Gov. Jared Polis told Coloradans Thursday that they can travel outside their county and immediate area to recreate as long as they abide by local rules about closures and visitation.
For much of the past three months, he has encouraged people to stay within 10 miles of their home.
But he also made it clear he’s not talking about all Coloradans. He urged older folks to stay home, to avoid getting sick and prevent an uptick in hospitalizations. Polis said he is still not sure if “the worst is ahead or behind us.”
More than 1,400 died of COVID-19 in Colorado over the past three months, Polis said. Coloradans over 60 make up 1,264 of those deaths.
“Older Coloradans have the most at stake,” Polis said
In general, 1 in 10 Coloradans will need hospitalization if they contract COVID-19, he said. But that rate jumps to 4 in 10 for older adults.
He also said the state was taking steps to make sure nursing homes and long-term care facilities are protecting residents. The state’s care facility task force has completed 747 infection control surveys in nursing homes. The state also now has 1,048 isolation plans to make sure sick residents can be kept separate, according to a statewide survey of residential care facilities.
“We’re making sure they exist and they’re carried out in every place that people live together in our state,” Polis said.
The governor invited his mother, Susan Polis Schutz, to address the public about how she’s coping with staying home. She is 76 and said she hasn’t seen anyone since March 1. She speaks with her family through video chat and walks three miles a day around the lawn.
Polis also responded to an ACLU lawsuit against the state for not properly cleaning prisons, Polis said the state was taking the necessary steps to protect inmates.
“It’s no surprise that there are some in the advocacy community [who] want to use the pandemic as an excuse for other reforms,” he said. “We are not willing to use this pandemic as an excuse for unrelated activities.”