Cook: Praise for vaccine mandates

Will Cook
Valley Voices

As the community health care provider, we applaud Vail Resorts, East West Hospitality, Slifer Smith & Frampton, and all other organizations that are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for their workers. Vaccinations not only significantly reduce the likelihood of the severity of illness and death from COVID-19, but also helps protect the health care system from being overwhelmed.

Will Cook

Earlier this month, Vail Health implemented a COVID-19 vaccination mandate across its entire system for all employees, including health care workers, providers, support staff, vendors and direct contractors. It is our duty to help safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our patients and visitors, and the community at-large from COVID-19. Our policy is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is in alignment with what other hospital systems in our state and country are doing.

In addition to getting vaccinated, one of the best defenses against COVID-19 and many other illnesses is to take better care of your overall physical and mental health. The baseline health in Eagle County is one of the best in the state, if not the country, but we can all do better with making the right choices to ensure better overall health of mind and body.

You should see your primary care physician, and your behavioral health provider on an annual basis, have your blood work checked, do timely screening and take action when something is identified, in addition to maintaining a daily physical fitness routine and a healthy body weight.

The complications from COVID-19 that have resulted in the most severe cases are in the population with underlying health issues. Some people may not even be aware they have any issues or know the best way to manage their conditions, which is the value of an annual health screening by a medical provider.

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We also encourage employers in the community to add some form of health screening incentives to their benefit programs. Most health insurance plans include a free annual wellness exam. If you do not have insurance or cannot afford to see a health care provider, we will help you find a way to be screened and treated.

The COVID-19 vaccine and good baseline physical and behavioral health are great defenses against COVID-19. We live in a community that fosters an active lifestyle, and we are committed to helping proactively address issues that impact the behavioral and physical health of our residents and helping improve the quality of life for the people who live, work and play here.

Thank you, again, to those organizations and individuals who have been vaccinated. We are close to returning to our new normal, but need everyone to lean in and get vaccinated. Let’s finish this.

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