El Paso County Public Health issued its own Public Health Order on Monday for residents to comply with the Colorado order on staying home and physical distancing.

“This local Public Health Order mainly streamlines the Public Health Orders issued by the state and reinforces the importance for El Paso County residents to comply with Public Health directions to Stay At Home unless for essential outings," county public health director Susan Wheelan said in a news release. "I appreciate everyone’s help in protecting the safety, health and well-being of themselves, their families and the community."

Colorado's stay-at-home order is working, but it will have to last a little longer, Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday evening as he extended the restriction to April 26.

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As of Monday, a month since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were reported in Colorado, the state had reported 5,172 positive cases and 150 deaths related to the virus. El Paso County reported 441 cases and 28 deaths.

But Polis pointed to good news in how the coronavirus is spreading with the number of reported cases doubling more slowly than earlier. He attributed it to people cooperating with social distancing and the stay-at-home measures. Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released modeling results from public health scientists Monday, showing the effectiveness of social distancing.

The slowing does not mean a return to normal behavior, he said, encouraging residents to continue following the restrictions.

"I want to thank each and every one of you who has been taking this seriously," Polis said. "You are truly helping to turn the tide against this virus...This is not the time to abandon what's been working."

Polis issued the original order March 25, requiring residents to only leave home for essential duties such as work if it couldn't be done remotely, grocery shopping or medical appointments. The order was initially set to expire on April 11.

The Gazette's Mary Shinn contributed to this article



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