Gov. Polis, Public Health & Safety Officials Provide Update on COVID-19

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

DENVER - Today, Gov. Polis and state health and public safety officials discussed how Colorado is preparing for COVID-19 and working to educate Coloradans.

“We are prepared to protect the health and safety of Coloradans if and when Coronavirus comes to Colorado,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are working closely with the federal government and organizations across our state, including county health departments. We have a plan, and will take every precaution and every step necessary to ensure our communities are safe and public health is protected. There aren’t currently any diagnosed cases in Colorado, but I ordered the Emergency Operations Center to be stood up for the likelihood that we will.” 

The Governor is directing all state agencies to implement the State Emergency Operations Plan. This is a plan that the state has used in the past to respond to a variety of incidents, including natural disasters like fires and floods, and it is designed to ensure we have the resources and systems in place in the event that we have any diagnosed cases of COVID-19 here in the state.

“The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been planning a COVID-19 response for several weeks now. Our department is coordinating with the health care system to prepare for cases in Colorado and is actively monitoring the situation through our own state laboratory, which is providing seven-day a week testing,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “While Colorado does not have a reported case, we are seeing increasing evidence of community spread in other states, which means there are cases of infected individuals who did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. It is possible that mild cases are going undetected by the medical system and spreading to others. It’s why preventive steps like washing your hands, staying home while  you are sick, or keeping your kids home while they sick are key.” 

State and local public health are working together, following federal guidance, to assess Colorado travelers returning from areas where widespread community transmission is occurring to determine the need for monitoring, quarantine, or other restriction of movement and activities.

“We are leaning forward on our efforts to ensure Colorado is prepared. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) continues to coordinate with other State departments, local agencies and Federal partners on COVID-19 concerns. DHSEM has activated the State Emergency Operations Center in order to be able to coordinate a wide variety of resources to support preparedness and response efforts,” said Stan Hilkey, Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

Click here to see the one-pager. Watch the press conference here.

RESOURCES: People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email, for answers in English and Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more.

The Center for Disease Control  has established the following exposure risk categories to help guide public health management of people following potential exposure to COVID-19.

Resources for local public health agencies and health care providers.