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Community Leaders,
Kara here with the Governor’s Community Engagement team! In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below are some updates and information that the Governor provided. We appreciate your support in helping to share these updates with your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

The State currently has 83,230 cases, 2,172 total deaths (2,042 are due to COVID), and 8,169 hospitalizations out of 1,059,831 completed tests. Every death is a tragedy. There are families and friends mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.

In terms of new cases, 12 of the last 14 days have had an upward trend and 2 of the last 14 days have had a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of newly reported cases. And in terms of hospitalizations, 8 of the last 14 days have had an upward trend, and 6 of the last 14 days have a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of new hospitalizations.

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily, and can be found here.

Wildfire Update

  • Cameron Peak Fire: Near Larimer County. 169,171 acres and 56% contained.
  • Mullen Fire: Started in Wyoming, and burned into Jackson County, CO. 176,386 acres and 30% contained.
  • Williams Fork Fire: In Gypsum. 14,584 acres and 26% contained.
  • Middle Fork Fire: 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs. 19,885 acres and 0% contained.

In 2020 alone, Colorado has experienced the largest and second largest fires in our state’s history, with all 20 of the state’s largest wildfires occurring since 2000.

Cameron Peak has now surpassed Pine Gulch as the largest wildfire in Colorado’s state history. As our brave firefighters are focused on putting out this fire and Colorado’s Office of Emergency Management is supporting the county damage assessment process and fulfilling requests for additional law enforcement resources, fire resources, and shelter needs.

The damage assessment is critical in determining a path forward for recovery efforts and identifying federal programs available to provide assistance, such as FEMA or Small Business Administration programs.

The State Recovery Officer conducted tours with NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) representatives earlier this week to assess support for impacted watersheds. The state applauds the efforts of local emergency management officials who are working with local, state and federal partners to help communities rebuild.

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms due to smoky conditions, make a plan to get tested for COVID-19 at covid19.colorado.gov/testing.

Alarming Case Trends

We are still seeing an alarming number of new cases reported each day. As the Governor explained on Tuesday, last Saturday our state had its first day ever in which we recorded more than 1,000 cases in one 24-hour period. And today marks the third day this week with over 1,000 cases.

What’s even more concerning is that our positivity rate is now starting to creep above 5%. This is the threshold that experts agree should determine whether communities reopen. According to the World Health Organization, governments should not reopen until positivity rates are below 5% for at least two weeks. A positivity rate hovering at 5% is very concerning for our efforts to reopen our state and our economy.

This is part of a worrisome trend that has emerged over the past month. On September 4, there were 132 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, near the lowest hospitalizations recorded since the pandemic began. Today, we have over 350 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Coloradans are resilient, smart, and dedicated. We must be diligent in following precautions originally put in place to protect ourselves and our loved ones by wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands regularly, avoiding large crowds– which will be especially important for the holiday season, and staying home if you are sick.

Testing is also a critical component of our prevention strategy. 1 in 226 Coloradans could now test positive for the virus.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are feeling symptoms, please visit covid19.colorado.gov/testing to find a location near you for free, quick, and easy testing.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Governor Polis was joined today by Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer for Colorado, Dr. Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE Executive Director, and Diana Herrero, Interim Deputy Director at CDPHE’s Division of Disease Control and Public Health Response and co-chair of the COVID-19 steering committee to discuss the state’s vaccine distribution plans.

Earlier this week, news broke that Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly both paused their COVID-19 clinical trials due to safety concerns. This is not uncommon, and actually indicates that critical safety systems in place are working. This also highlights the uncertainty around the timing of a working vaccine.

Many Coloradans have questions about vaccinations concerning safety, availability, and distribution.

The State of Colorado is dedicated to providing answers to clear up any uncertainty, while recognizing that the situation is dynamic and constantly changing. In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep everyone informed about what we know, what we don’t know, and state efforts to effectively and rapidly distribute a vaccine when one becomes available.

Mass uncertainty yields misinformation and disinformation, which like a virus, spreads rapidly. The Governor addressed the belief that there will be a vaccine made by the year’s end, and all of our troubles will be solved. That is simply not the case. The announcement of a vaccine will not eradicate COVID-19 from our daily lives overnight; once there is a safe vaccine, it will take time for it to be widely available.

