State Watch

Colorado governor says he was not exposed to COVID-19 after Aurora mayor tests positive

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) says he will not self-quarantine after appearing more than a week ago at a press conference with Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman (R), stating that he was not at risk following the latter’s contraction of the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office initially confirmed to The Associated Press that Polis would self-quarantine while waiting to hear from contact tracers. The governor’s office later confirmed to The Hill Sunday evening that state Health Department officials had determined he was not at risk of contracting the disease, allowing the governor to reverse his decision.

“Tricounty Health Department disease control investigators conducted an interview with Mayor Coffman this afternoon and have determined that there is no risk to Gov. Polis of being exposed to COVID-19 from Mayor Coffman during a joint appearance they had together on Oct. 15,” said the spokesperson.

“Therefore, Gov. Polis and others at that event with Mayor Coffman have been informed that they do not need to quarantine as a result of this situation. While the Governor was prepared to quarantine, he is relieved that there isn’t a reason to do so under health guidance,” they added.

Coffman announced his diagnosis Sunday on Twitter, writing that he experienced mild symptoms.

“My symptoms had cleared by Saturday so I went to an urgent care clinic today to get a rapid test so I could be able to go back to the office on Monday and resume my schedule. Unfortunately, the results of the test were positive. I will have to quarantine at home,” Coffman wrote.

Colorado has experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks as many states have seen rates of new infections rise with the beginning of fall. Officials reported 1,922 new cases on Saturday, according to The New York Times, and 599 are hospitalized for the virus across the state.

Polis has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. national coronavirus testing efforts, which he has said are “a complete disgrace” and “almost useless from an epidemiological or even diagnostic perspective.” The U.S. currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases, more than 8.7 million, of any country.

Updated at 12:25 a.m. with a statement from Polis’s office.

Tags Colorado Coronavirus COVID-19 Jared Polis Mike Coffman
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