Colorado governor extends school and ski area closures due to coronavirus pandemic

Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) has issued an executive order extending his state’s closures at schools and ski areas in a continued effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

In a news release that was distributed on Wednesday evening, Polis said he has now all ordered all of the state’s public and private schools to cease in-person learning through April 17. This means that class will now be conduced entirely online for Colorado students.

The governor said his order also directs school systems to continue providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast to kids in need.

In a not-unexpected development, the governor said he will also extend the closure of ski areas through April 6. This comes the same day that Vail’s hospital said it was experiencing an influx of coronavirus patients.

Mountain communities have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

Finally, in conjunction with a statement President Donald Trump made earlier this week, Polis said his office also issued an order barring public gatherings of more than 10 people.

“I want to challenge Coloradans to do our part, each and every one of us, to help us all get through this,” Polis said.

Earlier Wednesday, Polis announced a relief fund aimed at helping Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.

Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at As of Wednesday night, it had raised $3 million and the governor said he was reaching out to large organizations for donations.

These donations will help fund everything from medical supplies to staff at homeless shelters and aid for service workers who have lost their jobs due to an order from the governor’s office that restaurants cease all operations outside of takeout and delivery.

Polis also asked that people donate blood if they can, since blood banks are reporting shortages.

The governor added that childcare on a sliding scale based on income has been established for essential workers. Nonessential workers have been asked to work from home, but parents who work as emergency workers or at grocery stores will still be going to work.

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