COVID-19 In Colorado: The Latest Developments

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado.

Thank you for your interest and please continue to check this page for the most recent information.

Be well and be safe. We appreciate you.

Sincerely,

The KOA NewsRadio News Team...Here for you, now more than ever.

Wednesday 4-22-20

Gov. Polis says reopening Colorado will be a gradual, steady process.

Details HERE.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) are among a group of senators pushing for more funds for suicide prevention.

From Sen. Gardner's office:

Gardner, Merkley, Moran, Reed Make Bipartisan Push to Increase Critical Funds for Suicide Prevention Amid Pandemic

Coronavirus crisis poses serious test to Americans’ emotional and mental resiliency

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Jack Reed (D-RI), and 10 additional U.S. Senators are making a push to provide the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) with $80 million to support critical suicide prevention activities amid a public health crisis that is upending the social and financial stability of countless Americans. 

Their letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer comes as Congress starts discussing the next coronavirus relief legislation.

“The global pandemic has drastically disrupted the life of every American. As a result, millions of individuals are experiencing heightened levels of fear, anxiety, social isolation, stress, and more. These factors, when felt concurrently, effect a person’s mental health and often lead to increased episodes of suicidal ideation,” the senators wrote. “The emotional and mental resiliency of our nation is being tested. Americans are looking to Congress to invest in programs that offer a lifeline of support when a person has nowhere else to turn.”

In 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34—with LGBTQ youth at particular risk. Individualized interventions provided by crisis hotlines and mobile response teams can help reduce risk factors that culminate in suicide attempts.

Specifically, the senators’ bipartisan recommendation is that Congress allocate $50 million to respond to current and future crisis call volume, and an additional $30 million to expand crisis chat capacity, including an effort to increase accessibility by shortening the Lifeline’s phone number from ten digits to three.

Senators Gardner, Merkley, Moran, and Reed were joined in sending the letter by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Robert Casey (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

The full text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,

Thank you for your bipartisan response to the health and economic effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. As you prepare for a fourth relief package, we respectfully request $80 million for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) to support critical suicide prevention activities and assist with the transition to an operational three-digit code for the NSPL.

The global pandemic has drastically disrupted the life of every American. As a result, millions of individuals are experiencing heightened levels of fear, anxiety, social isolation, stress, and more. These factors, when felt concurrently, effect a person’s mental health and often lead to increased episodes of suicidal ideation. The emotional and mental resiliency of our nation is being tested. Americans are looking to Congress to invest in programs that offer a lifeline of support when a person has nowhere else to turn.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one in five U.S. adults reported they experience some level of mental illness. Moreover, in 2019, suicide was the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. LGBTQ youth are at particular risk; they are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. An unacceptable average of 132 Americans died each day by suicide last year. The social and economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 will only amplify the factors that lead to mental health challenges and suicide, and our nation will see these alarming statistics rise if we fail to adequately respond in time.

Suicide prevention efforts, such as crisis hotlines and mobile response teams, reduce risk factors that culminate in severe mental health challenges and suicide attempts by providing individualized interventions. Lives are saved when people are connected to the resources they need to improve their mental well-being in a timely and empathetic manner.

In order to fully support the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to meet the current and future crisis call volume and provide additional resources for states to provide comprehensive crisis response services, we recommend $80 million, which would accommodate $50 million to respond to crisis call volume and $30 million to build out crisis chat capacity. This support is especially important as there is ongoing work to transition the NSPL from ten digits to three digits to increase access to services. 

We thank you for your support of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and respectfully request your continued support to bring hope and health to Americans who struggle with mental health challenges and suicidal ideation, especially during the ongoing public health pandemic.

Wednesday 4-22-20

Passenger traffic remains low at DIA. More from KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell.

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From DIA:

Operational Updates at Denver International Airport

DENVER– ­ April 22, 2020 –Below are the latest operational updates from Denver International Airport (DEN).

Flight and Passenger Traffic Numbers

Passenger traffic volumes remain low at DEN. Last week’s traffic (April 12– April 18) through TSA checkpoints remains down about 95% from the same week last year, which is reflective of the national trend. This metric does not take into account connecting traffic.

During the week of April 13, DEN averaged 625 flights per day. In April 2019, the airport averaged more than 1,600 flights per day, meaning DEN is currently operating 1,000 fewer daily flights

Shuttle Lot Closure

DEN’s shuttle parking lots, including Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert, will close to incoming vehicles until further notice beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 11, 2020. After that date, shuttles will continue to run on a regular basis from the terminal to the shuttle lots for returning passengers to retrieve their vehicles. The East Economy lot is being used for employee parking only and is closed to the public, and valet parking in both garages has also been closed. DEN’s other public parking lots are open, including West Economy, the east and west garages, short term parking and the 61st and Peña lot.

Other Operational Impacts (Since April 15 Update)

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at DEN began installing plexiglass barriers at security checkpoint podiums this week. The barriers are intended to assist with social distancing and protect both passengers and TSA agents from the spread of COVID-19
  • In accordance with Governor Polis’s Executive Order, all employees who work at DEN in a public area, or who interact with passengers or other employees, must wear a face mask
  • Airlines continue to park unused aircraft at remote de-icing pads, lesser-used taxi ways and on closed runway 8/26. The number of parked aircraft changes frequently based on airline need. We have seen as many as 76 planes parked at one time
  • Many of DEN’s concessionaires are making their own business decisions to close or reduce hours. An updated list is available here - Conoco and drive-thru service at Wendy’s at Final Approach are open.

Wednesday 4-22-20

Passenger traffic is also down at Colorado Springs airport.

From the airport:

COS SHOWS LOWER PASSENGER NUMBERS DUE TO COVID-19

Colorado Springs, CO –In March and April, COS experienced a significant downturn in air service due to a decrease in passenger traffic related to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, following two months of increases in January and February, COS enplaned 34,595 passengers, bringing the total passenger number for the year to 310,223. This represents a 7.9 percent decrease for the year and a 40.7 percent decrease for the month.

While load factors for the month of March showed a 34.9 percent decrease percent for the month, seats were up 9.8 percent year-to-date, with all four carriers showing an increase based on original expectations for travel.

Even with the downturn of travelers COS’ focus has remained steady and focused in construction and development. Construction for the USDA Forest Service airtanker base is proceeding, with the combination aerial firefighting and deicing pad projected to be completed by summer 2020. Additionally, over 1,000,000 cubic yards of dirt have been graded and 65% of the footings for the Amazon fulfillment center are complete and concrete pours for the building’s north end foundation are in progress.

Looking Ahead:

·The Colorado Springs Airport (COS) is slated to receive more than $24.3 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). These funds will be used to protect employee jobs and ensure operational readiness while COS revenues are reduced.

·Phase II on the first floor modernization on the east side is near completion. This project mirrors the west side updates and have all new LED lighting, raised ceiling, fresh paint and updated flooring.

·As the COVID-19 public health emergency remains fluid, COS will continue to work with local and state agenciesto ensure that COS continues to follow all recommended practices and procedures from the CDC, while remaining open for business.

Tuesday 4-21-20

Restaurants are struggling to make it through the COVID-19 crisis.

Details and our conversation with Sonia Riggs, President and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, HERE.

Tuesday 4-21-20

The Colorado High School Activities Association has canceled the 2020 spring high school sports seasons in Colorado.

Details HERE.

Tuesday 4-21-20

Denver-area faith community to hold virtual prayer sessions this weekend.

From event organizer Jason Janz, Pastor of Providence Bible Church:

Denver faith community to lead 72-hour virtual prayer sessions this weekend

Community invited to join one-hour online prayer sessions aimed at uniting community through pandemic at DenverPrays.com

Denver, Colo. – Faith-based leaders across the metro-area will unite this weekend to host a 72-hour virtual prayer marathon aimed at uniting the community through the pandemic. Organizers of Denver Prays will host one-hour prayer sessions around the clock on Zoom with dozens of faith-based leaders leading prayer groups.

Prayer groups will pray for first responders, those grieving, the unemployed and homeless, government leaders, economic relief and more. Denver Prays begins Friday, April 24 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday, April 26 at midnight. Prayer groups will be hosted in English and Spanish.

“I don’t know where you were when you first heard about COVID-19, but this problem is bigger than any of us can handle,” event organizer and Providence Bible Church Pastor Jason Janz said. “We recognize this is an important time to bring churches and the greater community together to pray for our city and everyone impacted by this pandemic.”

Those belonging to churches and individuals unaffiliated with a faith-based organization are welcome to join a prayer group or multiple prayer groups.

Denver Prays also needs Christian Prayer Leaders who will lead one-hour prayer sessions during the three-day period. Prayer Leaders will submit a topic for a prayer hour and invite others to pray with them.

“Prayer is beautiful and powerful. We welcome everyone to pray with us this weekend as we maneuver through this pandemic. We hope everyone invites their friends and family to pray with them and our community finds these one-hour prayer sessions uplifting,” Janz said.

Individuals and Prayer Leaders can join this movement at www.DenverPrays.com. All prayer groups and topics are listed online. Once registered, Denver Prays will send registered attendees access information into the Zoom (Prayer) Room. 

Monday 4-20-20

Gov. Polis says Colorado's stay-at-home order will expire on April 26. State will move to "Safer At Home" as gradual reopening begins.

Details HERE.

Monday 4-20-20

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says even after the city's stay-at-home order is lifted, whenever that is, restrictions will make it a "different summer."

Details are HERE.

Monday 4-20-20

Century Chevrolet of Broomfield gives complimentary car service to a nurse.

Check out this tweet from the cusomer's cousin.

Monday 4-20-20

Centura Health uses iPads to connect COVID-19 patients with their families; Centura also sending medical personnel to help in New Jersey.

From Centura:

Centura Health Facilitating Connections for COVID-19 Patients

Region’s largest health care system using iPads to enhance healing

(ENGLEWOOD, COLO.) – Recognizing the importance of familiar connections in the healing process, Centura Health is using iPads and virtual meeting technology to fill the critically important needs of patients isolated with the COVID-19 infection to connect with their loved ones. “The infectious nature of coronavirus has made it difficult for families to connect physically,” says Dr. Shauna Gulley, Chief Clinical Officer of Centura Health. “So, we are turning to technology to fill the gap.”

Beginning today, the region’s largest health care system will start using iPads to connect COVID-19 patients with the outside world in each of their 17 hospitals across Colorado and western Kansas. Every COVID-19 patient room will be equipped with a device, “Both to communicate with family and friends, but also with nursing staff which will help further conserve personal protective equipment “ says Dr. Shauna Gulley.“This initiative speaks right to the heart of Centura Health’s mind, body, spirit philosophy – the benefit of hearing a loving familiar voice is integral to the healing process, and we are very pleased to have found a safe and effective way to keep this import component of recovery in place.”

As with many things related to the novel virus, we won’t know for some time the impact of isolation on COVID-19 patients specifically, but data on the impact of isolation on the healing process, in general, is significant and demonstrates patients who are battling for their lives need to hear a familiar voice more than ever. “Early results obtained through pilots of this initiative have been extremely positive, with incredible stories. From the quarantined new mothers resting more easily having virtually connected with her newborn, to a severely ill wife opening her eyes with her husband’s words of encouragement – humanity helps in ways medicine can’t,” explains Dr. Shauna Gulley.

-----

Lending a Healing Hand in the Wake of COVID-19

Centura sends 34 clinical team members to hard hit communities in New Jersey

(CENTENNIAL, COLO.) Whether a nurse or a physician, caregivers are no strangers to serving in a moment’s notice when a patient is in need. On Tuesday, April 21, Centura Health caregivers will board a commercial plane provided by United Airlines at Denver International Airport to help three hard hit communities in New Jersey. These 34 caregivers and one administrative ambassador were assembled from multiple Colorado-based Centura facilities.

The request for support and resources came from St. Joseph Health’s President & CEO, Kevin J. Slavin, who serves as Board Chair of the New Jersey Hospital Association, to Centura Health President & CEO, Peter D. Banko. Slavin and Banko have a rich history of serving in leadership roles for Christian-based health systems, having served together in New Jersey healthcare more than 10 years ago. The urgency for staffing support was shared between these two leaders for three facilities in hard hit areas of New Jersey and coordinated through the Catholic Healthcare Partnership of New Jersey, of which the three hospitals are members. Those sites include:

·Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, New Jersey

·St. Joseph’s Health, Paterson and Wayne Campuses, New Jersey

·Saint Peter's Healthcare System, New Brunswick, New Jersey

“We are called to extend our healing ministry to our communities when they need us most and our 21,000 caregivers are rising to today’s challenge, meeting the wholistic needs of individuals and neighborhoods in Colorado and Kansas, and now in New Jersey,” said Peter D. Banko, President & CEO, Centura Health. “The team that has miraculously assembled exemplifies the spirit of the sisters and brothers that came before us, and I know they will respond to the care needs before them with courage, compassion, and love.”

New Jersey has a reported 85,301 positive cases with nearly 7,000 people hospitalized across the State. They have also suffered 4,202 deaths from COVID-19, five times the amount of loss experienced by this State in the 9/11 Attacks. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal recently announced that physicians who are licensed in another country but living in the United States could now apply for a temporary emergency license to practice medicine in New Jersey---the first program of its kind in the country. The region is presently in tremendous need for experienced caregivers to serve temporarily on the frontlines during this pandemic.

Determined to help those caring for the ill in their communities, Centura asked members across their workforce who were presently called off due to low volumes and the postponement of elective surgeries and procedures, if they would serve in this special request. A combination of Registered Nurses with Medical Surgical and Emergency Department experience and an administrator, who will serve as an ambassador, have accepted assignments across these three New Jersey facilities. The facilities are facing staffing challenges amidst the demands that COVID-19 is placing upon their communities. These clinicians will work for a minimum of three weeks, up to four, as a part of each New Jersey facilities’ care team. Centura caregivers will be paid for this deployment and be provided the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) per CDC guidelines, for their assignment.

