News and Updates 

5/26/20

Gov. Polis today discussed the new state guidelines around in-person dining at restaurants, day camps, and private campgrounds, as well as the decision-making process around implementing or loosening restrictions. 

 

“Coloradans have done an incredible job of staying at home and taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their neighbors safe,” said Governor Jared Polis. “That’s why we are able to take the first steps toward reopening restaurants, giving more Coloradans the chance to return to work, and encouraging more Coloradans to enjoy our incredible outdoor spaces. We have come a long way since the beginning of this pandemic, but make no mistake, we still have a long way to go. We must remain diligent and continue staying home as much as possible and follow social distancing requirements, wearing a mask, and washing our hands when we leave the house.”

 

The Governor has previously outlined several criteria when making decisions about what can be reopened safely:

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?

  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?

  • How well are vulnerable individuals, who are a significantly greater risk, being protected?

  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?

  • What’s the level of risk vs. societal/economic/psychological reward? 

  • Is the policy sustainable?

 

Beginning May 27, 2020, restaurants are allowed to re-open for in-person dining at 50% capacity. The restaurant industry has a significant impact on Colorado’s economy, employing almost 300,000 Coloradans, or 10% of the state workforce. 

 

The state released key guidelines for restaurants to keep customers and staff safe, including:

  • Limit the number of people that can be inside the establishment at a single time to 50% capacity.

  • Parties will be limited to 8 or less and parties will be seated six feet away from each other; intermingling of parties will be prohibited.

  • All employees must wear face coverings.

  • All surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between parties.

  • Increase indoor ventilation by opening doors and windows and limiting air conditioning, which recycles the air inside the establishment.

  • Work with local governments to suspend some rules to maximize outdoor service.

 

Summer day camps can reopen with strict precautions. Sleepaway camps will still be prohibited through June. There are a number of ways the state is mitigating risk to kids, employees, and parents:

  • Employees must wear protective gear and adhere to hygienic and disinfecting practices.

  • Campers must wear a mask whenever possible, and groups larger than 10 people in a single room or 25 people outside are prohibited.

  • Campers will be subject to temperature checks to screen for symptoms of COVID-19.

 

The Governor also discussed the timeline for these decisions, as well as for future decisions:

  • May 25 - Spring skiing allowed if permitted by host county, private campsites open

  • May 27 - In-person dining can resume at 50% capacity

  • June 1 - Children’s summer day camps can open

  • After June 1 - Next steps for Safer at Home

 

In the beginning of this global pandemic, Colorado was seeing an exponential rise in cases where each person was spreading the virus to three or four other people. Gov. Polis announced today that, based on the data the state is seeing and modeling state epidemiologists are doing, each person with the virus is now spreading it to about one person or fewer.  

 

The Governor is encouraging any Coloradan with symptoms to be tested for COVID-19. The state is now testing 4,000-5,000 people per day, and has the supplies to test 8,500 people per day. 

 

Gov. Polis announced that the state has secured a 17-month contract with Honeywell for six million N95 masks to keep frontline health care workers safe.

 

Ski resorts can now work with local authorities to develop a plan on how to open as safely as possible, and secure local approval. Arapahoe Basin in Summit County will be reopening with strict precautions for distancing in lift lines, a mask requirement, no food or beverage service, and no tailgating. In addition, private campsites are not open, and state campgrounds have been open since May 12, 2020.

 

The Governor is hopeful the focus of the legislative session will be on building a resilient response, from a health perspective and an economic perspective, for Colorado in the face of the pandemic. The Governor also discussed the legislative session and reiterated the importance of lowering health care costs, supporting businesses and workers, improving air quality, and investing in public health. The Governor called on legislators to put the “Colorado Heroes Act” on the ballot next year, which would repeal the Gallagher amendment and freeze property tax assessment rates in this crisis.

 

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 080, allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions.

 

View the Governor’s presentation and the full news conference. Read the FAQ here

5/25/20

Gov, Jared Polis today announced updates to Safer at Home and changes to restaurants, summer camps and private camping. 

 

“We are still a long way from returning to normal, but these updates are a step in the right direction because Coloradans are doing a good job so far limiting our social interactions. If we can continue staying at home as much as possible, wearing face coverings and washing our hands when leaving the house, then we will be able to slow the spread of the virus while reigniting our economy. If not, it will cost lives, and the economic pain will also be worse,” said Governor Jared Polis.

 

“Coloradans value our diverse culinary scene and amazing restaurants, and I’m proud that our state is now providing science-based guidelines on how restaurants can open as safely as reasonably possible for their employees and customers. Diners will have more space between tables and at many restaurants, more opportunities to eat outside. The safest thing anyone can do is stay home whenever possible, but for those who want to shop and dine we want to make sure it can be done as safely as possible,” the Governor continued. 

 

Governor Polis updated and extended the Safer at Home Executive Order. The executive order also directs CDPHE to develop and issue guidance related to restaurants and summer camps.

 

Beginning on May 27, restaurants will be able to open for in-person dining at 50% capacity of the indoor posted occupancy code limit, but they can not exceed 50 people, whichever is less. They are also encouraged to provide as much outdoor services as possible. Bars will remain closed. Establishments that do not serve food will be evaluated in June. Read the full restaurant guidance here

 

Children’s day camps and youth sports camps will open on Monday, June 1, 2020. Residential overnight camps will be closed in June. Decisions for July and August overnight camps will be made in mid-June. Children’s residential camps that choose to operate as day camps must work with the Colorado Department of Human Services and their local public health agency (LPHA) for approval. Day camps, including mobile, youth sports camps, and outdoor camps, must operate with restrictions and strong precautionary measures, as specified in the guidance

 

“I know this has been a very different school year than many students were expecting, and thanks to the success of our social distancing efforts so far, Colorado kids will be able to enjoy day camps and youth sports camps this summer in as safe a manner as possible. The risk, though less, is still very real, and it’s up to families to make the best decisions that work for them. We also appreciate the critical role that day camps, along with daycare which has already been operating in as safe a manner as reasonably possible, play in supporting working parents,” Gov. Polis said. 

