In a speech Friday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis delivered some stern warnings for the state as it goes through its most challenging throes of the pandemic.
More than one thousand Coloradans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The state, and every county in the Roaring Fork Valley is seeing more new cases now than at any previous point in the pandemic.
“These are our darkest days as a nation, they are our darkest days as a state,” Polis said. “It’s going to take all of us working together to make it through the weeks and months ahead.”
A rapid spike in new infections has led to unprecedented COVID-19 presence across the state. Polis explained that one in 110 Coloradans is currently contagious. Such a high volume of infected people, he said, means that Thanksgiving family gatherings will likely lead to further spread.
Taking chances with the family gatherings while so many are contagious is like playing “Russian roulette,” Polis said. To help mitigate new transmission over the holiday, he suggested people isolate themselves for two weeks before meeting with family.
“The more family members that make that decision to self quarantine, the more likely it is that you’re not bringing a loaded pistol for grandma’s head,” he said.
Polis also outlined surge plans for hospitals. If the burden of COVID-19 patients begins to stress their capacities, they would scale back elective procedures, then utilize a new statewide transfer network to move patients to other hospitals. A worst case scenario could see hospitals expand into “alternative care sites” such as the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.