“This assignment felt right to me. The thought of people struggling and dying alone tugs at my heart; we need nurses who want to be there,” expressed Mara Doyle, RN, Centura Health. “I always pictured myself doing this work and I’ll be there to holding any hand that needs mine.”

Disasters can take many forms. The present pandemic calls upon many professions and communities to help. Centura is grateful to United Airlines for providing free roundtrip travel for this mission. In addition, we want to thank the family members of these dedicated caregivers for their support and sacrifice as these team members share their experience, clinical expertise and compassion with those who need their help. We appreciate you!

Friday 4-17-20

Gov. Polis says he is moving forward toward reopening the state on April 26.

Details are HERE.

Friday 4-17-20

Furloughs, layoffs for city of Loveland.

From the city:

City will trim workforce with 280 furloughs, layoffs

LOVELAND, April 17, 2020 – In response to budgetary challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Loveland will cut its workforce with furloughs or layoffs for 280 employees, all of them in temporary, seasonal and non-benefitted positions.

City Manager Steve Adams announced the cutbacks in a message to the City organization on Friday, saying that the affected employees had not been working because of facility closures and the inability to deploy them in other operations. Most positions are in Recreation, Golf, Cultural Services, the Loveland Public Library and the Visitors Center. The reductions are effective Monday, April 20.

“Our employees are the lifeblood of our organization and we anticipate this step is one of the many challenging decisions we will be forced to make in the coming months,” Adams said in his message. “While we do not know if and when we will be able to bring all of the impacted employees back, we will keep you informed as we continue to reassess our circumstances.”

Loveland’s General Fund revenue losses could reach $6 million in the second quarter of 2020 alone, Adams said. “Losses of this size are devastating and will require additional action that will be identified through the completion of a COVID-19 Fiscal Contingency Plan and further discussion with our City Council,” he told employees.

The reductions will cut total City of Loveland employment to 859, with 758 of those employees in benefit-eligible positions, the remainder in non-benefited and temporary jobs.

Friday 4-17-20

DCPA Postpones Hamilton advance sales

From the DCPA:

As we grapple with the impact of COVID-19, everyone at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts sends our best wishes to you and our sincere hopes that you and your family are safe and healthy. 

We are mindful that Colorado's public officials and our nation's health experts are telling us all to shelter in place and we continue to monitor their orders and recommendations. Based on Governor Polis’ recent press conference, and out of an abundance of caution, we are going to postpone the on-sale for Hamilton scheduled for Monday, April 20. At present we are still hoping to host Hamilton at The Buell Theatre August 12-October 4, 2020. That said, we are mindful that our plans may change as the situation evolves. It is a dynamic situation requiring tremendous flexibility in our response. Of the utmost importance to us is the health and well-being of our valued theatergoers, staff and the traveling performers. 

Please visit denvercenter.org/Hamilton regularly for all updates regarding the 2020 Denver Hamilton engagement and denvercenter.org/response for all updates regarding the impact that COVID-19 has on the DCPA’s programming.

Friday 4-17-20

The Denver Police Department gets a $1.3 million grant from U.S. Attorney to help fight COVID-19.

From the office of U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn:

U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES $1.3 MILLION GRANT TO DENVER POLICE TO FIGHT COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DENVER –U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn announced today that the City and County of Denver received $1.359 million in Department of Justice grantsto respond to the public safety challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. The money will be used by the Denver Police Department for items such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing devices.

The grant is available under the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program, authorized by the recent stimulus legislation signed by President Trump. In addition, $14 million was allocated for local jurisdictions in Colorado.

“Local governments and law enforcement are shouldering an immense amount of responsibility as they respond to coronavirus and work to prevent its spread,” said Dunn.“These funds are here to help them deal with the added burden they’re facing.”

Said Chief of Denver Police Paul M. Pazen: “The Denver Police Department is extremely grateful for this grant funding in support of community and officer safety amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.These funds will be used to support the community through staffing and overtime where most needed and will benefit the wellbeing of officers -- and by extension, those whom they contact – through personal protective equipment, devices for sanitizing gear and patrol vehicles, and COVID-19 testing.”

Other jurisdictions can find out if they are eligible and apply immediately by visiting this website. The Justice Department is moving quickly, awarding grants on a rolling basis and aiming to have funds available for drawdown as soon as possible after receiving applications

“The outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health emergency it created are soberingreminders that even the most routine duties performed by our nation’s public safety officials carry potentially grave risks,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These funds will provide hard-hit communities with critical resources to help mitigate the impact of this crisis and give added protection to the brave professionals charged with keeping citizens safe.”

The law gives jurisdictions considerable latitude in the use of these funds for dealing with COVID-19. Potential uses include hiring personnel, paying overtime, purchasing protective equipment, distributing resources to hard-hit areas and addressing inmates’ medical needs.

Agencies that were eligible for the fiscal year 2019 State and Local Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program are candidates for the emergency funding. Local units of government and tribes will receive direct awards separately according to their jurisdictions’ allocations.

The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

Friday 4-17-20

From Colorado Parks and Wildlife:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife working hard to protect fishing opportunities during COVID-19 pandemic

(Note: Photos in this release taken prior to the April 4 order by Gov. Jared Polis to wear cloth masks in public.)

DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Aquatics section is working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure fishing opportunities are still available this coming season and beyond in Colorado.

“Fish populations across the state are strong,” said Matt Nicholl, Aquatic Section Manager for CPW. “Warm water species such as post-spawn walleye are feeding well. Pre-spawn bass fishing is starting to pick up. These species can be found in many of the lower elevations reservoirs across Colorado. Cold water species such as rainbow trout and brown trout can be targeted in many of our mountain streams and reservoirs.” 

With the current health situation, CPW suggests fishing close to home and practicing social distancing while enjoying our exceptional aquatic resources.

Here’s how CPW has been handling this year’s unique situation for some of our most popular fish:

Stocking rainbow trout in Lamar

On March 19, CPW stocked more than 6,000 10-inch rainbow trout in five different lakes near Lamar (Jacksons pond, Northgate 2 and 3, Turks Pond, and Blackhole). 

These fish will provide excellent early season opportunities for anglers on Colorado’s eastern plains.

Photo: Aquatics staff made the 630-mile round-trip journey from Chalk Cliffs Hatchery to Lamar to stock more than 6,000 rainbow trout. Despite the cold, snowy morning of loading fish, as soon as the truck reached Highway 50, it was blue skies all the way to Lamar.

Utilizing Nanita Lake cutthroat trout for stocking

The Glenwood Springs Hatchery is attempting to produce at least 600,000 eyed eggs for the CPW hatchery system to utilize for stocking. Nanita Lake cutthroats are a subspecies of Colorado River cutthroat trout named for Nanita Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, which provided the original broodstock for the hatchery. This strain of cutthroat is used extensively on Colorado’s Western Slope for high elevation recreational fish stocking. Most of the eggs from the spawn at Glenwood Springs will be stocked as fish in remote waters, some being transported in backpacks and some being stocked by airplane.

Photo: 3-year-old Nanita Lake cutthroats during the first sort of the spawning season. The female fish full of eggs is on the right and the smaller, brightly colored male on the left.

Rio Grande cutthroat spawn at Pitkin Hatchery

The Pitkin Hatchery is on track to take 250,000 Rio Grande cutthroat eggs this year. All of the green eggs taken from this spawn go to the Monte Vista Isolation building for hatching. The fish hatched from these eggs will be stocked in high elevation waters throughout the Rio Grande River drainage, many by airplane or backpack.

Photo: Pictured in the photos are Ryan McVay, Doug Dillingham, and Jon Matuszczak, who is cleaning cutthroat eggs for the last time of his 34-year career!

Kokanee salmon

In southwest Colorado, aquatic biologists are completing the annual release of fry kokanee salmon. 

More than three million kokanee fry from the Roaring Judy Hatchery near Gunnison were released into the East River on the night of April 14. Those fish move downstream into the Gunnison River and then to Blue Mesa Reservoir where they'll live for three to four years. Those that survive will follow their natural instincts and return to the hatchery. 

Photo: Hatchery Tech Adam Pierce holding a kokanee salmon at Roaring Judy.

On the Dolores River, 200,000 kokanee fry were released into the river the week of April 13 and will make their way about 10 miles downstream to McPhee Reservoir. They'll also return to the release site in a few years. 

Photo: Kokanee salmon are dumped into the raceway before being released into the river.

Two Buttes Reservoir fish salvage

CPW Aquatics staff, along with Area 12 staff and several volunteers, are continuing the process of rescuing as many game fish from Two Buttes Reservoir as possible. The fish are being relocated to other waters in the area. Due to dam maintenance needs and dryer than normal conditions the water level has been dropping and is currently only about four feet deep. Fortunately, the lake did not completely freeze over in the mild 2019 - 2020 season, so the only winter-kill victims are numerous gizzard shad, which typically experience winter die-offs in some plains reservoirs in Colorado. The lake is currently open to public fish salvage, and many anglers have enjoyed the relaxed regulations.

Numerous crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, saugeye, and bluegill have been saved. Efforts will continue in the upcoming weeks to collect and move more of these valuable game fish as conditions allow. 

Photo: District Wildlife Manager Brian Marsh in Springfield

Whirling Disease resistant trout in the Arkansas River

Late in February, Salida Aquatic Biologist Michael Atwood, with the help of Trout Unlimited volunteers and Mt. Shavano Fish Hatchery staff, marked 22,000 Gunnison River rainbow trout that show some resistance to whirling disease. The fish are marked by clipping the adipose fin off the fish. By marking these fish, Michael will be able to determine how many of these fish have survived and what their growth rates look like. This was the fourth consecutive year marking these fish. These fish will be stocked into the Arkansas River near Salida with the goal of developing a self-sustaining rainbow trout fishery.

Photos: Fin clipping at Mt. Shavano Fish Hatchery

Walleye spawn

Aquatic biologists and a select few volunteers spawned enough fish to supply walleye to our brood lakes (Pueblo, Cherry Creek and Chatfield reservoirs). The brood waters help maintain the valuable resources that ultimately serve as the supply chain for walleye across the state. An estimated 5.3 million fertilized eggs were collected from Lake Pueblo that were delivered to the Pueblo Fish Hatchery. Cherry Creek produced 1.2 million eggs, which were delivered to the Wray Fish Hatchery.

CPW has already stocked 3.5 million fry into Pueblo Reservoir and our hatchery section is working with other states to potentially come up with more fish to stock into our brood lakes. 

Photo: On March 30, Area 11 Aquatic Biologist Carrie Tucker (pictured) and Aquatic Technician Tyler Hassler stocked walleye fry into Pueblo Reservoir.

Rainbow broodfish stocking across the state

Brood rainbow trout ranging in length from 14-17” have recently been stocked across the state. Anglers in northwest Colorado can try their luck for these fish at Avery Lake, the Blue River, Corn Lake State Park, Gypsum ponds, Harvey Gap State Park, Mack Mesa Lake at Highline State Park, Old Orchard and Roan’s Pothole ponds at Island Acres State Park, Rangely Fishing Pond, Rifle Gap State Park, Rifle Pond at the Rest Area South of Rifle, and Wolford Mountain Reservoir. In southwest Colorado, waters stocked include Confluence Lake, Chipeta Lake, Pericles Pond, Shavano Pond and Uncompahgre River below Ridgway Dam. In northeast Colorado, waters stocked include Centennial Park Pond, Waneka Lake, Arapahoe Bend Beaver Pond, and Estes Lake. In southeast Colorado, Frantz Lake and the Arkansas River were stocked.

Pueblo State Fish Hatchery

At Pueblo State Fish Hatchery, staff is flattening out the soil in the pond before filling it with water so fish don't get stuck in the ruts caused by harrowing the pond soil. The pond soil is harrowed several times throughout the year to rejuvenate the soil and prevent rooted vegetation from taking hold. Ponds like this will be used to raise walleye, bluegill, and black crappie this year at the Pueblo State Fish Hatchery.

Photo: Pueblo State Fish Hatchery Manager Quentin Springer grades one of the ponds before filling with water and stocking with fish.

Las Animas Fish Hatchery

Largemouth bass brooders are removed from their winter ponds in the spring. They are evaluated for size, health and sex before being placed in to spawning ponds, where spawn mats are placed for them to spawn on. The mats are removed to the hatchery building where the bass fry hatch and are then grown to 1.5-inch fingerlings before being stocked all over the state. Approximately 2 million bass will be stocked in Colorado this summer.

Photo: Hatchery Technician Victor Brown holding largemouth bass brooder 

Photo: Hatchery Technician Victor Brown feeds fingerling catfish at the Las Animas Fish Hatchery. Brown is feeding 62,000 four-inch fingerling channel catfish. Those fish and 120,000 more will be grown to 8 inches, and will be stocked in urban park ponds up and down the Front Range.

Largemouth bass stocking on Western Slope

Brood largemouth bass that are no longer needed at the Las Animas Fish Hatchery will be making their way to the West Slope soon. Nearly 500 adult fish ranging from 10-16” in length will be stocked in waters in both northwest and southwest Colorado. In northwest Colorado, anglers will be able to enjoy these fish at Elkhead State Park (west of Hayden) and Harvey Gap State Park (north of Silt). Southwest waters stocked include Crawford Reservoir, Pastorius Reservoir, Home Lake and Blanca Vista Pond.

Thursday 4-16-20

Broncos linebacker Von Miller tests positive for COVID-19.

Details HERE.

Thursday 4-16-20

CDPHE says one of the elements needed to lift the stay-at-home order and reopen the state is widespread testing.

Details on that and more HERE.

Thursday 4-16-20

Rental and mortgage assistance for residents of Adams County.

