David Zalubowski / AP
Colorado is among the states experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. In August, the state registered about 2,000 new cases a week. Last week, that number jumped to over 8,000.
Democratic Governor Jared Polis warns that the situation could worsen in the coming months.
“We just have this short period of time to get it back under control before the holiday season, and we need to do it,” he told reporters last week. “Each of us must really ask ourselves what our determination is to avoid unnecessary loss of life.”
In July, Polis introduced a mask requirement for public indoor spaces, effective until November 10th. On Friday, the health department limited social gatherings to 10 people or less than no more than two households.
“If people need to feel the need for socialization, we fully understand that,” he said in an interview with NPR’s. All things considered. “But neither a neighborhood bloc party, nor three or four different households. No more than two households.”
Polis discusses the challenges he faces as the state tries to curb the escalation of community spread.
The mask’s term expires in a few weeks. Are you likely to renew?
Obviously, we estimate it on the basis of data, where we are at all times in terms of the end date. But certainly where we are today, this is critical. This is a critical tool that helps limit the spread.
Two churches in the Denver area have filed a lawsuit against the state with challenge [the mask and social gathering orders]. They won. How do you manage the growing number of infections in your country when you have lawsuits trying to prevent you from applying protections?
Well, it really has to be about people who want to do the right thing. I was so excited to see several bishops and other bishops who support the wearing of a mask among their members and their community. We have seen so many institutions of faith that enter the network, limit their presence. I think that many leaders of faith certainly care deeply about the lives of their brethren and understand that we will be able to rejoice and communicate personally in the not so distant future. But that we are not there yet.
There have been alarming numbers of outbreaks in schools in Colorado. … The Colorado chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is school warning becomes less feasible as community prevalence increases. What are you doing with this? Are you ready, for example, to reclaim personal training?
Most of our schools are back in Colorado. They have guidelines to follow. But then, you know, some of them, whether they come back two days a week or five days a week, are local. We have found, in general, that schools are safer or safer than other things that children can do, mostly because they are structured and have the ability to apply healthy health guidelines such as wearing masks, which is necessary for everyone. students in our country in class, as well as the teacher.
In your state and many others, you have a mandate as a mask. You say you will see if you renew it. You have a new health order limiting the size of the crowds. … But is that enough, given the winter, the holidays are ahead of us and the numbers are going wrong?
So, you know, in Colorado, the weather is a factor in the winter. … People tend to gather in larger indoor areas in winter than when the weather is nice. And so we really make sure that to the extent that people want to do these activities, such as catering, for example, we have capacity limits around restaurants to make sure there is enough social distance and waiting staff and others in the kitchen are all wearing masks.
Christopher Intalia and Gus Contreras edited and produced the audio interview. Maureen Pao adapted it for the network.