 

Effective May 25, 2020 private campsites are open. If a host county would like to keep campsites closed, county commissioners should consult with their local public health agency, and then notify the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and CDPHE in writing. Campgrounds in the State Park system are already open.

 

“Our outdoors are part of who we are as Coloradans, and our campgrounds provide more people with the opportunity to safely enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty at a safe distance from others,” said Governor Polis. 

 

Executive Order D 2020-049, which closed ski resorts has expired. Ski resorts may work to secure approval from their local authorities in order to open.

 

Read the FAQ document here and the Executive Order here. A Public Health Order will be released tomorrow, Tuesday. The Safer at Home Executive Order has been amended and extended until June 1, 2020 to reflect these changes.

 

 

5/23/20

DENVER - Governor Polis amended and extended an Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The Executive Order authorizes certain state agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents due to the presence of COVID-19. 

5/17/20

Gov. Polis signed Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to reallocate existing funds from contracts with local public health agencies to COVID-19 response activities. This will provide local public health agencies more flexibility to use certain funds provided by the State to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Polis also authorized CDPHE to redirect certain State funds to behavioral research designed to inform COVID-19 recommendations and educational campaigns focused on minority and traditionally disadvantaged communities.

 

The Governor also extended an Executive Order to help protect workers and residents in long-term care facilities and many other critical industries. The Executive Order requires workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical face coverings while at work and to wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer) when in contact with customers or goods. 

 

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 068, suspending certain statutes that will allow Coloradans to remain eligible for critical programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan.  This Executive Order ensures that Colorado complies with Federal requirements.  

 

The Governor also signed Executive Order D 2020 069, extending certain state income tax payment deadlines until July 15, 2020 for all Colorado taxpayers to quickly provide relief from payment and penalties. 

5/22/20

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order that increases Colorado’s Medicaid home health workforce and eliminates copays for COVID-19 testing for individuals who rely on Medicaid.  

 

The Governor signed an Executive Order extending the state’s disaster declaration. Normal in-person instruction continues to be suspended at all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the State through the end of the school year due to COVID-19.  Read the Executive Order here.   

 

The Governor amended an Executive Order concerning criminal justice, extending provisions related to the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) duty to receive and take custody of individuals and DOC’s ability to utilize the Centennial south campus of the Centennial correctional facility for the housing of inmates of mixed classification.  This will allow DOC to continue to manage its inmate intake process to prevent the introduction of inmates who may be symptomatic or asymptomatic with COVID-19 to DOC, in compliance with CDPHE and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

 

In March, the Governor issued guidance to improve safety for all law enforcement officers and the Coloradans they interact with, as well as detention center staff and individuals held in custody.

5/22/20

Gov. Polis took action to prepare for the State’s wildfire response and released guidance on civil rights protections. 

 

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 072 directing the transfer of funds from the Disaster Emergency Fund to the Wildfire Emergency Response Fund so it has sufficient funds to assist local jurisdictions. 

 

“COVID-19 has strained our first responders as they have mobilized to save lives. As identified in the State’s 2020 Wildfire Preparedness Plan, local fire departments have reduced availability to provide response and assistance outside of their home jurisdiction, and firefighting resources from other states and federal agencies have limited capacity,” the Executive Order reads. 

 

The administration released guidance to employers and places of public accommodation to ensure equal opportunity employment and to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals, including those with COVID-19, exposure to COVID-19, and symptoms of COVID-19. Read the guidance here

5/20/20

Gov. Polis today signed an Executive Order allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado. 

 

“In the event that a COVID-19 infection surge threatens to overwhelm our healthcare resources, the State may activate alternate care sites (ACS) to increase hospitals’ capacity to provide care to COVID-19 patients. The ACSs will be used to provide care to COVID-19 patients who no longer require inpatient hospitalization but still require some medical care and observation to ensure their safety and well-being while recovering from COVID-19,” the Executive Order reads. 

 

To read the full Executive Order, click here

5/20/20

Gov. Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and discussed a new development impacting children. The Governor was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s leading epidemiologist and Dr. Sam Dominguez, MD, PhD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and Medical Director of the Microbiology Lab at Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

 

“We are taking these new developments impacting children very seriously and want to ensure that Coloradans have the information they need to know what to look for and keep their families safe during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This isn’t a vacation. If Coloradans want restaurants to open like I do, our kids to be able to return to school, want to be able to ski next season, and if we want to save your life and the lives of our loved ones then we all need to continue to do our part. This is not a normal Memorial Day Weekend. It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the middle of a worldwide pandemic - the worst pandemic since 1918 and the worst we hopefully will ever see in our lifetime.”

 

Gov. Polis discussed reports of a new COVID-19-linked syndrome impacting children in Italy, the United Kingdom, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, and likely other states. There are currently three potential cases in Colorado, pending review by the CDC. The state will share those results with the public as soon as possible.

 

This syndrome, which has been found to have a strong correlation with children who have antibodies for COVID-19, has commonly been referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, abbreviated as (MIS-C). MIS-C is most similar to other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Children with this syndrome may become seriously ill and have problems with their heart or other organs, requiring hospitalized care. While this disease seems to be very rare, the state is taking it seriously. 

 

The Governor also called on the White House to extend the federal deployment of National Guard service members until the end of the year, instead of just until June 24. National Guard members have served as crucial front line responders and boosted the state’s ability to test, monitor, and respond to this crisis. If this decision is not reconsidered, Colorado could lose hundreds if not thousands of frontline workers overnight. The state's ability to test, to monitor, and to respond to this crisis would be diminished without the brave guardsmen and women. On April 29, every single member of Colorado’s federal delegation sent a letter to the White House imploring the president to continue funding Colorado’s Guard through the end of the year. 

 

The Governor also provided an update on the COVID Relief Fund, announcing it has raised just over $18 million. In the third round, there were 134 approved grants in total: 101 in the Impact priority area, and 33 in the Prevention priority area. The total amount funded in this cycle was $2.7 million. To date, through the first three rounds, 505 grants have been disbursed for a total of $11.1 million to organizations serving all 64 counties. Decisions are being made for the 4th round of funding and the 5th round is now open for applications, for impact and recovery. Organizations seeking funding should apply by Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m.

