Gov. Polis addresses “alarming” COVID numbers in Colorado


DENVER — In an update Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis discussed the “alarming numbers” of coronavirus cases in Colorado.

Polis said the state currently has a 6.2% positivity rate, which is above the maximum rate of 5% recommended by the World Health Organization. A total of 417 people are currently hospitalized with the virus in Colorado.

Polis said there is a short window to get the virus under control before the holidays, and “the status quo is not acceptable.” He encouraged Coloradans to limit gatherings to as few households as possible.

Polis was joined by state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who said the state is seeing the highest number of cases so far in the pandemic. Part of the increased case count is more testing being able to catch more cases, according to Herlihy.

Polis was also joined by Jill Ryan, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and Kate Greenberg, Commissioner of Agriculture.

“Colorado needs to step up to save lives now. We have a short window of time to get the deadly virus under more control before the holiday season and protect our families, ourselves, and to avoid economic setbacks,” said Governor Polis. “Getting this virus under control requires you to reduce your social interactions, stay at least six feet apart from others, wear a mask, and wash your hands regularly. These cases aren’t going to change magically on their own. Every Coloradan has made sacrifices during this pandemic and that should strengthen our resolve to do everything we can now, during the most challenging period of the pandemic.”

Governor Polis and Director Jill Ryan discussed the dial framework which the state unveiled in September further to provide transparency, clarity, and predictability for Coloradans and local government officials as they work to protect their communities and reopen their economies. This tool provides a real-time, visual representation of a Colorado community’s success in containing the spread of COVID-19. 

Governor Polis and Director Ryan also announced that the State is partnering with CDPHE to launch a new, statewide media campaign called “Step Up, Colorado” in English, and “Echale Ganas, Colorado” in Spanish. This campaign emphasizes the importance of Coloradans wearing their masks and keeping their distance whenever they are around others. The Governor urged everyone to “step up” to help spread the word and encourage all Coloradans to protect each other from COVID-19.

According to a press release, the campaign was informed by more than 20 meetings with local public health agencies, nonprofits, and other community-serving organizations; input from the Health Equity Response Team; multiple statewide research panels; and Colorado surveys conducted by the Risk and Social Policy Working Group.

“Something COVID-19 has taught us is that what we each do personally impacts our communities. We need everybody to do their part because as much as we would like it to be over, the pandemic is far from over. We can’t become complacent. That’s why we’re asking all Coloradans to do everything they can to reduce the spread,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

Step Up Colorado will run statewide through Dec. 30. To share messages from the Step Up Colorado campaign, like and follow CDPHE on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

Watch the full update:

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