Gov. Jared Polis on Monday announced Eagle County would likely be Colorado’s first county to see some relaxing of state stay-at-home restrictions after dramatically flattening the COVID-19 curve in recent week.
Polis is expected to visit the county later this week for more specific announcements after county officials over the weekend petitioned the state for some easing of stay-at-home restrictions.
However, Polis cautioned such restrictions could quickly go back into place if the virus causes a spike in infections for one of the counties hit earliest and hardest by the disease. He mentioned and mourned prominent Vail victims of the disease, including musician Rod Powell and hotelier Bob Lazier.
As of Monday, Eagle County had tested 2,292 of approximately 45,000 Eagle River Valley residents, with 43 hospitalizations, 506 confirmed cases and five deaths. Two other deaths have occured among residents of the Roaring Fork River Valley area of Eagle County.
Here’s a press release from Polis’s office on Monday’s announcements:
Today Governor Jared Polis discussed modeling data that shows how Coloradans are doing their part during the stay-at-home order and what next steps will look like as health and safety restrictions change in the coming days and weeks.
“Coloradans in every corner of our state have stepped up and taken responsible steps to help bend the curve of this pandemic and we are grateful for these shared efforts that helped save lives and slow the spread. The deadly virus will continue to be with us, and we must wear masks and socialize less to avoid its rapid growth. For seniors and those with pre-existing conditions, it’s important to stay home whenever possible through May. Though we are moving into a sustainable way of living during this pandemic, there are tough days ahead,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is a marathon – not a sprint, which was the easy part – now we need to pace ourselves and these distancing measures need to be sustainable. We’re going to have to learn to live with coronavirus for a while, but we must live not with anxiety or fear, but with extreme caution, especially if you are a member of a vulnerable population. I am thrilled that we are on the path to a sustainable way of living more safely, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential that we have to return to a more cautious approach if the state sees a spike in new cases.”
The Governor discussed new modeling showing the state will not need to extend the Stay-at-Home order that is set to expire at the end of the week, but will need to continue a variety of long-term social distancing measures. The modeling shows that the Stay-at-Home order has reduced social interactions by 75-80% since it went into effect. Currently, Colorado has 10,000 reported cases, however, the state believes the real number is closer to 65,000-75,000 Coloradans — about 1.1%-1.3% of the population.
There are three levels of social distancing, which include: Staying at Home, Safer at Home, and Protect our Neighbors. On April 27, the state will be moving onto the Safer at Home phase. During this phase Coloradans will no longer be ordered to stay home, but are still strongly encouraged to do so. Vulnerable populations and seniors must continue staying home except when absolutely necessary and K-12 school districts and postsecondary institutions will continue to suspend normal in-person instruction until the end of the school year.
It’s important to note that there may be a fluctuation between the levels to recover from outbreaks, meaning that Colorado could return to the Stay-at-Home phase if there is a significant increase in cases or spread of the virus.
Local governments will have the opportunity to implement stricter restrictions, particularly those who may be experiencing an outbreak.
For more details on what the Safer at Home phase of the pandemic looks like, please view the Governor’s presentation here.
The latest Colorado model report is now available to the public.