Since the novel coronavirus first entered the state last month, Colorado’s top health officials have spoken repeatedly about the need for more extensive testing, particularly as a way to measure how the virus is spreading after the statewide stay-at-home eases and people return to businesses and a modified version of normal life.
Gov. Jared Polis has routinely expressed his frustration at the lack of extensive testing, a problem that has impacted every state in the country as supply chains can’t keep up, forcing states to compete with each other for resources.
But as the governor’s stay-at-home mandate was set to end Sunday, he had a calculation to make. The science is clear, public health experts say: Widespread testing, combined with strategic and targeted isolation and quarantines, is the ideal way to track hot spots and outbreaks before they overwhelm hospitals, while simultaneously allowing others to return, at least partially, to daily life.
That testing simply hasn’t come. And Polis chose not to wait any longer.
“There’s the best way to do this and then there’s the way we’re gonna have to do this,” said Daniel Goldberg, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health. “There’s not an ideal way. It’s not our world — it’s the virus’s world.”