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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Colorado public health officials are facing new questions about how to contain the emerging COVID-19 variant first discovered in India, even as the state shifts its approach to vaccinations.

Driving the news: The state is closing its final two community vaccination sites this week. Four others had closed earlier this month.

  • The site at Dick's Sporting Goods Park issued its final doses Tuesday.
  • The operation at Ball Arena — the most popular site in the state — runs through Saturday.

Why it matters: It marks a transition in Colorado's vaccination campaign, largely removing Gov. Jared Polis' administration and punting the responsibility to local officials and individual physicians.

  • Colorado topped 7,000 COVID-19-related deaths this week.

The big picture: Nearly 75% of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado in the last week came from the Delta variant, the latest state data shows.

  • The World Health Organization is now urging vaccinated people to keep wearing masks.
  • And a new study found mixing doses for a booster shot is beneficial.

Zoom in: Colorado public health officials said they are monitoring the situation and beginning to plan for future federal guidance, and local authorities tell Axios they are deferring to the state.

What they're saying: Lisa Miller, an epidemiologist at the Colorado School of Public Health, said there's no consensus on masks for vaccinated people yet.

  • "As with everything risk-related and COVID, it really comes down to a personal calculation about your own risk," she said.
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Go deeper

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a confirmation hearing on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."

Sep 23, 2021 - Health

CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Driving the news: But in an unusual move, CDC director Rochelle Walensky late Thursday overruled part of the advisory committee's decision and said that workers in high-risk jobs should also be eligible for booster shots.