 

The Governor also announced that the Rose Community Foundation is accepting funding requests to support organizations that are working to mitigate or alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on communities in the seven-county Greater Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. The proposal deadline is May 27.   

 

Priority Funding Areas include:

  • Mental health (telehealth counseling, therapy, case management, hotlines, mindfulness, physical activity)

  • Behavioral health

  • Job loss / back to work support (re-training, up-skill training, job search/placement, childcare assistance)

  • Basic needs assistance for individuals and families (rent, utilities, family economic stabilization, etc.)

  • Census outreach work that has been disrupted by COVID-19

  • Food insecurity

  • Health disparities in communities of color

  • Addressing racial/ethnic backlash to COVID-19

  • Virtual service delivery

  • And other public health priorities.

 

Grants will be structured as general operating or programmatic grants, at the request of the applicant, with all funds to be used for the organization’s stated response to COVID-19 or its impact on the communities served. Visit the Rose Community Foundation website for details on how to apply for funding.

 

To watch the full news conference, visit the Governor’s Facebook page

5/16/20

Gov. Jared Polis signed Executive Orders today to ensure elections can proceed safely and protect access to the ballot. 

 

“This is a challenging time for Colorado, but we must not sacrifice our democracy and the right of citizens to petition due to the pandemic. Protecting our democracy, access to the ballot and making sure citizens can qualify ballot measures and can qualify as candidates to run for office during this time is critical,” said Gov. Polis. “I appreciate the work of Sec. Griswold and the thoughtful input we have received throughout this process.”

 

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 065, concerning signature collection for ballot issues, which authorizes the Secretary of State to create temporary rules for registered electors to receive and return issue petitions over mail and email, and to support safe in-person signature gathering. 

 

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 064, which temporarily suspends the statutory provisions requiring registered electors to sign petitions for unaffiliated and independent candidates in the presence of a petition circulator, and authorizes the Secretary of State to issue rules that allow for signature collection in a manner that protects public health while the COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration is in place. 

 

The Governor also extended an Executive Order limiting in-person contact for the 2020 elections while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. CDPHE also updated the state’s Safer At Home Public Health Order (PHO) to further clarify that elections are a critical government function adding election operations, including election judges, signature gatherers and circulators, campaign workers, and volunteers.

5/15/20

Gov. Polis today updated Coloradans on the state’s response to the coronavirus and discussed how Colorado communities are coming together in a day of remembrance for the Coloradans lost to COVID-19. 

 

“It is important to remember that those we have lost are more than just numbers on a bulletin, or a statistic, or an obituary in the local newspaper. Every person we have lost to this horrible pandemic has a story and a community of loved ones in mourning. It’s on all of us to come together to support each other during these times of such agonizing grief,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It remains critical that we all do our part: wear a mask when leaving the house, wash our hands frequently, and continue staying home as much as possible. If we all do our part, we can help protect ourselves, our neighbors, those who are vulnerable and the front lines workers who are trying to keep us safe.”

 

At 7:00 p.m., the State Capitol, along with cities, counties and other organizations, will be turning their building lights red to honor those who have fallen victim to this deadly virus. The state is encouraging buildings and businesses across the state to turn their lights red at 7:00 p.m. and for police and fire departments to turn their lights on at 7:00 p.m. for one minute. Coloradans can participate by wearing a mask or face covering and observe a moment of silence at 7:00 p.m. Coloradans are also encouraged to post on social media to raise awareness about the remembrance event

5/14/20

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 062 concerning open burning. The Executive Order continues the temporary suspension of statute in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. This will reduce the risk of fire and enable firefighters and other first responders to participate in COVID-19 response efforts throughout the State.

 

Gov. Polis also signed Executive Order D 2020 063 ordering the continued temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.

5/13/20

Today Gov. Jared Polis advocated for federal funding and resources to help Colorado’s communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor was joined by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment executive director Jill Ryan. 

 

“As Governor, I must do everything I can for Coloradans. This is a time for all Americans to work together because we all have a common foe that is COVID-19 and the economic devastation it has caused. I wanted to update the President on what is going on in the real world and how he and the federal government can be a better partner in helping our state get the supplies we need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I shared with the President how Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of the virus, wearing masks and taking cautious steps to help our Colorado economy rebound by using data and science every step of the way. We look forward to a continued partnership with the federal government, the private sector, and anyone who can help Colorado get the supplies our communities need.”

5/12/20

In a letter to Congressional leadership, governors and legislative leaders from five western states requested $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve core government services like public health, public safety, and public education, and help people get back to work.

 

“There is no time to waste and we can overcome the widespread economic pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, together. I urge Congress to quickly take up and pass a new stimulus package to provide relief to Colorado’s communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A robust, flexible federal response to this pandemic is critical to our state’s recovery and our and country as a whole,” said Gov. Polis. 

 

“Without additional flexible aid from the federal government, our state will be forced to make the deepest budget cuts we have ever seen. Congress must help our communities, both big and small, avoid the devastating impacts of these cuts,” said Speaker Becker, D-Boulder. “These cuts would hurt vulnerable populations and further impact our already underfunded schools and institutions of higher education, which still haven’t recovered from the last recession. We are going to prioritize education and critical public health and safety programs as we work to ease how painful this budget may be, but without federal support, there’s only so much we can do.”

 

“States all over the country have been devastated by coronavirus with thousands of lives lost and millions suffering from unemployment. But these are just the immediate impacts. The longer, more insidious effects of the pandemic will ripple out for years to come, as state infrastructure crumbles from lack of funding,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “We need the Federal Government to step up and provide immediate relief to state and local governments or millions more will suffer as essential services are eroded. Coloradans are deeply resilient people, and I know that with the right help we can get through this together.”

 

Here is the letter

 

5/12/20

Governor Jared Polis today launched Spanish language Facebook and Twitter pages to help disseminate important information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

“Now, more than ever we need to be communicating with as many Coloradans as possible,” said Governor Jared Polis. “By launching these new social media pages, we hope that we can further connect with Spanish speaking Coloradans and ensure they are getting the latest information as it’s being released. We are all in this together and we will get through this together.”

