Wearing Masks, Getting Vaccinated, Will Safeguard Our Communities During Omicron

Colorado Academy of Family Physicians

For Immediate Release

DENVER, COLORADO – The Colorado Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) is alarmed by the rapid rise in new COVID-19 infections due to the highly infectious Omicron variant. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that getting fully vaccinated, receiving a booster shot, and wearing a high quality mask reduces the spread and severity of COVID-19. The CAFP, which represents nearly 2,300 family physicians and medical residents in every part of the state, encourages every resident of Colorado to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to receive their booster shot, and to wear high quality masks when outside the home.

The extreme infectiousness of Omicron has pushed our healthcare system to its breaking point, creating staffing shortages and treatment backlogs at many hospitals across the state. This affects not just patients seeking treatment for a COVID-19 illness, but for everyone else in the community who might need care, from other illnesses such as seasonal influenza, to life-threatening health challenges like cancer, to serious injuries.

Data collected from the last two years of the pandemic demonstrate that if 80% of the population wears a high quality mask, the death rate could be reduced by nearly half. When combined with the highly effective vaccines and booster shot, the rates of infections, hospitalizations, and death can be even further reduced.

A cloth or surgical mask may offer some minimal protection against transmitting the virus to others, but a mask rated N95 or its equivalent fitted tightly to the face will best protect the wearer from infection. Full vaccination, with a booster shot if eligible, offers further protection from the virus. Together, immunization against COVID-19 and the adoption of high quality masks are the best opportunity we have to prevent a catastrophic disruption of medical care for our communities.

We call on Colorado, once again, to please wear a mask and get vaccinated.

About the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians:
The Colorado Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) is the largest medical specialty society in Colorado, and the only organization dedicated solely to family medicine. With more than 2,700 members, the CAFP works for thriving family physicians creating a healthier Colorado. See more at https://coloradoafp1.wpengine.com