Colorado health officials giving monkeypox, COVID update

Officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment are expected to speak Thursday shortly after noon.

DENVER – Officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will provide an update on monkeypox and COVID-19 in the state on Thursday.

Speakers will include Scott Bookman, Director of the Division for Disease Control and Public Health Response, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, and Dr. Connie Price, Denver medical director of health.

9NEWS will stream the press conference scheduled for 12:10 in the video player above and on the free 9NEWS + app on Roku and Fire TV.

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monkeypox

The federal government declared a public health emergency on August 5 to bolster response to the monkeypox outbreak. As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting 13,517 confirmed cases nationwide, including 155 in Colorado.

The announcement freed up money and other resources to fight the virus, which can cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and pimple-like bumps in many parts of the body.

On August 9, U.S. health officials authorized a new monkeypox vaccination strategy designed to extend limited supplies by allowing health workers to vaccinate up to five people, instead of one, with each vial.

The so-called dose-sparing approach also requires the administration of the Jynneos vaccine as an injection just under the skin rather than deeper tissues, a practice that could better boost the immune system. Recipients would still receive two shots four weeks apart.

The highly unusual step is a stark acknowledgment that the United States currently lacks the supplies needed to vaccinate anyone seeking protection from the rapidly spreading virus.

RELATED: The United States declares a public health emergency for the monkeypox outbreak

COVID-19

A total of 77.8 percent of the Colorado population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 69.9 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Statewide, there were 236 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Aug. 16, and in the past seven days there have been an average of 992 new cases of the virus per day.

RELATED: Latest COVID-19 Numbers: Average Daily Cases Below 1,000 for First Time Since Beginning of May

Hospitalizations are a key metric for health officials as they indicate whether the health system has been overwhelmed by the virus. Since the vaccines became widely available, doctors have said that the vast majority of new COVID-19 hospitalizations are people who have not received an injection.

> See raw data from CDPHE here.

> Find the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines here.

RELATED: “COVID is Still Here”: CDPHE Reacts to Loosening of CDC’s COVID-19 Guidelines

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RELATED: A Familiar Strategy: Contact Tracking for Monkeypox

RELATED: Monkeypox patients recommend avoiding pets

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