As coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreads in Colorado, KGNU is committed to keeping you informed about the virus and connected to local resources.
According to the CDPHE, 24,174 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Colorado with 1,332 deaths among cases (1,088 due to COVID-19)
De acuerdo al CDPHE, se han reportado 24,174 casos positivos de COVID-19 en Colorado con 1,332 muertes entre los casos (1,088 a causa de COVID-19)
*The CDPHE has changed the way it reports deaths from COVID-19. The state now includes a tally of total deaths among people who had COVID-19, but the disease was not listed as the cause of death on the death certificate. That is the higher number. The lower number reflects people who had COVID-19 listed as the cause of the death.
*El CDPHE ha cambiado la forma en que informa de las muertes por COVID-19. El estado ahora incluye un recuento de muertes totales entre las personas que tenían COVID-19, pero la enfermedad no figuraba como causa de la muerte en el certificado de defunción. Ese es un número mayor. El número menor refleja a personas que tenían COVID-19 como causa de la muerte.
Latest Colorado COVID-19 News:
Gov. Jared Polis said Thursday, May 21st, that he anticipates restaurants will be able to reopen statewide by the middle or end of next week under new guidelines that will be finalized over the weekend.
Colorado Politics reports that Polis discussed the plans during an online town hall with restaurant owners.
Some of the guidelines that have already been drafted by the state include allowing limited indoor seating with tables being spaced 10 feet apart. Restaurants would be encouraged to create more outdoor seating in areas such as sidewalks and parking lots in accordance with local planning regulations.
Restaurants would have to take the temperature of every employee before shifts begin, anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 would be required to stay home. Parties would be limited to six diners, and employees would be required to wear face masks and gloves when interacting with customers and handling food.
A recent survey by the Colorado Restaurant Association estimated that the industry lost an estimated $975 million in April.
The city of Denver is announced Thursday, May 21st, a large scale free coronavirus testing site outside the Pepsi Center.
The Denver Post reports that Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will be at the site later today announcing the logistics of the new testing setup which will be a drive-up facility.
Widespread testing for the coronavirus has been identified by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock as an integral part of the city’s path towards reopening.
Earlier this week Governor Polis announced that anyone in the state with symptoms of COVID-19 could get tested for free regardless of whether they have health insurance.
Speaking Wednesday, May 20th, With the Memorial Day weekend here Governor Polis and local authorities are asking people to recreate responsibly outdoors on local trails. People are asked to stay close to home and to maintain social distancing.
The City of Boulder said yesterday it would partially reopen some outdoor recreation services.
The Park-to-Park shuttle will begin its service to Chautauqua on May 23, 2020. The city says the shuttle has implemented safety measures to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19.
Larger, full-sized buses will be used to allow for social distancing. Only 10 riders will be allowed on the bus at a time. All passengers will enter at the rear door and Face coverings are required for all passengers.
Boulder Reservoir will re-open on a very limited basis only to boat and small watercraft permit holders, and those with existing reservations.
The Rocky Mountain National Park says it plans to increase recreational access and services on May 27.
Some campgrounds will partially reopen in early June.
Trail Ridge Road will remain closed in an effort to curb the number of tourists who could potentially spread the novel coronavirus. According to the park’s website Trail Ridge Road is closed to all travel until further notice due to COVID-19.
There have been 3 cases reported in Colorado of an inflammatory disease related to COVID-19 that specifically impacts children. Dr. Sam Dominguez said at a press conference on Wednesday, May 20th, that Children’s Hospital in Denver is able to treat Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome. He said it is quite rare, but advised parents to be on the lookout for symptoms including multiple days of high fever, rash and significant abdominal pain. He advised parents to contact their pediatricians if they are concerned about possible symptoms of MIS-C.
The panel charged with setting the state’s budget slashed nearly $500 million from Colorado’s higher education funding. The reduction amounts to a cut of almost 60 percent from the current budget.
The Joint Budget Committee decided yesterday to make the cuts, and as Chalkbeat reports, lawmakers are trying to address the state’s shortfall in revenue due to the pandemic.
However, the impact of the cuts to higher education will be softened by Governor Jared Polis’ Monday evening order to give $450 million from federal money to the state’s public colleges and universities.
In addition to falling state revenues, higher education is facing another challenge from the threat of enrollment declines.
The cuts to colleges and universities came after the end of a long day of agonizing decisions by the committee including discussions of potential cuts to K-12 schools. Any cuts in that area such as reducing base funding were put off.
Colorado’s college tuition is already high relative to other state’s public systems. During the last two recessions, the schools raised tuition to make up for a decline in state support.
There will be no tuition or fee increases over the coming academic year at the Colorado University System after yesterday’s Board of Regents vote.
Chancellor Philip DiStefano said in a release that they want to ensure access for students and families during this time. The Regents also decided to suspend employee merit increases for the next fiscal year.
So far the Boulder campus has notified about 450 employees that they will be furloughed on or before June 1.
On Tuesday, May 19th, leaders of the Boulder Valley School District told the Board of Education that its schools may be in better financial shape than initially predicted.
The Daily Camera reports that the system’s Chief Financial Officer, Bill Sutter, said that funding for K-12 cannot be cut beyond a certain level as a requirement of federal pandemic relief.
Sutter said that there’s a scenario where next year doesn’t look all that bad, an outlook that is very different from what it was recently.
The district is currently predicting no funding increase from the state and a slight decrease in enrollment.
Some Republicans are not pleased with the Governor’s executive order. On Monday night, May 18th, Governor Polis along with Democratic leadership announced how the state will allocate more than $1.6 billion dollars in federal CARES Act funding – some of which, as noted, will ease the cuts to higher education and K-12 schools.
However, The Denver Channel reports that GOP leaders objected to the governor’s order saying that it was issued without input from their side of the aisle.
State Senator Bob Rankin, a Republican from Carbondale, said in a statement that, for the governor to announce the allocation without so much as consulting the Joint Budget Committee, is not only a lapse in leadership, but has eliminated the people’s voice over how their money is spent.
Other GOP members accused Polis of going back on his statement made in April that the state legislature decides how revenues are spent. U.S. Representative Scott Tipton, a Republican from the West Slope said that the federal Treasury Department should look into the governor’s executive order to see if it meets the law’s requirements.
The Governor said in his order that he has the authority to direct the expenditures, and he has worked in a bipartisan way with the federal delegation ad legislative leadership.
The City of Boulder announced Wednesday, May 20th, it is closing part of Boulder Creek, close to Eben G. Fine Park, effective immediately in an effort to reduce the community spread of COVID-19.
Wednesday’s announcement comes after a newspaper photograph showing dozens of young people gathered Monday along the banks of Boulder Creek. None of the sunbathers wore masks or practiced social distancing.
The closures include all park land and creek bed north of the Boulder Creek Path from the eastern boundary of Eben G. Fine Park to the western boundary of the city of Boulder.
Eben G. Fine Park itself will remain open.
Today’s announcement comes after crowds of people gathered at Boulder Creek last weekend
The closures will be monitored by police and gatherings of 10 or more people will be asked to disperse.
Janitors and members of the Service Employees International Union staged a protest in downtown Denver on Tuesday, May 19th, saying that managers of large office buildings need to take care of the people who clean them.
Protesters circled the block around 1801 California Street – a high rise office building managed by Brookfield Properties.
The Denverite reports that the demonstrators blew car horns and waved signs in Spanish saying, “we want justice” as a small group chanted similar slogans on the corner.
A local leader of the SEIU said the pandemic has made janitorial services more essential than ever, and his union is demanding healthcare, personal protective equipment, higher wages and new training. The union represents about 2,400 janitors who work in about 800 buildings in the metro area. At least 80 percent of the union’s janitors are Latina women.
In an effort to get feedback from stakeholders, the state Department of Public Health and Environment has released preliminary guidelines for restaurants to reopen.
Under the proposed measures indoor seating must be eight feet apart, and all tables must have six or fewer seats. All employees must wear facial coverings and gloves. Customers when not eating or drinking would have to wear masks, and also as they enter or exit. And Restaurants would have to stop serving by 10 p.m.
On May 25, Memorial Day the state will decide if and when restaurants can reopen and under what rules.
Governor Jared Polis said Monday, May 18th, that anyone in the state who has coronavirus symptoms can get tested.
Polis said that when there weren’t enough tests in Colorado, the original message from state officials was that if people were sick, whether it was COVID-19 or not, they should self-isolate at home.
“That can still be your choice,” said Polis “but we are now encouraging you to get tested to see if it is COVID if you have flu-like symptoms.”
Polis said that there isn’t as much flu now in Colorado due to social distancing, which means that if you have flu-like symptoms there’s a higher chance that you could have COVID-19.
Polis said that testing is free whether a person has insurance or not. There is no copay or out-of-pocket fee, regardless of the type of health insurance someone may have.
Sunday, May 17th, Governor Jared Polis said that he expects many K-12 public schools will open this fall in Colorado and elsewhere.
