Story by Jenny Paulson – Governor Jared Polis attempted to console Coloradans in his latest press conference, starting it with respects for President Donald Trump for declaring Colorado as a federal disaster zone. He said Coloradans need to have faith in decision makers who are helping save lives and while we are restricted in our activities, we must be closer than ever using technological means communicate to support one another.
This comes just after Polis announced last Saturday Colorado was granted additional federal funding to help Colorado with costs associated with issues such as transportation, care, food, water, ventilators, more testing sites and other equipment. He said he hopes Colorado can even have a surplus of supplies to help stop the spread of the virus.
Polis said that although residents of Colorado can’t be physically together due to stay-at-home rules and other restrictions, he’d added that we have to be more together then ever to support one another emotionally thought this crisis using online through virtual chats, social media and other means to communicate.
Polis said there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that there will be a day when we will be through this as a state, nation and a world – able to once again be together in person to celebrate, but until then we have to have faith and do each our part to helping protect ourselves, our loved ones and others by staying at home and only leaving for necessary situations.
Polis said it is during this time period that we need to focus on words from Corinthians 1-13, which he quoted as saying: “Three things will last forever: faith, hope and love, and the greatest these is love.” He emphasized how important it is to love one another and share hope during this crisis.
Gov Jared Polis said he hopes new diagnosed cases are slowing due to his stay at home order and mandates of social distancing, school, dining, ski resort, casino, and non-essential business closures.
Polis claimed new cases of COVID-19 are slowing in Colorado due to these measures although there’s little public data to support such a claim other than his. example of reduction in vehicle traffic. He said the average time of the highly contagious virus doubling in the state, was every two days, and that he hopes it is now approaching five days.
He reported that are now a total of 2,627 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colorado with a total of 51 people who have died from the disease (as of 3/30).
In good news he said stats are showing that there is a 60 percent reduction in vehicles one the road from the baseline of four weeks before, using this sample as a proxy for positive changes in behavior necessary to help stop the spread of the “scary” virus that had been doubling every two days in our state in an exponential growth pattern.
Polis said there is a lag of about a week in detection with lacking testing and more in hospitalization that is hindering official’s from gauging the situation and that within a week decision makers will have better knowledge.
Polis said that his critical task force is working at obtaining more health equipment, hoping for a surplus, to help fight COVID-19 at clinical settings. He said the state is still short about 9,000 to 10,000 ventilators in the event of a surge.
The state has the goal of about 1,000 intensive care unit beds in the next month and another 5,000 beds by summer. The state is also short on other medical supplies, such as face masks and gowns, although some donation drives have helped.
So far 15,364 people in Colorado have been tested and 414 people in 47 counties have been hospitalized. There have been 14 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.
He said about 80-85 percent of people that get the virus don’t need hospital treatment and will self resolve with isolation. Polis advised people not to panic if they have COVID-19 symptoms to stay at home and in isolation should be able to fully recover without spreading the virus to others.
Polis thanked Coloradans for their sacrifices, saying people will soon get $1200 per person from the Federal Government to help and student loans have been suspended and taxes have been delayed.
In Southern Colorado, local officials reported that Pueblo County is now up to 21 reported cases, with officials awaiting many test results, some lagging over two weeks.
There is one case in Baca County, three in Costilla County, one in Crowley County that resulted in a death, one in Huerfano County, one in Mineral County, three in Otero County and four in Rio Grande County. Although Saguage County had not yet reported a case to the state, the local health department reported their first case March 31st.
There are no cases in Las Animas County, which includes the city of Trinidad, despite that all counties surrounding theirs has cases.