Details from the county:

Adams County and Maiker Housing Partners Announce COVID-19 Rental and

Mortgage Assistance Fund Available to Adams County Residents

Fund to provide emergency, short-term assistance to vulnerable households in Adams County

WESTMINSTER, COLO.(April 16, 2020)–As part of the COVID-19 emergency response and recovery strategy, Adams County, in partnership with Maiker Housing Partners, has created the Adams County COVID-19Short-Term Rental and Mortgage Assistance Relief Fund. This fund will provide emergency, short-term rental and mortgage assistance to households that are most vulnerable to eviction or foreclosure due to the likelihood of having little savings, suffering loss or reduction of employment, or experiencing housing instability or incurring insurmountable debt due to unpaid rent or mortgage.

The funds will be administered by Maiker Housing Partners. Applications for the fund will be accepted through the Maiker HousingPartners website.

“It is of critical importance that we keep people in their homes and ensure residents’ housing needs are met during the COVID-19 crisis,”said Commissioner Eva Henry, who is currently championing the Adams County Housing Stability Response & Recovery Team. “This fund is an extra boost to assist households that are most vulnerable to eviction or foreclosure due to a loss or reduction of employment during this time.”

The initial $300,000 in grant funding was made possible by the Adams County Foundation. Adams County is working with other community partners to secure additional funding. If you are interested in contributing to the fund, please contact Rebecca Zamora at 720-523-6991.

“The negative impact this crisis has had on our communities, and especially our most vulnerable residents, is significant and will only continue to grow,”said County Manager Raymond H. Gonzales. It is our hope this critical fund will help alleviate some of the hard ships our residents are experiencing. We are committed to identifying additional opportunities for growing this fund in the short-and long-term.”

The funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified applicants. Residents maybe eligible to receive rental or mortgage assistance through this fund if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

·Household income has been impacted by COVID-19 on or after March 11,2020

·Must reside in Adams County

·Household income must be below 80% AMI (are a median income)

Those who are not eligible for this fund may still be eligible to receive benefits from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal funding sources through Maiker Housing Partners. Unlike federal funding, the Adams County Fund is available to all eligible Adams County residents.

“To honor our value of keeping our members’ Safe and Sound,’ we advocated for these dollars in partnership with the Adams County Housing Stability Response and Recovery Team,” said Peter LiFari, Executive Director of Maiker Housing Partners.“We believe in people and that every person deserves a home.During this time of unprecedented crisis these values are more important than ever before, and we will continue to advocate for our members and all Adams County residents.”

“In an effort to continue providing equitable opportunities for all, the Adams County Foundation invested in this new fund to expand support available to the most vulnerable individuals and families residing in our local communities,”said Ken Ciancio, Adams County Foundation Board Chair. “It is our hope this fund will alleviate the stress of economic hardship during this time until Adams County residents may return to work or additional funds become available.”

Additional eligibility requirements to receive assistance can be found on the Maiker Housing Partners website. Each individual may apply for funding up to three times for as long as funding is available. All interested individuals must first complete an interest form on the Maiker Housing Partners website and a Maiker representative will respond within 24 business hours.

About Adams County Response & Recovery Efforts

As part of a COVID-19 emergency management response and recovery strategy, Adams County created seven Response & Recovery Teams and launched a new website dedicated to providing key resources to support residents and businesses. Response & Recovery focus areas include aging services, business support, childcare for critical personnel, food security and basic essentials, housing, support for the unemployed and future work force, and uninsured and healthcare access.

About Maiker Housing Partners

Maiker Housing Partners is disrupting generational poverty through socially conscious community development in Adams County. We serve all residents of Adams County by providing access to affordable housing options and community services,and partnering with others in real estate to rehabilitate and preserve affordable homes. Every day, nearly 100 Maikers work in tandem with our members to address the systemic problems that are the root of poverty in Adams County. For more information, visit www.maikerhp.org.

Thursday 4-16-20

Vitalant and Centura Health collect plasma from recovered COVID-19 patient to treat those with the virus.

Details from the organizations:

Vitalant Partners with Centura Health to Collect "Convalescent Plasma" Donation from Recovered COVID-19 Patient

Vitalant Seeking Specially-Qualified Donors to Treat Critically-Ill COVID-19 Patients

DENVER (April 16, 2020) –Vitalant, partnering with Centura Health, collected its first Colorado "convalescent plasma" donation onSunday, April 12 at Vitalant's Lowry blood donation center.

Makenzie Lewis, a medical doctor, experienced mild symptoms when she tested positive for COVID-19. Upon recovering, she worked with Centura Health to complete all the necessary documentation to donate as part of Vitalant’s new program togive critically-ill COVID-19 patients an extra boost to fight their illness.

“I’m excited, I’m here to make a difference, I’m here to help somebody who needs it,” Lewis said. “It’s a really important way to get out and help people and make a difference when you’re feeling helpless.”

Currently, there are no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19 because the virus is so new. Although trials for a vaccine are underway, it is expected to be many months before one is approved.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified and approved convalescent plasma treatment as an “emergency investigational new drug.” It is currently the only antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients and,as such, is a promising new tool.

This form of investigational treatment may give the body more fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease. With the help of local communities, hospital partners and extensive research experience, Vitalant is gearing up to help patients fight this novel infectious disease with the help of willing recovered COVID-19 patients.

“We are honored to collaborate with our hospital partners and very generous recovered COVID-19 community members to provide this promising treatment,” said Samantha Mack, Vitalant Mountain Division Medical Director. “A single convalescent plasma donation from a recovered individual may help up to five patients each time they donate.”

“What if your donation could save the life of someone who is currently facing COVID-19? You can make your suffering through this virus count,” stated Dr. Shauna Gulley, Chief Clinical Officer from Centura Health, “Although still investigational, some experts believe that using convalescent plasma will give people a better chance of recovery. If you have faced coronavirus and recovered, you can join us on the front lines through donating plasma.”

Eligibility criteria are:

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
  • Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days
  • Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma

Even with these requirements, there may be additional tests or other criteria required. In some instances, those who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to donate, even if they did not have an initial laboratory test. Those who meet that criteria and want to donate plasma are encouraged to apply through the Vitalant website vitalant.org/covidfree. For more information, please call 866-CV-PLSMA (866-287-5762).

“As this life-transforming program continues to expand, we’re putting out a call to those who have recovered from COVID-19 to help patients in need,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s chief of marketing. “We encourage those who are eligible to go through the process to make a real difference.”

Vitalant will only accept donors who meet all FDA-required donor eligibility criteria and are symptom-free for at least 14 days. Potential donors can only donate if they have applied and have been accepted to the program. Donors cannot walk in for this procedure; they must first fill out the form at vitalant.org/covidfree to begin the application process. Potential donors will then be contacted by Vitalant.

Wednesday 4-15-20

Gov. Polis is laying the foundation for life after the stay-at-home order.

Details HERE.

Thursday 4-16-20

Senators Cory Gardner (R) and Michael Bennet (D) request changes to the CARES act.

From the Senators:

Gardner, Bennet, and Polis Make Unified Request for CARES Act Changes to Benefit Coloradans

“We share the common goals of keeping thousands of small businesses across Colorado and the nation with the ability to retain as many workers as they can, our hospitals and health care providers equipped with what they need, and state and local governments and tribes with the ability to respond during this pandemic.”

Washington, D.C.– U.S.Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Colorado Governor Jared Polis are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to make critical improvements to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with the focus on the areas under negotiation in Washington to better support Coloradans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The statewide leaders in Colorado are calling for additional funding and critical modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program to support small businesses in Colorado and $500 billion in relief to states.

“Colorado is representative of America,”wrote the senators and the governor.“We have remote rural communities and large urban areas. We depend on the agriculture industry, but we also have some of the most cutting edge technology companies in the world. We are known for our restaurants, hotels, and outdoor recreation. Those industries are supported by countless plumbers, electricians, and contractors. And like America, we have our differences, but above all, Coloradans are pragmatic—we do what works. The ideas laid out in this letter reflect what Coloradans have told us is needed to make these programs work. We should waste no time in adopting them.”

In addition to requesting specific changes to the CARES Act to benefit more Colorado entities, the Colorado statewide leaders are requesting additional funding to support frontline healthcare providers, the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, states, local governments, and tribes, and increasing overall SNAP benefits by 15 percent to alleviate pressure on hardest-hit families in Colorado during the crisis.

“We believe that we share the common goals of keeping thousands of small businesses across Colorado and the nation with the ability to retain as many workers as they can, our hospitals and health care providers equipped with what they need, and state and local governments and tribes with the ability to respond during this pandemic,” they wrote.

The full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer:

As you work to extend and build upon the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, we write to request certain modifications and improvements to the programs that were included in the law. We kept these requests focused on the areas under negotiation as we understand them including small business reforms, state and local funding, health care, and food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Since the CARES Act became law, we have spoken with Coloradans across the state about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including small business owners, farmers, and non-profit directors. It is clear that we should provide additional funding for the PPP, but we should also modify the program to ensure it is providing support for as many small businesses and non-profits as the program was originally intended.

Through our conversations, we believe the following modifications and additions to the PPP can help fix the very real-on-the-ground issues preventing many small businesses from participating in the program: 

  • Increase the program appropriations and the loan amount to 4 times average monthly payroll (permitting those that already have loans to increase their loan amount to reach that level) for firms that have suffered significant revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • Increase the amount that can be spent on non-payroll expenses for firms that have suffered significant revenue losses as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;

  • Expand eligibility as follows:Expressly provide that health care entities, such as quasi-governmental Critical Access Hospitals and other rural health care providers, are eligible to participate in the program; 
  • Include certain nonprofits who should not have been excluded in the first place, subject to the applicable affiliation rules;
  • Expand the exception to the 500-employee limitation for franchises, which is contained in the Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance, to include franchised businesses beyond those listed in the SBA’s franchise listing; and
  • Expand the affiliation rule exception to include more firms that, for all intents and purposes have fewer than 500 employees, such as fitness centers and retail trade establishments.

  • Expressly provide that, following the recently-issued SBA guidance regarding distributions from partnerships and LLCs (up to $100,000 annualized), existing PPP loans that excluded such payments may increase their loan amounts accordingly;

  • Add the following to list of qualified expenses: mortgage principal payments in accordance with previously-established amortization schedules (no pre-payments), inventory expenses in advance of re-opening businesses, and past-due inventory invoices;

  • Expressly provide that businesses can participate in both the PPP and EIDL loans, provided that funds are not spent on the same expenses;

  • Set aside PPP funding to support our smallest businesses; as well as minority-, veteran-, women-owned, and other underserved businesses that may not have an existing business banking relationship; 

  • Expressly provide that Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are authorized lenders under the program;

  • Authorize the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and/or the SBA to purchase program loans for borrowers with 50 or more employees from the originating banks two weeks after origination; and authorize the appropriate entity purchase program loans for businesses with less than 50 employees immediately after origination; and

  • Ensure that small agricultural producers who employ individuals under the H-2A program can have their payroll expenses count for loan forgiveness purposes.

In addition to the PPP modifications, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program that was included in the CARES Act has been oversubscribed. The intended goal was to have these loans paired with the PPP in order to provide businesses a greater amount of liquidity. It has been clear in our communications across the state that the program is oversubscribed and EIDL needs significantly more funding and improved efficiency to get the funding more quickly into the economy. The CARES Act required EIDL advances of up to $10,000 per loan to be delivered immediately, but the over subscription has caused the SBA to limit the amount of those advances and they have been slow in arriving. EIDL borrowers simply cannot wait for weeks for approval on minimal advances. We must make sure the program is fully funded so it can be useful for businesses.

We must also work to provide health care providers, both those on the frontlines and those struggling with lost revenue, the support they need. We request additional funding through the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) to support hospitals and health care providers in the next phase of legislation. We must also ensure that there is a transparent and evidence-based process in place to provide relief to rural hospitals and health clinics, Medicaid providers, including home and community-based services providers, children’s hospitals, nursing homes, providers treating undocumented patients, and safety net hospitals and clinics who provide critical, life-saving care to underserved populations and were not addressed in the Department of Health and Human Service’s initial $30 billion tranche of funding from the CARES Act.

Further, state and local governments and tribes are on the front lines of responding to the crisis. The CARES Act included $150 billion for these entities from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and tens of billions of additional support for education and housing needs. In addition to direct federal support for education, housing, and public health needs, it is critical that Congress provide an additional $500 billion in flexible fiscal relief to states and hundreds of billions of additional support directly to local governments without population thresholds and with the flexibility to fill major revenue shortfalls. We request robust funding to ensure further flexible relief in the next legislative response. In fact, any interim agreement between the leaders must include this critical state and local funding. 

Lastly, we are deeply disturbed by the severe deprivation so many families are experiencing, manifested in scenes of hours-long lines at food banks across the country. To alleviate some of the pressure on the hardest-hit families, we support increasing overall SNAP benefits by 15% and continuing that increase until the public health crisis has ended and the economy has returned to pre-crisis conditions, along with other reforms to SNAP to cut red tape and expand access to nutritional assistance.

Colorado is representative of America. We have remote rural communities and large urban areas. We depend on the agriculture industry, but we also have some of the most cutting edge technology companies in the world. We are known for our restaurants, hotels, and outdoor recreation. Those industries are supported by countless plumbers, electricians, and contractors. And like America, we have our differences, but above all, Coloradans are pragmatic—we do what works. The ideas laid out in this letter reflect what Coloradans have told us is needed to make these programs work. We should waste no time in adopting them.

We thank you for your work on behalf of the American public. We believe that we share the common goals of keeping thousands of small businesses across Colorado and the nation with the ability to retain as many workers as they can, our hospitals and health care providers equipped with what they need, and state and local governments and tribes with the ability to respond during this pandemic. Should you require additional information on these suggestions, our staffs are able to further discuss. As you negotiate the next federal response, we respectfully request you include these modifications to the CARES Act and additional requests in mind.

Wednesday 4-15-20

The city of Aurora is furloughing over 500 emplyoees.

Details from the city:

City of Aurora announces furlough of 576 employees due to financial impact of COVID-19 crisis

Affected are temporary, contingent and seasonal employees sidelined from normal work functions

AURORA, Colo. – The city of Aurora today announced the furlough of 576 temporary, contingent and seasonal employees who have been sidelined from their normal work functions during the COVID-19 crisis. The furloughs will take effect starting April 25.

