DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis ended the state’s pandemic state of emergency Thursday, more than 15 months after the arrival of the novel coronavirus to our state.
“Today I am ending the health emergency declaration in Colorado,” Polis said in a video announcement posted to the governor’s Twitter account. “That means getting Coloradans back to work sooner and allowing our state to recover faster by ending the health emergency, and focusing on recovery and vaccinations.”
Though Polis acknowledged “COVID-19 still here and will likely always be a part of our lives,” he said hospital capacity is no longer in jeopardy in our state and added the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to those who want to get the shot.
To date, 70.32% of adult Coloradans have received at least one dose of the three currently available vaccines in the United States, according to a spokesperson with the governor’s office. Nearly 53% of all Coloradans are fully vaccinated.
The announcement came as the City of Denver hosts the MLB All-Star Game and its related activities, which officially begin Friday.
Along with ending the state’s emergency health order Thursday, Polis also rescinded all previous executive orders issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic and signed a Recovery Executive Order that would focus the state’s efforts on economic recovery.
The governor had issued more than 400 executive orders since Colorado declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020 – a declaration that was extended 26 times, the latest of which was set to expire Saturday, according to a memorandum issued Tuesday by legislative council staff.
Back in June, Polis told the newspaper he would begin to phase out the executive authority he had been granted during the pandemic.
“This has been a challenging year for our state and country,” Polis said in a prepared statement Thursday. “We've experienced pain and loss but through it all, Coloradans did their part, made good choices by wearing masks, socially distancing, and sacrificing moments with loved ones, and we succeeded in having one of the lowest COVID fatality rates in the nation.”
Polis advised Coloradans to remain vigilant against COVID-19 variants, and said the state is managing the response with local public health officials. Currently, about 71% of all cases of the coronavirus in the state can be attributed to the delta variant, a more virulent strain of the new virus which was first identified in India back in December of last year.
In his remarks, Polis continued to urge people who had not yet been vaccinated to get the vaccine, citing a statement from Dr. Fauci who reported last week that 99% of deaths from COVID-19 in June were among the unvaccinated.
“Today, thanks to the decisions and resilience of Coloradans, our economy is roaring back and we are taking the next bold step to ensure Colorado is building back stronger than before,” Polis said.