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Polis visits Western Slope, gives update on COVID-19 response

The governor gave an update from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction with State Sen. Kerry Donovan and state Rep. Janice Rich.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) was on the Western Slope Friday to highlight the region's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Polis gave an update on the state's response to COVID-19 at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) in Grand Junction. State Sen. Kerry Donovan and state Rep. Janice Rich joined the governor. 

While CU Boulder is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 among its student population, Polis highlighted CMU efforts to promote social distancing, including concerts and other outdoor activities.

"The answer is not, 'no you can't have fun,'" Polis said. " It is, 'here's how to have fun in a safe way. I hope other colleges can look at how Colorado Mesa is doing a good job."

Polis also said the state is providing 47,000 free medical grade masks each week to Western Slope teachers. 

Polis also state that the state lab has been working to get COVID-19 test results back within two days. Currently, he says that the turnaround time for test results is usually within two days, sometimes three. 

When asked about last call orders, Polis said he encouraged communities ready to move forward with late night activities to do so, and said that he would support local legislatures that vote to have no last call once the pandemic is over.

Polis also planned to make stops in Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction throughout the day.

His first stop on Friday morning was the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club in Montrose, which was a recipient of a COVID-19 Relief Fund grant to provide food to the community during spring break.

After that, he planned stops at Delta Middle School and Delta County Memorial Hospital in Delta, before heading to Grand Junction to meet with student leaders at Colorado Mesa University.

Later in the day, Polis was set to host a roundtable conversation at Colorado Mesa University with RAW, Right and Wrong, to discuss equity, diversity and inclusion, and to tour Grand Junction's downtown.

Mesa County, which includes Grand Junction, is one of only five counties in Colorado that are at the Protect Our Neighbors phase of COVID-19 response. Montrose and Delta counties are at Safer Level 1.

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