COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis is giving an update on the state's COVID-19 response Tuesday afternoon.
The Governor said there are 444 new COVID-19 cases today. There are 252 people in the hospital with COVID-19. Cases are growing slowly but consistently, he added.
Polis then said we have to be sustainable and live in a way where we don't give the virus an opportunity to spread. We need to reduce our social interactions a little more to slow the spread. Similar to how we lived in May and early June, he said.
He then spoke about other states that are seeing a surge in cases. Texas, Arizona, California, have all had to put closures back into place. California has even returned to something similar to our Stay at Home Phase, Polis said. He said we are doing better than these states, but we have to do better.
Polis then said our current trajectory is not sustainable and we need to do better. We need to do the simple things like wear masks and practice social distancing.
The Governor then moved on to taking questions.
The last update came Thursday where Polis did not rule out a statewide mask mandate in a news conference Thursday but made clear in his plainest terms yet how he feels about Coloradans and visitors to the state wearing them: “Wear a damn mask!”
The governor’s exclamation came in response to a question about why he had not issued a statewide mandate for face coverings or masks, as have some other states in response to their massive spikes in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“If I haven’t been clear, I’m telling you to wear a mask,” Polis said after outlining that he feels he has been clear for weeks that all Coloradans should be wearing masks when indoors and when they can’t stay 6 feet apart from others and that he doubted anyone was waiting only on “a piece of paper” from the governor telling them to do so.
The governor reiterated that trends in other states show the rise in COVID-19 cases come from bars and restaurants. He said restaurants and bars serving food in the state should focus on being careful and practicing safety measures to help slow the spread of the virus. In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases among younger Coloradans. Polis said they are advising people to not have large parties and keep gatherings small.