UPDATE: CPR reports that Gov. Jared Polis has finally issued a statewide mask order:
After pleading, prodding, cajoling, using both friendly and harsh language, and appealing to the better civic sensibilities of Coloradans everywhere, Gov. Jared Polis has finally done what he’s been resistant to do.
The governor has issued a statewide face mask order.
“Today, I’m signing an executive order that’s effective at midnight tonight that requires that every Coloradan, age 10 and up, wear a mask or face covering whenever they’re in public,” Polis said in a Thursday briefing on the pandemic.
Thank you, Governor.
Colorado Public Radio reports:
Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Colorado, an upward trend that began in mid-June and persisted through the July 4 holiday.
While hospitalizations and case numbers have increased throughout July, public health experts expressed concern over the 3-day average positivity rate, which has risen from its lowest point at 2.34 percent in mid-June to 4.72 percent on Tuesday.
The World Health Organization considers a 5 percent test positivity rate — reflecting the percentage of tests administered that come up positive over a three-day period — a benchmark for how well a community is controlling viral spread.
Several counties that had low-transmission rates at the beginning of the pandemic are now seeing spikes. So far, no new restrictions have been placed on businesses or events since Gov. Jared Polis rolled back bar re-openings just before July 4, but the worrisome statistics have prompted many local officials to renew calls for social distancing and mask-wearing.
With cases on the increase throughout the nation, Colorado’s lagging but now undeniable increase in COVID-19 positives is an ominous sign for the season to come. More deep-red Republican states like Alabama are instituting mask orders and rolling back reopening plans to a greater degree than Colorado has, which is making Gov. Jared Polis’ reluctance to take stronger measures increasingly difficult to defend–but above all, the local Republican campaign of resistance against every kind of COVID preventative measure is looking more nonsensical–and life-threatening–by the day.
As the whole world looks on with pity and revulsion over America’s singularly incompetent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately in Colorado we see as many signs of the problem as we do any forthcoming solution. Gov. Polis has tried to lead in this crisis with appeals to reason, but his consensus-driven leadership style simply wasn’t prepared to deal with the unreasonableness of his unhinged political opposition.
As a result, Coloradans who did not have to die are going to die.