Polis calls for cancellation of events with more than 250 people to slow virus spread
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced measures Friday to grow the ranks of doctors, nurses and other professionals in anticipation of an increasing coronavirus caseload straining the state’s health care system.
Polis said state officials will expedite the licensing of health care professionals who live in Colorado and already have licenses in other states. State officials are also asking retired doctors and nurses and those who left the field to consider returning to help with the outbreak.
The Colorado National Guard has been activated and Guard medics are being trained, Polis said. Medical students are being asked to help with testing and clinical work.
An increase in health professionals will be needed as the number of coronavirus cases grows exponentially, and as health professionals treating those patients become infected themselves, Polis said.
“We are in the middle of one off the greatest public health disasters of our lifetime,” he said. “It’s critical for us to take it seriously.”
Polis called for the cancellation of events with groups of 250 or more people, unless organizers can guarantee participants are spaced 6 feet from one another.
He also called for an increase in testing, while saying the state’s 1,500 collected tests to date outpaces the national rate.
As of Friday, Colorado had 72 cases of the coronavirus. Eight people were hospitalized and three were in critical condition.
“It’s just a matter of time before we have our first fatality here in Colorado,” Polis said.
The state’s drive-up testing laboratory was postponed on Friday because of bad weather. Demand at the site has been huge, with hundreds of drivers waiting in line for three hours on Thursday. More than 650 tests have been collected there to date.
Colorado canceled its high school basketball tournaments, and the Air Force Academy said it has begun dismissing its cade ts amid the coronavirus spread.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County will write its own version of a COVID-19 dial governing local restrictions when the state dial is expected to end Friday.