Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, July 9, 2020

DENVER - Governor Jared Polis was joined by Dr. Jonathan Samet, Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health to provide an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and unveiled an interactive Colorado COVID model from the Colorado School of Public Health. This is a new tool that can help individuals, businesses, local public health agencies and local governments, visualize their own role in stopping the spread of COVID and preventing a public health emergency.

“This exciting new tool at shows just how important our actions are in keeping our economy moving in the right direction and preventing a surge in cases. We are committed to using data and the latest information when making decisions, and this tool gives a glimpse into the type of data we are looking at,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s up to each of us to do a bit better than we have been at wearing masks, following social distancing protocols, and washing our hands. And not party. If we let up, even for a moment, then Colorado will begin to see more and more cases like our neighboring states. Wear a damn mask.”

This application displays the predictive model of the COVID-19 epidemic in Colorado. Coloradans can use the model to see how different factors, like wearing a mask, can change the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado in the future. The factors can be adjusted to see how different scenarios play out. 

For example, the following can be changed in the tool:

  • The current level of social distancing for the general population

  • The levels of social distancing for the general population starting in mid-August, about when many kids are going back to school

  • The level of social distancing for people over 65, who may be at a higher risk of a severe outcome if they contract covid

  • The portion of the population wearing masks

  • The number of contacts traced for every case

  • And how quickly those contacts are traced


Gov. Polis today signed the Protect Our Neighbors Executive Order which directs CDPHE to create a certification process to allow local communities to move from Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors to Protect Our Neighbors. CDPHE will also issue a corresponding Public Health Order. To qualify for Protect Our Neighbors, a county or a region must: 

  • Certify that they meet qualification metrics established by CDPHE; and

  • Submit a mitigation and containment plan on what the county or region will do if they fall out of compliance with one or more of these metrics, and documentation of support for the plan by local officials, law enforcement, and any others identified by CDPHE. 

Governor Polis highlighted a study that shows nationwide, universal mask-wearing would save five percent of the national GDP, which is about a trillion dollars of economic activity. The Governor fully supports the local mask ordinances, and applauded community leaders that have helped pass them.

Gov. Polis also announced that the federal government has extended the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program until August 8. There is $129 billion remaining in the fund which can be used as forgivable loans for small businesses that need aid. Visit  for more information.

In May, the Office of eHealth Innovation and the eHealth Commission secured $2 million in funding for telemedicine projects in partnership with Health Care Policy and Financing from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid. Gov. Polis today announced the awardees for the first cohort of telemedicine projects. 

The Office of eHealth and the eHealth Commission will distribute $394,844 to the following organizations for their innovative efforts:

  • Axis Health System in Southwest Colorado

  • Beverly Hawp & Associates in Colorado Springs

  • Clinica Family Health in the North Denver Metro Area

  • Colorado Coalition for the Homeless based in Denver

  • Developmental Disabilities Resource Center based in Lakewood, and 

  • Mental Health Center of Denver. 

These projects were selected because they will better prepare the state for the next phase of COVID-19, provide insight for key partners such as the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and help solidify the new normal of expanded access to virtual care. 

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 126, extending the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19.

View the Governor’s news conference and the Governor’s presentation