GOV. POLIS: We Have To Get This Right

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks on Monday, May 4.

Monday, Colorado took another step towards reopening with businesses now able to ramp up on-site work forces up to 50 percent.

Many stores opened their doors to the public again last Friday, May 4 and some personal services were also able to resume on that day.

Gov. Jared Polis says It is critical that the Safer At Home phase is successful. And that success hinges on combining the right balance of addressing the public health issue and reopening the economy.

"We have no option. We have to get this right as a state," the gov. said. "Having a humanitarian crisis and mass deaths on our hands is not a valid option and preventing people from earning an income and destroying our economy is not a valid option."

"We have to, and we are, find a better way, as states across the country, as countries across the world are doing, to engage in the activities we need to as people in as safe a way as possible."

The governor and his team worked with 35 retail associations and hundreds of personal service providers, chambers of commerce, hospitals, college and junior colleges, child care providers, real estate agents and local governments through a series of webinars and online feedback to formulate the public health and safety guidelines for businesses.

While businesses can now have 50 percent of their work forces on-site, the governor would like to see companies continue with remote staffing as much as possible.

"We've received thousands of online comments to make sure the safety guidelines correspond to reality in Colorado," the governor said.

While businesses will likely have to make some adjustments, Gov. Polis said any needed changes should not be major ones.

"There aren't additional expenses being foisted on our small businesses," he said. "It's common sense stuff that we're trying to figure out and provide real guidance on. Basically, trying to stay apart from other workers where you can and wearing masks when you contact the public. Those are the basic elements."

He said businesses need to implement smaller changes, such as providing hand sanitizer and placing decals on the floor to assist with social distancing.

Other highlights of the governor's news conference on Monday:

--He paid tribute to late Aurora paramedic Paul Cary, who died after contracting COVID-19 while volunteering in New York City.

--People can now look up community testing sites online at: He said there are at least 20 sites now up and running.

--Restaurants will not likely be able to open again for in-person dining for at least two weeks. Gov. Polis said they need some data for a couple weeks before being able to set a possible opening date for restaurants.

--As the budget takes shape, the state will have to tighten its belt in the same way citizens have had to. Gov. Polis indicated there are "difficult days ahead in regard to the services the state is providing"

The governor's full remarks are below.

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