He told Fox News Sunday that it’s not going to look like any other school year and things will likely be run in a “hybrid” fashion. Interactions in hallways and during lunchtime will be limited, and up to 20% of kids will continue with online classes at home, if that is the preference of their parents.
He said that schools could also close periodically when there’s an inevitable outbreak.
On Saturday, May 16th, The governor ordered that workers at essential government businesses and critical government jobs must continue to wear masks when at work until at least June 15th. The mask order has already been in place for 30 days, and Polis cited the continuing need to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Workers in grocery stores, restaurants, liquor stores, and food processing plants, among others, must wear masks and should also wear gloves if provided by employers.
While the general public in Colorado is not required to wear masks, at least 15 cities and counties including Denver and Boulder require face coverings for all individuals in public businesses and spaces.
It will be easier now for people to collect signatures for ballot measures. On Friday, May 15th, Governor Polis signed an executive order allowing the Secretary of State to create temporary rules so signatures can be collected by mail or email.
The governor also ordered that unaffiliated and independent candidates for office are allowed to gather signatures by mail or email.
The Denver Post reports that the fate of several ballot measures have been hanging in the balance including a proposal for paid family leave.
The change in rules has been a sensitive topic in the last several weeks. Some say it’s necessary, and others argue it could open a Pandora’s Box.
In response to the Governor’s order, the Denver Chamber of Commerce said in a release that it was a violation of our constitution.
But a coalition of health and child advocacy groups applauded the governor’s action including those that back an initiative that would increase taxes on tobacco and nicotine products.
On Friday, May 15th, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment changed the way it reports deaths from the coronavirus. Now the state includes a tally of total fatalities among people who had COVID-19, but the disease was not listed as the cause of death on the death certificate.
As of Sunday, 1,215 people who had the virus have died, with 878 of those listed as succumbing due to the virus. The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 remained unchanged from the prior day.
And as of yesterday less than 500 remained hospitalized with the virus – the lowest number since the end of March.
Denver area hospitals report that the number of emergency room visits were down anywhere from 30 to 50 percent in April compared to the same month last year.
The Denver Post reports that the lower numbers could be due to fewer accidents from work or outdoor activities; but according to an emergency room physician, that doesn’t explain why hospitals are seeing fewer heart attacks and strokes.
Dr. Richard Zane of CU’s School of Medicine said that not a single day goes by that they don’t see people who have had symptoms with things like stroke or heart attack for days, but they delayed going in to the hospital.
Emergency responders and hospitals are encouraging patients to use virtual care options, if appropriate, and to seek emergency care should it be needed. They emphasize that they have measures in place to handle the coronavirus.
Boulder County health workers are having trouble getting some people to share the information needed to track the progress of COVID-19. The Daily Camera reports that such information is critical to public health and the key to the county’s recovery from the pandemic.
Chana Gousettis, spokesperson for the county health department, said that the problem is an increasing trend particularly among the Spanish speaking population.
She added it is possibly related to immigration status as well as concerns about joblessness – if someone is identified as exposed to the virus, then the belief may be their employer would fire them, even if they don’t have symptoms.
She also said that it’s likely some just aren’t comfortable making a public record of everyone they have been in touch with on a day-to-day basis.
Health officials emphasized that, in order to limit the spread its staff needs those who have been sick to recall and share the details of everyone with whom they have had close contact during the time they were infectious. The department says it does not share data with anyone.
About 30 people are working to get in touch with those contacts to inform them of their potential exposure as rapidly and as sensitively as possible.
On Friday, May 15th, Governor Polis gave the latest updates on the coronavirus in Colorado.
1,091 people have died from the virus statewide, but the governor says the number of serious COVID-19 cases appears to be steadily falling.
He also spoke about today being declared a day to honor those who have died from COVID-19.
The State Capitol, along with cities, counties and other organizations, will be turning their lights red at 7 p.m. to honor the more than 1,000 Coloradans who have passed. The state is encouraging buildings and businesses across the state to turn their lights red as well, and for police and fire departments to turn their lights on at 7 p.m. for one minute.
Coloradans can participate by wearing their protective masks for a minute of silence to show that they are doing their part to save lives.
Gov. Polis said that the main reason Coloradans will honor the over 1,000 lives lost here in the state was because victim’s family and friends were not able to have proper last rites and funerals for them. He added that this is also for friends and neighbors who are struggling in these trying times and to let them know that they are not alone.
Denver mayor Michael Hancock announced on Thursday, May 14th, that thousands of city employees would have to take 8 furlough days by the end year due to significant budget cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. First responders like police and firefighters would be exempt.
The furloughs are expected to save the city about $16 million. Overall the city is facing a $226 million shortfall.
The Denverite reports that the city anticipates a 10.5 percent loss of revenue for its general fund. The loss in the 2008-’09 recession amounted to about 6.5 percent.
12 of the 13 city council members and the mayor will take 8 voluntary furlough days.
Candi CdeBaca who represents Denver’s District 9 said in a statement on her Facebook page that she would not take voluntary furlough days because coming into 2020, Denver’s legislative branch had already been operating on an anemic budget. Now we are being told by a separate branch of government to cut our office budgets during a time when we must provide more support to constituents.
CdeBaca concluded her statement saying that her district has the highest concentration of homelessness and poverty in the city, and rather surrendering funds that won’t make a difference to the Mayor’s excessive budget, her office will use what would be furlough savings to continue giving back directly to those who need it most in the community.
Colorado colleges and universities have received millions of dollars from the federal coronavirus stimulus package to help students who are impacted during the pandemic. But the Trump administration has barred colleges from using that money to help undocumented students including DACA students. It’s prompting state colleges to find other ways to help the students.
Colorado State University, based on an assessment of student need, has given $1,500 grants to 400 students not included in the federal CARES Act, including 218 undocumented individuals.
Metropolitan State University of Denver said grants for its Dreamer population would range from $250 to $650 per student based on need, with $80,000 to help the university’s 381 undocumented students.
All of the University of Colorado campuses has set up a student relief fund. It is giving preference to students in the DACA program and others who are unable to get federal money. CU’s grants are also based on type of need. The University of Northern Colorado is looking at private philanthropy to help their undocumented student population.
There are 15,000 immigrants in Colorado enrolled in the Obama-era DACA program, which allowed people who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country.
Governor Jared Polis met with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday, May 13th, along with the Governor of North Dakota.
The two were told by Trump that they were doing an excellent job. Polis and other members of the Colorado delegation wore masks while Donald Trump and Governor Doug Burgum, a Republican, not wearing masks.
Governor Polis took his mask off during the meeting.
Polis told reporters that he and others, including Trump advisor Jared Kushner, met with the president for more than 20 minutes after the televised portion of the meeting discussing testing and the need to increase supplies at nursing homes, the governor said. Governor Polis told reporters after the meeting that his mission in Washington was seek more federal support, including testing supplies and protective equipment such as N95 masks.
Polis has avoided directly criticizing Donald Trump during the pandemic, although he has expressed frustration with the federal response especially around testing. On being asked by reporters after Wednesday’s meeting about his feelings on Donald Trump, he repeatedly said, “He’s the president that we have.”
One residential nursing home in Broomfield has seen deaths from COVID-19 more than double in the past week.
The Daily Camera reports that figures released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, showed 9 confirmed COVID-19 deaths at Sunrise at Flatirons two more deaths have been identified as probable. A week earlier it had recorded four.
The Broomfield Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, another facility, has now recorded seven deaths resulting from the pandemic, up from five one week earlier. Residential Nursing facilities have been a hot spot for COVID-19.
1,062 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.
Boulder residents were allowed to adopt Safer at Home measures last Saturday after six-and-a-half weeks under stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. County health officials had mostly positive news for Boulder City Council last night.
Boulder County Director of Public Health Jeff Zayach told Boulder City Council that the growth in daily COVID-19 cases peaked on April 27 and has been dropping since. Zayach said as of Tuesday, there were 775 county cases, with 144 hospitalized, 297 recovered and 54 deaths.
Zayach told city council that the majority of deaths from COVID-19 are happening in long-term care facilities. He said the county an entire team working on that to support facilities and doing everything they can to control the spread in those facilities.
Zayach noted that the number of positive cases could increase as the county begins offering more testing. He emphasized that maintaining a distance of six feet from others, avoiding large gatherings and wearing face coverings is still recommended to avoid infection.
Restaurants expect to hear from Governor Jared Polis on May 25 about policies for how restaurants can operate going forward. With that in mind, city council discussed temporary right-of-way changes that would allow outdoor sit-down dining around town, with separation among patrons, and maybe even liquor service, if the state allows. Parking changes could also be adopted with some sections of streets or alleys closed to traffic to create more outdoor seating with the goal of getting restaurants back on their feet.
Lawmakers were advised Tuesday morning, May 12th, by the state’s joint budget committee that about a tenth of next year’s budget will be cut as a result of the pandemic.
The state will have approximately $3 billion less to spend next year. The drop is not just due to the coronavirus however, Colorado Politics reports that oil and gas revenue is declining also.
