CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis has advised all people in Colorado to wear non-medical, cloth face coverings when going out of their homes for essential activities, to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“Cloth masks should be part of everyone’s hygiene practices,” Polis said while issuing the new guidance at a news conference Friday. Later in the day, similar national guidelines were announced at the White House.
Medical masks, which are in short supply nationwide, should be saved for medical workers, Polis said.
Coloradans can use any cloth that covers the nose and mouth, the governor said, such as homemade masks.
The new guidance on wearing a mask or face covering is in addition to the social distancing guidelines, which remain in effect.
After wearing a mask, you should wash it on a washing machines hottest setting and thoroughly wash your hands, Polis said.
In addition to announcing the new mask initiative, Polis also announced a number of updates on relief for businesses and workers as well as testing capacity and containment strategies in Colorado.
In terms of economic support, Polis says that due to the lack of cash flow for many Coloradans and businesses at this time, the following tax extensions will apply:
- Income Tax extension until July 15
- Sales tax extension until May 20
- Property tax extension until May 1
Polis also reiterated that many Coloradans will receive money from the federal government. The Federal Stimulus Payment Guide is shown below:
For more information on the Federal Stimulus Package, visit irs.gov/coronavirus.
Polis clarified that this money should not be considered “free money,” but instead, “stay-at-home money.”
In terms of economic relief for small businesses, Polis encourages business owners to look into options that can assist those who are trying to keep employees on their payroll.
In the press conference, Polis also announced the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado. Currently, there are 4,174 cases, 806 hospitalizations and 105 deaths due to COVID-19.
When it comes to testing, Polis says that approximately 2,000 people a day are being tested for COVID-19. One month ago, Colorado was only testing about 160 people per day.
Colorado has the capacity to run over 10,000 tests per day. Polis is hoping to be able to have the supplies in order to test that many individuals.
By May, Polis hopes to be able to test about 5,000 people a day for COVID-19.
Only about 10 percent of people will need medical attention for COVID-19. Polis encourages those who are ill and do not need medical attention to self-isolate.