 

Coloradans can visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GovofCoEspanol/ and the Twitter page at twitter.com/GovofCoEspanol

 

El Gobernador Polis Lanza Páginas de Facebook y Twitter en Español 

 

DENVER - El gobernador Jared Polis, anunció el día de hoy, el lanzamiento de páginas en Facebook y Twitter en español para ayudar a difundir información importante relacionada con la pandemia COVID-19.

 

"Ahora, más que nunca, necesitamos comunicarnos con la mayor cantidad posible de habitantes de Colorado", dijo el gobernador Jared Polis. "Al lanzar estas nuevas páginas de redes sociales, esperamos poder conectarnos aún más con los habitantes de Colorado de habla hispana y asegurarnos de que obtengan la información más reciente a medida que se publica. Todos estamos juntos en esto y lo superaremos juntos ”.

 

Los habitantes de Colorado pueden visitar la página de Facebook en www.facebook.com/GovofCoEspanol/ y la página de Twitter en twitter.com/GovofCoEspanol.

5/12/20

Today the Office of State Planning and Budgeting released the May 2020 Economic Forecast showing the impact of COVID-19 on Colorado’s economy. 

 

“Just as families across Colorado are tightening their belts because of this pandemic, so is our state. I know this is a difficult time for many hardworking people and Coloradans are doing all they can to make ends meet,” said Gov. Polis. “This pandemic is affecting the global economy, and Colorado is not immune to this economic crisis. This is a challenging budgetary environment and everyone is working hard to ensure Colorado remains on the right path. We are all in this together and we will get through it together.”

 

The economic recession that began in March is unprecedented in both speed and scope. More than 20 million jobs have been lost as businesses close and consumers stay home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Colorado’s tourism and energy industries are a significant part of the state’s economy. Both have been impacted by the pandemic and are expected to rebound more slowly than other industries. More than 16% of the state’s workers have filed unemployment claims since mid-March, predominantly in low-wage industries.

 

General Fund revenue is expected to fall by 7.4 percent in FY 2019-20 and by another 7.5 percent in FY 2020-21. The General Fund revenue forecast was revised down from the March forecast by a total of $3.4 billion through June 30, 2021, and by $5.5 billion over the forecast period through June 30, 2022. This decline is due not only to the impact of the pandemic-induced recession but also due to federal tax policy changes in the CARES act that will reduce the state’s income tax collections from businesses by more than $400 million over the forecast period.

 

On April 30, Governor Polis signed an Executive Order proactively making specific cuts with the least possible impact to State programs and services. This reduced $228.7 million from the budget, the General Fund reserve now is projected to be $3.4 billion below the proposed statutory reserve amount for FY 2020-21. Recovery from this recession is expected to be slow and highly contingent upon progress against the virus.

 

Here are the forecast slides and the May 2020 forecast.

5/11/20

Gov. Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and a timeline for decision-making during the Safer at Home phase. 

 

“I’m sharing Colorado’s decision making timeline and factors because I want to be as transparent as possible as to what the next few weeks will look like. Just as retail stores had some time to prepare to reopen after we announced it in April, our restaurants need a few days to get ready and be as safe as possible. We control our own destiny and our decisions will depend on what the data is telling us about how people are succeeding at wearing masks and staying apart during Safer at Home,” said Governor Jared Polis. “If folks are doing a good job at social distancing, staying at home, and wearing masks or facial coverings when going out, it will show up in the data, and we will excitedly remove additional restrictions on our economy. If not, some communities could be forced to look at implementing additional temporary restrictions.”

 

Gov. Polis announced that the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has determined that C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock is causing an imminent health hazard. CDPHE is using its authority under the Colorado Food Protection Act to suspend the license of the business indefinitely until it can be established that there is no longer a threat to public health.

 

As Colorado continues Safer at Home, there are a number of criteria the Governor is considering when making decisions on what can be reopened safely.

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?

  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?

  • Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?

  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?

  • What’s the level of risk vs. societal / economic / psychological reward? 

  • Is the policy sustainable?

 

The Governor provided updates for when decisions would be possibly made around whether or not Colorado can begin to reopen other industries or loosen restrictions. These dates do not reflect when an industry may or may not open, only when the state will have more data to inform a decision around when they may be able to open and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide whether ski resorts can be open for Spring skiing. Resorts will only open if the host county wants them open.

  • May 25 - the state will decide if restaurants can begin reopening and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide if summer residential and day camps can open in June, and if so, under what conditions.

  • After June 1 - the state will decide if the Safer at Home order can be further modified to phase in other things like summer activities and public spaces like libraries. The Governor will make these decisions on a rolling basis, based on the latest data and evidence.

 

Gov. Polis announced that starting May 12, Coloradans may begin booking campsites at campgrounds in state parks where host counties that would like them open. Sites must observe social distance and sanitation guidelines and accept campers by reservation only. This is not a request for counties to open their campgrounds, but if they choose to do so, counties can work with the Department of Public Health and Environment and Department of Natural Resources to do so as safely as possible. Coloradans are still encouraged to recreate locally.  Coloradans must make a reservation at cpwshop.com 

 

The Governor also announced a partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS, Gary Community Investments, and the Colorado Education Initiative called Colorado Classroom: Learning at Home! starting Monday, May 18th at 8:00 a.m. Every Monday through Friday for the next five weeks, Rocky Mountain PBS will provide two hours of standards-aligned K-3 literacy and English language development lessons by master teachers to students across the state - from the Eastern plains to the Western slope - on Rocky Mountain PBS’s station.

 

The Governor and state know COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color and want to hear directly from all Coloradans so the state can have an informed public policy response that meets the needs of everyone. Visit covid19.colorado.gov and click on COVID-19 in Colorado and then the health equity response team to fill out the survey regarding your top concerns related to COVID-19 and racial disparities. Coloradan’s responses will remain anonymous and will help inform the work of the team from a community perspective.

 

For more information and FAQ’s about Safer At Home visit ColoradoSaferAtHome.com 

 

View the Governor’s presentation and the news conference

 

**Correction: During his prepared remarks while reflecting on the now 987 Coloradans who have lost their lives to COVID-19, Gov. Polis noted that John Sanchez was from Durango. Mr. Sanchez was from Denver. After his passing, his daughter said, “my dad was my everything. He was the best father, grandfather, son, friend, everything. He was a rare soul. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself and your family safe, quarantine, just take it serious because this could happen to anyone,” his daughter said.

