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Colorado governor encourages seniors to continue staying at home, gives ok to some mountain tourism

The governor's mom talked about what it's like to be a senior quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic during Thursday's news conference.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) had few new updates to share during a news conference Thursday afternoon, but he took questions from the media and also gave his mother the chance to discuss what it’s like quarantining as an at-risk senior.

“Probably the hardest part is being away from my family, it’s really hard,” said Susan Polis Schutz, 76. She co-founded greeting card and book publisher Blue Mountain Arts with Polis’ father.

During Tuesday’s news conference, Polis said modeling data indicates that seniors at risk for COVID-19 should plan on staying at home for the foreseeable future. He said his parents have not gone out in public since March, when the state first went into a stay-at-home order.

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That was lifted at the end of April, and restaurants were given the go-ahead to reopen for dine-in service starting this week with 50% capacity and the option to expand outdoor seating areas.

The governor said his daughter is signed up for a day camp — another business that will reopen under the safer-at-home order — and that he's hopeful his family will go to a restaurant in the coming weeks.  

“We’ll see if the first time we go out is June or July, but I know we’ll look forward to taking the family out to a restaurant with the kids,” Polis said.

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Gyms, which have been allowed to reopen in variances granted to 12 Colorado counties, will likely remain a local decision, Polis said.

The governor has held three media availabilities per week during the COVID-19 pandemic, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This week’s news conferences have been on Tuesday and Thursday.

Polis also said Coloradans can travel and camp in the mountains, as long as they abide by local restrictions. While some mountain communities are asking visitors to stay away, others have started to once again welcome tourists.

“I think it’s perfectly fine to visit those communities,” Polis said.

Modeling data presented on Tuesday shows that Coloradans will likely have to continue to limit their social interactions by more than half for months ahead in order to avoid overwhelming hospitals with novel coronavirus patients.

 The governor expressed hope he would be able to see his parents in person again in July or August.

“[One] silver lining is the gratitude I have for life and our family and the love that we have, and I’ll never again take anything for granted,” Schutz said.

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