DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and discussed Safer at Home and In the Vast, Great Outdoors. The Governor also addressed the senseless murder of George Floyd and demonstrations in Denver and across the country.
“Our state has some of the most beautiful natural open spaces in the world and we want Coloradans to safely enjoy our vast, great outdoors. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice better social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces,” said Gov. Polis.
“What happened to George Floyd was not only wrong, it was brutal. It was inhumane. It was murder,” Governor Polis continued. “But the reality is that this is much larger than the need to hold one officer and others accountable. It’s about a pattern of injustice and unfair treatment that Black Americans and communities of color have endured, not only in our criminal justice system, but in every area of American society. We need to listen to the voices of those who are crying out for reform, and we need to take action. To those peacefully protesting, I want you to know that I see you, I hear you and I grieve with you. And more importantly, I want to work with you. Spray paint can be power washed, and windows can be fixed, but the black lives taken can’t be replaced or brought back, and the pain and injustices that our black community members have suffered will take years and decades to repair. I am ready, willing, and eager to be your partner in that work.”
The Governor provided an update on Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors, encouraging Coloradans to enjoy the state’s incredible outdoor spaces, where people are better able to follow social distancing requirements. The level of risk for outdoor activities is low enough that older Coloradans and those with underlying conditions are now able to go outside and participate in Colorado’s natural beauty. Everyone should continue wearing a mask and following social distancing requirements while outdoors.
The Governor also discussed the levels of risk Coloradans can be exposed to through various activities. Staying home is considered low risk, outdoor activities is considered a moderate risk, outdoor gatherings are a higher risk, and indoor gatherings are the highest risk.
The state is also opening up playgrounds and swimming pools at limited capacity, and has also released draft guidance on reopening houses of worship, certain forms of outdoor recreation and personal recreation, and updates to the child care and personal services guidances. The state is currently soliciting feedback, which can be submitted here. Final versions will be released on Thursday.
Gov. Polis today announced that Colorado is now running 7,000 – 8,000 tests per day. The state now believes it is capturing 50% of symptomatic cases, up from 33% and growing.
In addition, Gov. Polis announced a new partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), who will mobilize more than 800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to support the state’s COVID-19 response through contact tracing and other associated work.
Contact tracing means following up with individuals who came into contact with an infected individual to ensure they get tested and quarantine themselves if necessary. 300 AmeriCorps NCCC members, based out of the Southwest Region Campus in Aurora, will start immediately. 350 VISTA Summer Associates will be hosted by the Community Resource Center in Denver and Conservation Legacy in Durango, both existing AmeriCorps VISTA projects, with 100-200 additional Senior Corps volunteers to join in Denver.
With more than one thousand contact tracers working in Colorado, the state will be able to address outbreaks more quickly, which will reduce infections and save lives.
Organizations are currently recruiting for the new positions announced today, the first of which begin on June 22. Those who serve as VISTA Summer Associates will earn a stipend and an education award at the end of their service. For more information on requirements and details on how to apply visit www.colorado.gov/servecolorado.
View the full news conference.
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