The governor of Colorado declared a state of emergency and seeks to increase testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus after more than a dozen cases have been confirmed in his state.
Gov. Jared Polis made the declaration Tuesday to give the state more access to resources, “legal flexibility,” and the ability to better contain the outbreak, according to the state’s emergency management agency.
“We’re acting quickly and decisively because the quicker we can respond, the quicker we can protect the most vulnerable,” Polis said at a press conference, reported an ABC affiliate in Denver. Colorado, as of Tuesday, has confirmed 15 cases of COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University map.
“The top priority is to expand testing capacity in Colorado so eventually we can reach the point where anyone who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms can be tested,” Polis remarked, reported CBS Denver. “We will continue the pressure on our federal government to rapidly expand testing capacity and ensure that Colorado has enough tests that we can identify positive cases, isolate them and quarantine those who may have been exposed,” the governor added.
A number of other states have declared states of emergency over the spread of the virus, which includes symptoms such as respiratory problems, a cough, fever, and can cause pneumonia. Colorado’s state of emergency is a 30-day order that can be renewed.
Polis said he has told the Department of Labor and Employment to allow some workers to take paid sick leave or miss work if they experience flu-like symptoms.
The Johns Hopkins website says that more than 800 cases of COVID-19, which first emerged in China last year, have been confirmed in the United States to date.