Vaccine Development

Coloradans can think of a vaccine as a fire drill, scrimmage, or a practice session on the immune system. Vaccines give the body a sneak peek at one or more key features of a disease before the actual disease barges in. The immune system then develops a “memory” of the disease so you can attack it if exposed.

Immunization experts in Colorado’s immunization branch at CDPHE and local public health agencies, are up to the task. Public health has successfully distributed a new vaccine before in 2009 with the H1N1 pandemic.

There are three clinical trial phases in the development of a vaccine:

  • Phase one is the safety trial. A small group of healthy volunteers gets the vaccine candidate, and different dosages are provided to create the strongest immune response at the lowest effective dose without causing serious side effects.
  • Phase two determines how well the vaccine works in test subjects. The Vaccine group is expanded to hundreds of people of different ages, racial, ethnic and health statuses.
  • Phase three requires thousands of participants. This is usually the longest phase, because it occurs in what’s called “natural disease conditions.” The vaccine is introduced to a large group of people who are likely already at-risk for infection by the target pathogen then scientists wait to see if the vaccine is protective, meaning it must reduce the number of people who get sick or reduce severity of illness among people who get sick.

If a COVID-19 vaccine is approved under an Emergency Use Authorization, many of the clinical requirements are similar, but expedited. Safety data from phases one and two, and an efficacy study in phase three must be submitted.

The Governor and his administration look forward to learning about the data and research presented to the FDA about the COVID vaccine candidates.

Colorado COVID Vaccine Plan

The State of Colorado is submitting the Colorado COVID Vaccine Plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), detailing how the state will distribute a vaccine when it is made available. The plan comes after months of work with doctors, public health officials, local government and public health leaders, pharmacies, individual stakeholders, community organizations and more. The plan was created with health equity in mind to ensure those disproportionately impacted communities have an opportunity to be vaccinated earlier.

The deployment of a COVID vaccine will extend far beyond public health. That’s why CDPHE, with support from the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS), convened the Joint Vaccine Planning Committee, a multi-agency, multi-sector team to focus on operationalizing receipt and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Steering Committee within the planning committee will provide oversight and coordination of all aspects of the Colorado COVID Vaccine Plan development and implementation. They serve as a conduit to Executive Leadership and the Governor’s Office and receive advice from the Governor’s Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee (GEEERC).

Colorado’s COVID Vaccine Plan prioritizes the following:

  • Distribution/Data Management: How COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed and how information is managed from the time vaccines are allocated to the time they are administered.
  • Critical Populations: Developing phases that are right for Colorado– and determining population groups for distribution of the vaccine since we know we won’t receive all the doses at once.
  • Consequence Management: Working with the State’s Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and their Emergency Management team to identify resource needs, plus distribution and redistribution plans for the vaccine.
  • Public Information: Providing information for Coloradans to make an informed choice about what’s right for them.
  • Health Equity: Ensures that methods of distribution of the vaccine are equitable for all Coloradans.

The Governor today recognized the many agencies and organizations that informed our planning, and the state is grateful for their continued partnership and guidance.

Health Equity

Using national recommendations and the local GEEERC (Governor’s Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee) advisory group recommendations as a guide, the state has developed an approach to vaccine allocation that includes increasing the number of eligible individuals to match anticipated increases in vaccine availability and aligns with implementation phases.

While maximizing transparency around decision-making, the plan prioritizes populations most at-risk for contracting COVID-19, such as healthcare workers, first responders, and residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes. The next stage will be persons living in congregate housing, essential workers who have direct interaction with the public or are in high density settings, and at-risk populations more broadly, and the final phase is distribution to the general population.

The state also continues to closely consult impacted and at-risk populations, specifically the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and officials from the Urban Indian Health Program, advocates and individuals in communities of color, homeless shelters, advocacy organizations, and correctional facilities.

Our team is experienced in assuring a strong immunization system by implementing high-quality, evidence-based and comprehensive immunization programs; communication campaigns; and program evaluation to continuously improve and enhance our activities.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that best-laid plans are just that: plans. And being nimble and flexible is of paramount importance. Our COVID-19 Vaccine Plan will ensure that the vaccine is safe and distributed as efficiently and effectively as possible. We are prepared and we are ready.

State of Colorado Job Openings

We are looking for new individuals to fill the following positions! Please feel free to share these openings with your networks.

