DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis kept to his recent message in a Friday address on Colorado’s unprecedented COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations. The burden, he said, is on Coloradans to stem the rise in cases, especially over the upcoming holidays.
“These are our darkest days as a nation,” Polis said. “These are our darkest days as a state.”
Nationally, the U.S. reached its highest-ever count of daily coronavirus cases with 194,610 cases. Colorado also saw its worst day with 6,439. The state has more hospitalized patients than ever.
Despite the caseload, Polis downplayed any suggestion of another stay at home order.
Polis emphasized that he felt stay at home orders were a “blunt tool” for the early days of the pandemic. Rather than revert to stay at home orders, he said hospitals and citizens can handle the virus in the upcoming holiday months.
“We’re in a stronger place now,” Polis said. “A lot of planning and work has gone on in the last six months with the capacity to care for our patients.”
In particular, Polis asked Coloradans to take serious personal measures for Thanksgiving, including a self-imposed quarantine for anyone planning on a family gathering.
He compared an intergenerational Thanksgiving meal to a game of Russian Roulette. Considering 1 in 110 Coloradans are contagious with the virus, a ten-person family dinner of separate households contains a one in ten chance of an infected person’s presence.
“Really important to self-quarantine before you risk exposing your elderly relatives to the deadly virus,” he said. “That should frankly start today if you plan on seeing relatives from other households on Thanksgiving.”
He also emphasized hospital capacity control measures, including expanding unused space, augmenting staffing, an intrastate transfer system and potentially alternative care sites if capacity measures prove unequal to caseload.
New coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are at all time highs with 27 counties set at Level Orange on the state COVID dial. Level Orange has the highest risk and tightest restrictions before a Stay at Home order.