By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – On his first day in office, President Joe Biden took the country’s coronavirus pandemic response in a new direction. He signed an executive order to mandate masks on federal property.

(credit: CBS)

For months, Colorado officials have been fine tuning their response to the pandemic, from personal protective gear, to testing and now vaccines, much of which has been shaped by the federal response.

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Scott Bookman is the COVID-19 Incident Commander for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

(credit: CBS)

“We have been tied in with the Trump administration. We have had conversations with the Biden transition team. I was already on a call today with the new Biden team by four o’clock this afternoon,” Bookman said.

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Going forward with a new administration, he says their requests will stay the same.

“It was an ask we made of the Trump administration and the Biden transition team and an ask we made today of the Biden team in the White House. They all understand we need more lead time so that our providers can schedule clinics. When you only find out a few days ahead of time you have to scramble for staff and to get patients in,” Bookman said.

(credit: CBS)

With news of Biden’s latest move on masks, Bookman says fighting the pandemic shouldn’t be a statewide effort but a nationwide one.

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“This pandemic doesn’t respect county borders, state borders. The more cooperation the more collaboration we have with the Biden administration, we are excited to work with them and we are excited for the future,” he said.

Karen Morfitt