November 29, 2021

Polis gives update on COVID response amid mask disagreement

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gave an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination efforts on Wednesday.

PREVIOUS: Colorado sees greatest increase in COVID cases since May

Colorado recorded its largest one-day increase of COVID cases since May last week. Polis said last Wednesday the state is not yet seeing a downward trend in cases or hospitalizations of the virus. He urged Coloradans to be vigilant and said over 98% of new COVID cases in the state are the delta variant.

Overall, Colorado is experiencing lower rates of cases and death rates compared to the rest of the country, according to Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The highest rates of cases in the country are being seen in Southeast states, Herlihy said. 

Herlihy suggested that kids returning to schools in the Southeast may be a factor in the higher case rates, and warned that Colorado is not immune to seeing a rapid increase in new COVID cases. 

“Today, we actually saw our greatest increase in cases that we’ve see in a single day since May, so I do think we are at risk of seeing a rapid increase of cases here,” Herlihy said last week. 

RELATED: Adams County commissioners opt out of mask mandate

Adams County Commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to join Douglas County in opting out of the mask mandate from the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), which oversees Douglas, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties.

The mandate is included in a public health order (PHO) that went into effect on Aug. 23. It requires masking for staff and children in childcare centers and schools that serve students ages 2-to-12. 

>Video above: Adams County joins DougCo in mask mandate opt out.

The decision follows the endorsement by Tri-County of recent federal guidance that recommends mask wearing in public areas with high rates of community transmission.

Last week the Douglas County commissioners voted to opt out of the mandate, but the Douglas County School District said it would still follow the TCHD health order and require masks.

RELATED: DougCo Schools will require masks, despite commissioners opting out

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