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Colorado, Nevada Join The ‘Western States Pact’

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Sacramento, CA — Two more states have joined California, Oregon and Washington to address COVID-19 recovery in what is now being called the Western States Pact.

Monday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak made the announcement that they had joined the pact, effectively a working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.

In thanking them, Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries, and it will take every level of government, working together to get the upper hand on this virus.”

Polis explained, “Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states.” He added, “There’s no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, to keep our people safe and help our economy rebound.”

Sisolak affirmed the sharing of critical information and best practices on how to mitigate the spread, protect the health and safety of residents, and reopen responsibly will be invaluable as the governors chart the paths forward. He noted, “Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination, and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback.” 

Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently outlined in the initial agreement that gradually modifying their states’ stay at home orders while continuing to fight COVID-19 would include three shared foundational principles: residents health comes first; health outcomes and science — not politics — would guide decisions; and the states would only be effective by working together and with their local leaders and communities within their own borders.

In addition to that the Western States Pact shares four common goals: protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected, including a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions by maintaining adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment; mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts particularly on disadvantaged communities; and protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states are planning to work together sharing best practices.

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