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Gov. Jared Polis urges Coloradans to 'step up' as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Gov. Jared Polis issues statewide mask mandate for Colorado
Posted at 8:43 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 15:40:22-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.

WATCH:

Polis said there is a rapid increase of COVID-19 across the state and urged Coloradans to continue practice social distancing and wearing masks.

The governor did not deny whether the state would return to the conditions we saw in spring given the current direction of the coronavirus, but he said that moving forward it's about learning to live with the virus in a safe way, such as students returning to classrooms and the upcoming ski season.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said the state is seeing its third wave of the virus and we are seeing the highest number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic. She addressed the accelerating rate of hospitalizations and that the state can expect, based on the current trajectory, we are on track to exceed hospitalizations than what the state saw in spring.

"The more we do, the more we protect ourselves and our families," she said.

Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Jill Ryan said at the beginning of the pandemic, state policies were used to suppress the virus. Later, the state health department introduced the COVID-19 dial system that recognizes local conditions vary and gives the department a way to treat cases differently.

The governor said a new campaign is launching, "Step Up Colorado," to encourage everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing, and emphasizes the importance to do more. Along with stepping up, state officials are encouraging Coloradans to support local farmers. For more information, click here.

Colorado officials addressed a plan to distribute vaccines when they become available during Friday's press conference.

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