5/11/20

Governor Jared Polis, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Education Initiative are partnering with Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPBS, KUVO JAZZ, The DROP) to provide K-3 learners, and their families and caregivers with direct-to-home remote literacy learning though “Colorado Classroom - Read With Me at Home” starting May 18.  

 

"I am thrilled to announce this partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Media to provide high-quality, standards-aligned literacy instruction for K-3 learners across Colorado. This programming will be available to families across Colorado to help close the digital divide and prevent learning loss during this critical time for children,” said Governor Polis. “I want to thank all of our partners, as well as the incredible, creative teachers that have helped make this a reality for Colorado children and families.” 

 

Thanks to the generous support of Gary Community Investments, this critical learning initiative will be broadcast in English with Spanish subtitles and available for free on a statewide basis through participating RMPBS stations that include: Denver (KRMA), Pueblo/Colorado Springs (KTSC), Steamboat Springs (KRMZ), Grand Junction (KRMJ) and Durango (KRMU). During the COVID-19 school closures across Colorado, this remote learning initiative will provide continued early literacy development and provide K-3 learners with access to free educational reading resources at home on television and online, regardless of their ability to access broadband internet services. “Colorado Classroom - Read with Me at Home” will connect teachers directly with students in their homes through literacy lessons geared specifically towards K-3 age ranges each Monday-Friday from 8am-10am. 

 

During the COVID-19 school closures across Colorado, this remote learning initiative will provide continued early literacy development and provide K-3 learners with access to free educational reading resources at home on television and online, regardless of their ability to access broadband internet services. In addition, the lessons customized on Tuesday and Thursday will leverage expert teachers to support students with language development needs. The Colorado Education Association has generously provided the funding for stipends for the expert teachers. Viewers can watch or record the lessons, as they will be rebroadcast overnight to allow for DVR recording. Accompanying lesson plans and work packets will be posted on RMPBS’ website for parents and caregivers to use, adapt, and build upon. Access to the lesson plans and student work packets available at rmpbs.org/ColoradoClassroom or by calling 800-274-6666.

 

“Particularly for the 15%-20% of children who live in rural areas without access to high-speed internet, RMPBS offers a way to ensure every child has a place to continue learning in the framework of Colorado’s curriculum outside of the classroom.” said Amanda Mountain, president & CEO of Rocky Mountain Public Media. “Partnering with the State of Colorado Governor’s Office, the CDE and Colorado Education Initiative is such an important collaboration to ensure we can reach all Colorado families with this important early literacy development initiative.”

 

“During the COVID crisis, CEI has been inspired to work alongside a variety of partner organizations to rethink how we deal with a timeless question in education: how do we get a great teacher in front of students everywhere?” said Rebecca Holmes, President and CEO of the Colorado Education Initiative. “Recruiting best-in-class teachers to get relevant and thoughtful content into the living rooms of families across the state will meet families where they are and open up important conversations about how we support all learners in this moment of disrupted learning.” 

 

"GCI is excited to be an initial funder of this incredible partnership—it’s a fantastic way to support children and families across the state with accessible learning opportunities," says Mike Johnston, President and CEO of Gary Community Investments.

 

Beloved educational PBS KIDS programming will continue to be available all day on the 24/7 PBS KIDS subchannel or on the free PBS KIDS Video or Games apps. For information about how to access channels based on location, visit http://www.rmpbs.org/channels .

 

The partnership with the Office of the Governor of Colorado, the DOE, the Colorado Education Initiative and Gary Community Investments builds upon the existing RMPBS partnership with Denver Public Schools, offering STEAM-focused content, on its airways. Local listings will reflect individual station schedules and include programming for additional educational content.

 

Monday-Friday Daytime Schedule:

  • 8 – 8:35 am MST- K-1st Grade

  • 8:40 – 9:15 am MST- 2nd Grade

  • 9:20 - 9:50 am MST- 3rd Grade

  • 10:00-11:00 am MST – (History Detectives) – 4th-8th Grade

  • 11:00 am – noon MST (NOVA) – 4th-8th Grade

  • Noon-5 pm MST – 4th-12th Grade

 

Monday-Friday Overnight Schedule*:

*Check your local listings for air times.

  • K-1st Grade- 35 minutes

  • 2nd Grade- 35 minutes

  • 3rd Grade- 35 minutes

 

Colorado Classroom – Read With Me at Home” will re-air nightly from 3 a.m. – 5 a.m. MST for families to record.

 

Online:

 

Other guidance documents and resources developed specifically for district and school leaders are available on the Colorado Department of Education’s coronavirus webpage: https://www.cde.state.co.us/safeschools 

 

Special thanks to RMPM’s partners, Colorado Education Association, Bright By Text, and Invest in Kids. 

 

The Colorado Education Association (CEA) represents 39,000 educators across the state of Colorado. CEA has generously provided the funding for educator stipends to our excellent master teachers for their time and expertise in providing broader access to learning during the suspension of normal in-person teaching and learning. CEA is proud to support the valiant efforts of educators doing all that they can to ensure access to learning for Colorado’s students.

 

Bright by Text delivers actionable information from trusted early childhood experts to parents and caregivers of young children — from prenatal to age 8 — to support healthy child development and build strong, resilient families. The service is free for caregivers and available in English and Spanish.

 

Invest in Kids improves the health and well-being of Colorado’s youngest children by partnering with local communities to support research-based programs with a proven record of success. Serving nearly 17,000 children and families each year, Invest in Kids focuses on supporting the unique needs of low-income children to see every child thrive.