But it is the pandemic that is creating the biggest impact. General fund revenues which are made up of individual and corporate income taxes, and sales and use taxes, are estimated to be down more than $2 billion in 2020-21 as a result of the coronavirus.
Lawmakers will have to tackle the state budget when they return to the state capitol later this month.
On Monday, May 11th, a federal judge ruled that the U.S. Constitution requires that the Weld County provide special protections to medically vulnerable people incarcerated in the Weld County Jail. The ruling comes after a class action lawsuit was filed by a team of ACLU and civil right attorneys. The suit asked the courts to compel the Sheriff to comply with public health guidelines. These include physical distancing — for all high-risk people being held at the jail.
The suit said that the sheriff’s department had failed to identify and provide heightened protections for medically vulnerable people, in violation of their constitutional rights. The court ordered that the Weld County Jail must identify incarcerated people who are medically vulnerable, socially distance them and provide them with single cells to the greatest extent possible, monitor them for signs of illness, adequately clean communal spaces used by medically vulnerable inmates, and ensure that medically vulnerable inmates have access to face masks.
Speaking Monday, May 11th, Governor Jared Polis said that there are nearly 20,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Colorado, but he said the actual number of positive cases is likely to be several times that number. 987 people have died of COVID-19 so far in the state.
Governor Polis said that public health officials are looking at the data for the last 2 weeks, since the state transitioned into the safer-at-home phase.
He said that they are seeing a decrease in the growth of diagnosed cases and a decrease in the number of hospitalizations.
The daily growth rate in Colorado is 0.9% daily growth rate, that’s the first time Colorado has been below 1% growth. Daily hospitalizations are down to 0.1% growth.
Approximately 1 in 10 people who contract the virus will need hospitalization.
Some updates were made today regarding the opening of certain facilities in the state.
Camping can resume in state parks, unless host counties don’t want it. Governor Polis said that camping is a safe activity with campsites set several feet apart. Campers are being accepted by reservation only at cpwshop.com.
Monday, May 11th, Governor Polis called out those who have not been adhering to the social distancing guidelines and particularly businesses that have broken the law in opening their establishments. On Sunday, C & C Coffee and Kitchen garnered national attention when it opened for dine-in services, attracting crowds of people into the restaurant. The Denver Post reports that today The Tri-County Health Department ordered the Castle Rock restaurant to close until it complies with the statewide COVID-19 public health order limiting restaurants to take out and delivery services.
A statement from the Health Department said that “If the restaurant refuses to follow Governor Jared Polis’ public health order, further legal action will be taken that could include revocation of the restaurant’s license.”
School Districts in the metro area may be winding down their online teaching courses with the end of the academic year approaching, however, they will still provide food assistance to families in need throughout the summer. Speaking at a town hall earlier this week, Julie Van Domelen, Executive Director of the Emergency Family Assistance Association, said school districts have helped reduce the pressure on local food banks.
Van Domelen says the Boulder Valley School District has stepped in and played and incredibly important role in food distribution. “We all see on the TV these lines and lines of cars trying to get food, we have not experienced that and I think part of the reason is that the school districts have stepped in with really significant distributions in multiple sites,” she said.
BVSD continues to distribute several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Identification or paperwork is not be required to receive food.
Details on the location of food distribution is at bvsd.org.
Denver Public Schools said Thursday, May 7th, that the next academic year will begin as scheduled in August but will likely consist of a mix of in-person and remote learning.
The school district Superintendent Susana Cordova said in a letter to students and teachers that this is part of an effort to maintain social distancing and prioritize health and safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Cordova said that the plans haven’t been finalized yet but they will follow the guidance of health experts as they develop them.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, May 6th, approved a request from Colorado and a dozen other states to allow online purchases using federal food assistance.
Colorado Politics reports that Before March of this year, only New York and Washington allowed recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to order food online as a pilot program. Between March and April, the USDA added four more states. In the majority of participating states, Walmart and Amazon are the only authorized retailers to accept online payments.
People are continuing to file for unemployment assistance in Colorado at record levels. The Department of Labor reported more than 28,000 people filed initial claims last week. That’s a reduction from the last full week in April which saw more than 38,000 initial claims filed. All of the top seven weeks for claims in state history have come since March 8.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife have extended indefinitely the current ban on camping in Colorado state parks.
The ban began six weeks ago and has been extended until further notice.
CPW said the decision was based on Colorado’s Safer at Home guidelines, along with advice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Speaking this Wednesday afternoon, May 6th, Governor Jared Polis said that it is extremely likely that the coronavirus had been circulating in Colorado long before the first official case was actually confirmed.
Governor Polis reiterated the need for people to only go out in public when needed, to wear a mask in public and to maintain social distancing.
As the state transitions into the safer at home phase Governor Polis said people should significantly reduce their personal contacts with other people. He said people should have just a third of the social interactions that they would have had in January of this year.
Mayor Michael Hancock on Tuesday afternoon, May 5th, outlined the next steps for businesses and retail establishments who will begin to open up this Saturday, following the expiration of the city’s Stay At Home order.
Hancock said measures like special hours for vulnerable populations will be introduced as well as, six feet of physical distancing between people, symptoms and temperature checks, and frequent disinfecting of common spaces.
Mayor Hancock said that while many businesses will be able to reopen this weekend, several will still be subject to closure. These include restaurants and bars, except for curbside pick-up and delivery; gyms, yoga and fitness studios; music theaters and concert venues; outdoor recreation facilities like children’s playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts; libraries and recreation centers. Large gatherings of 10 or more people will still be prohibited through May 26 as per the state’s order.
Starting tomorrow, residents in Denver will be required to wear facemasks while in businesses, retail establishments or at bus stops.
Boulder County announced Tuesday, May 5th, that it will not extend its stay at home order beyond May 8th and instead the county will move into a safer at home phase.
In a statement today, Jeff Zayach, the Executive Director of Boulder County Public Health, said that he feels comfortable moving forward to the more relaxed Safer-at-Home phase on May 9 since progress has been made on testing access and staff has been added for contact tracing. Zayach also added that the county has been working with the business community to develop social distancing requirements.
Beginning May 9, every person older than 12 years of age will be required to wear a face covering when in public anywhere in Boulder County, where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
Today’s announcement comes after a Public Health “Facial Covering” Order was approved over the weekend by the Boulder County Board of Health.
May 9th is the day after the county’s stay at home order expires. Boulder County follows a similar ordinance approved last week by Boulder City Council.
Boulder County’s order includes some exemptions, including people working alone in an office, anyone whose health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering, and children aged 12 years and younger.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will not extend the stay at home order for the city that is due to expire this Friday, May 8th.
The Denver Post reports that the city will instead slowly begin to relax restrictions that have been in place for over a month.
Residents of Denver will also have to wear facial coverings in public starting this Wednesday, May 6th.
Residents and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside of, or waiting in line to enter, certain businesses, facilities or locations.
These include any retail or commercial business, at a bus stop or facilities offering health care services.
Other parts of Colorado without local extensions to the stay at home order entered the next step in the Safer at Home phase today. Starting today, offices can reopen at 50% reduced in-person staffing and child care facilities can also expand or reopen if they are following best practices.
Starting this morning, (Monday, May 4th) Clinica Family Health is offering COVID-19 testing to symptomatic members of the general public, not just Clinica patients. The testing site is located at 1735. S. Public Road in Lafayette. Tests are available Monday through Friday, 9am to noon. No appointment is needed. Testing is available to anyone currently experiencing coronavirus-type symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and who meets the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) criteria for testing: including health care workers with flu-like symptoms, those over 65 with symptoms and those with underlying conditions who have symptoms. More information is available at clinica.org
Residents of Denver will soon be required to wear face masks or face coverings in public. The Denverite reports that on a zoom call with local officials on Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock indicated that he will soon issue an executive order on the issue.
During yesterday’s call Hancock said people will be able to comply by either wearing a face mask or a face coverings, like a bandanna. People who can’t wear masks due to health reasons would be exempt from the order.
This comes after Boulder City Council this week passed an ordinance requiring face coverings. The measure will require customers and clients of businesses to cover their mouths and noses in workplaces and spaces of “public accommodation” with a mask or other face covering such as a bandana.
Governor Polis signed several executive orders late Thursday, April 30th, related to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Denver Post reports that one order cuts government spending in the state by more than $228 million.
The cuts don’t impact salaries or cause layoffs, rather they seek to minimize travel for conferences and could lead to some projects being delayed.
The other executive orders limit evictions, foreclosures and utility shutoffs during the pandemic.
Governor Polis has not supported a rent freeze despite a call from Denver City Council and growing numbers of non- profits to enact one. The executive order instead gives increased protections to renters including stopping landlords from assessing fees for nonpayment; directing landlords to notify tenants in writing of their federal eviction and foreclosure protections, and it directs state agencies to work with property owners and landlords on creating new agreements to allow tenants additional time to repay rent.