None of the city’s regular full-time and part-time employees, or those temporary, contingent and seasonal employees whose work functions continued through the current crisis, are affected by these furloughs. The city’s total current employment is just over 3,900.

The furloughs were made necessary by the declining revenues the city projects to receive as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Although revenue projections remain preliminary and are subject to change based on this unprecedented situation, the city is currently operating under assumptions of an estimated $20 million to $25 million shortfall, or approximately 6 percent, of the city’s general fund budget this year. The general fund relies upon sales tax for about two-thirds of its revenue.

“Our employees are at the core of our mission to serve our residents, and it was a very difficult decision to have to resort to any measures that directly impact them,” Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly said. “We proceeded with furloughs when our budget forecasts made it clear we had no other choice, and our hope is that the enhanced unemployment benefits announced under the CARES Act will provide them with financial stability until we can make further decisions about restoring our city services and bringing employees back to work. My heart goes out to all of our employees affected by this.”

Early on in the crisis, the city put in place significant cost-saving measures—including a hiring and compensation adjustment freeze, elimination of travel and conference attendance, and delay of many procurements and capital projects—to prevent and/or delay any direct impact on employees. From March 23 until now, the city has continued to pay all its employees during the Stay-at-Home order. Furloughed employees will continue to be paid at their regular rate for their pre-COVID-19 work schedule through April 24.

“We are navigating through an unprecedented time right now and understand the tremendous impacts that COVID-19 has had on our residents, our businesses, our city and our world,” Twombly said. “As a city, we provide services and resources that our residents depend on, and we are committed to serving them through this crisis and beyond. Our staff are continually evaluating the financial projections and finding ways to minimize the effects of the shortfall on our residents and our employees.”

Furloughed employees were notified of the decision on April 15 and provided with information on how to apply for unemployment benefits through the state at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/covid-19-workers after the furloughs take effect. They may be eligible for enhanced benefits through the CARES Act of an additional $600 per week beyond their regular unemployment benefits.

While there is no set end date for the furloughs, the city is hopeful, and will do everything it can, to reopen city facilities and resume services and programs to residents and restore employees to their prior positions as soon as it is able. Furloughed employees will be provided at least 48 hours’ notice before being recalled to work.

Wednesday 4-15-20

The city of Boulder will help artis impacted by COVID-19 crisis.

From the city:

“Creative Neighborhoods: COVID-19 Work Projects” funds the creation of new artwork to help support creatives during the crisis

BOULDER, Colo. –The City of Boulder’s Office of Arts and Culture and Create Boulder are partnering together to launch a new project fund to support artists who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Creative Neighborhoods: COVID-19 Work Projects is open for applications from April 16 through April 23 with 66 funding opportunities of $599 each available. The Office of Arts and Culture and Create Boulder are each contributing $20,000 to this initiative.  

Creative Neighborhoods: COVID-19 Work Projects is created in the spirit of the Work Projects Administration of the 1930s. It strives to efficiently deploy limited resources to address areas of critical need. This social infrastructure program will quickly deliver funding to artists and provide direct community benefits. Projects will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to professional artists that have been impacted by the crisis. Each artist will create an experience in their neighborhood with the goals of either a) helping their neighbors stay connected during physical distancing restrictions, or b) after restrictions are lifted, helping people to reconnect, recover and adjust to new social conditions.

“On my mind are the many in our community who are in a vulnerable position due to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis” says Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver. “Among them are the thousands of artists who are in a unique position to help their neighbors follow the restrictions, stay connected, be well, and process this unique historical moment. As part of our coordinated response to this emergency, I see the role of artists becoming increasingly important as we reconnect and rebuild. This is a great investment in our social cohesion, as well as having benefits for some of those that have been particularly hard hit by this crisis.”

Professional artists who live in Boulder and have encountered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are eligible to apply. To find out more or to apply to the opportunity, visit https://boulderarts.org/public-art/creative-neighborhoods/covid-19-work-projects.

Create Boulder (https://www.createboulder.org) is a non-profit organization founded by a network of community leaders who believe that creativity is the essence of a vibrant city. The mission of Create Boulder is to advocate for the arts, ignite investment in the arts and increase the participation in the city of Boulder’s creative culture.

Wednesday 4-15-20

RTD trains will sound the horn for transit drivers on Thursday.

From RTD:

RTD trains will ‘Sound the Horn’ in honor of transit workers

As part of a national initiative, vehicles will emit two one-second blasts at 1 p.m. MT Thursday

DENVER (April 15, 2020) – To demonstrate gratitude for transit workers across the Denver region and the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) will participate in a national “Sound the Horn” campaign tomorrow afternoon, with light rail and commuter rail trains emitting two one-second horn blasts at 1 p.m. MT Thursday.

Public transit remains a vital lifeline for thousands of RTD riders, including essential workers in health care, public safety, food production and distribution, utilities and government operations. RTD operators every day are continuing to provide a critical public service during an unprecedented time.

The initiative to honor front-line transportation workers in this manner is being led by several East Coast agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NYC Ferry, and other regional bus and ferry operators. Horns will be sounded at the same moment across the country tomorrow, across several different time zones, by vehicles in service.

Tuesday 4-14-20

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says Gov. Polis is looking at strategies to reopen the state.

Details HERE.

Tuesday 4-14-20

Denver sports teams reach out during COVID-19 crisis.

Details HERE.

Tuesday 4-14-20

Brighton Police Department to help out seniors.

From Brighton PD and the city:

Brighton Police to deliver prescriptions for seniors beginning April 15

If you are a Brighton resident, 65 or older, and in need of a prescription that you are not able to pick up or have delivered, Brighton Police are ready to help! The prescription delivery service is offered for pick up at Brighton pharmacies only during Colorado's stay-athome order.

Qualifying residents are asked to do the following:

• Contact the pharmacy to order your prescription.

• Pre-pay for your prescription over the phone or online.

• Advise the pharmacy that a Brighton Police representative will pick up your prescription. Next you will contact the Brighton Police Department at 303- 655-2300 to schedule the prescription pick up.

Callers will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number, date of birth, and pharmacy name.

Prescriptions will be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Residents requesting a prescription delivery must present valid identification at time of delivery. Because your safety is paramount, officers will wear personal protective gear and adhere to the 6-foot distance guidelines.

We hope that by providing this service during this difficult time we can help protect our most vulnerable community members.

Tuesday 4-14-20

DIA gets $269 million from CARES act.

More from KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell.

Tuesday 4-14-20

City of Lone Tree and residents help out first responders and those on the front lines of the crisis through the Lone Tree Feeds program.

From the city:

Lone Tree Feeds Raises More than $20,000 in Less Than a Week

Campaign, launched by City and residents, provides free meals to first responders in Lone Tree

April 14, 2020– It was just a week ago that a group of long-time Lone Tree residents, with an unrelenting desire to give back to the community during this difficult time, approached the City about launching a campaign to feed first responders in Lone Tree. Within 72 hours, Lone Tree Feeds was born, and just hours after it was launched, hundreds of dollars were donated online.

Today, just less than two weeks since launch day, more than $20,000 in online donations have come through to help provide free meals for those on the frontline of this coronavirus pandemic.

“During this unprecedented pandemic, it is really hard for people to come together when we’re asking them to stay apart,” said Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet. “One way we found we could come together was to care for the people that are caring for us.”

The team, which consists of various residents, City staff and former mayors, then works with local restaurants to coordinate the delivery of free meals to first responders of Lone Tree such as the staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center, South Metro Fire Rescue and the Lone Tree Police Department.  

“We were just shocked that this has all happened in less than a week in terms of getting it off the ground,” said Julie Britti, one of the residents leading this campaign. “In that time, we have had over 100 donors helping us purchase these meals.”

In fact, Park Meadows Retail Resort was the first business in Lone Tree to step up to the challenge and donated dozens of meals to first responders.

“We think Lone Tree Feeds is indicative of the camaraderie and attitude of the entire Lone Tree community, whether it’s the residential or business community,” said Park Meadows Retail Resort Senior General Manager Pam Kelly.

First responders in Lone Tree have also enjoyed free meals from Fogo de Chao, Newk’s Eatery, Firehouse Subs, Papa John’s and Panera Bread, and many other local restaurants are already lined up to provide meals in the coming weeks.

Donations to Lone Tree Feeds are tax-deductible and do not include any Lone Tree City tax or processing fees to ensure funds are maximized. Anyone interested in donating can do so at cityoflonetree.com/LoneTreeFeeds. Any remaining excess funds at the end of this campaign will be used for other unmet COVID-19 community needs.

4-14-20 DIA Gets CARES Act Money - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

From DIA:

Denver International Airport Eligible to Receive $269 Million Through CARES Act

DENVER – ­ April 14, 2020 –Denver International Airport (DEN) will be eligible to receive approximately $269 million through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus package, which was signed into law on March 27. The CARES Act provides approximately $10 billion in grants for airports experiencing severe economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 health emergency. The CARES Act is the largest economic relief package in our nation's history.

“Denver International Airport is one of Denver’s and Colorado’s primary economic engines and will be key to our city’s economic recovery efforts. This funding for the airport will help us protect peoples’ jobs, and I want to thank our congressional representatives for supporting the stimulus package and providing the financial tools to support DEN through this crisis,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.    

Under the CARES Act, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) distributes funds to airports based on enplanements and other metrics related to cash reserves and debt service. Funding received through the CARES Act will be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no deadline by which the funds must be used.

“DEN is grateful for this stimulus package and wants to acknowledge the support of Colorado’s congressional delegation,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “The funds will go a long way to helping us meet our financial obligations, support our bond ratings and save jobs.”

Prior to receiving stimulus funds, DEN took decisive action to protect the airport financially. DEN has instituted a hiring freeze, is focusing on essential expenditures and is reprioritizing capital projects and programs to position the airport for a strong recovery. Passenger traffic from TSA Checkpoint data has fallen by 95 percent at DEN compared to this time in 2019, which is similar to the national trend as fewer passengers are traveling and airlines have cut flights. 

DEN has put significant cost cutting measures in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting dramatic drop in passenger traffic and the associated loss of revenue. DEN must use the stimulus funds to cover debt service and keep the airport financially sound.

In addition to $58 billion in grants and loans to airlines, the package also includes grants for impacted tourism businesses. It provides $6.5 billion in Community Development and Economic Development Administration grants for economic injuries caused by COVID-19, including the tourism industry.

Read the FAA’s announcement about the CARES Act fund distribution here.To learn more about the FAA CARES Act airport grants, click here.

Monday 4-13-20

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says early planning has begun to ease the city off of the stay-at-home order, which is effect until at least April 30.

Details are HERE.

Monday 4-13-20

Gov. Jared Polis said the JBS plant in Greeley has temporarily closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak there.

Details and the full remarks from the governor HERE.

Monday 4-13-20

Relief and resources are available to veterans and their families through Disabled American Veterans.

COVID-19 RESOURCES AND RELIEF SERVICES FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The COVID-19 pandemic creates a unique set of challenges for the nation’s 4.7 million disabled veterans who are disproportionately more at risk to the coronavirus

  • The COVID-19 pandemic creates a unique set of challenges for the nation’s 4.7 million disabled veterans who are disproportionately more at risk to the coronavirus. Their injuries may leave them more prone to contracting the virus and there are thousands of disabled veterans in need.
  • In response to this unprecedented circumstance, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is establishing a COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide help to veterans who have lost employment or income due to unstable economic conditions as a result of COVID-19. To help support these efforts individuals and corporations can go to DAV.org/Relief. Veterans who need support can go to https://www.dav.org/COVID/ to learn more.
  • Veterans who have lost their jobs and looking for meaningful employment can participate in free virtual career fairs that DAV is holding throughout the country. Applicants can also get free job-seeking advice, such as tips for dressing for an online interview and best practices on writing a resume. A list of these career fairs, which is frequently updated, can be found at Jobs.DAV.org.

Background:

Give to the DAV COVID-19 Relief Fund. And help provide critical services and financial assistance to veterans who are struggling. Go to DAV.org/Relief today. Any donation will make a life-saving difference for the heroes of this nation who have sacrificed so much.

DAV is a leading nonprofit that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families. Every year, DAV helps more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways by helping them access benefits they earned, like healthcare, education and disability, and connecting them to meaningful employment opportunities. DAV is the nation’s most resourceful veteran’s service organization, keeping the promise to support America’s veterans. Learn more at www.dav.org.

Monday 4-13-20

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts postpones two more shows. From the DCPA:

DCPA postpones Disney’s The Lion King and That Golden Girls Show

While the Denver Center for the Performing Arts takes heart that some communities across the country are beginning to see fewer cases of COVID-19, we remain concerned about the well-being of our guests. Therefore, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions and, out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult yet important decision to postpone the Denver engagement of Disney’s The Lion King(May 13 – June 14, 2020). We also will postpone our summer cabaret presentation of That Golden Girls Show.

The DCPA is actively working with its partners to secure new dates for these productions. Patrons will be notified in the near future of their ticketing options once these dates are confirmed. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves to ensure the health and well-being of our audience, staff, cast and crew before anything else.

As of Monday, April 13, the following events have been impacted:

POSTPONED EVENTS

Disney’sThe Lion King

Dixie’s Never Wear a Tube Top…

That Golden Girls Show

CANCELLED EVENTS

SHOWS

The Book of Mormon

Choir Boy

Improvised Shakespeare

Mean Girls

The SpongeBob Musical

Until the Flood

EVENTS

Saturday Night Alive

Women with Hattitude

Seawell Ballroom events (For details, contact your event organizer)

EDUCATION

Bobby G High School Musical Theatre Awards

In-School programs

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Spring Tour

Spring Education classes (all ages)    

Summer Adult Education classes

Summer Child/Teen Education classes through June 30

Winter Education classes (all ages)

BOX OFFICE HOURS

In response to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on the DCPA, Box Office staffing and hours have been reduced.If transaction can be completed online, patrons are strongly encouraged to visit denvercenter.org. Alternatively, agents are available by phone at 303-893-4100 Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm.

KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell has more on the postponement of The Lion King and That Golden Girls..

4-13-20 DCPA Delays Two More Shows

Monday 4-13-20

AT&T is offering free wireless service for first responders. From AT&T:

Simdauring John Krasinski’s latest episode of “Some Good News,” AT&T shared some good news with frontline nurses and physicians battling COVID-19: 3 months of free wireless service on the nationwidenetwork built exclusively for first responders – called FirstNet.

The episode –link here– also featured Krasinski and some hometown friends surprising a handful of nurses at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centerin Boston with a fieldtrip to Fenway Park where they threw out the first pitch of 2020. Inspired, and to keep the good news going,AT&T not only surprised the nurses featured on the show but nurses and physicians all across the country.

Here’s how: The free FirstNet service extends to ALL nurses and physicians nationwide starting April 13, and applies to both new and existing AT&T subscribers, giving them access to exclusive FirstNet features that aren’t available through standard wireless service from any carrier.Full press release here.

If you are not familiar with FirstNet, FirstNet was built exclusively for first responders based on 9/11 Commission recommendations to enhance communications for the public safety community. This includes health care first responders, law enforcement and firefighters, along with 911 communicators and emergency managers.

  • This is an entirely different Network and it’s only for first responders. 
  • It prioritizes first responder voice and data, 24/7. It’s a VIP lane for public safety communications. Regardless of how heavy network use is, first responder calls and data are prioritized on FirstNet, keeping those on the frontlines connected when they need it most. 
  • Plus more. FirstNet partners with public safety agencies to provide additional resources, from a dedicated fleet of portable cell sites to an app ecosystem designed for them. See more on those efforts here

In addition to three months of free service, nurses and physicians signing-on to FirstNet can get a $200 activation credit when activating a new FirstNet Ready smartphone on a new FirstNet Mobile-Responder plan.

For more on how AT&T is supporting the first responder community during COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 blog.

Friday 4-10-20

Gov. Polis says COVID-19 will be with us a while but the stay-at-home order will not last months.

More HERE.

Friday 4-10-20

The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and many media outlets have asked Gov. Polis for more COVID-19 information and transparency.

Details are HERE.

Friday 4-10-20

More property tax relief for Denver residents and businesses.

From the mayor's office:

Denver Implements Additional Property Tax Relief Efforts for Residents, Businesses

Waiver of late interest, installment payment options extended

Denver, CO – Mayor Michael B. Hancock is taking additional measures to provide property tax relief to business and residential property owners. Governor Jared Polis’ Executive Order #D 2020 031 authorizes county treasurers to extend the waiver of interest on late payment of property taxes through April 30, 2020. The action also allows property owners who had previously chosen to pay property taxes all at once to pay in installments.

Effective immediately, Denver will:

  • Waive 100% of late payment interest through April 30, 2020 (original order was through April 20).
    • Property owners who have not yet paid the first installment of property taxes may now pay their first installment on or before April 30 with interest waived. The second installment is due June 15, 2020.
    • Property owners who intended to pay in full on April 30 may still do soormay now choose to pay in two installments. The first half is due April 30 and the remainder is due June 15, 2020.

Depending on the option selected, real property owners who do not pay either the first installment or their full property tax by April 30 will begin to accrue late interest at a1% rate.Late payment interest for the second installment will not accrue until June 16, 2020.

Prior to the extension of the Governor’s Executive Order, Colorado property owners had two options for paying property taxes, with the following prescribed deadlines:

  • Pay in full by April 30, 2020
  • Pay in two installments, the first half by February 29, 2020 and the second half by June 15, 2020  

“An unprecedented number of people and businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we want to do all we can to relieve some of the intense financial pressure people are feeling,” Mayor Hancock said. “We are taking full advantage of this opportunity to provide a little more relief for people during this time, and we’re committed to working with our state partners to continue to support our community during this public health emergency.”

On March 16, 2020, the Mayor suspended the enforcement of evictions for both residents and businesses. There are a variety of programs available to residents and businesses to assist with financial hardships. A full list is available on denvergov.org by clicking on COVID-19 Information and selecting the Relief Support and Resources button. Resources include the Denver Property Tax Relief Program and the Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program (TRUA). DHS is also helping residents access childcare assistance, food assistance, or Medicaid by personally delivering paperwork to the homes of residents who need to sign up for benefits but cannot access online applications.

For more information on the city’s COVID-19 response, visit denvergov.org.

Friday 4-10-20

Update from El Paso County:

El Paso County, Colo. -- As a coordinated response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, El Paso County Public Health, El Paso County, and the City of Colorado Springs will provide updates from a variety of local agencies responding to this health emergency. Media are encouraged to share the below information with the public and media interviews are available. This communication will go out to the media between noon and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Mentors Needed to Help Local Small Businesses and Nonprofits

The Survive & Thrive COS Emergency Business Relief Fund is now seeking mentors to volunteer with the program. Mentors are critical to helping local small businesses and nonprofits awarded Survive & Thrive loans navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic’s impact on their current needs and future success. Mentors serve as a sounding board for mentees, offering a listening ear, connecting to critical resources and expertise, and helping their mentees brainstorm creative solutions to their unique challenges. For more information on the program and to apply to be a mentor visit: https://exponentialimpact.com/small-business-emergency-relief-fund/mentoring/

COVID-19 Call Center Reduces Weekend Hours, Open Seven-Days-a-Week

Based on call volume, the El Paso and Teller County COVID-19 Call Center will reduce weekend hours to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sundays. Weekday call center hours remain 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Callers may leave a voicemail and their calls will be returned the next day. Residents can connect with information and resources for COVID-19 by calling (719) 575-8888. 

New Free Meal Locations Added for School Age Students

Several new locations now provide free meals for students for the extent of the governor’s order for no in-person schooling. Meals are available for any school student daily, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with lunch and breakfast for the next day.   

All sites will serve meals to all children age 18 and under, no matter where they attend school or the family’s economic status. This map contains the current information for dates and times and will be updated as more sites come online. 

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) Extended Through August

The Colorado State Board of Human Services approved LEAP’s emergency rule request to extend the 2019-2020 application period to August 31st or until funds run out. More information on the program is online at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/leap. People can apply through Colorado.gov/PEAK.

Reliable Information Sources

Please continue to remind your viewers and readers to always rely on credible and official news sources and agencies. 

Current information on the number of COVID-19 cases in El Paso County

El Paso County Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

City of Colorado Springs: Coloradosprings.gov/covid19

State of Colorado: https://covid19.colorado.gov/

Friday 4-10-20

An update on medical supplies for the state of Colorado from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

State has ordered more than $46 million in medical supplies to help meet statewide COVID-19 needs

DENVER, April 10, 2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Unified Command Group (UCG) has issued purchase orders for more than $46.2 million worth of medical supplies that the state plans to distribute to health care facilities and local government agencies across Colorado.

The UCG has been working directly with local, national and international vendors to secure much-needed medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) for communities throughout Colorado. 

“Through the Governor’s Innovation Response Team (IRT), we have been leveraging private sector connections to expand our network of potential suppliers. In addition to partnerships with the private sectors, we have brought in Pat Meyers, former Chief of Staff to Gov. Hickenlooper, to head up our supply chain division within the IRT,” said Scott Bookman, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment's COVID-19 incident commander. “As of April 8, this team has been hustling around the clock to issue as many purchase orders as possible for all viable leads.”

The team has issued purchase orders for hundreds of ventilators and respirators, thousands of face shields and disposable gowns, and millions of masks and gloves. “These are extraordinary efforts in place to effectively deal with a lack of national strategy for the disrupted supply chain that is making it near impossible for acquiring the needed supplies to effectively manage the health crisis,” Bookman said. 

Because many of the purchase orders are being made with new vendors, merchandise will be tested upon receipt and payment withheld until quality is verified. Once the supplies arrive and testing has verified quality, the state will begin distributing them throughout the state to fulfill resource requests from local emergency management and public health agencies, including hospitals. PPE will be distributed according to the state’s PPE Allocation and Distribution guide, which prioritizes health care workers, first responders and critical infrastructure workers. 

This week, FEMA announced a $16.7 million award to the State of Colorado to be used for the purchase of medical supplies. Additional funding is available through the state’s Disaster Emergency Fund and FEMA Public Assistance Program.

In addition to the supplies that the UCG has ordered directly, Colorado has received 100 ventilators from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as supply donations offered by businesses and individuals through the state’s HelpColoradoNow website. 

Thus far, the UCG has already distributed the following supplies allocated from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), FEMA, and private donations:

  • N95 masks: 460,740
  • Surgical masks: 472,000
  • Face shields: 61,344
  • Surgical gowns: 94,080
  • Gloves: 844,500
  • Coveralls: 3,816

The state distributes SNS materials to every county health department and tribe throughout the state where they are needed most. The following factors are used to determine allocation:

  • county population
  • portion of the population that is older than age 65 proportional to the state population
  • the number of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals
  • if the county or tribe has received supplies previously

All county health departments and tribes in the state will receive supplies. CDPHE will work with regional staff to coordinate deliveries.

There are many ways people can contribute to these efforts:

  • The EOC is coordinating requests for supplies, donations of supplies, vendors who can provide supplies, and trained medical personnel. Please follow the three steps on the Colorado Business EOC website [colorado.gov/cobeoc/business-members-and-vendors] to create an account in the state resource database. The State EOC uses this database to fill all resource requests from state and local agencies during emergencies.
  • Coloradans who wish to donate or volunteer to help those affected by COVID-19 should visit www.helpcoloradonow.com.
  • There is an urgent need for blood. Go to vitalent.org to sign up to donate blood.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

###

El estado ha pedido más de $46 millones de suministros médicos para satisfacer las necesidades del estado debido al COVID-19

DENVER, 9 de abril de 2020: En respuesta a la pandemia del COVID-19, el Grupo de Comando Unificado (UCG, siglas en inglés) de Colorado ha emitido órdenes de compra para suministros médicos con un valor de más de $46.2 millones, los cuales se distribuirán a centros de atención médica y gobiernos locales en todo el estado de Colorado.

El UCG está trabajando directamente con proveedores locales, nacionales e internacionales para garantizar los suministros médicos y equipos de protección individual (EPI) necesarios para las comunidades de todo Colorado. 

“Por medio del Equipo de Respuestas Innovadoras (Innovation Response Team, IRT), hemos aprovechado nuestras conexiones con sector privado para expandir nuestra red de proveedores potenciales. Además de las alianzas con el sector privado, hemos pedido a Pat Meyers, ex Jefe de Gabinete del Gobernador Hickelooper, liderar la división de la cadena de suministro del IRT”, dijo Scott Bookman, director de incidentes del COVID-19 del Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado. “Desde el 8 de abril, este equipo se ha apresurado día y noche para emitir la mayor cantidad de órdenes de compra posibles para aprovechar cada oportunidad potencial”.

El equipo ha emitido órdenes de compra para obtener cientos de ventiladores y respiradores, miles de protectores faciales y batas quirúrgicas desechables, junto con millones de guantes y mascarillas. “Se están tomando estos esfuerzos extraordinarios para lidiar de manera efectiva con la falta de una estrategia nacional acerca de la interrupción de la cadena de suministro, lo cual prácticamente imposibilita la adquisición de los suministros necesarios para manejar efectivamente esta crisis sanitaria”, comentó Bookman. 

Debido a que las órdenes de compra son para proveedores con los que nunca hemos contratado, los productos serán sometidos a prueba al recibirlos y el pago será retenido hasta que se verifique la calidad de los mismos. Una vez que los suministros lleguen y se haya verificado la calidad, el Estado empezará a distribuirlos en el estado para satisfacer los pedidos de recursos de las agencias locales de gestión de emergencias y de salud pública, incluyendo los hospitales. Los EPI se distribuirán de acuerdo con la guía estatal sobre la asignación y distribución de EPI, la cual prioriza el personal de atención médica, primeros respondientes y trabajadores de infraestructura esencial.

Esta semana, FEMA anunció una subvención de $16.7 millones para el estado de Colorado que se debe utilizar para la compra de suministros médicos. Existen fondos adicionales mediante el Fondo de Emergencias debido a un Desastre del estado y el Programa de Asistencia Pública de FEMA (Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias). 

En adición a los suministros que el UCG ha pedido directamente, Colorado ha recibido 100 respiradores de la FEMA, además de donaciones ofrecidas por parte de negocios y particulares mediante el sitio web HelpColoradoNow. 

Hasta el momento, el UCG ya ha distribuido los siguientes suministros asignados de la Reserva Estratégica Nacional, FEMA y donaciones personales:

●Mascarillas N95: 460,740       

●Mascarillas quirúrgicas: 472,000       

●Protectores faciales: 61,344

●Batas quirúrgicas: 94,080      

●Guantes: 844,500       

●Overoles: 3,816

El estado distribuye materiales de la Reserva Estratégica Nacional al departamento de salud de cada condado y tribu en el estado en donde más se necesiten. Se utilizan los siguientes factores para determinar la asignación:  

●La población del condado

●El porcentaje de la población mayor de 65, proporcional a la población del estado

●El número de residencias y centros de asistencia para adultos mayores y hospitales

●Si el condado o la tribu ha recibido suministros con anterioridad

Todos los departamentos y tribus del estado recibirán suministros. El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado se comunicará con el personal de la región para coordinar las entregas.

Existen muchas maneras mediante las cuales las personas pueden contribuir a estos esfuerzos:

●El Centro Estatal de Operaciones de Emergencia (EOC) está coordinando las solicitudes de suministros y donaciones de suministros. De igual manera está coordinando con los proveedores que pueden brindar suministros, así como personal médico capacitado. Por favor siga los tres pasos en el sitio web del Colorado Business EOC [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cobeoc/business-members-and-vendors] para crear una cuenta en la base de datos de recursos del estado. El EOC estatal utiliza esta base de datos para satisfacer todas las solicitudes de recursos de agencias estatales y locales durante las emergencias.

