State provides latest modeling data on pandemic and seeks input on draft guidelines

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DENVER, June 1, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) today released additional modeling results from an expert group of public health scientists led by the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH). The state is also seeking feedback on draft guidance for places of worship, personal recreation, and outdoor industries by Wednesday at noon. Updated guidance for short-term rentals goes into effect today.

The latest Colorado modeling report is available to the public, as are the presentation slides from today’s media briefing. All modeling reports are available on the Colorado School of Public Health’s COVID-19 website. 

The report provides an estimate of the degree of distancing that Coloradans have achieved so far. It also provides projections based on various policy scenarios around physical distancing, mask-wearing, and improved case detection and containment. The models are based on Colorado data and assumptions.

Key findings from today’s report:

  • Mobility data show a continued decline in time spent at home, likely reflecting the change from Stay at Home to Safer at Home.  

  • The updated model findings, which cover the period through May 14, indicate that COVID-19 continues to decline in Colorado, but the declines have begun to slow. 

  • The extent the community is social distancing has dropped to 75% through May 14 as the entire state moved to Safer at Home. The reproductive number is increasing.

  • Modeling projections that extend into the summer and through November 2020 continue to indicate a need for social distancing of at least 65% unless most people 60 years and older maintain high levels of social distancing (80%) as seen during the Stay-at-Home period.  

  • Relaxation of social distancing to lower levels (45% or lower) is predicted to lead to a surge in sick people in excess of hospital capacity by mid-summer, even if implemented with mask-wearing, increased case detection and isolation, and higher levels of social distancing by all older adults. 

  • Model findings indicate that increased mask-wearing will help control the COVID-19 epidemic. 

With the knowledge of the latest modeling data, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is also seeking feedback on draft guidelines today. Coloradans can review draft guidelines in the following areas:

The deadline for providing feedback is Wednesday, June 3, at noon. The draft guidance may be updated based on stakeholder feedback and will go in effect when announced as final on June 4.

Colorado is still in the Safer-at-Home phase of this pandemic, and the state continues to recommend that everyone stay at home as much as possible. Existing guidance for businesses that can operate is available at The state added guidance for short-term rentals today, and it goes into effect immediately. In addition, the state revised the guidelines for personal services and child care, which will go into effect June 4.

As Colorado continues Safer at Home, there are a number of criteria the state is considering when making decisions on what can be reopened safely.

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?

  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?

  • Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?

  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?

  • What’s the level of physical health risk vs. societal/economic/psychological benefit? 

  • Is the policy sustainable?

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