Casey’s Pond mandates COVID-19 vaccine
Casey’s Pond has issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, effective immediately. According to officials with the senior living facility in Steamboat Springs, the decision was made because of increasing COVID-19 activity in Northwest Colorado.
“We request the majority of team members receive their first dose of the vaccine by Aug. 1,” said Casey’s Pond Executive Director Brad Boatwright.
Routt County’s COVID-19 infection rate is now over 5%, and Moffat County’s rate is exceeding 7.5%, and there is an increase in the number of cases involving the more contagious delta variant.
Under a directive from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, Casey’s Pond began enhanced infection control testing about a month ago due to this increase in delta variant cases, and to date, three team members and two residents tested positive for COVID-19. Two of the positive test results were for the delta variant.
“We cherish each team member and their vital contribution to our Casey’s Pond family; however, at Casey’s Pond, we care for our beloved mountain region’s most at-risk citizens and must now take this essential step to mandate the vaccine,” Boatwright said.
Routt County Medical Officer Dr. Brian Harrington said Routt County Public Health fully supports Casey’s Pond’s decision.
“Older people, and those who have certain health conditions or are on immunosuppressant drugs, may not mount a robust response to the vaccine,” Harrington said. “This makes it all the more important for people in close contact with vulnerable individuals, such as in long-term care facilities, to be vaccinated.”
The Routt County Health Department, along with numerous providers in the county, have vaccines available. Casey’s Pond will also have vaccine doses available in the senior living community.
“I greatly appreciate the candid conversations these last few days regarding this mandate,” Boatwright said. “It is not a decision we take lightly, and we are trying our best to accommodate personal choice and individual opinions while taking the necessary steps to protect our community. We ask everyone for patience, tolerance and support as together we work to support older adults.”
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Sheila Symons’ son got COVID-19 around Labor Day. He has since missed about five weeks of school, spent five days at Children’s Hospital in Aurora and has seen more doctors than an 11-year-old child should.