Another executive orders signed last night increases government funding for residential nursing homes to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
A large homeless encampment in Five Points in Denver was cleared on Thursday, April 30th, despite guidance from the Center for Disease control that says not to break up camps as that disperses people who are potentially infected with COVID-19 into the community and severs their ties with service providers.
The Denverite reports that the city said they were concerned that the public right of way was being blocked and that health and safety was being undermined as the area became increasingly hazardous.
At least 200 people experiencing homelessness in Denver have tested positive for COVID-19, including some at the recently opened shelter for men at the National Western Center’s Hall of Education.
Advocates for the homeless and other groups including the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado had called for the cleanup to be cancelled as a matter of public health and human dignity.
They’re calling on Denver city officials to prioritize finding housing for those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Figures released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday, April 29th, show that the JBS meat packing plant in Greeley is one of Colorado’s largest confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks.
245 workers at the plant have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6 have died of the disease.
This week Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to keep meatpacking plants in the U.S. open during the coronavirus pandemic.
The plant in Greeley reopened last Friday after being closed for 9 days for cleaning and restructuring to allow for more distancing between workers.
Last week the union representing the workers received a cease and desist letter from JBS over their speaking out to the media about worker safety.
Dustin Hibbs, a worker at the plant, told KGNU there are not enough measures in place to protect workers.
He says that when workers go in they are given a mask and hand sanitizer, however, on the meat processing floor, Hibbs says workers are in close proximity to each other.
“There’s maybe 10 or 12 stations side by side to each other, and we have to work in those stations as the meat goes by and we bump shoulders, we bump arms and there’s no social distance on the floor which is a concern.”
Speaking Wednesday afternoon, April 28th, Governor Jared Polis expanded on what the new safer at home phase looks like for Colorado.
He said that we can expect to see a significant expansion in testing capacity for COVID 19. There should be 5000 tests a day happening in early May, increasing to 8,500 tests a day towards the end of May. That is up from the approximately 2000 tests per day that are currently happening in Colorado.
Governor Polis says testing will include targeting testing of people who are asymptomatic but who are working and in contact with vulnerable people, for example, workers in residential nursing homes.
Testing is currently being done across the state at hospitals, at community sites and at mobile state run test sites. Governor Polis says this will continue as will partnership with private entities like this week’s pop up testing site on the Auraria campus in Denver done in partnership with King Soopers pharmacy.
Boulder is expected to ease stay-at-home restrictions on May 9th, but the use of face coverings will be required inside local businesses. Boulder City Council approved the emergency ordinance Tuesday night, April 28th, with the support of local health officials trying to control the spread of COVID-19. Find the full story here.
As health experts try to predict the severity and length of the coronavirus pandemic, economists try to predict how local governments will fare.
Boulder City Council heard from Rich Wobbekind with the CU Leeds School of Business on Tuesday, April 28th. While complete data for the first quarter of 2020 won’t be available for a few more days, Wobbekind said that prior to the pandemic, Colorado had the nation’s third-lowest unemployment rate. Now its 31st at 10-point-seven percent, with 300-thousand unemployment claims in the past five weeks and more expected.
Optimistically, he noted that Colorado was on strong economic footing prior to the COVID-19 crisis, but its heavy reliance on hospitality and tourism jobs could make recovery painful. He also worries about how willing some people may be to resume normal activities that feed the economy.
On a side note, Wobbekind’s presentation showed that in Colorado, more women than men are filing unemployment claims.
The state has received more than $10 million from the federal government to fun epidemiological work and lab testing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the money is coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act.
The money was received by the state last week and will be spread over a two year period. It will go toward contact tracing and outbreak response especially in high-risk settings and among high-risk populations. It will also help strengthen and enhance laboratory testing.
Testing and contact tracing have been a challenge for the state with supplies like swabs and test kits being in short supply. Currently, there is a capacity of 2000 tests per day for the entire state. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has said that he would like to see 1000 tests a day done in the city before he considers loosening current stay at home orders.
Governor Jared Polis announced Monday, April 27th, that Colorado is joining other Western states in a regional pact that seeks to coordinate approaches to lifting stay at home orders.
The other states who are part of the Western States Pact are California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. The governors of all these states are Democrats.
The Denver Post reports that the pact operates under three principles: that health concerns come first; that health outcomes and science, not politics, will guide decisions; and that the states are more effective when working together.
Similar pacts have been made in other regions like the Mid-West and North East.
Many public health and government officials say a regional approach is needed due to interstate travel and commerce.
Free COVID 19 drive-thru testing is being offered at the Auraria campus in Denver this week (April 27th – May 1st).
The tests will be self-administered in people’s cars and will be happening between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. Approximately 500 people will be tested.
The testing is a partnership between the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center and King Soopers pharmacy.
People must register in advance at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting, where a virtual screening tool based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines will be used to determine eligibility for testing.
Testing remains an issue in Colorado. Last week Denver mayor Michael Hancock said that he would like to see 1000 people tested a day in the city before he lifts the stay at home order, which is currently expected to expire on May 8th.
This week, state lawmakers and budget writers will start reviewing recommendations for potential spending cuts across all agencies. The Colorado Sun reports that the Governor’s budget office is projecting lost revenue of $3 billion for the current fiscal year and the next.
The possible cuts could be as much as 20 percent forcing hard choices for legislators that will impact most Colorado families. The challenge facing lawmakers is that the impact of lower tax revenues is expected to continue for many years to come.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Friday morning, April 24th, that he was extending the city’s stay at home order until May 8th, almost two weeks after the state’s stay at home order expires.
Mayor Hancock said that he made the decision after looking at the data on infections and hospitalizations in the city.
He said that while they were flattening the curve, Denver’s specific metrics of new infections, new hospitalization rates and mortality rates suggest that Denver was not out of the woods.
He said the city needs more time to scale up testing and tracing capacity and to provide residents and businesses the type of specific guidance they’re asking for.
Mayor Hancock emphasized during a press conference today that the Governor’s guidance has been helpful for the entire state.
He said that all elected leaders are looking at the situation and making decisions that are best for their own communities.
A major component of Denver’s decision to extend the stay at home order is testing.
Public Health Executive Director Bob McDonald said today that the city is working on getting a workforce in place to provide citywide testing.
This would include 100 people who will be trained in the next few weeks. Mayor Hancock said today he wants to ramp up testing to 1,000 tests a day.
Denver Health will offer tests, as will sites throughout the city and metro area, within the next two and a half weeks.
How the pandemic is impacting those experiencing homelessness is still a major concern.
Advocates for the homeless say a sweep is scheduled to take place on April 30th of a camp in the Five Points area. The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless says that shelters are nearly at capacity.
Britta Fisher, Chief Housing Officer for Denver, said today that the city is still working on providing shelter and facilities for those experiencing homelessness, including building more shelter space, sourcing hotel and motel rooms as well as providing other measures like expanded toilet and handwashing facilities.
Boulder County and Jefferson County announced Friday, April 24th, that they were also extending their stay at home orders until May 8th.
The City of Boulder says Most City buildings and facilities will remain closed through June 1.
Boulder County announced they will continue to keep buildings closed to the public through May 31st, with limited exceptions.
Those include limited public access to the Boulder County Center, the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters and the Treasurer’s Office in Boulder. Other exceptions include county employees who are performing in-the-field activities.
Boulder County will continue to provide online and phone services for county programs and services that do not require in-person interactions.
The Community Planning and Permitting Department has a new online application system allowing staff to accept planning and permitting applications online.
Another important exception is for those who are in an unsafe situation. You are encouraged to leave your homes in order to get help or to call for assistance.
The latest public health order for Colorado, mandating that workers at critical businesses wear personal protective equipment while on the job, takes effect today, April 23rd. Public Health Order 20 26 follows an executive order of a similar nature that Governor Jared Polis signed into action last Friday. The mandate requires employees of essential businesses to wear face coverings and gloves, especially if they work in close contact with each other or with the general public. Employees who handle food also must wear masks, even if they do not closely interact with customers or other employees.
The order encourages employers to support their workers by providing face coverings, and making accommodations for people to continue some form of work even if they cannot wear a mask for some reason. Additionally, workers in long-term care facilities and non-resident visitors must also wear masks.
Non-healthcare employees should wear non-medical masks, and use gloves in an efficient manner, so as to leave medical-grade equipment for hospitals. Currently, Colorado is not over capacity for personal protective equipment, but due to the urgency of the current situation, the state distributes new shipments of PPE to healthcare centers as soon as they arrive. Sarah Tuneberg, director for the state’s Innovation Response Team, emphasized in a press call today the difficulty of obtaining PPE in the first place, as states compete in bidding wars against one another, the federal government and even other countries.
The public health order is in place until May 17, though it may be extended, changed or revoked.
Data on coronavirus-related deaths will soon paint a more accurate picture of the impact of COVID-19 on the state. Probable deaths – people who did not officially test positive for the virus, but whose death certificate lists COVID-19 or a related cause – have not previously been included in data, but will soon be integrated.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment expects the statewide death count to rise by about one hundred and thirty as a result of this change. Increases in targeted testing efforts will also result in higher COVID-19 case numbers, though experts estimate that statistics will continue to underestimate the number of cases occurring. Neither the increase in death data nor the increase in case data necessarily indicate changes in the virus’ trend, but rather indicate more effective monitoring and reporting systems.
