As the resurgent coronavirus sent hospitalizations to record levels over the weekend, Gov. Jared Polis on Monday offered hope that some Coloradans will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.
Earlier in the day, Pfizer announced that data from late-stage trials showed its vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Polis said Colorado could receive 100,000 to 200,000 doses of the not-yet-approved Pfizer vaccine, which must be administered in two separate doses, before the end of the year.
But he stressed that most people will not have the opportunity to be vaccinated until the early months of 2021.
“I hope the good news about a vaccine inspires us to double down on social distancing in Colorado,” Polis said during a news briefing. “We just need the resolve. The resolve to not let this virus win. The resolve to save lives.”
The governor continued to urge Coloradans to avoid gathering with people outside of their households and announced that state government employees will work remotely through the end of November because of the prevalence of the novel coronavirus.
Polis also extended the statewide mask mandate for another 30 days.
Over the weekend, hospitalizations from COVID-19 across Colorado surpassed 1,000 people for the first time.
The surge is hospitalizations comes just days after the state surpassed the April peak. State officials warned last week that Colorado is headed into a critical phase of the pandemic.
On Sunday, 1,023people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Previously, hospitalizations peaked in April with 888 people hospitalized, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Currently, 84% of the state’s 1,984 available intensive-care unit beds are in use, a percentage that’s been creeping up since September.
The state health department recorded 2,766 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday.
Denver is under a 10 p.m. curfew for residents and nonexempt businesses as of Sunday — a restriction implemented by city officials in an attempt to avoid another stay-at-home order.
This is a developing story and will be updated.