President Trump approves disaster declaration for Colorado amid virus
DENVER (AP) — President Donald Trump on Saturday approved a disaster declaration for Colorado, allowing additional federal assistance for the state, tribal and local response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“This declaration ensures that Colorado can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a news release. “I thank the members of Colorado’s federal delegation who advocated for this funding to recognize the seriousness of this public health crisis unfolding hour by hour in our state.”
The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in Colorado jumped by 13 Saturday for a total of 44 deaths, while more than 2,060 people have tested positive, state public health officials said. Two Pitkin County resident died in the past week.
Also, survey results released Saturday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show a large majority of Coloradans are “very concerned” about COVID-19 and are taking extra precautions to keep the community healthy.
About 72% of the nearly 45,000 polled said they were very concerned, officials said, although that number dropped to 59% among 18- to 29-year-olds. Nearly 90% of respondents, however, think it’s somewhat or very likely that they would get sick from the coronavirus.
More than 95% overall said they are washing their hands more frequently and avoiding large gatherings.
“This survey shows what we already knew, that Coloradans are strong, and we are all in this together,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a news release. “We’re relieved to see that so many people are doing their part to slow the spread of this deadly virus. If we keep this up, we will protect our health care system from being overloaded with critical cases and countless lives will be saved.”
Survey results also showed nearly half the respondents have had symptoms indicative of generalized anxiety over the last two weeks.
The survey was conducted before Polis ordered people statewide to stay home.
Officials said those who took the survey may have been more concerned about COVID-19 and may have been more likely to have made behavior changes. The survey link was shared widely after the survey’s release, officials said, “so that bias may have been reduced.” Officials also said although people of all racial and ethnic groups took the survey, Hispanic and African American participants were underrepresented.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.