●Los habitantes de Colorado que deseen donar o ser voluntarios para ayudar a los afectados por el COVID-19 deben visitar www.helpcoloradonow.com.

●Hay una necesidad urgente de sangre. Consulte la página vitalent.org para inscribirse y donar sangre.

Para actualizaciones, consulte la página covid19.colorado.gov.

Thursday 4-9-20

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the COVID-19 peak in Colorado should come in May or later.

Details HERE.

Friday 4-9-20

Tax Relief Effort by the city and county of Denver. From the Mayor's office:

Denver Implements Additional Business Tax Relief Efforts

Governor’s executive order allows for greater flexibility for business personal property tax filings

Denver, CO – Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced today that the 2020 Personal Property Declaration filing deadline will be extended from April 15, 2020 to June 15, 2020, as allowed by Governor Polis’ Executive Order (XO) #D 2020 022.

Effective immediately: 

--The XO will extend the 2020 Personal Property Declaration deadline to June 15, 2020

--The State Board of Equalization will adjust the remainder of the valuation, protest and appeals calendar to accommodate this later filing deadline. 

--The Assessor will send Notices of Value to personal property owners no later than August 3, 2020

--The city must still certify values to taxing jurisdictions by December for taxing jurisdictions to set their mill levies for 2021 tax collections.

The City will work with businesses to establish payment plans for delinquent business personal property taxes. 

As of April 1, 2020: 

·Approximately 6,500 taxable business personal property accounts, or 46%, had not yet paid any amount of Business Personal Property tax. 

·Of all taxable business personal property accounts, 18% had paid the first half installment, and 35% paid the full amount.

The county treasurer will work with businesses to establish payment plans for businesses who opt for this new structure. More information on business personal property may be found at denvergov.org/assessor under the Business Personal Property button.

In addition to this relief program, the City has taken several steps to provide businesses support during these difficult times. In March, the Mayor instructed the Denver Department of Finance (DOF) to waive the 15% penalty for late payment of February and March sales, use, and occupational privilege taxes. DOF is evaluating extension of the waiver on a month-by-month basis.

The city also created an initial relief fund of $4 million to support small businesses with the goal of helping the people most directly impacted by COVID-19 disruptions. The programs are aimed at supporting businesses so they can, in turn, support their employees and includes microloans and cash grants of up to $7,500 to qualifying small businesses. Read more about business supports at denvergov.org.

Friday 4-9-20

There is help for small businesses in Brighton.

Friday 4-9-20

Jefferson County and the city of Golden limit activities on Clear Creek.

From Jeffco and Golden:

Access Restricted on Clear Creek

Jefferson County, CO. – Effective at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday April 9, 2020,and until superseded or repealed, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and Golden Police Chief Bill Kilpatrick will prohibit waterway activities on Clear Creek. These temporary restrictions apply to Clear Creek in unincorporated Jefferson County, as well as those portions of Clear Creek within the City of Golden, including Vanover Park.

This temporary restriction was made in response to the Stay at Home Order that makes it difficult for recreational users of the creek to adhere to the six-foot social distancing guideline. In addition, if a rescue were necessary, it would require law enforcement and fire departments to expend resources that are already facing challenges due to COVID-19.

Pursuant to C.R.S. § 33-13-111 and 2 CCR 405-2 #217, the Sheriff of Jefferson County and Golden Police Chief are prohibiting ALL USES in Clear Creek, including all single-chambered air inflated devices,such as belly boats, inner tubes, and single chambered rafts, “body surfers,” and swimming, as well as all vessels, kayaks, whitewater canoes, and multi-chambered river boards.

Under C.R.S. § 33-13-111 (3), the penalty for violating this restriction is a class 2 petty offense and will result in a fine of $100.00.

Thursday 4-9-20

The city of Thornton is making it easy for neighbors to help neighbors during the crisis. The city has launched the Thoughtful Thornton campaign.

From the city:

Thornton Launches Thoughtful Thornton

Program Encourages Neighbors to Help Neighbors

THORNTON, CO…Thornton has launched the Thoughtful Thornton campaign, giving residents some simple tools to help their neighbors in-need during Colorado's Stay-at-Home order. “Thoughtful Thornton will help residents easily communicate with a neighbor that might need a little more assistance in this challenging time,” says Thornton Communications Director Todd Barnes. “This campaign was born out of the kindness and willingness of Thornton neighbors to help each other,” says Barnes. “In this day of physical distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contacting your neighbors and helping isn’t easy, so being able to leave messages offering help is ideal.” 

The campaign, found at gocot.net/thoughtfulthornton,features documents such as a flyer or postcards, in English and Spanish, that people can print at home, fill out with contact information, and tape to a neighbor’s door. These documents tell the neighbor that they are available and willing to help. “If people know a neighbor who might need a simple errand run for them, or just a friendly ear to listen, we believe these simple tools provided in Thoughtful Thornton will help make the connection.”

There are also signs that can be printed from the campaign web page that a neighbor can print and tape in their windows; green to indicate “I am fine today” and yellow to signal to their helpful-neighbor that they need some kind of “assistance.” 

These helpful tools can be found at gocot.net/thoughtfulthornton. For more information visit thorntonco.gov.

Wednesday 4-8-20

Gov. Jared Polis says if Coloradoans abide by the stay-at-home order, he is confident it can be lifted on April 26.

Details are HERE.

Wednesday 4-8-20

Denver Police says there are resources for those experiencing abuse in the home during the stay-at-home order or amy time.

From DPD:

Resources for Residents Experiencing Abuse in the Home

DENVER –These are challenging times, but the City and County of Denver is doing its part to ensure that those who find themselves in hard times have the help and access to the resources they need. This is especially true for those who live with an abusive partner. Regardless of the stay at home order, there continues to be resources and support for victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

“Staying safe and healthy during this time isn’t just about washing your hands or physical distancing, it’s about ensuring that where we ‘stay at home’ is safe, too,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “If you are housed with your abuser, you are allowed to leave to find a safe place to shelter. If you need help with that, there are resources for you.”

There are simple ways to reduce the stress COVID-19 brings, such as, limiting the amount of news you watch or read, going for a walk while minding social distancing, playing a board game, reading a book, limiting anything that could alter your judgement, such as alcohol or marijuana, taking a timeout if things become too much, and many others ideas to help create a positive and safe place at home. A video from Mayor Hancock with a message about COVID-19 and home safety can be accessed by clicking here.

Resources regarding domestic violence and child abuse:

  • Denver Police services
    • Call or text 911 for emergencies or 720-913-2000 for non-emergent police service requests. www.Denvergov.org/DomesticViolence for domestic violence information and resources
  • Rose Andom Center 
  • Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
  • Safe House Denver- provides both emergency shelter and non-residential counseling and advocacy services to adults, children and youth experiencing intimate partner violence
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline-operating around the clock, seven days a week, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse
  • Latina Safe House- provides bilingual and culturally sensitive services to Latina survivors of domestic violence and their families
  • City of Denver services
    • Call 311 or visit www.Denvergov.org for COVID-19 information about jobs, housing food, etc.

“For those who find themselves potentially causing harm to their partners and/or kids, the Denver Police Department has help for you too,” said Denver Chief of Police, Paul M. Pazen. “We recognize that preventing abuse is of the upmost importance, which is why we encourage those who act in a way that is or can be harmful to their loved ones to visit denvergov.org/preventingdomesticviolence.”

Resources for those who may harm a partner or child:

Turning Point

303-780-0170

National Institute for Change

 303-231-0090

Aurora Center for Treatment 

 303-340-8990 

Creative Treatment Options 

 303-467-2624

Park Hill Counseling 

 720-387-7931 

IDEA

 720-949-0095 

Spanish Clinic 

 303-934-3040 

Running Creek 

 303-805-1218 

AB Counseling 

 303-237-3599 

Mental Health Center of Denver

 303-617-2424 

Choices in Living

 303-937-7696

Wednesday 4-8-20

The Rockies are staying ready for the time when Major League Baseball gets the green light to ramp up for the season.

Details are HERE.

Wednesday 4-8-20

The city of Lone Tree is partnering with residents to provide meals for first responders in this time of crisis.

From the city:

City of Lone Tree, Residents Join Forces to Launch Lone Tree Feeds

Campaign designed to provide meals to first responders

April 8, 2020 – The City of Lone Tree has joined forces with residents to launch Lone Tree Feeds, a campaign designed to provide free meals to those on the frontline of this coronavirus pandemic.

“This is an excellent example of how the community and local government can come together for a greater cause,” said Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet. “In the midst of this crisis, it is humbling to see residents and local businesses lifting each other up.”

The funds for this campaign are raised through online donations.The team, which consists of various residents, City staff and former mayors, then works with local restaurants tocoordinate the delivery offree meals to first responders of Lone Tree such as the staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center, South Metro Fire Rescue and the Lone Tree Police Department. Park Meadows Retail Resort was among one of the first businesses in Lone Tree to join this cause by helping to provide dozens of meals to first responders.

“We are longtime Lone Tree residents motivated by the desire to help the restaurant community, and likewise, we want to show support and appreciation to first responders,” said Julie Britti, one of the residents leading this campaign. “Many of our neighbors are pitching in every way they can, and this is yet another way to show we care. Lone Tree Feeds help all of us continue to unify and get through this together.”

Donations to Lone Tree Feeds are tax-deductible and do not include any Lone Tree City tax or processing fees to ensure funds are maximized.Anyone interested in donating can do so at cityoflonetree.com/LoneTreeFeeds.Any remaining excess funds at the end of this campaign will be used for other unmet COVID-19 community needs.

Tuesday 4-7-20

Colorado's 6th District Congressman Jason Crow (D) held a COVID-19 telelphone town hall.

Gov. Jared Polis and Dr. Richard Zane joined the call.

Small business and medical issues were the primary topics.

Complete audio is HERE.

Tuesday 4-7-20

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said multiple efforts are underway to help the homeless in Denver, including converting the National Western Stock Show Complex Hall of Education into a temporary shelter.

Details and full audio/video are HERE.

Tuesday 4-7-20

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers gave a COVID-19 update for the city and El Paso County.

He said models show a dramatic reduction in likely cases there.

Details and full audio are HERE.

Tuesday 4-7-20

Furloughs have come to outdoor retailer REI.

Details from KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell.

4-7-20 REI Furloughs - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Monday 4-6-20

Gov. Polis addressed the state on Monday and extended Colorado's stay-at-home order until April 26.

Details and full remarks HERE.

Monday 4-6-20

Mayor Michael Hancock extended the stay-at-home order for the city and county of Denver until April 30.

Detail are HERE.

Monday 4-6-20

The Colorado Department of Public health and Environment held a teleconference. Among the topics discussed:

--Has COVID-19 peaked in Colorado?

--How severe could the situation get in the state?

--How effective has social distancing been in the state?

--Crisis Standards of Care

Details and full audio are HERE.

Friday 4-3-20

Gov. Jared Polis asks everyone in Colorado to wear a cloth or non-medical face mask when they are outside the home.

Details are HERE.

KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell has more on the story.

4-3-20 Cloth Mask - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Friday 4-3-20

Fourteen school districts in Colorado say they will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Remote learning will continue.

Details are HERE.

Friday 4-3-20

The federal government is giving Colorado is getting some personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.

More from KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell.

4-3-20 Supplies Stockpile - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Friday 4-3-20

More changes for RTD.

KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell has the details.

4-3-20 RTD Changes - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Info. from RTD

April 3, 2020

Dear Valued RTD Customer:

In an effort to keep our constituents informed of the latest developments concerning RTD during these everchanging times, we will continue to send periodic updates.

For the safety of our employees and riders, and in response to the rapidly changing spread of COVID-19, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) is making some notable operational changes starting Sunday, April 5. 

Beginning at the start of the service day on Sunday and until further notice: 

  • RTD will switch to rear-door boarding and exiting on its buses, which provides another layer of social distancing between operators and riders, limiting proximity to those who might be infected. Passengers with disabilities should continue to board RTD vehicles at the front, where a wheelchair lift is available, if needed. RTD’s over-the-road coaches used on Regional routes have front doors only. So, those passengers will still board and deboard from the front.
  • Fare collection will be suspended on all buses and trains across the RTD system. We are working through processes for refunds and exchanges on applicable fare products.
  • Service will be suspended on two downtown Denver routes, the 16th Street Free Mall Ride and Free Metro Ride, which have experienced low ridership.
  • RTD will move as many of the Mall Ride buses as possible to regular routes, to take advantage of the ability of these buses to offer multiple-door boarding and exiting. In addition, drivers on MallRide buses work in an enclosed compartment that provides separation from passengers.

Social Distancing

Being mindful of social distancing, RTD has been monitoring passenger loads on its bus and rail services. Bus operators seeing larger crowds forming along their route have been asked to call bus dispatch, so that additional buses can be deployed as they are available.  However, social distancing is happening naturally across the RTD system, with very few riders on each bus or rail car.

RTD also asks that the public use judgment in deciding whether to board vehicles, depending upon the number of passengers already on them. The agency is installing signage on buses and trains asking riders to respect social distancing, which is everyone’s responsibility. 

COVID-19 Service Plan Starts April 19

The RTD Board of Directors recently approved two service changes – a COVID-19 Service Plan and the May Service Change, which we’ve been working on to address our operator shortage.

Starting April 19, we will implement a schedule which follows a Saturday schedule plus Regional bus service and Sunday light rail service schedules, as outlined in the May Service Change plan. This is in response to a significant decrease in ridership resulting from the spread of COVID-19. The reduced service levels will remain in effect until further notice.

RTD will continue to evaluate ridership and service needs and reinstate service as demand warrants from Saturday and Sunday service to the regular service levels outlined in the May service change. 

