Boulder Community Health (BCH) provided an email update on Saturday, Dec.
19 to community members. President & CEO Rob Vissers, M.D. reported
on the limited details we have regarding COVID-19 vaccines for the public
and our patients and how everyone can do their part to stay safe this
BCH received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine last week, and we will receive
the Moderna vaccine this week. At this point, we still don’t know
how much vaccine we will receive in future shipments from the two companies,
so it’s impossible to estimate how long it will take to vaccinate
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and
State authorities mandates that health systems initially focus on vaccinating
their own employees. That approach is designed to keep doctors, nurses
and other vital clinical staff healthy so they are available to care for
patients sick with COVID-19 and other illnesses and injuries. We started
vaccinating BCH employees on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
We will continue to update the community on vaccine availability as more
information becomes available.
Hanukkah celebrations have just been completed and we’re days away
from the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. These year-end holidays
are traditionally a time to gather with family and friends. However, this
year we need to be extremely cautious and develop a different approach
to our celebrations.
The arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in our community does not mean we can stop
the personal behaviors that have been so successful in bending the pandemic
curve. We need to continue masking, social distancing and the other important
actions that minimize personal exposure to COVID-19.
Our recommendation is to celebrate your holidays at home with those in
your immediate household. Consider “seeing” your extended
family and friends over video feeds like Zoom or similar technologies.
If you must see people in person, we recommend being outdoors, distanced
by at least six feet, masked at all times, and not eating together. If
you remove your mask or others remove theirs, it puts you at high risk
for disease transmission. Sharing a meal with people outside your household
is a recipe for unintentional harm.
You may find this
link to CDC advice on celebrating winter holidays helpful.
The BCH infectious diseases specialists also want to share some harm-reduction
information to help you, your loved ones and our entire community stay safe:
Does a negative COVID test mean we are safe?
No. The current rates of disease in the community put people at risk because
they could be incubating the virus or have a false negative test.
Is traveling for the holidays safe?
We recommend against traveling to visit extended family and friends or
for vacation over the holidays. Staying home now keeps your family safe
so they can enjoy travel in the future.
Can I safely remove my mask for a meal?
No. Without everyone undergoing proper quarantine before a gathering,
we would advocate for wearing a mask at all the times when within six
feet of others. Eating outdoors is safer but still risky unless truly
Does taking temperatures or checking for symptoms provide sufficient safety?
No. Almost 40% of those who are infected have no symptoms and this is
more common with younger age groups.
If we all act prudently this holiday season, we’re paving the way
for less-stressful and more traditional family celebrations in the future.
Help us keep our community safe by wearing your mask, social distancing
and staying home.
All of us at BCH wish you healthy and safe holidays.