DENVER (KRDO) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is giving an update Monday on the state’s response to COVID-19. The governor’s initial stay-at-home order is tentatively set to end on April 26, and he’s expected to give more information on what’s coming after that.
Ahead of the April 26 scheduled expiration of the statewide stay-at-home order, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy outlined what life in Colorado might look like as soon as next week.
“As it rolls off April 27, we need to figure out how to run the marathon now that we’ve run the sprint,” Polis said. “I hate to break it to you, but the easy part was the sprint.”
Polis, speaking from the Governor’s Mansion in Denver, said that Coloradans should still stay at home whenever they can, and that older Coloradans and other people with high-risk health situations will need to continue to be extremely cautious.
“Your May will look a lot like your April if you’re in that most vulnerable group,” he said.
“We can’t lose sight of the fact that our job isn’t finished, your job isn’t finished, not by a long shot,” Polis said, as he outlined new rules for businesses that would maintain levels of social distancing that are much higher than normal, but that are greatly relaxed from the way the state has operated for nearly a month.
“Retail curbside delivery, any retail that wants to do that, that starts immediately April 27,” Polis said. Other retail would be allowed to open May 1 with some restrictions.
He said that elective surgeries would be allowed starting Monday.
Large workplaces, starting May 4, will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity, and are advised to have symptom and temperature checks for workers as they arrive.
Polis said his own goal for bars, restaurants and clubs to reopen would be mid-May, but that he’d have to wait for data on the effects of other changes to make those decisions.
Polis said that he accepts that most Coloradans will likely be infected unless a vaccine is developed.
“But they can’t get it all at once,” he said. “That’s what we have to prevent.”
Herlihy said that to move forward without exceeding the state’s hospital capacity, Colorado needs to maintain social distancing, encourage elderly Coloradans to exercise further caution, people need to wear masks in public, and the state will need to pursue aggressive case detection and containment.
Herlihy shared details of the scenarios the state is studying as it considers what comes after the stay-at-home order is lifted. One scenario was maintaining social distancing strategies with no other restrictions. She pointed out that this model estimated that the state’s current number of ICU beds would not be enough.