 

Colorado Education Initiative

The Colorado Education Initiative is a non-profit organization that cultivates systems improvement and equity in K-12 education. For more than a decade, we have been at the forefront of improvement, innovation, and change in Colorado’s public education system. Learn more: coloradoedinitiative.org

 

Rocky Mountain Public Media

Rocky Mountain Public Media is Colorado’s largest statewide, member-supported, multimedia organization and the parent company of Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), KUVO JAZZ and THE DROP. Rocky Mountain Public Media has more than 90,000 members representing every county in Colorado and reaches 98 percent of the state’s citizens through television, radio and digital platforms. A non-commercial media organization by and for the people of Colorado, RMPM creates high-quality local and multimedia content through Regional Innovation Centers in Denver, Colorado Springs, Durango, Grand Junction and Pueblo. RMPBS, started in Denver in 1956 as Colorado's first public television station, is now a statewide television network, with stations in Denver (KRMA), Pueblo/Colorado Springs (KTSC), Steamboat Springs (KRMZ), Grand Junction (KRMJ) and Durango (KRMU). In its 35th year, KUVO JAZZ broadcasts jazz, blues, and a lineup of locally produced diverse music programs. Launching in 2019, THE DROP, the People’s Station for R&B and Hip Hop, was voted the best new radio station by Westword in April 2020.

5/10/20

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 060 amending and extending Executive Order D 2020 034, temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes related to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), including Division of Youth Services centers, and public and private behavioral health facilities, to enable CDHS to respond to the pandemic and undertake efforts to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19 in CDHS facilities.

 

Read the full Executive Order here

5/8/20

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 059 extending the temporary suspension of certain statutes to provide an extension for filing and remitting state severance tax until May 15, 2020. 

 

“Employers and employees in virtually all sectors of the economy have been hard hit. We must take action to shore up economic security, employment, community cohesion, and community recovery including showing flexibility with tax payments,” the Executive Order reads. 

 

Read the Executive Order here.   

5/8/20

Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19, reminded Coloradans about the importance of wearing masks during Safer at Home, and how we all play a critical role in protecting others. 

 

“All Coloradans should be wearing masks in public, it’s the smart thing to do and Coloradans are very smart,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Not only are masks critical for protecting ourselves and those around us, but they are also a key to safely opening up more and more of our economy and society. We are going to be in this for the long haul, and wearing masks is an easy step for all of us to take.”

 

Being successful during Safer-at-Home phase has four main components:

  • For most of the population, continuing to stay at home most of the time.

  • For seniors & those with chronic health conditions, it means staying at home unless absolutely necessary.

  • Stepping up testing, containment, and tracing. 

  • Wearing masks at all times when in public.

 

The Governor also discussed ColoradoMaskProject.com which has been a helpful resource for Coloradans providing instructions on how to make a mask and providing a list of retailers where one can be purchased. The Colorado Mask Project is a collaboration between state government, private sector donors, NGOs, and maker communities to deliver non-medical cloth masks to vulnerable populations and essential workers around the state. So far, 82,024 masks have been delivered or are in the process of delivery to 162 recipient organizations across 42 counties, and many more are on the way. All masks have gone to vulnerable populations and critical workforce with a high risk of exposure and limited access to protective equipment.  

 

Recipients have included: 

  • Homeless shelters and rescue missions;

  • Assisted living centers, elderly care, mental health, and nursing homes;

  • Domestic violence safehouses;

  • Immigrant and refugee centers;

  • State Early Childhood Councils;

  • Public school workers providing meals for low-income families;

  • Child care providers;

  • Veteran care centers;

  • And other community organizations.

 

The Governor also discussed a new initiative: Can Do Colorado. This will provide guidance and tips to businesses about increasing teleworking capabilities, and highlight businesses that are being creative and going above and beyond to run their businesses safely and remotely. The Governor highlighted ActivCore Physical Therapy and Performance and The Glam House Salon as two businesses that are stepping up to protect their customers and their communities. Visit www.candocolorado.org to learn more. 

 

The state is also launching “Connect to Care Jobs” through the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), in partnership with Advancing States, to match health care job seekers with immediate openings in residential care settings. Many Coloradans are looking for work, and these facilities are in need of extra support during this challenging time. Job seekers should visit connecttocarejobs.com to apply. Job seekers can create a profile identifying the position they are interested in, the distance they are willing to travel for the position, and other professional skills and experience to make sure the right person can be matched to the right position.

 

The Governor reminded Coloradans who have lost health insurance due to job loss, that there are resources available during this difficult time. Coloradans should check to see if they qualify for Health First Colorado -- Colorado’s Medicaid Program -- and/or the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) if they have dependents. Visit CO.gov/PEAK to find out if you’re eligible. You can also apply by mail, at your county’s department of health and human services, at an application site, or over the phone by calling 1-800-221-3943. If you’re not eligible for these public programs, you can still sign up for health insurance on the individual market at connectforhealthco.com or by calling 855-752-6749. 

5/8/20

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 058 extending the Disaster Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. 

 

This Executive Order extends the state of disaster emergency and provides additional funds for response activities due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.  This Executive Order also extends the employment of the Colorado National Guard to support and provide planning resources to State and local authorities as they respond to the presence of COVID-19 in the State.  

5/7/20

Gov. Polis released the following statement on UnitedHealth Group’s decision to provide more than $1.5 billion of additional support to customers in response to COVID-19.  

 

“I’m so excited Coloradans are getting money back in credits and economic relief. This has been a difficult time for Coloradans and many families have been financially impacted. We’re thrilled to see United Healthcare provide this support to their customers, putting more money back into pockets of hardworking Coloradans. We’re proud of the steps we took in the early days of the pandemic to provide relief to Coloradans and I’m hopeful this is among the first of refunds from other carriers.”

 

In the early days of the pandemic, the Division of Insurance directed carriers to give a grace period for payments and to make reasonable accommodations to prevent policyholders from losing coverage due to non-payment or partial payment of premiums during this unprecedented time. The division also directed carriers to provide flexibility for employer requests to provide flexibility for health coverage policy provisions. 

5/6/20

Gov. Polis today celebrated National Nurses Day and provided an update on what personal protective equipment the State has received and distributed to front line workers and other critical workers. 

 

“Every day our health care workers and emergency responders are on the front lines of this virus. We can’t thank them enough for their incredible dedication and service during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “That’s why it’s our responsibility to continue staying home as much as possible, washing our hands on a regular basis, and wearing a mask when out in public. When we don’t follow proper guidelines, it not only makes things harder on ourselves and prolongs the economic pain for people across our state, but it puts our medical professionals at risk as well.”

