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COVID In Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis Cites New Mexico As Example Of Why He's Not Planning To Bring Back Mask Mandate

DENVER (CBS4) - The Governor of Colorado says he does not plan on bringing back a mask mandate throughout the state even as COVID-19 cases surge. Gov. Jared Polis said he would leave masking orders to the counties, citing that neighboring New Mexico has a mask mandate and cases were comparable to those seen in Colorado.

However, Polis did push for more people to get vaccinated.

"It has never been more dangerous for the unvaccinated than it is right now," Polis said.

Colorado is one of the most infected states in the nation. One in every 48 Coloradans are infected and symptomatic. However, researchers have been unable to pinpoint an exact reason why Colorado is seeing the surge while other states are not.

"Scientists simply don't know why our region has a spike," Polis told CBS4's Dillon Thomas.

Hospital ICU beds continue to dwindle as the delta variant spreads throughout the state. Polis said a drastic majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state come from those who are unvaccinated.

"We wouldn't be here talking about this if everybody was vaccinated," Polis said. "If you are not vaccinated you are going to get COVID. Maybe this week, maybe this month, maybe next year."

Polis said one tool the state is doubling down on is monoclonal antibody treatment. Studies show those infected who qualify for the treatment are more likely to avoid hospitalization and death.

The state believes if they increase access to monoclonal therapy, the peak of hospitalizations can be cut by 150-300 people. They also say they can reduce exceeding capacity by 30% and prevent 2,600 hospitalizations and 210 deaths by February.

The state will now double its mobile monoclonal treatment centers. Currently, there are only five in the state.

"We are going to add five more monoclonal antibody treatment busses by mid-December. Those will be available in both urban and rural areas," Polis said.

Gov. Jared Polis
(credit: CBS)

And hospitals and clinics across the state are offering the treatment as well.

Polis said, to help avoid needing such care, Coloradans can simply go out and get vaccinated.

"If you are fully vaccinated, if you have your booster, your risk is 10 times less for you than it was last December," Polis said.

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