When Will Everything Open? Polis Lays Out Timeline In A Coronavirus Update To Coloradans

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David Zalubowski/AP
Colorado Governor Jared Polis, right, makes a point as nurse Laura Rosenthal of the University of Colorado Medical School looks on during a news conference to update reporters on the state’s efforts to stem the rise of the new coronavirus Wednesday, May 6, 2020, in Denver.

Seven counties lifted their Stay-at-Home orders this past weekend and transitioned to what Gov. Jared Polis calls “level two” of the state’s coronavirus response— Safer-at-Home. This phase lays out how businesses should gradually reopen as people continue to maintain social distance, wear masks and avoid large group gatherings. 

But not all businesses are following the rules. Polis spoke to Coloradans from the state Capitol today and addressed viral footage of a Castle Rock restaurant packed with Mother’s Day patrons dining in. C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen acted in defiance of local health ordinances forbidding dine-in services until the end of the month.

"I join most Coloradans in our frustration watching videos of people illegally packed into restaurants, and I'm thinking about all of the moms and grandmothers and aunts and everyone who is put at increased risk of dying from this horrible virus," Polis said.

He announced the state has suspended the license of the business indefinitely, enforceable under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Food Protection Act.

"Just because you disagree with the law, doesn't mean you can disobey the law," said Polis in reference to the business. He encouraged people to read stories about those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 before putting themselves and others at risk.

"Only if we all pause and truly remember our responsibility for one another, our brothers and sisters, will we be successful in navigating and emerging sooner rather than later with more lives intact," Polis said.

The governor announced that camping can resume in many state parks starting May 12th. Reservations can be made online and he advised that people bring supplies from home and limit their stops on their way to a campsite to avoid spreading the virus.

Polis said there might also be decision on spring skiing and opening restaurants and summer camps by May 25. He said the data on new cases and hospitalizations will guide these future decisions.

"These are not potential opening days, these are days when we'll have more data and can make the call,” Polis said. “We need a good indication from the data about these steps,” to see if the loosened restrictions are working.

Polis said the state is just starting to see the first cases under Safer-at-Home, since the Stay-at-Home order was only lifted two weeks ago. He said it’s important to watch the numbers around new infections and hospitalizations to decide when and how to move forward with opening.

“We control our destiny. I know that we can live up to it,” Polis said, as he encouraged people to follow COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

Polis also spoke about his upcoming trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump, where he’s expected to push for more federal support in supplying testing materials and personal protective equipment.

“To do my best and make sure the President is not living in the ivory tower in the White House, and he’s aware of what’s going on in the country,” Polis said.

Polis updated the state’s COVID-19 statistics, and says 573 people are currently in the hospital and the state has registered 981 deaths. He said the daily hospitalization rate continues to decrease.