By Jeff Todd

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The calls for more state action to try and limit the spread of COVID-19 grew louder on Thursday as the Jefferson County Board of Public Health wrote a letter to Gov. Jared Polis asking for a more serious approach. A recent drastic rise in deaths has concerned health officials as hospitals near capacity.

Young woman with face mask using mobile phone and buying groceries in the supermarket during virus pandemic.

(credit:
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty Images)

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“The Jefferson County Board of Health felt it was important to send our own letter to Governor Polis based on the conditions specifically in Jefferson County, including recent data and a sharp uptick in fatalities related to COVID-19,” said Greg Deranleau, the President of the board.

Since July, Jeffco has averaged one death a day during the Delta variant surge. Last week, 16 deaths of Jeffco residents were recorded.

“The pace of infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities are increasing right now. And it’s quite alarming,” Deranleau said. “We are, at this time, asking for more just because the situation is so dire and getting worse.”

In the letter, the board members asked the Polis administration for a statewide mask order on all indoor settings as well as finding new ways to try and increase vaccinations.

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(credit: CBS)

“Vaccination uptake has plateaued. And, and we’re not there yet. We really do want to see a higher rate of vaccine vaccination throughout the state,” Deranleau said.

The state has maintained local jurisdictions have the ability to make their own rules and has been reluctant to adopt a wider approach. A vaccine mandate on large unseated indoor events was implemented last weekend, but critics believe it will have little impact.

“This virus does not stop the borders,” said Deranleau. “It’s really important that we look at these strategies on a statewide basis and not limited to the local level.”

(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

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On Monday, Jeffco will look into implementing its own mask mandate for all indoor settings.

Jeff Todd