UPDATE: 12:10PM: Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is cancelled, reports the Denver Post.
UPDATE: As seen in the Colorado Senate today: the lobbyists are reeling!
Colorado Public Radio reports on the announcement today by Gov. Jared Polis declaring a state of emergency in response to growing numbers of coronavirus cases confirmed throughout the state:
By Tuesday morning, health officials had identified 15 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, and no deaths so far. But the respiratory illness has shown a remarkable ability to spread…
State law gives Polis extraordinary powers to deal with disasters, but rarely has a disaster declaration been used for a pandemic. More often, disaster declarations are called for wildfires, floods and even snow.
The disaster declaration goes into effect for 30 days, and the governor can renew it until the threat is gone. He can restrict the sale of alcohol and guns. He can close public buildings and shut down public events. He can seize medicines from retail and hospital pharmacies. And he can quarantine people or buildings.
The broad powers granted to the governor under a state of emergency declaration are of course not all expected to be implemented, and we’re a long way from any rational basis from restricting alcohol or gun sales. If either of those provisions become necessary, we expect everyone will know why. In the meantime, the ability to manage distribution of necessary medicines, enforce quarantines, and cancel public events are straightforward steps we’re glad the governor is taking proactively as the COVID-19 epidemic spreads.
I think @GovofCO Polis is offering a master class on how to handle these situations. He is demonstrating a clear understanding of the science and is prioritizing the health and safety of Coloradans as he explains the steps being taken. #9News https://t.co/HHbUEaR1bC
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) March 10, 2020
Next, and we admit it’s a lower priority, we’d be delighted if the governor addressed the toilet paper shortage.