Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues new mask guidelines for residential care facilities

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Caring for our older adults and reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority.

With low vaccinations, the Delta variant, the most dangerous strain of COVID has residential care facilities on high alert.

Cathy Story, with Hilltop, says, “our employees are less vaccinated, but we are working hard to make sure they have opportunities and the access to vaccines.”

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released new guidelines requiring masks for facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities.

Rachel Burmeister, with Mesa County Public Health, says, “we know that this population is more vulnerable to COVID-19. We know that we need to use all of the strategies in our arsenal to protect them.”

This new policy doesn’t interrupt day-to-day activities for older adults who are vaccinated, but masks are still required.

Story added, “our vaccinated residents do not  lose their visitation, don’t lose their communal dining, and  they don’t lose group activities, they get to stay active and engaged and that’s important for our aging adults.”

Story also says, “they don’t want our seniors to get Delta variant because there have been breakthrough cases. They’re being very cautious, so our seniors don’t get ill.”

The same question remains, how do we reduce new infections, and the answer hasn’t changed.

Burmeister also says, “vaccination is the most effective way to prevent yourself and everyone around you from COVID-19. It’s really the best and most important way to protect our community and reduce transmission.”

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