 

To celebrate National Nurses Day and provide the perspective of someone on the front lines of this pandemic, Governor Polis was joined by Laura Rosenthal, the Vice President of the Colorado Nurses Association. Rosenthal underscored the importance of social distancing, wearing a mask while out in public, and washing your hands in order to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease. 

 

Rosenthal has served as a registered nurse for 20 years and has worked in Colorado as a Nurse Practitioner in Hospital Medicine for 14 of those years. Rosenthal is the Colorado State Representative to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She is also a registered nurse health services volunteer for the American Red Cross Rocky Mountain Chapter. In addition to her clinical duties, Rosenthal serves as the Assistant Dean of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Colorado, College of Nursing.  

 

Gov. Polis provided an update on personal protective equipment for health care workers and other critical workers on the front lines. The State has received 534,474 N95 masks, 2,472,205 surgical masks, 195,109 gowns, 116,065 face shields and 1,640,100 gloves. The State has also distributed PPE to nursing homes, including 7,413 pairs of eye protection, 85,521 masks, 388,733 gloves, and 77,840 gowns. 

 

 

 

Colorado has received two Battelle Sterilization Systems from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to decontaminate thousands of N95 masks using concentrated, vapor phase hydrogen peroxide. The Battelle Sterilization System at the Adams County Fairgrounds is currently operational and is sterilizing N95 masks for over 100 skilled nursing centers, hospitals, and other health care providers. A second system will begin operating in Montrose next week.

 

Watch the Governor’s news conference and view the Governor’s presentation

5/6/20

The Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) approved a COVID-19 emergency funding request for $7.9 million from the Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI), in the Lt. Governor’s Office, and Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF). 

 

“Our administration is doing everything we can to ensure Coloradans have access to health care in safe and convenient ways during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This funding will go toward innovations that include telemedicine and telemonitoring. This technology will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide Coloradans an effective and safe alternative to in-person care.”

 

The $7.9 million federal fund match will support Colorado’s health information exchange infrastructure and emergency response innovations necessary for the COVID-19 pandemic response. This funding will go toward telemedicine and other critical health innovation and infrastructure projects to ensure clinicians and patients are safe and healthy during this uncertain time. 

 

“Taking care of yourself and loved ones during a pandemic can be challenging. Especially when it comes to accessing health care for physical or emotional needs,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “Helping families connect with a doctor, counselor, or nurse in the comfort of their own home is a top priority.”

 

Innovative telemedicine approaches and upgrades will help connect Coloradans to their health care providers without an in-person visit. This new funding will help increase access to health care and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

5/4/20

Gov. Jared Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 057. This continues the extension for filing and remitting state and state-administered local sales tax until May 20, 2020.

 

“The economic impacts of COVID-19 are significant and threaten to undermine the economic stability of many Coloradans and local businesses. The risk of contamination posed by COVID-19 has necessitated the closure of multiple businesses. Employers and employees in virtually all sectors of the economy have been hard hit. We must take action to shore up economic security, employment, community cohesion, and community recovery including showing flexibility with tax payments,” the Executive Order reads. 

 

This EO is an extension of Executive Order D 2020 023

5/4/20

Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19.

 

“During Safer at Home, Coloradans doing their part will be the key to our shared success in protecting our health and the health of our communities. I’m so proud of how our state responded during the Stay-at-Home order, and it’s going to take that same dedication during these next few weeks. That’s why we’re going to be working closely with local officials and community leaders to ensure Coloradans understand Safer at Home requirements and are able to keep themselves and their neighbors safe,” said Gov. Polis. “I’m also excited to be sharing more data with Coloradans about where you can find community testing sites near home.” 

 

In creating the Safer at Home order, Gov. Polis and the administration did extensive outreach, holding a series of webinars with different industries and stakeholders to discuss what this next phase will mean for them. Outreach included almost 3,000 representatives from:

Retail Associations, Personal Services, General Commerce and Chambers, Health care and hospitals, Post-secondary education, Child Care, Local Governments and Real Estate.

 

Gov. Polis also announced the membership of the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Cooperation and Implementation, which he announced last week. This Committee will advise the Governor and CDPHE on policies and regulations that are designed to maximize social distancing at the local level. It will also be focused on how local governments, and local public health can coordinate with the state on educating the public about these regulations, and maximizing compliance and enforcement efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

A key emphasis of this Committee will be on compliance and how local governments and the state can best work together to ensure Coloradans are following Safer at Home rules and protecting their health and safety. Membership includes:

  • County Commissioner over 250K- Steve Johnson, Larimer County

  • County Commissioner under 250K- Hilary Cooper, San Miguel County

  • Mayor over 100K- Nick Gradisar, Pueblo

  • Mayor under 100K- Barbara Bynum, Montrose

  • Local Public Health over 100K- Robert McDonald, City and County of Denver

  • Local Public Health under 100K- Heath Harmon, Eagle

  • Sheriff- Jeffery Shrader, Jefferson County

  • Police Chief- Gary Creager, Broomfield

  • Fire Chief- Thomas DeMint, Poudre Fire Department

  • One Representative of the Economic Recovery and Stabilization Council- Kyle Martinez, Olathe

 

They will join the following state officials on the council:

  • Governor’s Chief of Staff, Lisa Kaufmann

  • Executive Director of Department of Public Safety, Stan Hilkey

  • Executive Director of Department of Public Health and Environment, Jill Ryan

  • Executive Director of Department of Regulatory Agencies, Patty Salazar

 

Gov. Polis today also unveiled a new interactive map of community-based testing sites that local public health departments have set up across the state. The state has been providing guidance and supplies to help local public health agencies stand up these testing sites, which are especially important in rural areas of the state where private providers are limited in number and capacity.

 

There are currently 20 sites listed and this tool will be updated as more are brought online. The community-based testing sites are filling in the gap for underserved communities outside the main metro regions, but they are not the only way to get tested. There are many private providers that are doing testing, particularly at hospitals and clinics along the Front Range. The state is working to compile and verify information on these private testing sites to add to the map.

Here is the map

 

View the Governor’s presentation and watch the full news conference

5/2/20

Gov. Jared Polis today issued an Executive Order to allow food trucks to operate at Colorado’s rest areas to support truckers and the movement of commercial vehicle activities. The goal of the Executive Order is to help truck drivers have access to affordable meals on the road. 