Housing Development Manager – Re-announcement, Department of Local Affairs

  • Description: Under the mission of DOLA and the Division of Housing, this position exists to develop new funding programs and policies to meet Coloradans’ affordable housing needs and implement funding programs to ensure services and housing reach the intended recipients throughout Colorado. The position manages, plans, and coordinates the Division’s statewide Grant and Loan programs to assist local governments, housing authorities, for-profit developers, and non-profit developers in planning, prioritizing, and financing affordable housing programs and projects.
  • Application Closing Date: 10/18/2020
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2843401/housing-development-manager-re-announcement?page=11&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Central I-70 Project Director, Department of Transportation

  • Description: The position will serve as the Department’s project director for the Central I-70 Project. This project is a public/private partnership (P3) and the Director will need to work closely with CDOT’s Chief Engineer, High Performance Transportation Enterprise, and Bridge Enterprise. This will also include constant collaboration with our local partners, specifically the City & County of Denver, Denver International Airport, City of Aurora, Commerce City, and Adams County. This position will provide visionary yet practical leadership, build trust, and openly communicate such that CDOT delivers credible and sustainable public service while maintaining the highest level of quality.
  • Application Closing Date: 10/18/2020
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2882400/central-i-70-project-director

Director of the Child Development Center at ACC, Arapahoe Community College


Director of Operations – Administrative Solutions, Department of Human Services

  • Description: Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director, this position will have internal and external-facing strategic level responsibilities. The Director of Operations provides support to the Deputy Executive Director and will be involved in the management duties for AS such as supervising designated FTE, acting as a work/project lead for designated FTE, assigning tasks, allocating resources, providing performance input to the Deputy Executive Director, including recommending progressive discipline for the direct reports of the Deputy Executive Director.
  • Application Closing Date: 10/21/2020
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2876392/director-of-operations-administrative-solutions

Director, Unemployment Insurance Division, Department of Labor and Employment

  • Description: Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director, this position will have internal and external-facing strategic level responsibilities. The Director of Operations provides support to the Deputy Executive Director and will be involved in the management duties for AS such as supervising designated FTE, acting as a work/project lead for designated FTE, assigning tasks, allocating resources, providing performance input to the Deputy Executive Director, including recommending progressive discipline for the direct reports of the Deputy Executive Director.
  • Application Closing Date: 10/29/2020
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2879885/director-unemployment-insurance-division?page=8&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Professional Land Surveyor- Denver Metro, Department of Transportation

  • Description: The primary purpose of this position is to ensure plans and legal descriptions comply with state statutes, department policy, and contract stipulations. Other primary functions require development and certification of right-of-way plans, by signing and stamping plans. This position also conducts project control, topographic, and land boundary surveys, relating all coordinate information to geodetic coordinates using published control.
  • Application Closing Date: Continuous
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2689076/professional-land-surveyor-denver-metro

State Boards & Commissions Openings

We are continually looking for qualified candidates to serve on almost 320 boards and commissions that oversee a large variety of subjects and make a wide range of decisions affecting your day-to-day lives as Coloradans. These boards are a tremendous opportunity for Coloradans to help govern and give back to the great state of Colorado. You can find some of the upcoming openings for below:

Openings/ Upcoming Openings:

  • Correctional Industries Advisory Committee
  • Fire and Police Pension Association Board of Trustees
  • Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force (NPATCH)
  • Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council
  • Colorado Health Service Corps Advisory Council
  • Colorado Commission on the Aging
  • Colorado State Fair Authority Board of Commissioners
  • Children’s Trust Fund Board
  • Division of Youth Services Community Boards
  • Colorado Aeronautical Board
  • Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee
  • Colorado Human Trafficking Council
  • Judicial District Nominating Commissions (Judicial Districts: 2,7,11,12,15,19,20 & 22)

To apply, fill out an application at this link. To see other Boards and Commissions openings for the rest of 2020 and part of 2021, you can visit this link.

If you have any questions about Boards and Commissions, please contact Nikky Patel, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions at gov_officeofboardsandcommissions@state.co.us.

We greatly appreciate your help to share information during this crisis, and we will continue to send regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs from our office. My cell phone is 720-982-5204. Thank you for doing your part.

We are all in this together!

You can view the Governor’s press briefing and listen to his full remarks here.

Thanks,
Kara
Deputy Community Engagement Director

200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203 
https://www.colorado.gov/governor/