2/28/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Governor Polis extended an Executive Order providing relief to public utility customers affected by COVID-19. Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order related to protections provided to Colorado tenants from late fees due to COVID-19.  

2/27/21

Governor Jared Polis released a statement following reports that the U.S. FDA approved the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

“This is great news — our country will quickly be equipped with another life-saving and crisis-ending vaccine to help us in the fight against COVID-19. Colorado will continue working around the clock to ensure that there is an arm for every dose, that we are reaching at-risk populations and administering the vaccine as equitably as possible.”

2/26/21

Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. During his remarks, Governor Polis was joined by Brigadier General Scott Sherman and CDPHE Incident Commander Scott Bookman.

 

“Equitable distribution of the vaccine is a top priority for Colorado and to continue that trend, the state is moving to a new phase next week of the vaccine prioritization plan where more doses of this lifesaving vaccine will be available to most vulnerable communities. I’m focused on ensuring that Coloradans who are at the most risk of COVID due to the environment they work in can receive the vaccine, so we can save more lives and end this pandemic,” said Governor Polis. 

 

Governor Polis announced that 90% of frontline healthcare workers who have stepped up to treat their fellow Coloradans have received both doses of the vaccine. Nearly all residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the state have been vaccinated. The state expects the program to be complete and for these individuals to be fully vaccinated in the next 10 days.

 

Governor Polis announced Colorado’s efforts to move into Phase 1B3 of the vaccine prioritization plan, which now includes current agriculture and grocery store workers, Coloradans aged 60 and older, and Coloradans aged 16-59 with two or more comorbidities. Phase 1B3 will begin on March 5th. 

 

“Please be patient and sign up for an appointment. As we announce this next phase and put more people into the phases, sign up and please be patient, you will have your turn to get the vaccine,” said Brigadier General Scott Sherman

 

“Getting this vaccine is safe, effective and it is a critical next step in ending this pandemic,” added CDPHE Incident Commander Scott Bookman.

 

Governor Polis also announced that in late March Coloradans aged 50 and up will be able to get the vaccine, along with those in student-facing roles in higher education and other frontline workers, including restaurant and food service workers, bus drivers, U.S Postal Service workers, and manufacturing workers. The date of vaccinations for this group is set for late March, and dependent on vaccine supply.

 

View today’s press conference. View today’s presentation.

 

For more information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine, please visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926). 

 

Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order related to the continued use of federal funds from Title V of the Coronavirus Aid and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act). 

2/24/21

Governor Polis released a statement following reports that the FDA has said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine protects against COVID-19. 

 

“I’m thrilled that a third safe and highly effective vaccine will soon arrive in Colorado. Having a vaccine that only requires one dose will help us move more quickly to end the pandemic, and I encourage the federal government to not only approve, but ramp up supply as quickly as possible. We are ready to use many more vaccine doses than we are currently receiving each week.”

2/23/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The Governor amended and extended an Executive Order establishing directives for the COVID-19 Dial Framework. The Executive Order was amended to add level Red into certain restrictions the Colorado Department of Public Health can set by Public Health Order. 

2/18/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

The Governor extended an Executive Order requiring hospitals and freestanding emergency departments that have reached capacity or are reasonably anticipated to reach capacity to notify the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and providing CDPHE with authority to direct those facilities to cease admitting new patients and/or transfer patients.

2/15/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Governor Polis signed an Executive Order extending the State’s disaster declaration due to COVID-19 in Colorado. 

2/12/21

Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. 

 

“Colorado is making great strides in getting shots into arms and ensuring vaccines don’t sit on shelves. I am thrilled that Colorado will have access to even more vaccine doses over the next coming weeks,” said Governor Polis. “As we open up the vaccine to more and more people across Colorado, we must all do our part to keep our friends and loved ones safe by social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and wearing masks. This upcoming holiday weekend, we know some Coloradans will be venturing into Colorado’s backcountry and we continue to urge everyone who does so to take extreme caution, as this year’s snowpack has created conditions ripe for avalanches at any moment.”

 

Governor Polis also shared a warning about avalanche danger in Colorado’s backcountry. Nationally, between the weeks of January 30 and February 7, there have been 15 confirmed fatalities from avalanches, the most avalanche-related fatalities in a seven-day period since 1910. Governor Polis urged those who wish to venture into the backcountry to do so by first checking avalanche conditions and then head out with the proper equipment and training. 

