DENVER — Gov. Polis Wednesday celebrated National Nurses Day and provided an update on what personal protective equipment the State has received and distributed to front line workers and other critical workers. 

This update comes nearly 2 months to the day after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 here in Colorado.

“Every day our health care workers and emergency responders are on the front lines of this virus. We can’t thank them enough for their incredible dedication and service during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “That’s why it’s our responsibility to continue staying home as much as possible, washing our hands on a regular basis, and wearing a mask when out in public. When we don’t follow proper guidelines, it not only makes things harder on ourselves and prolongs the economic pain for people across our state, but it puts our medical professionals at risk as well.”

To celebrate National Nurses Day and provide the perspective of someone on the front lines of this pandemic, Governor Polis was joined by Laura Rosenthal, the Vice President of the Colorado Nurses Association.

Rosenthal underscored the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask while out in public, and washing your hands in order to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease. 

Rosenthal has served as a registered nurse for 20 years and has worked in Colorado as a Nurse Practitioner in Hospital Medicine for 14 of those years. Rosenthal is the Colorado State Representative to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is also a registered nurse health services volunteer for the American Red Cross Rocky Mountain Chapter. In addition to her clinical duties, Rosenthal serves as the Assistant Dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing.  

The governor also provided an update on personal protective equipment for health care workers and other critical workers on the front lines.

The State has received 534,474 N95 masks, 2,472,205 surgical masks, 195,109 gowns, 116,065 face shields and 1,640,100 gloves. The State has also distributed PPE to nursing homes, including 7,413 pairs of eye protection, 85,521 masks, 388,733 gloves, and 77,840 gowns. 

For the first time to this degree Gov. Jared Polis shared with Coloradans a graph detailing the distribution of the additional PPE supplies in Colorado.

Colorado has received two Battelle Sterilization Systems from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to decontaminate thousands of N95 masks using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide.

The Battelle Sterilization System at the Adams County Fairgrounds is currently operational and is sterilizing N95 masks for over 100 skilled nursing centers, hospitals, and other health care providers. A second system will begin operating in Montrose next week.

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