 

“As Coloradans continue to take precautions including wearing masks and staying home, we are all grateful for the hard work of Colorado’s truckers, who are working hard to ensure that our supply chain runs smoothly and our grocery shelves are stocked. In addition to expressing thanks to truckers, we are taking action and remove barriers and regulations that get in the way of our truckers having access to freshly made meals,” said Gov. Polis. “This action will help Colorado’s truckers have access to fresh and affordable meals on the road and help our small food truck businesses continue to support themselves in a way that also supports our critical supply chain needs and our community. I encourage food truck operators to help truckers who are helping all of us by getting out to Colorado’s rest stops.”

5/1/20

Today the COVID Relief Fund announced the second round of grant awards. 

 

“We are inspired by the generosity of those who have donated and are thrilled that organizations across the state are able to help more people in their communities during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “In this economic environment, community organizations are dealing with a drop in donations at the same time that more Coloradans need services and assistance, putting immense strain on their ability to meet the needs of the community. So thank you to everyone for donating and doing your part and I encourage you to continue to keep up that generous spirit at helpcoloradonow.org.”

 

The Fund received 780 applications requesting more than $17 million. $3.6 million will be disbursed in the second round to 165 organizations that are serving all 64 Colorado counties. 

 

Funding is going to community-based organizations serving displaced workers, children in low-income households, frontline workers in health care and other critical industries, workers without access to paid sick leave or health insurance, older Coloradans on fixed or lower incomes, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, Tribal governments, survivors of domestic violence or child abuse, immigrant and refugee communities, and Black, Latino, and Asian Coloradans who are disproportionately affected by this crisis. 

 

Through the first two rounds, $8.4 million in funding has been distributed to 371 organizations across the state. 

 

Funds for deadline three (Saturday, May 2 at 7 p.m. MT) are currently only being distributed in the Prevention and Impact priority categories. Funds for deadline four (Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. MT) will be distributed in the Impact and Recovery priority categories. Funds for deadline four are intended for community-based organizations mitigating impact and preparing for recovery.

 

To see the full list of grantees, visit HelpColoradoNow.org or click here. View the list of donors $10k and above here. To find more information on the types of organizations that applied, click here.  

5/1/20

Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19.

 

“Safer at Home is not a return to normalcy, which means that Coloradans should continue to be responsible, stay at home when possible and wear masks when in public. This virus is having an impact on every part of our lives. We talk a lot about how this is affecting public health and our economy, but it’s equally important to recognize the impact this is having on Coloradans’ mental and behavioral health,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We want to ensure everyone has the resources they need during this difficult time, whether it’s related to your finances or mental health. We are all in this together and we’re going to get through this together.”

 

Many Coloradans have experienced substantial loss of income as a result of business closures and layoffs, hindering their ability to keep up with their rent or mortgage payments and threatening their housing security. On March 20, Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order addressing this issue and is now extending and strengthening that order. Executive Order D 2020 051 includes:

  • No evictions or foreclosures should occur in the month of May, for residential or commercial tenants, unless there is a public safety risk.

  • Landlords and lenders are prohibited from charging any late fees or penalties because of an inability to pay rent or mortgage payments.

  • Landlords must notify tenants of the new federal protections against evictions and foreclosures for each property. 

  • DOLA, CDLE and DORA should work with property owners and landlords to create model repayment agreements to allow tenants the time they need to repay rent. 

 

2-1-1, Colorado’s free information hotline, is a critical service for many Coloradans and during the COVID-19 pandemic the line has seen a sharp increase in calls. Today, in addition to providing guidance on emergency assistance, transportation, housing support, and other services, 2-1-1 will now be answering questions about worker protections and health care discrimination as more Coloradans begin returning to work.

 

As Colorado transitions to Safer at Home, many Coloradans will still be spending a lot of time at home. This pandemic is not only taking on the economy and Colorado way of life, but on Coloradans’ mental and behavioral health. State crisis hotlines are seeing a much higher call volume since the beginning of this crisis. Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential, professional, and immediate support for any mental health, substance use, or emotional concern 24/7/265. Folks can call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. Any Coloradan that needs support should reach out. 

 

Governor Polis announced a new special assignment committee within the Behavioral Health Task Force that will focus on the effects of COVID-19 on behavioral health in Colorado. The special assignment committee will: 

  • Create an interim report that highlights the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on the behavioral health system, including access and affordability of behavioral health services, especially for vulnerable and underserved populations.

  • Evaluate the behavioral health crisis response in Colorado to COVID-19 and provide recommendations for the Behavioral Health Task Force’s blueprint on improvements of behavioral health services for a response during any potential future crisis.

 

The Task Force is charged with providing recommendations on how to overhaul the state’s behavioral health system to ensure every Coloradan has access to mental health resources in every corner of Colorado. The recommendations were supposed to be released in June, but given the crisis, the timeline of the Task Force’s work is being extended until later in the summer.

 

The Governor also announced that FEMA has activated the Crisis Care Program (CCP) for the State of Colorado. The CCP provides reimbursements to local organizations that support individuals and communities as they recover from the psychological effects of disasters.

 

Services will be provided at no cost and are available to any survivor. Services include:

  • Stress mitigation

  • Crisis Counseling

  • Coping strategies

  • Emotional support

  • Education

  • Links with individuals or agencies that can help those impacted

  • And services can be provided in either a group setting or one-on-one

 

The COVID Relief Fund is now distributing the second round of funding grants. The Fund received 780 applications requesting more than $17 million. $3.6 million will be disbursed in the second round to 165 organizations that are serving all 64 Colorado counties. Funding is going to community-based organizations serving displaced workers, children in low income households, frontline workers in health care and other critical industries, workers without access to paid sick leave or health insurance, older Coloradans on fixed or lower incomes, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, Tribal governments, survivors of domestic violence or child abuse, immigrant and refugee communities, and Black, Latino, and Asian Coloradans who are disproportionately affected by this crisis. Through the first two rounds, $8.4 million in funding has been distributed to 371 organizations across the state. 

 

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 055, temporarily suspending certain statutes concerning taxpayer filing requirements for certain taxable property. Read the Executive Order here

© 2018 Susan Lontine