Video: Polis Warns Counties Their Variances To Coronavirus Restrictions Are At Risk

Updated 5:55 p.m.

Gov. Jared Polis warned that counties would have to take a stricter approach to public health as coronavirus cases rise across the Front Range, mountains and western Colorado.

Polis has delegated some of the decision-making power about the pandemic to Colorado’s 64 counties, granting more than 40 variances that allow them to loosen restrictions on worship, restaurants and more. But the state has warned that 15 counties’ variances will be canceled if cases continue to rise.

Investigations by CPR News, released this week, dig into the high rate of churn at the top levels of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, looking at how early missteps have impacted the state's ability to ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus and how lack of communication and coordination has affected local health agencies' ability to battle the pandemic in sync with the rest of the state.