Additionally, death data going forward will be registered in the state’s database under the day the death occurred. So far, deaths have been counted based on the reported date, which may not be the same day as the death itself.
The Colorado Department of Labor says that they have received more than 30,000 claims since Monday, April 20th, which is when they launched a new online application to begin taking claims from self-employed, gig workers and those otherwise not eligible for regular unemployment due to COVID-19.
Speaking Wednesday, April 22nd, Governor Jared Polis gave more details on the “safer at home phase” that begins Monday, April 27.
Personal service providers, like hair salons, will be able to reopen on April 27, but measures must be in place, for example, hairstylists must wear masks. Child care can restart on April 27.
Retailers can offer curbside pickup and then they will have the option to open May 1, Polis said, as long as they have social-distancing policies in place. Offices can reopen the following Monday, May 4, he said, although he added telecommuting should be maximized as much as possible, particularly with older employees. Restaurants and bars will stay closed initially but can continue to offer take out and they may be allowed to open in mid-May.
The Governor said people should still continue to stay at home except when you need to leave to go to work or get groceries. For those over 65 or with an underlying medical condition, stay at home except when absolutely necessary.
Governor Polis said that testing and containment has been a major focus of the state’s response, but he says it’s only one part of a four-part strategy including social distancing, additional protections for the most vulnerable and wearing face masks in public.
More than a week ago, the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley announced that it was investing more than $1 million dollars in COVID – 19 testing kits for its employees. But Denver7 is reporting that promises by the company to provide testing have not been kept. Informed sources have said testing was stopped shortly after it started.
The state reports that at least 100 employees at the plant have tested positive for the disease, with four having died and two currently on ventilators.
The outbreak at the JBS facility attracted national attention on April 10 when Vice President Pence spoke about concerns during a White House briefing.
The state department of public health announced a two-week closure of the plant, but it is set to reopen this Friday.
Sylvia Martinez a spokesperson for Latinos Unidos of Greeley said that they can only assume the reason testing was stopped was that the company does not want the number to come out which would be bad PR. The state department of health, the Weld County department and JBS did not respond to the station’ request for information.
On Monday, April 20th, Governor Jared Polis announced plans for next week after the current stay at home order expires. He said, the state will now move to a “safer at home” phase.
There will be a gradual reopening of retail stores and personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and dental offices, however this will only happen with strict social distancing precautions in place.
More details about the types of businesses that can reopen will be released by state officials later this week.
People are still being asked to practice social distancing and wear face masks while outside their homes.
Vulnerable populations, such as those over the age of 60 and with preexisting conditions, should continue to stay home, said the Governor.
In-person classes have been formally suspended for all K-12 schools through the remainder of the school year, although several large school districts, including Denver Public Schools, had already made that decision.
Health officials say there has been a leveling off of hospital admissions for COVID-19.
On Sunday, April 19th, protesters against the stay-at home restrictions gathered at the state capitol. Despite statewide guidelines to engage in social distancing and wear masks many failed to abide.
The Colorado Independent reports there were about 300 at the rally which brought together a range of people who defy scientific consensus, from anti-vaxxers to supporters of QAnon – a conspiracy theory that posits Washington elites are working against President Trump.
A reporter for Westword tweeted a picture yesterday of healthcare workers from a Denver area hospital standing in the crosswalk near the capitol temporarily blocking cars involved in the protest.
On Saturday, April 18th, Colorado Governor Jared Polis hinted that the state remains on track to reopen some parts of its economy a week from today after his statewide stay-at-home order expires.
The Governor tweeted that by keeping distance from each other, and wearing masks as we reopen from April 27th throughout May, we can avoid mass deaths that exceed medical capacity and devastating closure.
While the state’s stay-at-home order expires in a week, the city of Denver’s order is scheduled to end at the end of April.
Denver 7 reports that Polis is expected today to lay out a plan to reopen the state’s economy.
Last week the governor laid out a general outline with three phases: the first being the urgent portion we are now in; the second being a period of stabilization with testing; and the third would be the lifting of all restrictions.
In Boulder County Chana Goussetis – the spokesperson for the Public Health Department, emphasized that a key part of reaching the next step toward reopening is more widespread availability of testing. However, that’s still an unmet need and they still don’t know when that ability will be sufficient.
Goussetis told the Daily Camera that they have been working for weeks and weeks to identify who has tests, how many they have, and who is being tested. But what they see is very little supply mostly related to lack of swabs and the viral medium for the tests.
The plan, Goussetis said, is to have hospitals and clinics have testing available so residents can go to a hospital or their primary caregiver to be tested if they are symptomatic.
A motion was filed in Denver court the morning of Friday, April17th, calling for an immediate hearing in a lawsuit that would require hotel and motel owners in the state to open rooms for those experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Plaintiffs in the suit include different advocacy groups from around the Front Range including Denver Homeless Out Loud.
Friday’s motion says that since the plaintiffs filed the original suit on April 1, they have been contacted by various motel and hotel owners who say they are being prevented from offering accommodation to the homeless by local authorities. The suit is calling on the state health department to issue a state wide directive.
Protests are planned for this Sunday, April 19th, at the State Capitol in Denver with libertarian groups calling for an end to the stay at home orders.
The Denver Post reports that one event is called operation gridlock. According to a Facebook page for the event, it is co-hosted by the Libertarian party of El Paso. The event is asking people to drive to the Capitol in Denver and gridlock the roads in protest to the mandatory lockdowns. The page describes the stay at home orders as a violation of constitutional rights.
Another protest planned for later on Sunday is being organized by several local libertarian groups.
The Facebook page for that event says people will stand 6 feet apart and wear masks for everyone’s safety. They are calling for everything to open now.
The stay at home order started March 26, 2020 and lasts through April 26, 2020, however those orders may be extended or changed.
Earlier this week Governor Polis said that Coloradoans should expect some type of social distancing for months to come.
Yesterday state health officials said their goal is to increase testing, hinting that stay at home orders won’t be lifted until extensive testing is achieved throughout the state and the positive case count moves from a plateau into a decline.
he Boulder County Public Health Department has identified a disproportionate number of Latinx residents that have tested positive or probable for the novel coronavirus.
The Daily Camera reports that nearly 14% of the Boulder County population are Hispanic/Latinx but nearly one third account for those who have been hospitalized during their covid-19 illness.
These disparities in Boulder County are greater than the disparities statewide where Hispanic/Latinx represent about 22% of the population and over 28% of covid-19 cases.
These numbers released Thursday is the first analysis of the coronavirus’s impact on the county’s population by race/ethnicity.
About 79% of the cases in Boulder County have a known race and ethnicity which is slightly higher than the state’s 75% of the reported cases.
The city of Aurora announced Wednesday, April 15th, that it will furlough 576 of its employees, in anticipation of a decreased budget as a result of the pandemic.
The Aurora Sentinel reports that most of the employees are seasonal or temporary workers who remain on payroll until April 25, but the city has yet to set an end date for the furloughs. The city’s budget is largely funded through sales taxes, but as a result of stay at home orders to limit shoppers, and the closure of non-essential businesses, the city anticipates coming up six percent short of its budgetary goals.
Aurora is by no means the only city to consider or implement furloughs in response to the pandemic’s economic impact. CBS Denver reported that the city of Boulder announced Tuesday that it will furlough 737 employees, effective this Sunday. Most of those are also seasonal or temporary workers, though it includes 175 of the city’s standard employees. And last week the city of Broomfield announced it will furlough 235 employees, beginning on April 21. The city of Denver has yet to announce any furloughs, though Mayor Michael Hancock has said that it remains an option if necessary.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation in and around the Denver metro area will significantly decrease starting this Sunday, April 19th. The Regional Transportation District, or RTD, announced the specifics of service changes today, citing fewer riders as a result of the statewide stay at home orders. Many service lines will operate with so-called weekend frequency, which is usually about half as often as weekday frequency. In Boulder, lines with reduced frequency include the 205, 225, Bound, Dash, Skip, Jump, and Flatiron Flyer buses.
A few bus routes, including the 209 and 236, will be suspended temporarily, while some operations around the region, including the A Line light rail to DIA, will continue to run on normal schedules. The transit agency noted in a press release that it will reevaluate its services as ridership demands change.
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment says there were more than 104,000 new unemployment claims filed the week ending April 11. This is 55,000 more than the week prior.
The total number of new claims for unemployment assistance in the state over the past four weeks is not more than 231,000.
The state labor department identified the industries where they’re seeing the most claims.
The accommodation and food services sector has seen more than 21,000 claims. Healthcare and Social Service has seen nearly 9,800 claims and the Retail industry has 7,400 claims.
Tuesday evening, April 14th, speaking at Boulder City Council meeting, local health officials gave council members an update on local numbers related to the COVID 19 crisis.
