Gov. Polis to Colorado: ‘Wear a damn mask’

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DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis has a strong message for Coloradans: “Wear a damn mask!”

Polis said in a press conference Thursday that the state has minimal capability to enforce a mask order, adding that it is up to local authorities to put those ordinances in place and enforce them.

The governor said upward of 60% of the state has mask-wearing requirements in place. He said that has helped the state but it is not enough.

“Don’t wait until there’s a mask-wearing ordinance in your area to wear one. Don’t just wear one because you might get a $200 ticket if you don’t,” Polis said. “Wear one because you might save your life. You also might save your job. You might save your stock portfolio. You might keep your local businesses open. Lots of good reasons to wear a mask. What Gov. Polis says is least among them.”

Colorado has had two consecutive days with more than 400 new cases per day. That is still significantly lower than other states experiencing surges and the country. The governor emphasized that the spread depends on behavior.

Polis referenced a call he had with experts, saying, “Much more of the spread of the virus depends on behavior than what the government policies are. It’s maybe 20% government policies, 80% behavior was the figure that they gave us.”

Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, and a large team of associates created a public-facing website to allow Coloradans to use the tools the experts use to project where the epidemic may go.

Polis related the pandemic to a marathon, saying it feels like we’ve been sprinting, but we need to pick up the pace and sustain it for the months to come.

“This modeling will show you intellectually why we need to do that. Why we need to do that is not political, it’s not ideological. It’s based on science,” Polis said. “You can see the same science that we see. You can make the informed decisions in your lives to do a little better.”

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