Gov. Polis Provides COVID-19 Update, Urges Coloradans to Get Vaccinated, Seek Monoclonal Treatment

Friday, November 12, 2021

DENVER - Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the efforts the state is taking to encourage more Coloradans to receive monoclonal antibody treatments and to get vaccinated. Governor Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, who discussed how monoclonal treatments can prevent Coloradans from being hospitalized from COVID-19. Jill Lester, a Coloradan who received monoclonal antibody treatment, joined Governor Polis and Dr. Herlihy to share her treatment story. 

“I thank Jill for sharing her story about receiving monoclonal antibody treatment which reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and we are actively working to scale up treatment availability across the state to help reduce the stress on our hospitals and protect lives,” said Governor Polis. “It is extremely dangerous to be unvaccinated at this point in time. Colorado is working to recover economically from the pandemic but those who remain unvaccinated are still filling up our hospitals and endangering themselves and others. We all want this to end, but everyone needs to do their part and get the vaccine and the booster after six months.”

Currently, one out of every 48 Coloradans is infected with COVID-19. Given the rise in cases, earlier this week Governor Polis announced a series of statewide actions Colorado is considering or is moving forward with to help ease hospital capacity and reduce the stress on our health care workforce. These are:

  • Expanding hospital capacity, target 500 new beds 

  • Expanding the use of monoclonal treatment 

  • Making indoor events safer through vaccine requirements

  • Expanding Boosters by issuing an Executive Order declaring Colorado as high-risk, making everyone who is six months past their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or two months past their Johnson & Johnson eligible, to get boosted 

  • Regulatory relief to enhance the healthcare Workforce

Monoclonal antibody treatment plays an important role in easing Colorado’s hospital capacity. The state now has five mobile units deployed across Colorado and more than 150 monoclonal providers and continues to urge medical professionals to utilize this treatment. Data shows it can reduce the likelihood of hospitalization between 70-80%. 

Jill Lester and her husband both contracted COVID-19 and both received antibody treatment, which dramatically improved their recovery and shared her story today.

“The monoclonal infusion went very smoothly and while it took me a couple of days to begin feeling better, I then quickly and fully recovered.The treatment was efficient and uneventful and I was able recover faster and reduce my risk for complications. I’m so glad that we have this wonderful monoclonal antibody treatment technology to help people recover from this frightening illness,” said Jill Lester. 

You may qualify for monoclonal antibody treatment if you:

  • Are an adult or pediatric patient (at least 12 years of age)

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19

  • Are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 prior to need for hospitalization

  • Experienced your first symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days

  • Are at high risk for having more serious symptoms of COVID-19 and/or going into the hospital, including having an underlying medical condition

If you meet this criteria, talk to your doctor to see if you might be eligible or visit

Gov. Polis discussed the new collaborative ways the state is working on to make indoor events safer including working with the city of Denver which is home to many venues, and he highlighted Ball Arena who is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend events in the arena.

The state’s efforts to get more Coloradans vaccinated includes vaccinating the newly eligible 5-11 year olds. 22,419 children, or 4.7%, in this age group having received at least one dose of the vaccine to date. 

The state continues to encourage Coloradans to get boosted. Given the disease prevalence in our state, everyone six months past their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or two months past J&J needs to get their booster now. Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order clarifying that no Coloradan should be turned away from getting their booster if they meet those criteria and the Governor encouraged Coloradans to wear masks at large indoor gatherings. 

View today’s press conference.