Boulder County Public Health Director Jeff Zayach said the death toll from COVID-19 in Boulder County, as of Tuesday, was 15, and added that 290 people have tested positive.
Zayach says that they know there are more people in the community who are positive that have not been tested, so officials expect to see more cases and then they would want to do more quarantine to hold down contact so those cases don’t end up in the hospital.
Governor Jared Polis extended Colorado’s stay-at-home order through the end of April, and he emphasized how important social-distancing will be in the next two weeks.
Even though new infections of COVID-19 have not stabilized, the number of coronavirus tests analyzed each day by commercial labs in the U.S. plummeted by more than 30 percent over the past week. Dr. Robert Vissers leads Boulder Community Hospital and said two-hours tests are starting to arrive at BCH.
Dr. Vissers said that they only received 30 test kits and because there is a limited supply. He added that the tests are being used where they need an immediate answer, for example, a woman coming in labor or a critically ill patient. He added that the hospital is hoping to get a larger shipment of tests later this week.
Statewide more than 39,500 people have been tested for the novel Coronavirus. 329 people in the state have died.
On Tuesday, April 14th, Longmont’s City Council learned they are looking at a shortfall of over $15 million dollars. The city has begun to look at possible solutions including tapping unspent money carried over from 2019 and some unappropriated balances.
Longmont city manager, Harold Dominguez, told the council last night that lost revenues are a significant financial issue for local governments.
The Times Call reports that a number of municipalities have already announced temporary staff cut backs including Broomfield and Nederland.
Officials in Denver say that furlough days for city employees could be used to cut costs until the crisis is over. The city is preparing to lose $180 million as it anticipates a 12 percent drop in tax revenue. The city’s spokesperson for the emergency Joint Information Center said in an email to Colorado Politics that right now they are not implementing furloughs, but they would be evaluated.
The Boulder Valley School District got its first look at budget scenarios for the coming school year. The Daily Camera reports that the board is facing the possibility of cuts, if the state reduces funding due to coronavirus shutdowns.
The state legislature has been suspended until the middle of next month, and by then the district’s Chief Financial Officer said they will have a much better idea of where things stand.
If the state were to cut the district’s budget by as much as 5 percent, Boulder Valley would have to cut nearly $4 million in its budget.
State health officials said Tuesday, April 14th, the number of coronavirus cases in Colorado may be plateauing. Speaking to reporters today, the state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said that over the next couple days the state will be able to determine whether the level of social distancing that has taken place in Colorado is enough to lead to a decrease in the daily case count.
Right now it appears that the curve has been flattened in terms of the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
Scott Bookman, the state’s incident commander for COVID-19, said today that the volume of patients seem to be relatively flat. He added that the state is not seeing exponential growth.
This is welcome news for medical providers in the state who have been scrambling to access enough personal protective equipment for front line medical staff.
The Denver Post reports the state is still continuing construction on emergency hospitals at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver and the Budweiser Event Center in Loveland. Scott Bookman said today that they may decide to scale back if the additional space is not needed.
The City of Boulder announced Tuesday, April 14th, it will furlough 737 employees as a result of the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.
In a statement today, the city said these would be 175 standard employees and 562 seasonal and temporary workers.
Unpaid administrative leave for the furloughed employees will begin on April 20 and continue through June 28. Decisions to recall staff to active service, extend the furlough, or layoff staff will be made by June 1.
City Manager Jane Brautigam said in a statement today that while the city is working to significantly reduce costs, the reality is that the financial impact requires immediate furloughs and may require future layoffs.
The town of Nederland announced this week that it is putting three town employees on temporary unpaid leave.
While on furlough, employees may be eligible for unemployment assistance.
The city of Boulder says it anticipates it will lose at least $28 million in revenue as a result of the pandemic. That amounts to about 10% of the city’s annual revenue. The City of Denver is expected to lose an estimated $180 million this year.
The Denver Post reports that more than 127,000 Coloradans filed unemployment claims between March 8-28. That’s almost 4% of Colorado’s entire workforce.
It’s likely that many more thousands of workers have filed for unemployment assistance since March 28 as the pandemic impacts every aspect of the economy.
People can find information on how to file for unemployment assistance at coworkforce.com
On Monday evening, April 13th, the Denver City Council unanimously passed a proclamation urging Colorado Governor Jared Polis to freeze rent payments for anyone unable to pay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Denverite reports that The letter asks Polis “to use the full legal extent of his emergency powers to impose an immediate moratorium on residential and small business commercial rent payments for those unable to pay” through no fault of their own as thousands of city resident are impacted by the pandemic.
Council members also asked Denver’s congressional delegates and President Donald Trump to freeze mortgage payments for people who were affected.
Governor Polis has said that he does not support freezing rents, rather he’s asking cities to implement other measures like increasing rent subsidies.
Speaking Monday, April 13th, Governor Jared Polis said that 304 people in Colorado have died from the novel Corona Virus. Two people who have died were employees at the JBS meat packing plant in Greeley. The union representing workers there say more than 50 of the nearly 6,000 employees at the plant have tested positive. JBS announced today that they will close the Greeley facility until April 24 due to the outbreak.
The company has been criticized by workers for not providing protective equipment or enacting social distancing measures to deal with the spread of the virus. Governor Polis said today the company is working with state and local health officials on testing and containment.
Governor Polis said today that members of the National Guard will be deployed to help with testing of workers at JBS.
On Friday, April 10th, the Denver Public Health Department released data that shows black residents in the city have been impacted by COVID-19 at higher rates than whites or Latinx residents.
It is important to note the small size of sampling numbers, but Denver’s black population has been represented at higher numbers of total infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus.
Thirteen percent of those with confirmed infections in Denver have been black, while the city’s black population is only 8%.
Infection rates of whites and the Hispanic or Latinx population in Denver are less than their proportionate shares of residents. Rates of hospitalization and deaths show the same disproportionate effects on blacks.
State Representative Leslie Herod, a Democrat of Northeast Denver – has been calling on the state to release more data detailing the race of people testing positive for COVID-19 and wants the state to provide a response focusing on people of color.
The Denver Post reports that the initial data from Denver reflects much of what has been seen in other cities like Detroit and Milwaukee.
On Thursday, April 9th, Governor Polis and the state’s agricultural commissioner wrote to the US Department of Agriculture requesting federal funds to help Colorado agriculture that has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The letter asks for federal funds to provide immediate relief to independent local food producers impacted by the crisis. It says federal money should be invested in Colorado agriculture as it is a vital part of the food system.
At the Boulder City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7th, concern was raised about the number of people visiting open space and mountain parks. City staff monitoring the trails reported that only 25 to 30 percent of users were wearing recommended masks.
The city’s Open Space Department is considering several options to reduce the number of visitors. They include limiting parking capacity at trailheads; weekend closures of targeted locations when the weather is nice and requiring one-way directional travel on several popular trails. Boulder City Council did not take action on those recommendations during the meeting.
You can find KGNU’s full coverage of the meeting here.
On Monday evening, April 6th, Governor Jared Polis addressed the state and said he was extending the current stay at home order for 2 weeks. The order was set to expire on April 11 and now remains in effect until at least April 26.
“If there’s any way to safely end it sooner I will,” said Polis, and he added that if Coloradoans aren’t staying at home and the numbers of dead and dying continue to pile up, the stay at home order could be extended for longer.
On Monday evening, April 6th, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced that he was extended the city’s stay at home order until April 30.
The Denver order has been in effect since March 24th and was also set to expire on April 11th.
On Monday, Hancock thanked Denver residents for staying home and cited current data and advice from experts about the spread of COVID-19. He added that extending the stay at home order would protect the health of as many people as possible.
The Denverite reports that to date the city has issued 14 citations for violations of the stay at home order, issued more than 1700 warnings and made over 6000 contacts with businesses and residents over compliance.
There are over 760 confirmed cases and 20 fatalities as a result of COVID 19 in Denver alone.
Statewide there are more than 5100 cases and 150 people have died. But public health officials estimate that between 17 and 18 thousand people in Colorado actually have COVID-19.
On Sunday, April 5th, Colorado health officials finalized guidelines for who should receive care – including ventilators – if a surge of coronavirus patients overwhelms hospitals.
The guidelines provide that triage teams with four-members would make decisions. The triage teams would comprise an ethics or palliative care expert; a critical care doctor; a nurse; and a hospital leader. Those teams would not include a patient’s immediate medical caregivers.
The Denver Post reports that the teams will rank patients based upon a combination of the severity of their symptoms, any chronic illness and how long they’re likely to survive.
If some patients rank equally then care would be prioritized for children, health care workers and first responders. Then the teams would weigh whether patients were pregnant or sole caregivers – and how many years of life could be saved.
Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Director of the state Department of Public Health and Environment, said that they hope they don’t have to use the crisis-of-care standards. But she added that COVID–19 has been spreading quickly and it could overwhelm the hospital system and intensive care units.
