Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

Friday, August 21, 2020


DENVER - Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19. The Governor was joined by State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy with the Department of Public Health and Environment to unveil the state’s new enhanced online data tool. This website includes changes and improvements to data sharing on the state’s COVID-19 website.


“Having the latest data is critical to our response to COVID-19 and we want to share that information with Coloradans with our new easier to use website so that everyone can make smart decisions,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We have responded swiftly and boldly to this pandemic and have been guided by science and data. Our administration has strived to enhance the way we present this COVID data and we will continue to build on this progress. We are all in this together, and it remains critical that we continue wearing masks when leaving the house and following social distancing requirements.”


“CDPHE is committed to transparency and to empowering the public and our partners through access to accurate, up-to-date COVID-19 data and information. Colorado’s COVID-19 public data is among the most robust, user-friendly, and transparent in the country,” said Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, CDPHE. Since the first positive test was confirmed in March, we’ve vastly increased the quantity and complexity of data that we are sharing with the public. As part of our dedication to customer service, innovation, and continual improvement, our data team has worked very hard to roll out this very exciting improvement to our data tools.”


The improvements keep all the data and information that the public, media and public health partners have come to rely on, and also incorporate new content. Changes include:

  • Landing page with easy-to-use navigation to specific data sets. 
  • Once at a specific data set, users see a variety of buttons that allow them to toggle through different variables and/or data points. This allows them to customize how they view the data set. For example, they can select different geographic areas, demographic subsets, or view trends based on one-day incidence or multi-day averages. The graph that they see will respond to the customizations that they select, allowing them to interact with and analyze our data. 
  • Each graph has an informational button they can click on to get definitions and an explanation of what the data is, where it came from, and/or what it means. Previously, this background information was combined at the top of the data pages or on a separate “about our data” web page.
  • The site includes new data on the dashboard, including:
  • % of hospital beds in use by day and 7-day moving average.
  • % of ICU beds in use by day and 7-day moving average.Pediatric critical care ventilator use (previously only adult ventilator use was available).
  • 7-day moving averages of hospital admissions and discharges.
  • Aggregate patient hospitalization data, while maintaining patient privacy.
  • Hospitalized patients’ demographic breakout, overall and over time:
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Where the patient went upon leaving the hospital
  • % hospitalized patients who required invasive ventilators
  • % of patients admitted to ICU
  • % of patients in the ICU who died
  • % of patients not in the ICU, but who died in the hospital
  • Average length of stay in hospital before discharge (excludes those that died)
  • % of hospitalized patients with a reported COVID-19 positive test
  • More detailed outbreak data to better reflect which outbreaks are currently ongoing and which outbreaks have been resolved.
  • The new data section of the website can be viewed at 

The Governor also provided an update on schools and discussed his visit to Village East Elementary School, a part of the Cherry Creek School District, which has returned to in-person learning. The Governor talked about what the collaborative process of bringing students back to school and how the community, families, and teachers can help ensure students can continue learning in as safe a manner as possible. Learning in each community will look different, and the Governor wants to empower local schools and families to decide what works best for them.

The Governor also extended and amended an Executive Order prohibiting alcohol sales for on-premises consumption between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The previous Executive Order prohibited the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption after 10:00 p.m. MT. The Governor applauded the entrepreneurial spirit of restaurants that have adapted to outdoor dining, a significantly safer environment than indoors, during this challenging time. 

The Governor also extended an Executive Order allowing for voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed. 


View the full news conference.