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Immediate Action to Reduce Hospitalization Rates of COVID-19

To: Governor Jared Polis Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director, CDPHE

Date: November 10, 2021

RE: Immediate Action to Reduce Hospitalization Rates of COVID-19

The Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and the Colorado Public Health Association, in the face of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and healthcare staffing shortages, respectfully request immediate and statewide action in the form of a statewide masking order. The current surge of cases in Colorado is threatening the capacity of our healthcare system, which puts every Coloradan who may experience a health emergency or have routine health care needs at risk and can only be alleviated through statewide action.

We urge you to issue a temporary executive order requiring face coverings in indoor public spaces for all individuals two years and older regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings have been scientifically shown to substantially reduce the transmission of SARS CoV21. This cost-effective, short-term measure is critical to a comprehensive approach for mitigating the current COVID-19 surge and reducing hospitalization rates in the near term. Moreover, face coverings in schools and early childcare settings allows for safe in-person learning for all children without disruption.

In addition to being an effective method for slowing transmission, a statewide order is an important public health communication tool signaling to Coloradans that transmission rates are significant, and that masking is still necessary to curtail the spread of COVID-19 particularly throughout the holiday season. In light of the current public health emergency, local public health officials are calling on you to take the necessary statewide action to protect our limited healthcare resources and Colorado communities. Sincerely, Meagan L Hillman PA-C, MBA Director, Prowers County Public Health and Environment Director, Kiowa County Public Health President, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials Tara Hardy, MS Public Health Director, Silver Thread Public Health District President-Elect, Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials Board of Directors, Colorado Public Health Association


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