CDPHE: Some Guidelines To Reopen The State

While Gov. Jared Polis has yet to give a full set of specifics about what he needs to see before lifting Colorado's COVID-19 stay-at-home order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shared some guidelines it is using to advise the governor.

Thursday, CDPHE Incident Commander Scott Bookman said the first item is widespread testing has to be in place throughout the state.

"Having enough testing capacity is one of the key requirements to opening up the state," Bookman said. "Until we have locations and partners and all of the equipment that we will need to do so, we won't be able to implement our testing strategy which is just one of those foundational elements of reopening."

Bookman said the entire state needs access to COVID-19 testing.

"Our goal is to have a minimum of one testing site in each county. Obviously, in our rural counties one site might be enough for volume but we may need to move it around based on the geography of those counties."

Bookman noted that counties with larger populations would have numerous testing sites.

"We will also need to have all the equipment, that is swabs and viral transport media and personal protective equipment to safely open these sites for everyone."

State epidemiology Dr. Rachel Herlihy says strategies need to be in place to minimize transmission of the virus when the governor lifts the stay-at-home order.

"The idea is when the stay-at-home order is lifted that we would have alternative solutions to reduce transmission," she said. Along with widespread testing, those strategies include "isolation and quarantine, perhaps some other social distancing that would be a little less than a stay-at-home order, other screening practices in businesses and nursing homes and other settings that could also limit transmissions."

CDPHE is trying to come up with a set of options to give the governor that will keep the impact of COVID-19 low as the state reopens.

"The challenge we have right now is trying to estimate how much each of those strategies might be able to limit disease transmission and then come up with the appropriate menus of options to use to try and match what we're achieving right now with the stay-at-home order," Dr. Herlihy said.

The stay-at-home order currently runs through April 26.

The full teleconference is below, followed by a rundown of questions.

4-16-20 Dr. Rachel Herlihy and Scott Bookman CDPHE teleconference

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