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Vaccinations Bring Us Closer to a Fully Open Economy

On Friday, 2.5 million more Coloradans became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as the state rolled out phase 1B.4. Who knew a year ago that we’d be lining up by the millions to get a shot in the arm – let alone two? But we know these vaccinations bring new hope that we may be nearing the end of this pandemic. We will finally be able to hug our loved ones, get all our kids back to school, open up more restaurants and hospitality businesses, gather at events and celebrations and get back to working together.

It’s been a long haul. And, we’ve all done are part by wearing masks, social distancing and staying home as much as possible – all with the focus of protecting others. We know we aren’t done with these actions either, but we can start thinking about the good to come, now that more than 1.9 million vaccination doses have been administered in Colorado, and it’s anticipated that all the adults in Colorado who want the vaccine should be eligible by mid-April to access it.

Here’s the latest updates on vaccines:

Who is eligible?

As of March 19

  • People ages 50 and older
  • People with high-risk conditions
  • High and moderate risk health care workers and first responders
  • Frontline essential workers, including those in higher education, food services, manufacturing, U.S. Postal Service, public transit, public health, human services, faith communities, some state and local government divisions, direct care services for homeless populations or media
  • Correctional workers
  • Funeral services professionals
  • Pre-K through 12th grade educators and staff
  • Child care workers in licensed child care facilities

Where can you get vaccinated?

The state began opening long-term mass vaccination sites this month at locations throughout Colorado. Health care systems have launched vaccination registrations through their websites and at individual hospitals and clinics. Several websites, including vaccinefinder.org and vaccinespotter.org, have also popped up with listings for available appointments at various retail pharmacies.

Providers who are interested in administering vaccinations can learn more here.

What do employers need to know?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together a resource page with information for employers to consider when it comes to the vaccine, such as vaccination options for employees, best practices and a “resuming business” toolkit.

The state has also made available several digital graphics and signs for employers to use. Visit the COVID-19 Communication Resources webpage.

Can employees be required to be vaccinated?

Husch Blackwell released a blog this month with state-by-state information on whether legislation exists to allow employers to mandate vaccinations for employees. Colorado is not currently considering legislation, and according to the state’s website, “Employers may be able to require COVID-19 vaccination for in-person work for their employees, but an employee may be entitled to an exemption through the ADA and Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers more information on its pandemic preparedness page.

Most of our members have simply asked for assistance in helping their employees who want vaccines to find them – like the information we provided above. We’ll continue to bring you the latest information on COVID-19 and what it means to the business community and our economy moving forward. Please visit denverchamber.org/COVID for the latest resources.

Welcome to Our New Vice President, Sales and Investor Strategy

And, as our economy opens more and more, our timing is perfect to welcome Katherine Rizzuto as our new vice president, sales and investor strategy. Katherine will take the lead on developing and executing strategies to meet our sales goals, allowing the entire team to deliver the exceptional value and engagement our 3,000 current members and investors expect from us. Katherine is an accomplished executive, having worked in advertising technology, media and marketing, and most recently with Salesforce in Denver, where she was the strategic account executive, manufacturing industries.

We look forward to telling you more about Katherine in our upcoming issue of the Business Altitude digital magazine. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming her! You can send her an email that she’ll see after she starts next week.