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Polis warns against big 4th of July gatherings as COVID-19 cases surge nationally

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June 24, 2020, 4:33 pm

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday held a press conference to warn against big 4th of July gatherings as the COVID-19 pandemic surges around the nation.

Vail recently announced its revamped holiday plans, and surrounding Eagle County has seen its own mini-surge just as visitors are arriving from national hotspots in Texas, Florida and California.

Here’s the most recent press release from Polis’ office:

Jared Polis being tested.

Gov. Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and was joined by State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy to remind Coloradans about the importance of social distancing and wearing masks, especially with the upcoming 4th of July holiday. 

“It remains critical that Coloradans continue taking steps to protect themselves and others. Our state’s success thus far has been due to the actions and personal responsibility of Coloradans, and that will continue to be true,” said Governor Jared Polis. “As long as we continue to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, we can avoid seeing cases climb like our neighboring states. As we continue to reopen, more of the responsibility is placed on the individual to do the right thing. I’m proud of how Coloradans have responded during this pandemic and believe we can continue to make the right choices moving forward.  As we plan to celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 4th and enjoy their summer, Coloradans should make plans in a safe way, with just their own family or one other family.”

The Governor discussed the risk levels associated with different activities. He encouraged Coloradans to get out into the state’s great outdoors and participate in low-risk activities like camping, hiking, biking, outdoor exercise and activities.

When deciding which activities they are comfortable participating in, Coloradans should ask themselves the following questions:

  • How many other people will be participating in this activity?
  • Is the activity outside?
  • Can I put distance between myself and others?
  • How long will the activity take?
  • Do I feel 100% healthy?
  • How will I get there? Biking, walking, and driving in a car are all safer than public transportation.
  • Do I live with someone who is more vulnerable to COVID-19, and would be at high risk if I happened to bring the virus home?
  • What is the value of this activity to me versus the risk I am taking?

Coloradans can visit www.covid19.colorado.gov/risks-benefits to assess the risk level of certain activities.

As Coloradans are spending more time outdoors, the state is reminding everyone to be responsible in Colorado’s natural spaces. Gov. Polis highlighted an initiative from the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) encouraging visitors to show care, not only for destinations but also for the people who call them home. With lines like “How about a ski between you and me?” and “Keep a mask in your pocket, in case you need to rock it,” the CTO is creating a fun and memorable way to remember these important steps. Learn more

Gov. Polis also highlighted a best practice being used by Eagle County and encouraged other counties to do the same. Eagle County has asked every hotel and short-term rental to give a letter to guests upon booking providing critical public health information. The letter asks all travelers to follow the “5 Commitments of Containment” while visiting Eagle County, which are:

  • I will maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • I will wash my hands often.
  • I will cover my face in public.
  • I will stay home when I am sick.
  • I will get tested immediately if I have symptoms.

Governor Polis today released guidance to allow outdoor visitation at residential care facilities in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. Some of the most important standards:

  • The facility cannot have outdoor visitation if the facility had any recent positive cases or outbreaks and has not completed the required isolation period of 14 days. Facilities with active cases are not allowed to offer visits. 
  • All visits must be scheduled. Prior to the visits, facilities must provide information about COVID-19, and instructions for self-screening on the day of the visit, social distancing and mask-wearing, and details about the visit.
  • The visitor must be greeted outside at a designated area by facility staff, and the staff member will perform temperature check and symptom screening in accordance with current CDC guidelines. 
  • All visitors must wear a face mask or cloth face covering. All staff and the resident must wear a surgical or cloth mask unless doing so would inhibit the resident’s health.  

View the full guidance here

The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020 113, allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions.

The full news conference can be viewed on the Governor’s Facebook page

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