Prior to implementing a major service change like the service reduction plan starting April 19, RTD must work through work assignment processes with the union, integrate the changes into our information systems and inform the public. RTD intends to retain its operations staff during the service reduction. Those who aren’t assigned regular routes will cover open trips or shifts for operators who call in sick, as well as participate in refresher training. Taking this approach will keep the agency’s workforce intact for when the pandemic subsides and service levels can be restored. 

RTD/CBD Manufacturer Team-Up

While obtaining masks, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer continue to be in short supply and high demand, RTD has forged a partnership with a Colorado Springs-based CBD company. HD Distribution is now manufacturing hand sanitizer and shipping it to customers all over the world, including RTD. The distributor is one of several that RTD is working with to source hand sanitizer, which remains one of RTD’s top personal protective equipment needs.

RTD Board meetings move to call-in only format

The RTD Board of Directors is holding its Board meetings using a telephone town hall format during the COVID-19 stay-at-home and social distancing orders. This is an easy way to listen in on Board business. To listen in, call 855-962-1128 (no passcode is required). The public will continue to be able to address the Board at its monthly meetings. Callers interested in doing so should dial *3 once connected, placing public speakers in a queue and allowing the Chair to call on them in turn.  

RTD Telephone Town Halls

RTD is hosting a series of telephone town halls April 16 through May 21. These events will cover updates from RTD Board members and leadership to discuss the agency’s response to COVID-19, ongoing safety considerations for riders and staff, as well as updates on RTD projects. The community is invited to participate over the phone or online to ask questions and hear the latest information. A list of events and details on how to participate will be available the week of April 6 at www.rtd-denver.com/town-hall.

RTD Sales Outlets

With the April 19 COVID-19 Service Plan, we’ll be making the following sales outlet changes:

  • Boulder Junction at Depot Square Station:This sales outlet will close parallel with the COVID-19 Service Plan, as there will be no bus service to/from the BJDS bus concourse.
  • Denver Airport Station:This sales outlet will reduce its hours 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, beginning April 5. Notification has been made to DEN employees. Passenger air traffic is down by 90%, and DEN has closed the north security screening location. In addition, RTD bus and rail traffic is down as well.
  • Civic Center Station, Denver Union Station and Downtown Boulder Station will continue with its current hours, 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Ticket/Pass sales, EcoPass card, Lost and Found and general information traffic are all down considerably at all outlets, mirroring the decline we are experiencing systemwide.

RTD to Receive $232 Million in Federal Funds

We are pleased to share that RTD is expected to receive $232.2 million through the federal stimulus package – the CARES Act.. The funds are 100% federal with no local match required, and can be used for expenditures from Jan. 1, 2020 forward, with a desire for the funds to be used as soon as possible. The funds are expended on a reimbursement basis, so once the agency spends funds they then are reimbursed. The funds can be used for any operations costs associated with COVID-19, including expenses related to protective equipment, cleaning supplies, salaries and any other operating costs.

Grocery Delivery Available to Access-a-Ride Customers

Kudos to our paratransit staff, who have come up with a great way to help our Access-a-Ride customers. Home grocery delivery service is now available to our current Access-a-Ride (AaR) customers. RTD is offering this service during the COVID-19 state of emergency to provide our Access-a-Ride customers with a food delivery option that does not require leaving home. No fare is required for customers to use this service. Grocery pickup is available from King Soopers, Safeway, Community Ministry Southwest Food Bank, Senior Hub Senior Solutions and Adams County Food Bank. Access-a-Ride customers can continue to book trips for essential purposes, including to purchase groceries. Customers must place their grocery order themselves and schedule a pick-up with AaR one day in advance. Details are on the Access-a-Ride webpage at https://www.rtd-denver.com/services/access-a-ride

These are unsettling times, for sure. Things will continue to change, and we will be nimble and change, too. While we continue to serve customers who rely on us, when the rest of you are ready to hop on board, we’ll be here for you.

Hang in there, and be safe.

Friday 4-3-20

The city of Colorado Springs will reopen municipal golf courses this Sunday.

From the city:

NEWS RELEASE

April 3, 2020

Municipal golf courses to open Sunday with modifications for responsible recreation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –In collaboration with local and state public health officials, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department has adjusted policies and procedures at its two municipal golf courses – Patty Jewett and Valley Hi – to provide a safe and compliant outdoor recreation option for residents during the state’s stay-at-home order. Online reservations can be made starting Saturday, April 4, and the courses will open for play on Sunday, April 5.

Modifications include the exclusive use of online tee times and payments (no walk-on play permitted), walking-only play, suspension of rental carts and other equipment, and the removal of shared touchable surfaces, including bunker rakes, ball washers, water stations and scorecards. The clubhouses are closed for public use, and food and beverage service is suspended. The driving range is also closed, and the practice area is open only to those with tee times, which are available from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

“We know how important it is to get some fresh air, and we are grateful our outdoor spaces remain open for responsible use during the stay-at-home order,” said Karen Palus, parks director. “We evaluate usage of these areas daily and implore the public to follow public health guidance so these places can continue to serve as a respite during this difficult time.”

In all instances, the public is asked to adhere to the following on trails and in parks, open spaces and golf courses:

·Stay home if you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms.

·Playgrounds and pavilions, places designed to bring people together, are closed.

·Gatherings of individuals of any size are not allowed and sharing sports equipment is highly discouraged.

·Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and while you’re recreating. Bring hand sanitizer with you to clean your hands often.

·Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from other parties at all times. In many cases, especially on trails, this may mean creating a single-file line. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.

·Be prepared and assume restrooms are closed.

·Bring water. Public drinking fountains are disabled.

Thursday 4-2-20

The Poudre School District will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Remote learning will continue for the rest of this academic year.

Details are HERE.

Thursday 4-2-20

The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment held a teleconference with Incident Commander Scott Bookman and Director of the Office of Emergency Management Mike Willis.

PERSON ASKING QUESTION / TOPIC / WHO ANSWERS

--Ricardo - Active Armor company in Pueblo - Mike answers

--Sam, Denver Post - Death rate in Colorado still going up? Scott

--John, Col Sun - Nursing home outbreaks - Scott

--Blair, Ch 7 - Where we going to get PPE? When feds help us? - Mike

--Kevin, 9News - How many more test kits needed for healthcare workers? - Scott

--Jensen, Den Biz Journ - Innovation Repsonse Team announce plans? Mike

--Evan, why CDPHE not provide the public the model? - Scott

--Sam, Den Post - How surge could be difft if it happens in April or July - Scott

--Malik, KUNC - What about blood testing? - Scott

--Sady, Coloradoan - Numbers in Ft Collins hospitals

--Matt - Is 6 ft social distancing enough? - Scott

--Ryan, 9News - 1st repsonders worried about lack of rapid testing...when COl get more? - Mike

--Olivia, KKTV - Extend stay at home? - Scott

--Vinny, Bloomberg - how many ventilators in use? - Scott

--Kevin, 9News -When can those sick resume contact? - Scott

--John, Col Ind - Burn ban but why no restrictions for oil/gas comps? - Mike

--Joe St Goerge - Fastest death rate? Already answered earlier

--Chris Vanderveen, 9News - False negatives on tests? - Scott

--Sady, Coloradoan - Significance of testing and who gets them? - Scott (greater testing not exist...likely 4-10 times more people have it than have tested positive for it in Colorado)

--Luke, KUNC - Overflow facilities being set up? Mike 

--John, Col Ind - can CDPHE provide raw data? - Team look at

--Chirs Vanderveen, 9News - Testing backlogs for private labs? - Scott

--Ellis, Col Comm Media - Isolation advice still 72 hrs? - Mike

--Erin, Gazette - Stats? - every day at 4pm

--Joe St George - Construction at overflow facilities? Mike (no construction yet...contract/leasing stages right now)

--Brian, BARN Media - Should people who have relatives in Ind. Living Centers bring them home? - Scott

--Liz, 9News - Should people wear facemasks? Answered earlier

--Ben CH 4 - Current # of hospitalizations rather than total # - Scott

--Karen Schwartz - Health of workers in large factories, e.g. meat packing plants - Mike

--Blair, Ch 7 - Will Col meet dates on getting needed PPE? - Mike (tall order)

--John, Col Sun - does testing in Col now reflect true # of people in hospital with COVID-19? - Scott

--Ryan, 9News - When Col get rapid testing kits from feds? - Scott

--Lucy KGNU - State have auth. to close non-essential businesses that do not comply with closure order? - Mike

--Colleen, AP - Did Scott really say actual # of cases in Col could be 4-10 times higher than the confirmed number? - Scott (yes)

--Nicole, 9News - Could delay in time of test vs. lab processing lead to false negatives? - Scott (no)

--Lucy, KGNU - NIOSH question - Scott

--Joe St George - any good news we can report? - Scott (everyone coming together, etc.)

--Ricardo, Chieftain - who can workers contact if employer not enforcing social distancing? - Mike

--Karen Schwartz - Does CDHPE have any way of enforcing that guidelines are being met for essential factory workers? - Scott.

4-2-20 CDPHE News Conf. with Scott Bookman and Mike Willis

Thursday 4-2-20

As of 4 p.m. MDT, the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado:

3,728 cases*

710 hospitalized

51 counties

20,411 people tested (Correction 4/2)

97 deaths 

21 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

*The number of cases includes people who have had a test that indicated they were positive for COVID-19. The number of cases also includes epidemiologically-linked cases -- or cases where public health epidemiologists have determined that infection is highly likely because a person exhibited symptoms and had close contact with someone who tested positive. The number of epidemiologically-linked cases represents a very small portion of the reported cases.

source: COVID19.colorado.gov

KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell has more in the following two reports.

4-2-20 Colorado coronavirus numbers 1 - Jerry Bell KOANewsRadio
4-2-20 Colorado coronavirus numbers 2 - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Thursday 4-2-20

El Paso County is mourning the loss of 41-year-old deputy Jeff Holkins, who passed away from COVID-19.

More from KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell.

4-2-20 El Paso County Deputy Passes Away - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

- Gov. Polis released the following statement on the passing of El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Hopkins. Deputy Hopkins passed due complications related to COVID-19 on Wednesday. He is survived by his wife Wendy. He has served in the sheriff’s office since 2001.

“My condolences go out to Deputy Hopkins’ family. Deputy Hopkins spent his life serving his community and working to make our state a better place,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is an incredibly difficult time for our state, and even more so for those who have lost a loved one. Each tragic death from Coronavirus is a stark reminder of why we need to stay at home. We can’t thank our first responders and law enforcement enough for serving on the front lines, demonstrating in this crisis and every day their dedication and sacrifice.”

Thursday 4-2-20

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is among those pushing for assistance for cattle producers.

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Gardner and Bipartisan, Bicameral Colleagues Urge USDA to Provide Immediate Assistance to Cattle Producers

“We write to request swift assistance for cattle producers with the resources provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act to facilitate the stabilization of farm and ranch income to producers who are facing market volatility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout.”

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined a bipartisan, bicameral letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue requesting that he provide immediate assistance to cattle producers by using the resources provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act, including the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and additional emergency funding. Doing so would help facilitate the stabilization of farm and ranch income for producers who are facing market volatility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the need for domestic food security,” Gardner and his colleagues wrote.“All farmers and ranchers are vital to our country’s ability to keep food on the table in a future pandemic or related crisis, and many producers, including young producers, are often highly leveraged and cannot fall back on years of equity in a time of crisis. As such, we urge you to quickly deliver relief to producers as we work to lessen the economic impact of this pandemic.”

Read the full letter here or below:

Dear Secretary Perdue,

We write to request swift assistance for cattle producers with the resources provided in the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stabilization (CARES) Act to facilitate the stabilization of farm and ranch income to producers who are facing market volatility in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout.

Recognizing the market volatility and financial hardships producers are facing because of COVID-19, the CARES Act provides $14 billion toward replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation and an additional $9.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assist farmers and ranchers in response to COVID-19. While we do not know what the full market impact will be for the various commodities produced in our states, we recognize that there is an immediate need for assistance for our cattle producers.

We request that USDA consider data and estimates available from the Office of the Chief Economist and implement a program that would directly respond to the negative effect on producers caused by COVID-19. This program should deliver targeted, temporary, equitable relief to cattle producers in a manner that limits market distortions and negative effects on price discovery.

The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the need for domestic food security. All farmers and ranchers are vital to our country’s ability to keep food on the table in a future pandemic or related crisis, and many producers, including young producers, are often highly leveraged and cannot fall back on years of equity in a time of crisis. As such, we urge you to quickly deliver relief to producers as we work to lessen the economic impact of this pandemic.

Thursday 4-2-20

More DCPA cancellations and cutbacks:

DCPA announces cancellations and cutbacks

As a non-profit organization, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is committed to engaging and inspiring audiences throughout our community through the power, the joy and the storytelling that only a live theatre experience can deliver.

However, as we continue to operate under escalating local, state and federal public health orders, it is prudent for us to examine cost-saving measures that will ensure that we recover to full strength in our 2021/22 season. 

Therefore, we regret to announce additional cancellations and cost-saving measures to ensure that we remain a significant cultural institution in our vibrant city. The following is a complete list of cancellations:

SHOWS

Choir Boy

Improvised Shakespeare

Mean Girls

The SpongeBob Musical

Until the Flood

EVENTS

NEW: Saturday Night Alive

Women with Hattitude

Seawell Ballroom events (For details, contact your event organizer)

EDUCATION

NEW: Bobby G High School Musical Theatre Awards

In-School programs

NEW: Spring Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Spring Tour

Spring Education classes (all ages)     

NEW: Summer Adult Education classes

NEW: Summer Child/Teen Education classes through June 30

Winter Education classes (all ages)

In total, this is a loss of five shows, 523 educational classes and school programs, 19 rental events and two fundraisers. This loss has resulted in a deficit of millions of dollars in FY20.

Already we have taken swift action to reduce schedules of hourly employees, implement a hiring freeze, and eliminate non-essential expenses including travel, memberships, discretionary purchases. However, these are not enough to overcome the financial gap. 

