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President Biden and Colorado health officials send mixed messages on COVID

Covid Testing sign La Plata County Fairgrounds 9/21/22
Stasia Lanier
A mobile Maco Medical facility is still offering free Covid-19 testing at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango as of September 21, 2022.

Cases of COVID19 and hospitalizations from the virus continue to fall throughout Colorado, in line with national trends. During an interview with 60-minutes that aired on Sunday, September 18, President Biden offered a perspective that surprised some public health experts.

"The pandemic is over," Biden told Scott Pelley of CBS.

That’s not the message state and local public health officials are sending Colorado residents. In fact, the state has been promoting the latest Omicron booster shot. On Friday, September 16, Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended the states Disaster Emergency Act which enables federal and state funding for the pandemic response.

Liane Jollon, Executive Director of San Juan Basin Public Health Department, which oversees La Plata and Archuleta Counties acknowledges the contrast in messaging from the Biden administration could be confusing to the general public.

“While there may be messaging coming from the Biden administration that the pandemic is over, we…are working really hard in the local community, in partnership with the state of Colorado, to get boosters out, to remind families–don’t send your kids to school sick,” Jollon said.

San Juan Basin Public Health will continue to encourage the public to remain careful and vigilant.

If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last 3 years, it’s that we don’t know what’s around the next corner,” Jollon said.

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