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'If people aren't taking precautions, it will show up the in data': Polis on Colorado's path forward

The governor shared updates from the Colorado State Capitol about the latest COVID-19 response efforts.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) on Monday shared updates on the state's response to COVID-19, as well as a timeline as the state begins to reopen under the safer-at-home order.

Two weeks ago, the state transitioned to a safer-at-home period, and now residents are eager to hear about the next steps in the process, Polis said. 

Polis said around May 25, officials will have data from Colorado's first few weeks under the safer-at-home order to begin conversations on when and how restaurants can reopen in-house seating. He said he hopes to have in-restaurant dining by the end of May.

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Also at the end of May, Polis said the decision will be made on summer camps. Polis said these timelines all depend on how well Coloradans are taking precautions including staying home, wearing masks and limiting social interaction.

"If people aren’t taking precautions, it will show up in data," he said.

Camping in state parks is available starting May 12 through reservations. Polis, however, urged those choosing to camp to shop for goods near their homes and not in areas in which they are camping. "Respect host counties," he said, this is not a tourism opportunity.

Polis said businesses such as gyms and nightclubs are highly social and a timeline on those has not been determined yet. Some gyms are open to appointment-only personal training for now.

Polis said he will be traveling to Washington D.C. this week to meet with President Trump to discuss the pandemic. 

C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen  

Polis in Monday's news conference said a cafe in Castle Rock will have its business license suspended indefinitely after the owners decided to open on Sunday. 

RELATED: Cafe in Castle Rock ordered to close for violation of public health order

Polis said he was disappointed to see businesses actively breaking the law.

"My mom is 75, and she's watching this. Hi, mom. And I want her to be with us for decades to come," Polis said. "So yes, like most Coloradans I didn't get to see her in person in April or May, and I didn't get to take her out for lunch on Mother's Day.

"I love my mom far too much to put her at risk by visiting a busy restaurant operating illegally just to take a selfie with omelets and a mimosa."

Under Colorado's food and protection act, C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen's (also called C&C Cafe) business license will likely be suspended for at least 30 days, he said. 

The Tri-County Health Department issued an order about 12:30 pm. Monday that means C&C must stay closed until the county health department determines that it's in compliance with the state's safer-at-home public health orders, according to a news release.

Polis said as Coloradans, we don't have to agree with every law, but we do have to follow them. He said businesses operating illegally are potentially putting employees at risk of losing jobs. 

Literacy initiative

While teachers and school districts are working hard to ensure students are learning from home, Polis said the COVID-19 pandemic has made learning difficult. 

Polis urged a strong literacy foundation is critical and announced a new initiative in which high-quality curriculum in literacy and English language learning will air for two hours every morning on Rocky Mountain PBS beginning at 8 a.m. May 18. 

The Colorado Classroom learning from home programming is geared toward students in grades K-3, he said. 

Last week 

During a remote press briefing Friday afternoon, Polis said he was optimistic that restaurants will be able to reopen for some form of in-person service by Memorial Day weekend.

Under Colorado's safer-at-home order, which went into effect April 27, nonessential businesses and offices can reopen with strict social distancing and disinfecting practices in place. Restaurants, bars and coffee shops still have to keep their seating areas closed.

RELATED: Castle Rock cafe reopens despite public health order

The governor also said Friday that he is hopeful state parks could reopen their campgrounds by Memorial Day weekend. Nevertheless, he said he could not offer a date for when Coloradans will be allowed to travel more than 10 miles from their homes for recreation.

Polis said he was tracking data regarding hospitalizations to determine whether tighter restrictions are needed as the economy reopens and many people return to work, albeit with stricter guidelines about social distancing.

RELATED: Polis hopeful restaurants can reopen this month, says mountain communities aren’t ready for visitors

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