With cases of influenza, COVID-19, and RSV rising across the nation, this past week Governor Polis signed an Executive Order amending and extending the current COVID-19 disaster declaration that includes RSV, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses. Pediatric wards across the country, including some in Colorado, are filling with sick children.
The disaster declaration allows agencies to continue to access state and federal funding for recovery efforts, to rapidly respond to changes in the public health environment, and to support the healthcare system to remain appropriately staffed and prepared to respond to public health needs.
The amendments expand the scope of practice for medical professionals. It allows for additional flexibility in treating patients and to make beds and providers available to treat pediatric patients.
But at the same time, the Governor also issued an Executive Order rescinding two prior Executive Orders on the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Cooperation and Implementation. The Committee was first created in April 2020, to advise the governor and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) on coordinating and harmonizing policies and rules related to COVID-19.
Committee members were appointed by the governor in May 2020, and it met throughout 2020 and 2021, providing agencies with insight and guidance regarding the strategic implementation of the State’s COVID-19 response. According to the governor’s office, “The Committee achieved its mission”.