Jarded Polis

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks to reporters about the new coronavirus on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

CENTENNIAL — Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday implored — but did not go so far as to require — Coloradans to go out in public only if absolutely necessary as he tries to stem the spread of the new coronavirus and prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed in the coming days and weeks.

Polis said there aren’t enough law enforcement resources to enforce a decree — such as a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home mandate — ordering people to limit their time outside their homes. He argued that the risk of death should be motivating enough to keep people from venturing into public more than they need to.

“What will inspire people to do this, and what will lead people to do this, is not fear of a policeman taking you to jail,” he said. “It is fear of the Grim Reaper.”

Polis sounded exasperated as he spoke to reporters on Sunday at the state’s emergency operations center in Centennial. It has been less than three weeks since Colorado’s first coronavirus case was announced and already people’s lives have been significantly upended by the outbreak.

As he was addressing the media, news broke that a seventh person in Colorado has died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Colorado’s coronavirus case count is nearing 600 and Polis said if the current trajectory continues his advisers have warned him the state could be 7,000 ventilators short of their need to care for the critically ill.

See the full story at The Colorado Sun.

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