DENVER, Colo. — In a press conference Monday, Gov. Jared Polis announced plans to extend the statewide mask mandate for an additional 30 days and continued to look to local governments in Colorado to turn around their worsening COVID-19 rates in lieu of further statewide restrictions.
"It's not about enforcement... the Grim Reaper is the ultimate enforcer. More Coloradans will die if Coloradans don't simply cancel their social plans and wear masks in public and I know that we can do it," Polis said.
The state reported 3,553 new cases and 1,060 hospitalizations Monday. It marked the fifth day in a row of new case counts over 3,000 and the third day in a row of hospitalizations over 1,000.
Hours before Polis' press conference, the company Pfizer announced their vaccine for COVID-19 is 90% effective following the two-shot regimen.
"Ninety percent plus is the gold standard for vaccines that work," Polis said. "If enough people are inoculated with a 90% effective vaccine, it ends the pandemic."
Polis said he was hopeful some dosage may be available in 2020, potentially 100,000 to 200,000 doses available to Colorado to be distributed according to the state's vaccination plan. For most of Coloradans, it likely wouldn't be more widely available until 2021.
While Polis called the announcement exciting, he doubled down on his call to Coloradans to cancel all social interactions outside of their own households for the next few weeks and continue to wear masks and physically distance from others.
"Let's stop this bloodshed," Polis said. "All that's being asked of you is to cancel your social plans with people outside your household the next few weeks. You can do that."
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, Polis encouraged anyone considering gathering outside their household for Thanksgiving to self-quarantine for 10 days prior to the holiday. Anyone feeling any symptoms should cancel Thanksgiving plans.
Polis also announced state employees in counties with orange or red level incidence will continue working remotely through November and into December, with limited exceptions. He encouraged the private sector to do the same, if possible.