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Gov. Jared Polis gives update on COVID-19 as Colorado enters ‘Safer at Home’ phase

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DENVER (KRDO) -- Monday marks the first day of the next phase in Colorado's response to the COVID-19 epidemic: millions of Coloradans are now urged to follow "safer at home" guidelines, and businesses are starting to reopen with restrictions.

Gov. Jared Polis gave an update Monday on the status of COVID-19 in the state. Watch below:

As of Sunday, the state has seen 13,441 positive tests for coronavirus, and 680 people have died.

Governor Jared Polis addressed concerns from those in the State who believe the State-wide stay at home ordered should have been extended. Polis saying that where the State is now extending the order would not be as beneficial. “The evidence that we've seen shows that extending the stay at home order would not reduce the severity without the continued ongoing interventions to flatten the curve,” Polis says. Since Colorado is seeing fewer COVID-19 cases and fewer hospitalizations it is time to move to the next phase.

However, for those who still feel uncomfortable going into work, Polis says employers can't force their workers to come in who are more susceptible to the virus, “No vulnerable individual can be compelled by their employer to return to work if the work requires in-person work near others and puts that employee at risk," Polis says, "If the work can be done remotely employers need to accommodate vulnerable individuals with remote work options." This also applies to parents who have no place to drop off their children when they work.

Polis also addressed the flip-side of this. For those counties and businesses who want to re-open without the precautions in place, there will be consequences unlike before, “Enforcement is absolutely critical.” Those who don't abide by the Safer at Home orders will be punished. Polis says, “Businesses as well who are disregarding these safety regulations will be issued a cease and desist order and can also have their licenses removed.”

The Governor says he's counting on the people to be the eyes and ears to make sure these regulations are in place. If they are not, he encourages people to call their county health department or the Attorney General's Office.

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