Polis discusses White House outbreak, increase in Colorado hospitalizations


GREELEY, Colo. — In an update Friday, Gov. Jared Polis discussed the importance of continuing to wear masks and practice social distancing as Colorado reported 200 patients hospitalized with coronavirus for the first time since early August.

Polis began the update by wishing a full recovery to everyone affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the White House, including President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

Addressing a question about testing in his own office, Polis said he has been tested for the virus eight or nine times. Now that testing is more widely available, he said, he and his team are being tested once a week. He also said he and his team wear masks and practices social distancing at press conferences and other events.

“As we saw with the White House outbreak, no amount of testing prevents the need for the social distancing, the mask wearing, and the safety requirements,” Polis said.

Polis encouraged Coloradans to continue being vigilant with mask-wearing and social distancing, in light of news Thursday that Colorado currently has 200 patients hospitalized with the virus for the first time since August 9.

Polis said this increased number doesn’t stress hospital capacity–hospitals still have plenty of room to treat people with coronavirus and other ailments. He said the concern is with the upward trend. Polis said two weeks ago, there were 120 people with the virus in Colorado hospitals.

Polis said Colorado’s average positivity rate for testing is currently 3.65%.

Also in the update, Polis re-emphasized the importance of sending children to school, whether in-person or remotely. He discussed that topic in-depth on Tuesday.

Polis gave Friday’s update from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, which he visited as part of a tour of northern Colorado.

Polis was joined for the update by Betsey Markey, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade; Rick Garcia, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs; and Rep. Mary Young. Those leaders discussed the state’s response to economic issues caused by the pandemic, particularly in northern Colorado.

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