polis presser 032520

Gov. Jared Polis addresses the media in issuing a statewide "stay at home" order on March 25, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Friday he wants to model the state's coronavirus response on South Korea, which relied on widespread testing, contact tracing and surveillance of all epidemiological activities to mitigate the virus.

South Korea has been heralded globally for its swift response to the pandemic, which appears to have slowed its rate of new infections.

"If we get this right, some might say we did too much too soon," Polis said. "I'd much rather be the recipient of that complaint than to have a full-scale public health disaster with tens of thousands of Coloradans paying the ultimate price."

Thursday, local elected leaders and health officials were grappling with ways to enforce the regulation.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said at a news conference Thursday that "voluntary compliance" will be critical in the governor's sweeping effort to control the rise of COVID-19. Violating the order will result in warnings before tickets are issued, city officials said.

"To be clear, this stay-at-home order from the governor is not a suggestion. It's the law," Suthers said, adding, "We simply do not have the law enforcement resources to man every park, every trail, every open space, every small business in our community."


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Contact Liz Henderson, 719-476-1623

Twitter: @GazetteLiz

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