‘We can do this, we will do this,’ Gov. Polis urges renewed caution as COVID-19 hospitalizations rise

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis is asking Coloradans to step up their game when it comes fighting coronavirus and protecting the community.

“Wear masks, avoid social interactions except when absolutely necessary. If you are going to socialize, do so with just one other household. Wash your hands regularly and we’ll get through this,” Polis said during his Tuesday press conference where he unveiled the state’s new “Step Up” awareness campaign.

Even with new efforts from various counties and cities around the state to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Polis said we need to do more.

“1,208 new cases, a 6.24% positivity rate; as a reminder, World Health Organization recommends keeping that below five (percent) to show you have enough testing to identify new outbreaks,” Polis said. “We also have 36 net new hospitalizations for COVID right now at 417 people currently hospitalized for COVID.”

While that number may seem low, Polis say it’s too many for the 1,800 beds available for all illnesses. One group trending well with the virus: children ages 0 to 9. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that demographic only makes up 3.76% of the state’s positive cases.

“We definitely see that there continues to be a lower rate of COVID cases with that age group, significantly lower transmission. At the same time, we are disappointed to announce delaying in-person learning for our secondary students,” said Denver Public Schools (DPS) Superintendent Susanna Cordova.

DPS announced Tuesday that leaders will be following data to determine when middle and high school students can return to the classroom. The governor commended steps schools have taken to keep students safe as cases spread through the community.

“We’ve been able to prevent major school-based outbreaks through these safety measures. Many districts have been through cohort closures and some even school-wide closures and they come back, they’ve done it in safe way,” Polis said.

The governor plans to provide an update on the state of hospitalizations in Colorado next week.

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