If recent protests in cities like Denver and Colorado Springs in response to the police killing of a black man, George Floyd, have resulted in coronavirus transmission, "I think we will start seeing that any day now," Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday.
"There's almost a certainty there was some transmission at those large gatherings," he said at an afternoon press conference, held at the governor's residence in Denver.
It's only a matter of how large the transmission was, he added.
As of Thursday, however, the state continued on a "stable trend," Polis said, adding that the state has seen a downward trend in positive cases eight of the last 14 days and a downward trend in hospitalizations 11 of the past 14 days.
As of Thursday, there had been 28,647 cases of coronavirus diagnosed in the state and 1,338 deaths, according to the latest state data.
Spiking virus rates in neighboring Arizona and Utah top his list of concerns due to travel back and forth between states, he said. The U.S. saw a regional outbreak in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut because "a virus doesn't understand state borders," he said.
"We so no evidence yet of that leading to increased transmission on our side of the border, but we watch that, and we worry."
In other news:
- Polis said he's "thrilled" in response to word that C&C Coffee & Kitchen, a Castle Rock restaurant shuttered by the state for operating against a public health order after a video of the packed restaurant on Mother's Day went viral, may reopen this weekend.
- When asked by a reporter for his thoughts on an amendment to the country's annual military spending bill that would require the Department of Defense to change the names of military bases named after Confederate leaders, Polis said, "We want to learn from history. ... The answer is certainly not to sweep that under the rug and pretend it didn't happen. It's to confront it head on, to talk about the complex and difficult legacy of racism borne out of the original sin of slavery, and how the nation can come to terms with racism in a country where everybody is created equal under God, and how we can manifest that in deed and in action, not just in words in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence."
- Asymptomatic cases of coronavirus may be of a lower transmission risk than those that are symptomatic, Polis said, cautioning that there are documented cases of asymptomatic individuals spreading the virus.