Community Health Resources for Summer 2022

Are you excited about celebrating together this summer, because WE ARE!! For many of us, it’s been 2 or even 3 years since we’ve been together for in-person, community-wide events. While we are out here living our best summer lives across the state for Pride & Black Pride, Juneteenth, birthdays, hangouts, backyard BBQs, park picnics (and so. much. MORE.), we are reaching out today to encourage everyone with a few health and well-being reminders. 

The OneCO Health Equity team has partnered with Colorado community health organizations to put together these important resources to help keep you informed and healthy this summer! 

Resources:

  • Stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot and sunny outside! 
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when spending time outdoors. 
  • Feeling under-the-weather, have a sore throat, runny nose, cough, or experiencing fatigue? Stay home, get some rest, and speak with your primary care physician about your symptoms and needs.
  • Know your status. Getting tested for HIV regularly can help protect you and your partner(s).
  • Learn about PrEP. Pre-exposure prophylaxis medication is 99% effective for preventing HIV transmission through sex when taken as prescribed. Talk to your doctor to decide if PrEP is right for you. In most cases, there is no cost for PrEP medications and ancillary services like labs and HIV tests if your insurance is regulated by the Colorado Division of Insurance (your insurance card will say CO-DOI).
  • Find a vaccine location near you. Ages 5 and up can get a COVID-19 vaccine, including a third dose for the highest level of protection. Vaccines for children under 5 are on their way soon. Some immunocompromised people and people aged 50 or older can now get a fourth dose. Learn more.
  • Get free masks! Wearing a mask is a great way to decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially if you are indoors. 
  • Order free at-home COVID-19 tests or find a COVID-19 testing site.

Additionally, as we eagerly await Denver Pride this weekend, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment wants to share an important message with our community members regarding the monkeypox virus. As new cases occur across the country and in Colorado, case trends suggest men who have sex with men and people who have recently traveled to areas with monkeypox cases are at higher risk.

Monkeypox can begin with flu-like symptoms and a rash or skin bumps that develop within one to three days after. While flu-like symptoms do not always occur, rash or skin bumps have been common among all cases. Monkeypox can look like syphilis, herpes, blisters, or even acne, so be sure to get checked out if you develop a new rash or bumps. It is spread through close, physical contact with an infected individual’s skin, clothing, or bedding, including sexual contact. Though dangerous, this disease is rarely fatal and can most often be treated with supportive care.

If you have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, please contact your doctor and avoid physical contact with others. For further information, please visit CDPHE’s Monkeypox Information page.

“I share everyone’s excitement about enjoying the summer in Colorado and being outside in great weather with friends, family, and community. I encourage Coloradans and visitors to take care of themselves and each other by staying home if they feel unwell and calling a health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms of illness so we can all have a fun, safe, and healthy summer.” -Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, CDPHE (she/her/hers)

“Y’all, I am so excited for Pride season in Colorado this year! We all know the past couple years have taken a toll on many of us, our families, and our communities. For me, Pride is rejuvenating. Being in community is powerful. Being celebrated and affirmed is restorative. Let’s work together to keep our community healthy and safe while we celebrate this year and every year. The most important person to start with is YOU. Happy Pride!” -Marvyn Allen, MPA, Health Equity & Training Director, One Colorado (they/them/theirs)

“As we gather with community this year, I am very aware of the profound impact that health and illness have had on all of us recently. In the past 2+ years, everyone has been asked to put a lot of time, energy, and thought into protecting ourselves and our communities. I thank you for continuously stepping up to do so because this year we get to celebrate Pride together!!” -Sky Patron, RN, Health Equity Coordinator, One Colorado (they/them/theirs)

Togetherness is deeply important–critical–to our individual and collective well-being. Let’s commit to taking responsibility for our personal health, so that our community can THRIVE! Thank you for your efforts in protecting yourselves and the community, and we wish you a safe and happy celebration!