Colorado’s fight against COVID-19

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Screenshot of the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment page “Case Data as of April 6, 2020.”

On March 26 Gov. Jared Polis issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Colorado. This order, originally in effect until April 11, has been extended to April 26 due to the Federal government’s new predictions on the spread of COVID-19. According to Denver Channel’s COVID-19 updated page, Mayor Hancock agreed to extend the stay at home order for the Denver area.

The stay-at-home order states all Coloradans must stay at home unless they are:

  1. Getting food or household necessities
  2. Going to work, only if you are a critical employee. Critical employees work at grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, health care facilities, public transportation, and any other critical services the government permits 
  3. Getting medical care
  4. Caring for dependents or pets
  5. Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
  6. Engaging in physical activity from an acceptable distance of six feet from other people. 

Other key messages from this order are:

  1. Gatherings of any size that are not government or critical business-related are banned at this time
  2. Bars and restaurants dining-in options are canceled but delivery is an option
  3. Working from home when possible is encouraged
  4. All noncritical businesses are closed to the public
  5. All school sites are closed but will be continued online through the rest of the semester.

This order is one of many ways local governments are taking to flatten the curve of the community’s spread of infection. Flattening the curve of infection means to try and slow the rate of infection. For that to happen, people must follow the strict social distancing recommendations and the stay at home order. 

According to Gov. Polis in his press conference on March 30, the main reason there is a need to slow the rate of infection is to give the health care system time to prepare to handle the new cases. As of right now, Colorado along with many other states has been dealing with shortages of key medical supplies like COVID-19 testing kits, gloves, ventilators and masks of all types. Hospitals are able to prepare by buying supplies and giving time for space to open at hospitals or for makeshift care facilities to be built.

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On March 30 Gov. Polis announced the peak spread of the COVID-19 has been “delayed” when updating Colorado residents about COVID-19 efforts. 

“We hope [more social distancing] has a bigger effect,” Polis said.

The data is now showing the number of COVID cases doubling every five days, a decrease from the cases doubling every two days. 

“The more people stay at home, the sooner we can squash the virus,” Polis said.

Currently, on April 6 there are a total of 5,172 cases in Colorado spread over 54 counties.

There have been 150 deaths and 994 people are hospitalized, only 26,875 people have tested in Colorado out of the almost 5.7 million population. These numbers mark an increase in the number of people being hospitalized, of around 400 people, since March 30. 

The pandemic has caused a mental strain in people working on the front lines who are considered the essential workers. For example, housekeeping has been deemed essential. 

“I just want to stay home and never leave again. I think this is the day I might bring something home to my family,” Sonya L. Delgado, a housekeeper for a local residence for vulnerable populations, has stated. 

Her family, like her asthmatic niece, are considered to be vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. She said she is frustrated the stay-at-home order doesn’t allow her to stay home. 

“The stay at home order… well I can’t do it or I would,” Delgado said because she is part of the essential work force. 

While some are having to grapple with having to put the social distancing practices into their lives, more Colorado residents have expressed strong support for the stay-at-home order.

“I think it is a good order if people would just listen to it and stay the ‘F’ home,” Monica Sanchez, a Denver local mom, said. 

Sanchez said people who can stay home should follow the order. She said she is concerned at the possibility of more people being infected by others who are not taking the necessary precautions. 

As the stay-at-home order lengthens, people who are staying inside are filling their days with productive activities. 

Amber, a local resident able to telecommute from home, said she fills her day, helping her daughter with schoolwork and working on home improvements. 

“I try and walk around the block as much as possible,” Sanchez said as exercise is an important part of her day.  

For more information on how to practice effective social distancing and preventive measures for COVID-19, contact Colorado’s COVID-19 hotline:

Phone Number: 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in other languages including, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.

Or Email: [email protected] (answers are in English only).

Visit the state public health web page or follow their social media pages: covid19.colorado.gov, Facebook (facebook.com/CDPHE) and Twitter (@CDPHE).

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