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Polis urges Coloradans to 'err on the side of caution' over July 4th weekend

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) — Governor Jared Polis urged Coloradans to use caution and practice social distancing while celebrating during the July 4th weekend.

Polis’ office additionally gave guidelines in a news release that said to “please skip the fireworks and campfires this year,” citing fire prevention during a dry season and noting that fires could lead to lower summer air quality “which would be very bad in the middle of a pandemic where the disease attacks your respiratory system.” 

Colorado has seen a slight increase in daily COVID-19 cases over the past couple weeks, the governor said Tuesday. The governor also ordered bars to reclose in-person services in an attempt to blunt further case number increases.

People celebrating in large groups or in public could pose a risk of the virus’ continued spread. Polis said in a statement Thursday that while Independence Day is worth celebrating “with freedom comes responsibility.” 

“Whether Coloradans are enjoying our great outdoors or having a cookout, people should celebrate this 4th of July by staying on the trail that leads to suppressing the virus and rebuilding our economy,” he said. “That means wearing masks, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, and avoiding risky activities.”

“This Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom that so many fought to gain, but with freedom comes responsibility, so please exercise personal responsibility, use common sense, and err on the side of caution,” he added.

The governor’s administration said gatherings should be outside and urged smaller groups than normal.