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Polis extends mask mandate for 30 days as cases, hospitalizations increase

The governor asked again that people limit social gatherings for the next few weeks while expressing optimism over Pfizer's latest vaccine study.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) extended the statewide mask mandate for another 30 days on Monday and emphasized that Coloradans must do more to stop the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

There are 3,301 new cases and 1,060 patients currently hospitalized in Colorado as of Monday, Polis said.

"We need the resolve to not let this virus win," he said.

The seven-day, moving average positivity rate increased to 11.13% on Sunday, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Positivity is an important indicator of the status of COVID-19 in the state. The World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2020 recommended that the positivity rate be at or below 5% to contain the virus.

"This is going to get worse before it gets better," the governor said, as he asked for people to further limit social interactions with those outside their household for the next few weeks.

The extension of the statewide mask mandate for another 30 days was the only mandate Polis announced on Monday. He praised local governments for handling outbreaks in their communities and said authorities have done much to increase the availability of testing and PPE.

"What's on you?" he said. "The rest of it."

Polis repeated what's he's pushed throughout the pandemic: People need to wear masks, socially distance, wash their hands and avoid gatherings with those outside their household. He said 1 in 105 Coloradans is currently infected with COVID-19.

"Treat everybody like it’s that person because you might not know who that is. Often you won’t," he said.

On a more encouraging note, Polis expressed optimism over the announcement Monday from Pfizer that it's COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective with no serious safety concerns and that they're projecting to produce up to 50 million doses this year.

Based off Pfizer's projections, Polis said he hopes there will be 100,000 to 200,000 doses available for distribution in Colorado this year. The state released its vaccine distribution plan last month.

RELATED: Colorado submits vaccine distribution plan as cases continue to increase

RELATED: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 90% effective

"Really good news," Polis said. "But we’re not in the clear yet."

More counties and cities across Colorado are tightening COVID-19 restrictions as cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates continue to trend upward. Several counties announced last week that they are moving back to a more restrictive levels on the state's COVID-19 dial dashboard with the hopes of avoiding another stay-at-home order. 

A "Home by 10" public health order went into effect Sunday, Nov. 8 in Denver in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 as hospitalizations related to the virus reached an all-time high in the state.

RELATED: 'We're on a dangerous path': Denver's 'Home by 10' order takes effect

RELATED: Here are the Colorado counties that are moving to tighter COVID-19 restrictions

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