we can say is that at least it looks like we’re on the right track. And that’s something we haven’t been able to say until now.”

“What doesn’t kill you will transform and try again,” says Danielson. “So a vaccine is really our best line of defense. There might be another variant popping up somewhere around the world right now that isn’t even on our radar yet. “

Declaration of CDPHE

CDPHE has addressed the COVID response situation in Colorado:

“It is prudent to prepare for many near- and long-term scenarios, and we will continue to adjust our response as necessary based on science and data, as we have done throughout the pandemic. The transition to a health care system-focused response is part of the national discussion as officials across the country acknowledge that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future.

“Over the past two years, we have responded to this pandemic, rapidly expanding testing sites, distributing vaccines, ensuring the health care system has the necessary personal protective equipment, and protect hospital capacity. At first, we knew very little about this virus. We are in a different place now.

“We have a wide range of vaccines and tests, more and more treatment options are available, and our health care providers have become much more adept at caring for people with test results. tested positive for COVID-19. Transmissibility remains high, which could lead to a much higher percentage of people who are vaccinated or have some degree of immunity after contracting COVID-19. If we continue down that path, we could see a continued drop in new cases. We are cautiously optimistic, but transmission is likely to continue to some extent for the foreseeable future. We are being cautious and planning ahead for many possible scenarios. We must also be able to continue to rapidly respond to periodic spikes in the virus that could threaten hospital capacity. We will continue to monitor disease transmission and hospital capacity and will make decisions to best protect public health.

“We continue to learn about COVID-19 disease transmission, particularly in relation to new and evolving variants. We also know what can be done on an individual level to reduce the risk of severe illness and manage the impact of COVID-19 on our community, and we think it’s prudent to plan Plan for all future situations. ”

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

https://kdvr.com/news/coronavirus/colorado-endemic-covid-response/ Colorado is looking at an endemic COVID response transition

Tom Vazquez

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