Sunday, April 5th, state officials also made public the projections of infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus that have been given to the governor. The projections vary significantly. If people don’t engage in physical distancing, there could be as many as 33,000 deaths by June 1st, but alternatively, fatalities could reach less than 400 by that date should social distancing be maintained.
Infections range from a high of nearly a million by May 7th, or a low of about 40,000 by November.
Officials said that they are using the projections to guide their decision making. The team making the projections includes experts from the CU School of Medicine, CU Boulder and Denver.
Speaking Friday, April 3rd, Governor Jared Polis donned a cloth face mask as he urged Coloradoans to wear them when they go outdoors for essential activities like grocery shopping. “We’re asking all Coloradoans to wear non-medical cloth face masks.”
The Governor said that at this point a cloth face mask or scarf should be part of everybody’s personal hygiene practices. Governor Polis said that masks can be made from old t-shirts or other cloth that people have at home. He said masks must cover your mouth and cover your nose and must be washed frequently. Governor Polis that combining handwashing with wearing a face covering will help in reducing the spread of the virus. Governor Polis today reiterated that medical supply masks must be reserved for medical workers, but encouraged the widespread use of cloth face masks for the general public.
State public health officials say that even if you wear a mask, you should still practice social distancing. Information on how to make a home-made mask is available at www.coloradomaskproject.com
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) April 3, 2020
Colorado will receive about $285 million from the Federal Transit Administration to support local transit in the COVID-19 crisis. Westword reports that the bulk of the money, $232 million, will go to Denver’s Regional Transportation District. RTD will cut service significantly on April 19 due to the drastic fall in ridership in recent weeks. The federal money can be used for any operations costs associated with COVID-19.
The current statewide stay at home order is in effect until April 11. On Tuesday, March 31st, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he will extend the city’s stay-at-home order through April 30.
Some Colorado businesses have received citations for remaining open in defiance of the order.The Denver Post reports that Hobby Lobby stores in Denver shut down this week after being cited by city inspectors for violating the order.On Wednesday, April 1st, the state’s attorney general’s office directed the founder and chief executive officer of Hobby Lobby to close all of its stores in the state. The Post reports that The Appliance Factory Mattress Kingdom store remains open despite repeated citations. Citations can result in a $999 fine or jail time.
COVID-19 is present in 4 Boulder County senior living facilities. The Daily Camera reports that three residents of The Bridge at Longmont have tested positive for COVID-19 and all are hospitalized – one is in intensive care, while two more are listed as stable.
Two residents of the Frasier senior residential facility in Boulder have tested positive for COVID-19, but they reportedly have recovered and are doing well.
One resident of Balfour Cherrywood Village in Louisville has also tested positive and three people who live or work at Boulder Manor have tested positive as well.
Tuesday, March 31st, the Denver City Council passed three bills to help the residents get through the pandemic. A release from the city says that 13.5 million dollars will be allocated – with 10 million going to fund for services and supplies like PPE, overtime pay for personnel, and the purchase of beds and medical equipment and 3.5 million dollars will go to help businesses support their employees. A third bill will allow the city to donate surplus computers to a group called PCs for People to be used by low-income families.
Also Tuesday, Governor Jared Polis sent a letter urging the federal government to automatically extend work authorizations for all Deferred Action Childhood Arrival recipients set to expire this year.
The policy started in the Obama administration, allows eligible immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year authorization to work and study. In his letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Polis said that the extension of DACA would provide some needed stability to the state’s businesses and residents who benefit from the program.
On Monday, March 30th the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) announced the Center is working with communities across the state to prepare for an expected major increase in the need for intensive care unit (ICU) beds as a result of COVID-19.
According to a press release, “The SEOC is partnering with local public health organizations, health care facilities, the Colorado Hospital Association, and federal and state agencies to prepare for a potential medical surge by:
Identifying all current hospital beds in the state by type of care.
Helping health care facilities with plans to free up ICU beds and transfer patients.
Identifying and preparing alternative care sites that could be repurposed to provide medical care.
Identifying and redeploying additional ventilators to areas of need with the goal of increasing ICU bed capacity.
Current estimates are that Colorado has 1,849 ICU beds across the state. The state’s goal is to add 1,000 beds by May, and to add another 5,000 by the summer.
In the meantime, each health care facility is working to move patients out of ICUs, when possible, into acute care beds and lower-needs beds in order to prepare for increased demand in ICU settings.”
More information on how local and state hospitals are preparing for a surge in cases of COVID-19 here.
This week the NAACP Boulder County Branch sent a letter to the Boulder City Manager voicing concern over lack of bathrooms and hand-washing stations near local homeless shelters, lack of capacity at shelters resulting in people being turned away, lack of day shelters and how the Severe Weather Shelter could increase capacity for housing but is not being used unless weather criteria is met. The NAACP letter encouraged the city of Boulder to keep shelters open everyday for the duration of the pandemic.
On Friday, March 27th the Boulder Director of Housing and Human Services announced the Boulder’s COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC), an operation that offers COVID-19 testing, along with limited shelter and care for unhoused individuals showing sign of COVID-19 illness, is expanding the CRC service. The expansion includes additional transportation from shelters, where symptomatic persons are first screened, to the CRC in East Boulder. The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Bridge House are also working in conjunction with the city to ensure bed space is optimized.
In addition, the city is announcing, “The Severe Weather Shelter facility on 30th Street in Boulder will be open every day from April 1st, 10:00am to 2:00pm, for facility access that will include hand washing, bathroom facilities and limited shower availability. Bridge House will also be conducting an additional thorough cleaning each day in order to support this service. To address the concern of sheltering generally during this public health emergency, SWS shelter will be open every night through the end of April.”
Official CDPHE Press Release on the Colorado Stay-at-Home Order:
In accordance with Governor Jared Polis’ executive order and because the transmission of COVID-19 is widespread throughout the state, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) enacted a public health order requiring Coloradans to stay at home, except to do limited necessary activities as outlined in the order. The order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, saving people in Colorado from severe illness and death. The order minimizes contact between people, limiting exposure to the virus.
Colorado must act now to “flatten the curve” of increased cases, which will help hospitals to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Based on global COVID-19 rates of hospitalization and death, public health experts predict that without measures like the stay-home order, Colorado hospitals will be unable to handle the surge of sick people, and many in the state could die. Even with these extreme measures, hospitals likely will reach their maximum capacity to care for people with severe symptoms. The stay-at-home order aims to slow the rate of spread of the virus, giving our health care and emergency management systems additional time to grow capacity. Each and every person in Colorado plays a part in slowing the spread of the virus.
The public health order requires people in Colorado to stay at home, except when doing necessary activities including:
- Obtaining food, medicine, other household supplies.
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee (Please see list of critical businesses below).
- Seeking medical care.
- Caring for family, household members, and animals.
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location.
- Participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other people and by your home.
The order went into effect at 6 a.m. on March 26, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 11, 2020. The order may be changed or extended.
“The sacrifices that Coloradans are making will pay off in the long run,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “It will take everyone acting together to slow the spread of the illness to a level that our health care systems can absorb, but countless lives will be saved through these measures.”
The critical workplaces that are exempt include:
- Health care operations.
- Critical infrastructure, including utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide for disadvantaged people, and food supply chain.
- Critical manufacturing, including food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, agriculture.
- Critical retail, including grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout/delivery, marijuana dispensaries (only for medical or curbside delivery), hardware stores.
- Critical services, including trash and recycling, mail, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses/distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries, animal shelters and rescues.
- News media.
- Financial institutions.
- Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations.
- Public safety services like law enforcement, fire prevention and response, EMTs, security, disinfection, cleaning, building code enforcement, snow removal, auto repair.
- Vendors that provide critical services or products including logistics, child care, tech support, or contractors with critical government services.
- K-12 public and private schools for the purpose of providing meals, housing, facilitating or providing materials for distance learning and providing other essential services to students.
- Postsecondary institutions including private and public colleges and universities for the purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions.
- Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in-need of end-of-life services.
- Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing or use electronic platforms.
- Professional services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.
All services included in the public health order are subject to social distancing requirements and are still encouraged to implement telework options and staggered schedules when possible. Businesses that have temporarily closed under the order can continue Minimum Basic Operations to protect assets.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.
On Thursday, March 26th, in partnership with Mile High United Way, the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center activated 2-1-1 Colorado to connect Coloradans with human service resources statewide. Coloradans can reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org, by dialing 2-1-1 or texting your Zip Code to 898-211.
2-1-1 Colorado is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people across the State of Colorado to vital resources in their local community. 2-1-1 serves as one central location where people can access over 7,500 health and human service resources.
2-1-1 provides navigation services to resources such as:
- Housing, including shelters and transitional services.
- Rent and utility assistance.
- Applying for SNAP benefits by phone.
- Clothing/personal/household needs.
- Mental health and substance use disorders.
- Medical clinics.
- Dental clinic.
- Other government/economic services.