In proportion to programming cuts, we must reduce our staffing costs by more than 50% through a combination of layoffs, unpaid leave, reduced hours, salary reductions and other benefit reductions. Every single staff member will be impacted by one or more of these measures.

While drastic, our goal is to make smart decisions now in order to recover from our deficit and be set up for a full lineup of programming in our 2021/22 season. These reductions will allow us to cut our staffing expenses by more than half while still maintaining essential business functions

For press inquiries relating to the DCPA’s response to COVID-19, please contact Suzanne Yoe, Director of Communications, at 303-446-4886 or syoe@dcpa.org.

Thursday 4-2-20

City of Boulder buildings facilities to remain closed at least through April 30 and issues Emergency Order clarifying outdoor activities in city parks and open space.

Info. from the city:

NEWS 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

www.bouldercolorado.gov

City of Boulder buildings and facilities to remain closed through April 30

All city buildings and facilities will remain closed to the public until April 30; Mayor asks governor to extend state Stay at Home order to April 30.

BOULDER, Colo– Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam today announced that all city buildings and facilities would remain closed until April 30, extending the original April 19 closure date. In addition, Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver joined Colorado mayors to urge Gov. Polis to extend the state’s Stay at Home Order until April 30. The decision follows the state order to keep schools closed.

Gov. Jared Polis ordered all public and private elementary and secondary schools in Colorado to stay closed until April 30 to further decrease the spread of COVID-19. This announcement extends most school districts' closures by about two weeks.

While not taking a position on expanding other elements of the statewide Stay at Home order, the governor did cite the importance of keeping schools closed as an essential action in enforcing physical distancing directives and reducing the surge on hospitals around the state.

“Given that the predicted surge in cases and deaths attributable to COVID-19 will occur closer to April 17, we now believe that the state’s April 11 date is too soon to end the requirement to stay at home,” said Mayor Weaver. “However, we continue to want to closely coordinate with the state on such matters. Toward that end, we urgently requested that the governor extend the effective date of the state order to a date that preserves our health care system and allows our economy to move forward without risk of additional surges, to at least until April 30.”

In line with the governor’s decision to keep schools closed schools, the city will continue to keep its buildings closed to the public through April 30 to match the closure of schools.

“We feel it’s important that the city limit confusion around Stay at Home requirements and for us to follow the lead of the State of Colorado in closing city facilities in sync with the extended school closures,” said Brautigam. “Aligning our closure dates with Boulder County and the state sends a consistent message to the public and helps our employees with young children to continue to work from home as we all work together to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our shared commitment to stopping the spread of COVID 19 is the most effective way of protecting the community and getting back to normal.”

The city will continue to provide many services online that do not require in-person contact. Information is available at https://bouldercolorado.gov/ and https://bouldercolorado.gov/coronavirus

In addition, city employees will continue to provide essential law enforcement, human services, water utilities, road maintenance, and trails and open space management. Individuals and businesses needing assistance may visit the city’s COVID-19 Individual and Families Resources page or COVID-19 Business Resources page or Boulder County’s COVID-19 Resources page for available programs and financial assistance.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

www.bouldercolorado.gov

City of Boulder issues Emergency Order providing clarification on outdoor activities in city parks and open space

BOULDER, Colo.- Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam today announced a new emergency order for the City of Boulder providing community members with clarification related to outdoor activity in city parks and open space. The order goes into effect on Thursday, April 2 and is in effect during the period of the current declared disaster emergency under the state’s Public Health Order 2020-24 and may be extended as needed.

The order details for all people in the City of Boulder engaging in outdoor activity in the city’s parks and open space which facilities are closed as they are “conducive to public gathering” and pose a risk to public health and safety. To comply with Public Health Order 2020-24, the following City of Boulder facilities have been deemed “conducive to public gathering” and remain closed or are closed effective immediately:

  • Basketball Courts
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Tennis Courts
  • Golf Courses, including Flatiron Golf Course and the Disc Golf Courses
  • Outdoor Aquatic Facilities
  • Valmont Bike Park
  • Dog Parks
  • Parks Picnic Area and Shelters
  • Playgrounds
  • Skate Parks
  • Open Space Picnic Areas, Nature Centers and Shelters

Parks, hiking trails, trail heads and multi-use paths remain open for walking, hiking, biking and running, provided that all users always remain at least six feet from any other user.

Today’s order is posted https://bouldercolorado.gov/city-emergency-orders-related-to-covid-19. For questions about the stay at home order, visit the city's coronavirus FAQs page atBoulderColorado.gov/coronavirus.

Wednesday 4-1-20

Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) held a webinar to address issues pertaining to small businesses. Audio and additional information follow.

Rep. Jason Crow Holds Webinar for Small Businesses to Help Address COVID-19 Needs

AURORA, Co.— U.S. Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) held a small business webinar bringing over 150 small business owners and advocates together to answer their questions about the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis and highlight available resources. Crow was joined by Angela Atkinson, Executive Director of the North Metro Small Business Development Center, for the hour-long teleconference. 

“Our economy is only as strong as our small businesses. While the CARES Act has allocated billions of dollars to help our small businesses, the next step is making sure we get those resources directly in the hands of small business owners,”said Crow.“Our office will be working closely to connect small businesses with the resources they need and communicating the steps available to them as they weather this storm.”

Two weeks ago, the Small Business Administration approved Colorado’s eligibility for economic injury disaster loans, a designation that Crow pushed for in a letter to Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza. Crow and the rest of the Colorado delegation also urged the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Secretary to immediately implement the new CARES Act loan programs for small businesses. Crow had also previouslyoutlined recommendationsto small businesses to help prepare to apply for these loans.

Legislation passed in early March makes $1 billion available to the SBA to authorize up to $7 billion in disaster relief loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic injury from the COVID-19 pandemic. If secured, loans can be for up to $2 million. A summary of resources available to small businesses is availablehere

In Colorado, small businesses employ 1.1 million people or a one-half of the private sector workforce. The state is home to over 610,000 small businesses of which 15% are minority-owned.

The webinar is recorded and availablehere, where over 1,400 Coloradans have watched it thus far.

Wednesday 4-1-20

RTD Workers Call For Stronger Protections

RTD workers call for stronger protections as the COVID-19 pandemic escalates

Rear door boarding and fare elimination support social distancing

Denver, CO -- As infections and deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic mount and the Colorado Governor issued a stay-at-home order, ATU Local 1772-Denver, CO and Director Shontel Lewis of the Regional Transportation District (RTD), are calling on RTD to have public and private contractors implement rear-door boarding and eliminate fares to support social distancing to better protect frontline bus drivers.

“Since the coronavirus pandemic began, RTD bus drivers have put themselves in harm's way to get the essential workers to the front lines to fight this crisis, often with little or no protection from the virus,” said Yvette Trujillo trustee for Local 1772, who represents workers at RTD contractor Transdev. “Transit systems in Washington DC, Green Bay WI, New Jersey, West Palm Beach FL and other cities are using rear-door boarding and going fare free to protect bus drivers and riders from contracting COVID-19. It’s time for RTD to do the same for the safety of our workers, riders, their families and our community.”

The union also pointed to the recently passed $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides $25 billion in emergency funding for transit systems. It allows all transit agencies maximum flexibility so that they can use the funding for operating assistance to pay workers and to keep service running for frontline workers. The bill also allows agencies to use the funds to purchase masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment for transit workers and additional cleaning supplies.

“This bill will give RTD the funds to keep service on the streets for people who rely on transit for essential services and keep RTD workers safe on the job,” Trujillo continued. “Also, the Federal Transit Administration must distribute the funds within seven days. April 3 is around the corner and relief is on the way.”

The Union is demanding RTD move quickly to deliver needed policy changes and materials for keeping RTD running and their workers safe, including, but not limited to:

  • Rear-door entry and fare elimination to support social distancing.
  • Retaining employees and maintaining wages and benefits during service curtailment.
  • Strategic continuation of service to avoid overcrowding
  • Increased health and safety measures for all RTD transit workers and the riding public, including gloves, masks, sanitizers, and all PPE needed.
  • Pandemic leave for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, exposed to them, or with family or childcare obligations resulting from shutdowns.

“Our operators are the life-blood of our transit system. They are risking their lives daily to ensure that our riders have access to essential trips. Their bodies are worn, they’ve been asked to work 6 days a week, they are amongst the most vulnerable - along with our riders,” said RTD Director Lewis. “These demands are to protect our riders and our operators and limit the spread of COVID-19. They deserve better and these changes are simple.”

“It’s time for RTD to provide their bus operators the simple protections we need to work to safely get first responders to the front line and to keep our economy going,” Trujillo continued.

Wednesday 4-1-20

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold will hold a virtual town hall on Thursday, April 2. Info. is here:

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold To Hold Virtual Town Hall Tomorrow

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold will be holding a virtual Town Hall tomorrow, April 2, at 5:30 p.m. to update the public and take questions on the office’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis as well as Colorado’s primary elections.   

For more information and to RSVP, please click hereYou must RSVP through the link in order to attend. 

Town Hall attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance of the Town Hall. 

Wednesday 4-1-20

A deputy in the Jefferson County jail has tested positive for COVID-19.

From Jefferson County:

Jeffco Deputy Assigned to Jail Tests Positive for COVID-19

Jefferson County, CO.–On March 31, 2020, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office learned one of our own has tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy was assigned to the jail but is now spending time at home in isolation. It is not known where or when the deputy contracted the virus. Sheriff Shrader told all employees, “This news is sobering, and it serves as an unwelcome reminder for us all to be diligent as we approach our duties each and every moment of every day. This unseen enemy - while unrelenting - cannot be allowed to beat us.”

The Sheriff’s Office and the deputy are working closely with Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) for the safety of all involved. When JCPH is notified of a positive case of COVID-19, public health staff immediately begins investigations to identify where or how the individual could have contracted the virus. JCPH also works quickly to identify any close contacts of the individual, such as family members, coworkers or others, who could have been exposed. If there are other suspected exposures, those individuals are also notified.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must isolate themselves from contact with others. They should stay isolated until:

  • They have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.

Close contacts are also instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, even if they haven’t tested positive for COVID-19.

Wednesday 4-1-20

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis spoke on Wednesday. Among the highlights of his remarks:

--In about a week he will look at extending the stay-at-home order in the state.

--Schools formally closed through April 30.

--Working tirelessly to secure PPE for healthcare workers and prepare for surge in COVID-19 cases in Colorado.

Full details and remarks are HERE.

Wednesday 4-1-20

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports the temporary shutdown of The Broadmoor affected over 1,400 employees, all of whom were put on unpaid leave.

The Broadmoor expects to reopen in late May.

MORE ON THIS STORY HERE FROM THE GAZETTE

Tuesday 4-1-20

The times are getting tougher in for the restaurant business.

CraftWorks, the company that owns Old Chicago, Rock Bottom Brewery and the Denver/Boulder Chop House, has laid off nearly all of its 18,0000 employees.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the story.

CraftWorks had recently declared bankruptcy and was hoping to sell its way out of that. Now, nearly all of its employees are gone, without health care, too, since those policies were also terminated.

Tuesday 3-31-20

KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell reports on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock telling 9News he will likely extend the stay-at-home order.

3-31-20 Denver Likely To Extend Stay-At-Home Order - Jerry Bell KOA Newsradio

Check out the entire interview with Kyle Clark of 9News HERE.

Jerry also reports on the latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado, as released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

3-31-20 Coronavirus Numbers 1 - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

More from Jerry on the coronavirus numbers in Colorado.

3-31-20 Coronavirus Numbers 2 - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser releases comsumer complaints related to COVID-19 and says we must watch out for COVID-19 fraud. KOA NewsRadio's Jerry Bell has more on "Coronafraud."

3-31-20 Coronafraud - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

Jerry also reports coronavirus price-gouging is an issue.

3-31-20 Coronavirus Price-gouging - Jerry Bell KOA NewsRadio

From AG Weiser's office:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Attorney General Phil Weiser releases top consumer complaints related to coronavirus

Coloradans have filed complaints of refunds, pricing issues

March 31, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.)— Attorney General Phil Weiser today released preliminary data on the top consumer complaints reported to the Colorado Department of Law related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, consumers submitted approximately 300 coronavirus-related complaints, according to preliminary data, largely centered on pricing (37%) and refund (45%) issues. Other complaints include robocalls and texts offering either false deals with merchants, stay-at-home work schemes, or other inducements to get people to click on fake links. These links can then infect their devices or steal people’s personal information. 

“Scammers are now taking advantage of Coloradans as they search for essential products to stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Weiser. “That’s why we are asking anyone who has experienced or witnessed scams or price gouging during this public health emergency to report the incident to our office. By working together, we can protect ourselves and other Coloradans from those bad actors seeking to take advantage of this public health emergency.”

Of the complaints received on pricing, the top concerns were sanitary items such as to toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and general cleaning supplies (26); food (13); and medical supplies/masks/prescriptions (5). The refund complaints largely related to lodging (24), travel (17), and lift tickets/skiing equipment (10).

The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for consumers related to price gouging—when sellers raise prices to an unfair or unconscionable level—and refunds.

Price gouging:

  • Do not panic and consult reputable sources for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, including covid19.colorado.gov.
  • Do not let price gougers profit off your concern.
  • Remember that not all price increases constitute price gouging. There may be legitimate reasons for why a seller may impose a small price increase, including an increase in the seller’s costs or bringing the product(s) to market.

Refunds:

  • Contact the business to ask about a refund or credit. Call rather than use an automated online reservation system. A chat feature may also work if you want a record of the communication.
  • Before contacting the business to ask about a refund, review the relevant agreement or terms.
  • If the business won’t issue a refund, consider asking about a credit for future use.

For more information about price gouging, refunds, and coronavirus-related scams and resources, go to coag.gov/coronavirus.

Complaints related to the coronavirus emergency remain under investigation by the Department of Law.

If you notice any scams, fraud, price gouging, or other attempts to take advantage of Coloradans during this public health emergency, contact Stop Fraud Colorado at 800-222-4444 or StopFraudColorado.gov.

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