 

For more information on backcountry winter safety, visit: 

colorado.com/WinterBackcountrySafety

 

For Avalanche forecasts and warnings, visit: avalanche.state.co.us

 

Governor Polis also discussed Colorado’s upcoming legislative session. The Governor’s stimulus proposal to the Colorado General Assembly includes investments in the state’s infrastructure and transportation system. Additionally, the Governor’s proposal also calls for funding to bring broadband access to thousands of Colorado households, and as well and funding for upskilling to help Coloradans who need to be retrained or reskilled to help fill the jobs of the future.

 

View today’s press conference

 

For more information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine, please visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926). 

2/9/21

Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. Governor Polis was joined by Linda Sosa and Rebecca Vasquez, both of whom are 70 and up and have received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

“With every vaccine that we get into arms, we are another step closer towards ending the pandemic and getting back to the Colorado we love. This week marks the start of Colorado’s efforts to open the vaccine up to those aged 65 and older, as well as making it available to our educators and childcare providers through their employers,” said Governor Polis. “Colorado continues to be one of the leading states when it comes to getting vaccines administered and we are working hard to meet people where they are at. As access to the vaccine expands and additional doses from the federal government increases, the state is determined to keep it up.”

 

Governor Polis announced that Colorado’s vaccine allocation from the federal government will increase by 9,000 doses starting next week. The update was made public today during a weekly call between the White House and governors. At this new rate, Colorado is expecting an additional 27,000 vaccine doses over the next three weeks from the federal government. 

 

Governor Polis also provided an update on community-based and mass vaccination clinics that he has visited. SCL Health vaccinated 5,000 Coloradans and National Jewish vaccinated 1,000 people. Colorado is partnering with Salud Family Health Center, SCL Health, UCHealth, National Jewish Health, Valley Wide Health and many other organizations to stand up vaccination clinics to serve medically underserved and hard to reach communities throughout the state.

 

Linda Sosa and Rebecca Vasquez, who both received the vaccine as part of the aged 70 and older population, discussed their recent COVID-19 vaccination experiences in both English and Spanish.

 

“It was a nice experience and I feel safe now. When I got the vaccine, I didn’t feel anything,” said Linda Sosa. “This is a process, you have to have trust that you will get vaccinated. Thank you for being there Governor.” 

 

“My experience was fast, we went to the site once we got the appointment, we filled out a questionnaire on my health to take the vaccine. The only information I was asked for was my zip code and birth date. I got the shot inside the car and staff moved us inside with paramedics to make sure I didn’t have a reaction. And then I got to go home, it was very fast and very nice. Thank you Governor Polis for guiding us through this process,” said Rebecca Vasquez. 

 

As of Monday, the vaccine is now available to those aged 65 and older, as well as educators and child care workers. Coloradans aged 70 and older will still continue to be prioritized, as the state is set to reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of those aged 70 and up by the end of this month. 

 

Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order authorizing Executive Directors of certain agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents due to COVID-19 in Colorado. 

 

For more information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine, please visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926). 

 

View today’s press conference. 2/8/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Governor Polis extended an Executive Order permitting voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures under certain conditions in Colorado. 

2/6/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Governor Polis extended an Executive Order redirecting underutilized resources to nursing facilities and selected Home and Community-Based Services to help providers address the impacts of the pandemic, including severe staff shortages and substantial reductions in the use of these services due to COVID-19 in Colorado. 

2/5/21

Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. Governor Polis was also joined by Jill Ryan, the Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment. The Governor and Director Ryan released Colorado’s new COVID-19 Dial 2.0, which goes into effect Saturday, February 6 at 9 am. 

 

“Next week marks the start of Colorado’s effort to vaccinate all Coloradans aged 65 and older. This is a big step in getting as many vaccines into arms and saving as many lives as possible.  It is still our top priority to ensure that more than 70% of Coloradans aged 70 and up get the vaccine, and we are 64% of the way towards achieving that goal,” said Governor Polis. 

 

“Dial 2.0 is designed so that counties can swiftly move into more restrictive levels when their numbers go up, and more quickly into recovery when their numbers go down,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE Executive Director. “Input from our partners helped us tailor the new dial to best serve the needs of Coloradans at the local level. Since the dial’s last major change in November, Colorado has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state. More people now have immunity to COVID-19, including people over 70 and frontline health care workers. This relieves the strain on our hospital system.” 

 

“The release of Dial 2.0 is a more responsive way to allow individual counties to stay safely open based on their COVID-19 incident rates. But we can’t let our guard down now. We are all in this fight together, Colorado. Let’s stick with good social distancing practices and mask wearing as we work our way towards ending the pandemic by vaccinating more and more Coloradans,” Governor Polis added.

 

Prior to serving as Executive Director of CDPHE, Hunsaker Ryan served as Eagle County Commissioner and manager of the Eagle County Public Health agency.

 

The Dial 2.0 is an update that changes the incidence metrics for each level on the Dial. With this update, the range of incidence metrics were increased for all colors. Most counties in Colorado have been in orange and red levels for weeks, with some counties in yellow. With the update, many more counties will now operate in yellow and some in blue. 


 

As more and more Coloradans receive the vaccine, the state could revisit the dial and CDPHE will seek input for this evolution. 

 

School settings do not change in Dial 2.0. Capacity limits remain the same, with the exception of restaurants in Level Yellow, which may now have up to 150 people when using the social distancing calculator -- up from 100 people with the calculator. 

 

Five star businesses are still allowed to operate one level lower on the dial, except they may not operate in Protect Our Neighbors unless the county is formally in Protect Our Neighbors. Because caution is still a priority, counties in Yellow with a 5 Star Business Program may only operate in Blue once 70% of 70-year-olds are vaccinated with at least one dose, expected to happen by the end of the month.

 

Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals, inpatient treatment facilities, and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in outpatient settings due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado. 

 

View today’s presentation and press conference. 

 

For more information visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-dial 

2/4/21

Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Governor Polis extended an Executive Order directing individuals in Colorado to wear a medical or non-medical face covering due to the presence of COVID-19. 

2/2/21

Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. 

 

“Colorado is another month closer towards ending this pandemic. More Coloradans will be able to access the vaccine this month as we make it possible for Coloradans aged 65 and up, as well as our educators, to receive the vaccine while other states are struggling with distribution,” said Governor Polis. “Colorado is also set to hit a key target of vaccinating at least 70% of Coloradans aged 70 and up by the end of this month, who are our most vulnerable population accounting for the most deaths and hospitalizations related to this deadly virus.”

 

Yesterday, Governor Polis personally delivered 12 at home COVID tests to teachers across the state. Colorado, through a partnership with Binax, will deliver 1 million COVID tests to teachers every month to ensure the State’s educators have the resources they need to stay safe as they teach Colorado’s students. Last weekend, Governor Polis visited five vaccination clinics across the Denver metro area, and virtually visited a vaccination clinic in Glenwood Springs. 

 

Governor Polis shared an update on where Coloradans can receive the vaccine. Health care providers Denver Health, Centura Health, UCHealth, Kaiser Permanente, Boulder Community Health, Vail Health, SCL Health, Health One, and Salud Family Clinic have established hotlines and websites where Coloradans currently eligible for the vaccine can sign up. For more information, please visit www.cocovidvaccine.org or call Colorado’s vaccine hotline at 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926).

 

Governor Polis also provided an update on SCL Health’s mass vaccination event this weekend at the National Western Complex for Coloradans aged 70 and up. The event, which will vaccinate 5,000 Coloradans, seeks to specifically reach the State’s most underserved communities. The event is currently at capacity and walk-ins can’t be accommodated. 

 

For those who were not able to register for the SCL Health event this weekend, you can register your contact information to receive notifications as future vaccine appointments and other mass vaccination events become available. Please visit www.sclhealth.org/vaccineform to enter your information. 

 

Governor Polis announced that the Biden administration will be providing between 5,000 and 10,000 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to pharmacies in the state. Gov. Polis also discussed an announcement from the Biden administration related to a retroactive 100% FEMA reimbursement to states since the beginning of the pandemic. The Governor has urged the new administration and previous administration to take this action. 

 

Governor Polis also announced the launch of a COVID awareness campaign by the Colorado Tourism Office. The “Do Colorado Right” campaign aims to encourage both in-state and out-of-state winter travelers to avoid risky behaviors during the pandemic as they visit the State’s ski resorts and other destinations for the current winter and upcoming spring seasons. The campaign, which features Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder Red Gerard and “Bachelor” contestant Ben Higgins, among others, seeks to spread the message that everyone should stay six feet apart, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. 

