GREELEY, Colo. — Safety while celebrating Halloween and a rising trend in COVID-19 hospitalization and case numbers were among the updates Gov. Jared Polis addressed during a news briefing Friday.
The governor held the news conference at University of Northern Colorado (UNC) while making stops in Greeley, Windsor and Fort Collins.
Polis highlighted a recent trend in COVID-19 cases in the state:
- Nine of the last 14 days there was an upward trend in cases.
- Eleven of the last 14 days there was an upward trend in hospitalizations.
As of Oct. 1, there were 200 current hospitalizations due to COVID-19, the highest number since Aug. 9. The state's seven-day average positivity rate is at 3.42%, below the World Health Organization's recommended rate of 5%.
"We continue to be concerned about an upward trend in coronavirus," Polis said. "We need to really bear down here in Colorado. Wear a mask, be outside instead of inside. Avoid gatherings. That's where a lot of this occurs. Continue telecommuting when you can."
Polis said currently, about 65% of businesses in Colorado are telecommuting.
Polis also addressed upcoming Halloween celebrations in Colorado, saying he encouraged families to trick-or-treat in small groups or consider hosting an at-home celebration.
"If you're going to trick-or-treat, do it with family," Polis said, adding that masks should be worn at all times and candy should be eaten at home. "A lot of families are going to hide candy around the house and yard and will have a candy hunt."
Polis was joined at the briefing by:
- Betsy Markey, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade
- Rick Garcia, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs
- State Rep. Mary Young, whose district includes Greeley and Evans.
Markey, Garcia and Young mostly discussed COVID-19 relief funds and how they've benefited businesses in northern Colorado.
The briefing comes a day after President Donald Trump said he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, a White House official said they were experiencing "mild symptoms."
Polis addressed the news briefly, saying he wished a "speedy recovery" to anyone affected at the White House.
Polis also said that he thinks the White House did not have strong enough regulations around mask wearing and social distancing.
"We all don't have the luxury of the same level of testing as the White House," Polis said. "While testing is very important, testing alone is not the answer."
On Thursday, Polis tweeted "warm wishes" to the president.
On Friday morning, Polis met with small-business owners in Greeley and then toured a business, Distortions Unlimited, that received COVID-19 relief funds to support local artists.
On Friday afternoon in Windsor, the governor plans to visit another recipient of COVID-19 relief funds, Dementia Together, and then talk with teachers and faculty at Grandview Elementary School.
After that, he's scheduled to travel to Fort Collins to tour the River District and make a stop at Meals on Wheels Fort Collins, which is another recipient of COVID-19 relief funds.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus