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Coronavirus In Colorado: Polis Extends Stay-At-Home Order To April 26

DENVER (CBS4) - One month and a day after Summit County reported the first case of COVID-19 in the state, Gov. Jared Polis addressed all of Colorado about the coronavirus outbreak. On Monday night he extended a statewide stay-at-home order until April 26.

"I speak to you this evening as we face one of the most dire and serious threats of our lifetime," he said.

From Day 1, Polis has followed the data in how he responded to the growing pandemic.

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"Because the data and the science tells us that staying at home, it is our best chance, our only chance, to avoid a catastrophic loss of life -- the deaths of thousands of our friends, our neighbors, our family members," he said. "These closures and restrictions will be temporary. But when you lose a life, you lose it forever."

Less than two weeks under the mandatory order, and he says the numbers are starting to show progress.

"At the beginning of this crisis, the number of positive cases were doubling every one-and-a-half days. Today the number of positive cases is doubling every six days," he said.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

It's a trend experts believe will continue if Coloradans do their part by simply staying home, and if the state can secure the medical supplies needed along the way.

"With time we will have more hospital beds, and a mass testing and containment program in place, and the spread of the virus will be limited enough that we can get back to a fairly normal economy and society," Polis said.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports 994 Coloradans have been hospitalized, while 150 people have died.

Officials estimate, however, 17,000 to 18,000 Coloradans have had the virus. Testing right now only captures about 28% of people who are symptomatic, they said.

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Polis also recommended Coloradans to use face masks, saying material found at home will work.

"You don't need to buy a mask, or even buy craft materials for one. You can simply make one from an old T-shirt or just use a scarf. Any facial mask should cover your nose and mouth, and not interfere with your own breathing, of course."

He went on to say helping get personal protective equipment to Colorado's health care workers is a priority.

"We are moving heaven and earth to ensure that our health care workers have the gowns, the masks, the gloves, the face shields to keep them safe. Because they are our heroes. They are the ones who will take care of us when we are sick and we owe it to them to keep them healthy."

The governor urged Coloradans to abide by the stay-at-home order and maintain 6 feet from another, saying the "federal government is literally paying us to stay home."

Jared Polis
Gov. Jared Polis delivers an address from the governor's mansion on April 6, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

"I know many of you watching this evening are distressed, frustrated, and angry. Not just because we're all stuck inside but because we're unsure of what the future holds for ourselves and our loved ones."

"What matters now is not what you believe politically, your religious faith, your occupation, your age, your race… none of that matters here, none of that matters to the virus. What matters is that the more we stay home, the better chance we have of beating this virus so we can all go back to the things that make life worth living."

RELATED: State Preparing To Set Up 5 Field Hospitals

"We have faced crises before, floods, fires, and recessions, but this one is uniquely painful because we cannot be with each other. .. We scraped and toiled and persevered, and we won."

Polis applauded scientists at Colorado State University who are working diligently to find a vaccine to COVID-19.

Also on Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the stay-at-home order for the Mile High City has been extended through April 30.

Additional Resources

Polis released new COVID-19 modeling for the state on Monday. His slide presentation is available here .

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