2-1-1 will work in conjunction with The Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP), a toll-free hotline for the latest public health information. If Coloradans are looking for general information about COVID-19, such as the number of cases in Colorado, the list of symptoms, or how you can protect yourself, they can call CO HELP by dialing 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
On Wednesday evening, March 25th, Governor Jared Polis issued a stay at home order for the entire state that goes into effect Thursday March 26th at 6am. Polis said that the order comes because despite previous orders on social isolation, people in the state are not taking enough measures to limit the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, March 25th, Boulder County Public Health (in coordination with public health departments for Adams, Arapaho, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties) instituted Stay at Home Order, effective March 26 at 8 a.m. The order requires all individuals anywhere in Boulder County to stay at home (also known as shelter in place) except for certain defined essential activities, work, and services. The order is in place until April 17, 2020, although it’s possible it may be extended.
A full and updated description of the Boulder County Stay at Home Order can be found here.
Tuesday, March 24th officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) urged Coloradans not to engage in open burning activities during the current COVID-19 response.
According to the CDPHE press release, “The COVID-19 virus poses a particular threat to individuals with a history of heart or respiratory illness. Smoke from open burns could put a strain on already vulnerable populations. “Open burning” is any fire outdoors where smoke is released directly into the open air without first passing through a chimney or smokestack.”
On Monday evening, March 23rd, The City of Boulder announced a new public health order for the City of Boulder directing individuals to stay at home. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The order is in effect through April 10 and may be extended as needed.
The order, which will be discussed at the March 24 virtual City Council meeting, requires that all people in the City of Boulder stay home and for businesses to implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. All individuals are encouraged to conduct only essential activities necessary to promote health and safety, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies, and getting outdoors only if strict social distancing is observed. Businesses that cannot implement work from home policies and which provide essential services, should continue to implement social distancing for all workers, and personal protection equipment is recommended for those employees.
On Monday, March 23rd, the City and County of Denver issued a new Public Health Order with an explicit stay at home directive for the City and County of Denver that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and continue until April 10. “The order requires that all people in the City & County of Denver stay home and businesses implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. The order also calls for Denver Metro regional municipalities to follow the broad consensus among public health professionals that every effort should be made, by all persons, to conduct only those essential activities necessary to promote health and well-being, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies or medication, and/or engaging in outdoor activities like walking, hiking or running, continuing the strict observance of physical distancing practices.”
Watch the press conference:
On Monday, March 23rd the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) began shipping supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile across Colorado to help communities respond to COVID-19. The Strategic National Stockpile is “the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.” Colorado will receive the following materials:
49,200 N95 masks
115,000 surgical masks
21,420 surgical gowns
21,800 face shields
CDPHE estimates that these supplies are sufficient for approximately one full day of statewide operations.
On Friday, March 20, a COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) for unhoused individuals will open at the East Boulder Community Center to serve homeless individuals from Boulder and Longmont. Individuals who appear to show symptoms of COVID-19 and who will require further testing will be transported from homeless shelters to the CRC. At CRC, symptomatic or positive COVID-19 tested individuals can be in isolation for 10 to 14 days. Homeless shelters have begun daily screenings for clients and will be identifying individuals who require further care. (More information on the KGNU COVID-19 Resources page)
Thursday, March 19th, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced measures to help businesses hurt by social distancing. At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the mayor said the city will create a $4 million grant program and waive late penalties for business taxes this year.
Colorado will open up a special enrollment period beginning today March 20th, lasting through April 3 during which Coloradans who are currently uninsured can enroll for a state insurance plan that would kick in starting April 1st. Individuals with already-existing plans through Connect for Health Colorado will not be able to change their plans but spouses and children who are also uninsured can enroll, even if one spouse or a child’s parent is already insured.
Thursday, March 19th, Governor Jarod Polis suspended elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures because to limit strain on medical personnel and supplies.
Governor Polis also extended the public health order closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos to the end of April, and included nonessential personal service facilities, horse track and off-track betting facilities statewide. Nonessential personal services also include hair or nail salons, spas, and tattoo or massage parlors, according to the order.
In addition, the Governor updated an executive order for in-person contact during the state’s elections.
Also Thursday, Gov. Polis’ office announced the state’s application for federal disaster area designation has been approved so Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek up to $2 million in low-interest federal loans from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
On March 18th, Governor Jarod Polis announced the launch of a Colorado COVID-19 relief fund, Help Colorado Now, that supports coronavirus prevention, impact and recovery efforts through financial donations and volunteer opportunities. Polis also announced a system of emergency childcare for essential workers like hospital workers, public safety workers and those who support the critically at-risk population (More information at covidchildcarecolorado.com). The Governor is also ramping up unemployment insurance and small business relief measures. Colorado’s second coronavirus fatality (in Weld County) was also made official.
Watch Governor Polis’ March 18th press conference below:
I’m here, with proper social spacing, to provide an update on COVID-19 relief efforts and how you can help our fellow Coloradans. #DoingMyPartCO
Posted by Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
On Tuesday, March 17th Boulder County officials announced four additional Boulder area residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11 people in Boulder County. While the disease investigations are still being conducted, two of the recently tested people had not left the county, confirming that there is community spread of COVID-19 in Boulder County.
Late Monday afternoon on March 16th, Governor Jared Polis announced that all restaurants and bars in the state must close except for take-out and delivery. He also ordered all gyms, theaters, and casinos to close.
Also on Monday, the Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez declared a local disaster emergency and announced that the city was closing three more buildings to public access.
Effective this morning the Civic Center, the city’s main administrative office building at 350 Kimbark St., as well as the Development Services Center at 385 Kimbark St. and the Longmont Service Center at 1100 South Sherman Street are all closed to the public.
In addition, Denver mayor Michael Hancock announced that all restaurants and bars in the city would close for in house dining for 8 weeks. Take out and food delivery services will continue.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says they will resume testing on Tuesday, March 17th with a testing site outside Telluride. According to a press release from the agency, the state is prioritizing testing in mountain resort communities because of the documented transmission of the disease in these areas with a high number of tourists. Telluride is just the first location for these efforts.
On Monday, March 16th the Boulder City Manager signed an order effective immediately that no person shall organize, promote, or stage an event or gathering intended, or which can reasonably be expected to draw an attendance of 20 or more participants and any spectators in any park, parkway, recreation area, street, sidewalk, the Pearl Street Mall, or any other publicly owned space. (This does not include any public transportation waiting area).
Sunday, March 15th in Boulder County, officials announced four more residents tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total in the county to seven. One of the confirmed cases is a student at CU Boulder.
Boulder County Public Health announced Sunday morning two new positive cases of Corona Virus in the county. These are the second and third cases confirmed. The first county resident was confirmed positive Saturday night.
On Sunday afternoon Boulder mayor Sam Weaver announced a special meeting of city council on Monday, March 16 at 5:00 pm. The meeting will be held in council chambers and will be televised. Among the items at the meeting will be the consideration of an emergency ordinance to allow council to hold virtual meetings and if that passes, council members may participate remotely if they wish.
On Saturday evening the city of Boulder declared a state of emergency. Erie also issued an emergency declaration. That means that the cities can access emergency resources including state and federal funding, as well as staff and equipment. It also allows the city more flexibility to change town procedures and/or implement facility closures if deemed necessary
As the state’s positive cases reached 101 on Saturday, Governor Jared Polis announced restrictions on visiting nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in order to protect the state’s most vulnerable population.
On Saturday Governor Polis issued an executive order suspending all of Colorado’s downhill ski area operations for one week due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. A number of Colorado ski resorts had already announced they would be suspending operations beginning on Sunday, March 15.
The political parties are scheduled to hold their County and State Assemblies over the coming weeks in order to nominate candidates for the June Primary ballot. Since this includes thousands of people convening all over the state, often in schools, state lawmakers have been working on a bill to allow the parties flexibility for remote participation and deadline extensions. That bill, HB1359, was passed on Saturday, March 15th.
The measure includes various provisions including:
- The extension of various deadlines related to ballot access requirements in 2020 due to public health concerns.
- Allowing parties to amend their bylaws as needed during 2020 to allow remote participation in assemblies and conventions and to fill vacancies.
- Delegates to assemblies may participate remotely if allowed by the party, and parties may reduce or waive any quorum requirements to allow assemblies to proceed.
Public health officials are urging calm and caution and are asking that people not “panic buy” groceries and supplies. They are encouraging people to practice social isolation, to stay 6 feet away from other people, avoid large gatherings and above all stay home if sick.
Local school districts are formulating plans to distribute food to students who are food insecure while schools are closed. Check the websites for local school districts for more information. Foodbanks are also asking for donations of non-perishable goods and hygiene products.
On Friday, leaders at the Colorado Legislature announced the closure of the General Assembly for at least two weeks beginning Monday.
- Call the Colorado Health Emergency Line (toll-free hotline) for the latest public health information with reliable, consistent, and accurate information in many languages. The CO HELP numbers are 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
- Coloradans can also visit the CDC and CDPHE websites for more information on best practices
- If you have upcoming travel plans, visit the CDC’s website for the latest travel information
- MORE RESOURCES HERE