Despite repeated warnings from elected state and health officials to avoid mountain travel, there is still an "alarming" number of people traveling to Colorado's mountain communities in the wake of a global coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday.
Visiting mountain towns while the coronavirus sweeps the country is "just dumb," Polis said at a news conference. Eagle County, where more than 220 people have been reported infected with the virus as of Tuesday, was considered the epicenter of COVID-19 in Colorado.
"This is not a vacation," Polis reiterated Wednesday, "this is a pandemic." Click here for more from the Wednesday press conference.
The governor had a similar message at a news conference last week, when he reminded Coloradans that "just like a tornado or a flood is not a vacation, now is not the time to drive two or three hours from Denver to mountain communities, many of which are reeling from the crisis."
According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Eagle and Gunnison counties have the highest case rates per 100,000 people in the counties' population.
"The last thing you should want to do is drive to your second residence, or a hotel, or a cabin in the mountains," Polis said last week.
"Unfortunately, some still think this is a joke, but it's not," Polis said Wednesday, adding that the coronavirus crisis is the most serious global pandemic in a century.
The Gazette's Erin Prater contributed to this report.