Colorado governor extends statewide stay-at-home order until at least April 26 |

Colorado governor extends statewide stay-at-home order until at least April 26

The live TV address was the first in recent memory for a Colorado governor, according to top aides in prior administrations, and possibly the only of its kind in state history

Jesse Paul and John Frank / The Colorado Sun
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gives an update about the extent of the coronavirus in Colorado during a press conference on March 11, 2020.
Jesse Paul / The Colorado Sun

Gov. Jared Polis announced he is extending Colorado’s statewide stay-at-home order until at least April 26 in an unprecedented televised speech to the entire state on Monday night during which he urged residents to continue making sacrifices to keep the new coronavirus from spreading out of control.

“The reason for the April 26 date is simple: because the data and the science tells us that staying at home is our best chance, our only realistic chance, to avoid a catastrophic loss of life — the deaths of thousands of our friends, our neighbors, our family members,” Polis said.

Polis, speaking to Coloradans from the governor’s mansion for about 17 minutes, said he knows that many in the state are frustrated and angry as they try to weather the crisis caused by the new coronavirus. “We all want a timeline,” he said. “When will this nightmare be over.”

It’s been more than a month since the first cases of coronavirus in Colorado were announced on March 6

Colorado now has reported 150 deaths attributed to coronavirus, and more than 5,000 confirmed cases, though health officials say there are likely actually between 17,000 and 18,000 Coloradans who are or have been infected. Nearly 1,000 of those with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are hospitalized and there are outbreaks in at least 41 nursing homes and senior care centers. 

Those facilities have driven the state’s coronavirus deaths. Through Monday, nine people had died at the Centennial Healthcare Center alone, a Greeley senior care center owned by SavaSeniorCare, which operates 25 facilities in Colorado.

The decision to extend the stay-at-home order comes as state public health officials rejected projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington that were widely shared on Monday showing that Colorado has already passed its peak when it comes to impact on the health care system.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was emphatic that the estimates weren’t accurate because they are built on false premises and do not take into account a host of factors, including the state’s demographics and detailed infection data. 

Modeling from University of Colorado experts shows the situation as being more dire.  “We are certain our peak has not hit,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, who runs the CDPHE.

The rest of The Colorado Sun’s report can be read here.

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