DENVER (CBS4)- Gov. Jared Polis says Colorado is doing much better than many other states in controlling COVID-19, but we're starting to slip. During a news conference Thursday, Polis says this is the second day with over 400 new cases.
"I'm telling you to wear a mask. Wear a damn mask!" said Polis, who has not issued a statewide mandate on face coverings.
Polis says the state has little capability to enforce face coverings, but more than half of Colorado is under some kind of local mandate. Tri-County Health Department voted Wednesday for a mask mandate in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.
Denver enacted a face mask ordinance on May 6 that requires a face covering for everyone age 3 and up or unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.
Some counties in Colorado put face mask public health orders in place before the July 4 holiday, like Summit County and Clear Creek County,
"The spread of virus depends more on behavior than what the government policies are," said Polis.
Coronavirus cases are hitting record numbers in states like Texas and Arizona, and Colorado doesn't have any travel restrictions to stop those cases from coming here.
"With so many people from viral hotspots in our state, it's important that every Coloradan treat every customer like they're contagious with coronavirus," said Polis.
Polis unveiled a website Thursday that allows Coloradans to play with pandemic modeling. It's the same model that's been used to make state decisions regarding coronavirus.
According to the website, it allows users to generate projections of COVID-19 cases, hospital needs and deaths in Colorado under scenarios that can be altered interactively. Polis says it shows the potential impact of the four key control measures: social distancing, contact tracing, identification and isolation of cases, and mask wearing - something Polis says every Coloradan should be doing, whether they're required to or not.
"It's not a contest to cheat and see what you can get away with. It's a contest to see how well you can keep yourself safe," said Polis.
The governor used several baseball references to compare the state's coronavirus response during the news conference, saying Colorado's in the 6th inning but we're down. We need to play ball. When it comes to real baseball, he wants to see if the MLB can actually get the teams playing again before coming up with a plan for how to get Rockies fans in the stands safely.
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