Colorado Governor Polis Provides Update on Response to COVID-19
DENVER – On November 24th, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19. He was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist.
“Right now, Coloradans are more likely to contract the virus than ever before. Scientists estimate 1 in 41 Coloradans are contagious right now so if you have even 10 people at a gathering, you face nearly a 1 in 4 changes that someone will be contagious,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We must listen to scientists and leaders like Dr. Fauci who recommend that you only socialize only with members of your immediate household, wear a mask, and stand six feet from others when you have to leave your home.”
“Coloradans, we all want to be with our loved ones and we will be able to do so again more safely soon. I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving,” Governor Polis added.
Governor Polis shared that hospital capacity is becoming troubling as over the last two weeks, with 31 hospitals anticipating they have a staffing shortage in the next week alone. Colorado is also starting to approach nearly double the number of daily hospitalizations reported than we did in the Spring. More people in Colorado are hospitalized due to COVID-19 than ever before. As of today, more than 10% of our hospitals are predicting they will exceed their ICU capacity within the next week and will have to rely on other hospitals to manage their surge.
Dr. Herlihy pointed out that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to climb. On the current trajectory, the state will exceed ICU bed capacity in January. On the current trajectory, we may experience 6,600 deaths by the end of the year — and more, if distancing is reduced over the holidays. Dr. Herlihy reminded Coloradans to follow the three key rules:
- Do not gather with individuals outside your household, including on Thanksgiving
- Wear a mask any time you leave your home
- Ensure you are 6ft apart any time you are around people not in your household
While Colorado works to contain the pandemic, the Governor wants to ensure that Colorado’s kids receive a quality education, which is why Governor Polis shared that he is convening a working group to provide input on how Colorado’s kids can return to in person learning safely in January. The working group is still being finalized, and the State is working closely with stakeholders including teachers, superintendents, elected school boards, health officials, and parents, to develop a diverse group that will help Colorado move forward.