 

Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order related to learning pods. The Governor also amended and extended an Executive Order allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado due to COVID-19. The amendments remove references to the Denver Convention Center, as it is being decommissioned as an alternate care site.  St. Anthony's and St. Mary-Corwin will continue to serve as alternate care sites.

 

View today’s presentation and press conference

2/2/21

Today, Gov. Jared Polis, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, Xcel Energy, and the Xcel Energy Foundation announced the latest round of grants for Colorado restaurants. 

 

In a year of challenges, our restaurants, bars, and food trucks and workers have faced hardship and remained resilient through it all,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This new round of grants from the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund will allow our partners to implement creative solutions, remain in operation and continue to serve their customers while inspiring consumer confidence.”

 

Funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies (ex: permit fees, tents, heaters). Grants are distributed through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation*, a 501c3 non-profit that serves as the philanthropic arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association. In this round, 260 restaurants in 30 counties received grants totaling $1,023,988. During the first round of grant funding, 129 restaurants across the state received aid. To date, the fund has raised $2,418,305.

 

“The Colorado Winter Outdoor Dining grant was a lifeline, providing funds for a new outdoor dining space that has already allowed us to hire several new employees,” said Theo Otte, Chef and Co-Owner, 626 on Rood. “This Winter of COVID has been tough, but the grant is the kind of help that we can use right away - to begin to grow back our business, while also giving us hope and assurance that things can and will get better in the coming months. Thank you from all of us at 626!”

 

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to expand our outdoor dining experience through the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund,” said Tony Garcia, Founder, Brues Ale House in Pueblo. “Our riverfront patio is now accessible through the winter months, keeping our patrons happy and maintaining the success of our business.”

 

Important contributors to the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund include the Colorado Health Foundation, MDC Holdings, New Belgium Brewing Company, DoorDash, Leprino Foods and the Denver Broncos Charitable Foundation. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade allocated $500k from the Economic Development Council's Strategic Fund.

 

In addition, the Colorado Health Foundation contributed $350,000 to be directed to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) restaurant owners. 

 

"We're grateful to Governor Polis and the State of Colorado for partnering with us on this critical effort, and we're deeply appreciative of all of the funders who made the program a reality. Restaurants have been telling us for months that they need cash and capacity to survive the pandemic. This program offered both: a way to expand seating during winter, and the means to pay for it,” said Sonia Riggs, President and CEO at Colorado Restaurant Association. “This is not a silver bullet - restaurants still need significant support if they are to make it to the other side of this crisis - but it certainly helped some restaurants keep their doors open for a few more months, and that gets them closer to the finish line."

 

This Fall, Gov. Polis, and CRA discussed ways to support local restaurants during this challenging time and announced the grant program. 

The Winter Outdoor Grant Program is made possible by a seed commitment from Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy, which made a $500,000 contribution to the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation to help support local restaurants through the winter season. Xcel is also providing a $50,000 match for every $500,000 raised, up to $250,000. 

For more information visit https://cooutdoordining.org/ 2/1/21

Today, Governor Polis hand-delivered COVID-19 rapid test kits directly to the homes of Colorado’s educators in Arvada, Parker, Fountain, and Pueblo.  Colorado launched a first of its kind, innovative At-Home Testing Program for educators. 

 

Colorado is one of only three states chosen to partner with Abbot BinaxNOW to expand use of rapid COVID-19 testing to further open our schools, our economy and successfully suppress the virus.  The team at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have innovated further by forging a partnership with Amazon and eMed, one of the nation’s leading digital health providers, to bring testing to the comfort of educators’ homes with a medical professional present through a telehealth appointment. 

 

“In-person learning is essential to the well-being and safety of our students, as well as the future of our economy. This is why my administration has worked to swiftly implement and responsibly fund an effective layered safety approach in order to get our students back in the classroom,” said Governor Polis. “I was thrilled to deliver these important tests to our educators today and to speak with them directly about how we can work together to overcome the unique challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. I delivered 11 of them and thankfully Amazon is delivering tens of thousands more.”  

 

Colorado purchased 2 million BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test kits, and the state is working to ensure the kits will be delivered directly to the homes of teachers, staff, and selected students from hundreds of participating public and private schools across the state.

