Gov. Polis Provides Update on State’s Response to COVID-19


CENTENNIAL - Gov. Polis today provided an update to the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is one of the greatest challenges we’ve ever faced. The more we stay home, the sooner we’ll be able to squash this threat, start earning money, and support our families,” said Governor Jared Polis. “At this point of this crisis, masks and gloves equals lives. Ventilators equals lives. We will continue to work with new suppliers in the private sector until Colorado’s needs are met. My administration is moving heaven and earth to acquire the needed materials to support the expected medical surge, and ensure that we can do adequate testing so that we can better isolate and contain future cases.”

The Governor provided an update on the State’s severe need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and what the State is doing to get that necessary equipment it needs to ensure the supply needs for Coloradans are met. The Governor also discussed the surge of patients Colorado hospitals should expect to see in the coming months and how hospitals are preparing to respond, including a tiered system for how patients will be classified. View the full presentation here

Scott Bookman, incident commander for the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment outlined the key operating assumptions for the state and wildly important goals for the state to: 

  • Support healthcare systems with coordinated access to private sector resources to acquire PPE, ventilators, and other equipment. 
  • Coordinate the recruitment and utilization of volunteer medical professionals to provide surge capacity within the healthcare system. 
  • Provide information on the status of the healthcare system
  • Create systems that overlay the normal healthcare system to provide coordination and response when the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed.

“I believe that this plan -- along with the drastic physical distancing measures that we are all taking -- will allow us to deal with the surge of patients without overwhelming our public health capacity here in Colorado,” Bookman said. 

The Governor thanked the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, health care workers, state workers and everyone working hard to respond to this pandemic and continued to urge Coloradans to stay home. The Governor encouraged Coloradans with medical training to help bolster medical staff by signing up to volunteer at HelpColoradoNow.org and thanked the 2,500 medical volunteers who have stepped up. 

Gov. Polis also announced that he would extend the suspension of normal in-person learning at all public and private elementary and secondary schools until April 30. Read the full Executive Order here

The Governor signed an Executive Order expanding the use of telehealth services. This will increase the capacity of the state’s health care system, help preserve critical personal protective equipment needed for medical professionals on the front lines, and allow Coloradans to meet with a doctor remotely. Telecommunications providers have made a commitment to ensure that telehealth services can be effectively delivered in Colorado communities. Read the full Executive Order here

The Governor also provided guidance to all State agencies and departments, as well as the public, on methods of service of process. View the guidance here

The state’s special enrollment period for the state’s health care exchange is ending on Friday. Visit connectforhealthco.com and enroll today.

Upon reports of an alarming increase in people who own a second home in the mountains traveling there, the Governor passed along an important announcement on behalf of Gunnison County, and other mountain resort communities who might echo it: please stay in your primary residence and do not put extra pressure on Colorado’s mountain health care systems.

April 1 is Census Day and Gov. Polis encouraged all Coloradans to fill out the census from the safety of their homes. The census is a crucial tool to ensure the people of Colorado get access to the resources they need to thrive, both now and in the future. It also ensures that Colorado is fairly represented in Congress. 

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