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As omicron variant spreads in Colorado, governor implores Coloradans to be cautious this Christmas

Nearly 1,100 hospitalized in Colorado
Holiday Travel
Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 20:21:16-05

DENVER — Roughly 1,100 people are currently in the hospital in Colorado with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, according to the governor during a Tuesday press conference.

That is a dramatic improvement from a month ago, and it makes the thought of sliding backwards that much more unbearable.

Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday his job remains a tricky business of balancing health and safety while allowing businesses to remain open after nearly two years in the pandemic.

Businesses continue to navigate through muddy waters as well.

“Our goal is to give that sense of hospitality, and it can be challenging sometimes when people just do not want to wear their masks,” said Samantha Taxin, general manager of The Cherry Cricket Ballpark location. “For the most part, we've been okay. But being kind to the guests is our goal."

While Denver's mask mandate remains in place through the holidays, Polis said Tuesday he will not be issuing a statewide mask mandate.

The governor also said Colorado will continue with robust, free at-home testing, something the federal government is now trying to duplicate. The state has sent out over 1.3 million tests, Polis said Tuesday. Anyone interested in signing up for the program can click here.

The governor also encouraged Coloradans to get boosted and equated the unvaccinated to flat-Earthers.

“I knew that there would be a few Coloradans that wouldn't want to get vaccinated,” Polis said. “There's a few percent of Coloradans who believe everything. There are a few percent who believe the Earth is flat, that birds aren't real."

But he also encouraged compassion regarding personal choice, breaking from President Joe Biden's message that unvaccinated people should not get together with friends and family this holiday season.

“I want to encourage my fellow Coloradans to bring joy, celebrations, food and gifts to their holiday get-togethers, but not COVID-19,” Polis said. “That means we encourage testing before you get together with large groups, particularly those groups unvaccinated or those who are elderly."

A the Cherry Cricket, they're committed to following whatever guidelines help keep the doors open.

"We're all just so happy to be open,” Taxin said. “And being with the guests and with our team and just having fun as much as we can as safe as possible."