“Colorado is one of the first states in the country to receive these test kits and we are pleased to support Governor Polis’ vision,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, eMed CEO. “The ability to test a population, in this case the teachers, staff, and students of Colorado, for COVID-19 is one of the necessary steps, along with masks, social distancing, and vaccines, that will allow us to curb the spread of this virus. The fact that the BinaxNOW test can be self-administered at home with results in as little as 15 minutes, makes this process easier than ever.”

BinaxNOW testing is one important part of the layered school safety protocols critical for ensuring students are able to learn in-person,  including vaccines for educators and school staff, mask-wearing, symptom screening, ventilation, cohort isolation, quarantine enforcement, and social distancing. These precautions are detailed in the State’s Roadmap to In-Person Learning, developed in partnership with the Back-to-School Working Group, a group of educators, parents, and public health professionals focused on getting the state back to in-person learning as soon as safely possible.  

“Amazon is committed to assisting Governor Polis and the State of Colorado in this vital initiative,” said Gopal Pillai, VP of Amazon Fulfillment and Distribution Solutions. “Through Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, CDPHE will store COVID-19 test kits in Amazon’s Denver fulfillment center and ship them with Amazon’s fast, reliable shipping directly to teachers, staff and selected students across the state, using a web portal. Amazon Web Services worked with the Governor’s Office of Information Technology to develop this system which integrates with Amazon’s fulfillment network to manage orders. Orders will be processed through the portal and received by Amazon’s fulfillment team in Denver to pick, pack, and ship tests.”

Since last Fall, the Polis administration has provided over 230,000 PCR tests to teachers and the education community through its vendor COVIDCheck Colorado As of January 28th, the state has funded more than 70 COVIDCheck Colorado testing locations throughout the state. The Polis administration has also provided over seven million medical-grade masks to teachers in both private and public schools delivered weekly to schools throughout the state, and this is scheduled to continue for the remainder of the school year. The Polis administration has also sent over $15 million in grants to school districts and schools throughout the state for additional measures to increase COVID safety protocols such as outdoor classrooms and ventilation improvements.

 

School faculty, staff, and selected students can use these kits as part of the ongoing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The tests can be used for symptomatic individuals, for those who have been exposed to COVID-19, and for screening asymptomatic individuals.

Developed by Abbott, the BinaxNOW test recently received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used with telehealth guidance, provided by eMed, for self-collection in individuals age 15 and older and for adult collection in children age 4-14 years. 

The Polis administration is working to ensure home BinaxNOW tests are available through the end of this school year to all districts and private schools that opt into the program. CDPHE purchased the first 2 million test kits for schools for use in the first month. Subsequent months will either be purchased through a cost-share agreement between schools and the state or may be reimbursed by the federal government. 

For more information on BinaxNOW test kits, please visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-testing-at-home

2/1/21

Governor Polis and the COVID Relief Fund today announced the seventh round of grants. This round of funding provided a total of $3,875,700 to 140 community-based organizations serving Coloradans who are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

 

“Coloradans can be proud of how communities and individuals have stepped up to help each other build back stronger than before the pandemic,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This wonderful fund has gone above and beyond to support community based organizations, diverse populations and innovative projects that will help our state. We are grateful to the organizations and individuals who have contributed to this program.”


As before, the Fund’s review committees and Decision and Allocation Committee engaged in a coordinated review process to ensure alignment with the Fund’s eligibility criteria and were informed by community data and insights from across Colorado to ensure grant awards are in service to the most acute needs of communities.

 

“As our community moves from response to recovery, we are incredibly proud to have supported this effort in collaboration with the individuals, corporations and foundations who have stepped forward to help during the pandemic crisis,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way. “Each gift represents the same urgent intent to help Coloradans. Through this round of funding we are once again able to meet those needs.”

 

“From the outset, the need to support critical services in Colorado communities disproportionately impacted by the crisis was clear,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, President and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the Governor’s office, other foundations, donors and generous supporters in our collective response to bring these critical services in reach for Coloradans.”

 

Through seven rounds, 1,002 grants have been distributed for a total of $23.6 million. There were 12,192 individual donors across the state. 4,457 applications were received from 2,476 organizations. A total of $109.9 million was requested, with $23.6 million distributed. $23.6 million is also the total amount raised.
 

View the list of grantees in the seventh round here. View the list of donors here