DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of disaster emergency Thursday over the bird flu.
This comes after the highly pathogenic virus was detected at a commercial egg facility in Weld County, affecting around 1.15 million laying hens, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The facility has begun “depopulation” of the flock and a quarantine area has been established.
Polis’ office said the declaration will allow state agencies “to coordinate for mitigation of disease spread, response, consequence management, and recovery efforts,” including by accessing state and federal funding.
The virus was first detected among wild birds in Colorado on March 24 and in domestic poultry on April 8, according to the governor’s order. As of Sept. 21, it had been detected in 17 of the state’s 64 counties, “with cases occurring in wild, domestic and commercial flocks.”
That includes impacts on 58,000 birds at a commercial broiler breeder facility in Montrose County, along with another 1.4 million birds and 7 million eggs at a commercial egg facility in Weld County. Both of those detections were in April.
Polis’ latest executive order resurrects a declaration first issued on April 29 as the highly pathogenic virus spread among birds in the state. It expired on July 25 as the spread slowed.
Unless extended, the latest order will be in effect for 30 days from Sept. 21, according to the order.