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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 76,619 cases, 2,103 total deaths (1,998 are due to COVID), and 7,855 hospitalizations out of 995,817 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, 6 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, 4 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

There has been both continued fire activity and continued containment progress made by firefighters on existing large fires like Cameron Peak and the Mullen Fire. Firefighters are combating these larger fires with a heavy aviation response.

This has sadly been a record year for wildfires. In 2020 alone, Colorado has experienced the largest (Pine Gulch) and third-largest fires (Cameron Peak) in state history.

Colorado’s 20 largest wildfires have all occurred since 2000, four of the top five occurring since 2018. Here are the latest statistics:

As we approach the height of wildfire season, the wildland-urban interface communities are particularly threatened. Contributing conditions include a lack of moisture, distressed vegetation, extreme fire weather, and overgrown and beetle-killed forests. These “dry ember” conditions need only an ignition source in order for a disaster to follow.

There are a number of precautions Coloradans should take in order to reduce the risk of starting a fire:

  • Make sure to check your local or public land for all fire and fireworks restrictions.
  • Be careful with anything that could start a fire.
  • If towing a boat or trailer, ensure your safety chains are properly secure and not dragging on the ground.
  • Never park your vehicle over dead grass and avoid driving through tall grass— your vehicle can ignite the fuels and start a fire.
  • When camping, never leave your campfire unattended. Ensure your campfire is “dead” out before leaving or turning in for the night. If your campfire is too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

As a reminder, the Open Burning Order will remain in effect until November 4. Counties will have additional flexibility to implement fire restrictions outside of traditional high fire danger criteria laid out in the statute. Governor Polis thanks everyone who has played a part in fighting these wildfires.

Hospitalizations

Today, Governor Polis provided an update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response and hospitalization data. In terms of the data broken down by race and ethnicity, Black and Hispanic communities are over-represented among total hospitalizations, but less so among recent hospitalizations.

Age group trends in hospitalizations are relatively stable, though the numbers have been trending slightly younger recently. The age group with the most recent hospitalizations is 60-69 years.

Hospitalization length of stay varies, but on average lasts 4-5 days for most patients. This data appears to be stable over time.

Residents of metro area counties are over-represented among hospitalizations, but hospital admissions in the last 30 days have included more non-metro county residents.

CARES Act Relief Funding

Today, the Governor was pleased to share some exciting funding relief news. The Governor recently signed an Executive Order, which will reallocate $14.9 million in CARES Act funds to support our state’s economic recovery. This reallocation is based on updated estimates for agency staffing and caseload costs, which makes these resources available to support the recovery. It has been the state’s goal from the outset to use these funds to stimulate economic growth and support our recovery.

These new investments build upon the administration’s bipartisan partnership with the state legislature to bolster some of the good work they did to support small businesses and provide food and housing security to Colorado families in need. These investments are especially important right now as we head into the winter months.

$6 million of the $14.9 million will be provided to the Energize Colorado Gap Fund. The current level of funding of the Energize Colorado Gap Fund is $25 million, with $20 million provided by SB-20-222 and $5 million in lending capital that is growing every day. This $6 million contribution to the fund means an increase of 30% to provide grants and loans to our local businesses and specifically targets small, minority-owned, and rural businesses.

The Energize Gap Fund is a bold, ambitious proposal that truly represents a holistic effort by both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature going above and beyond to come together to provide much-needed relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the state that are reeling from the pandemic.

The Fund will provide more than $31 million in loans and grants to businesses that have been the hardest hit by the statewide shutdown and that have limited access or no access altogether to other means of financing through federal, state, or local programs.

The Gap Fund is designed to meet this growing need by providing up to $15,000 in grant funds and up to $20,000 in low-interest loans to entities with fewer than 25 full-time employees. This represents a possible combined total of $35,000 in relief.

In the first round, 6,000 applications were submitted, requesting $79 million in grants and $56 million in loans. More than 50% of applicants were from women-owned entities, more than a quarter from rural entities, 12% from Latino-owned enterprises, and 10% from Black-owned enterprises.

The second round of applications just opened this week, and the state is looking forward to supporting even more Colorado businesses through this additional $6 million investment, including:

  • $6.0M to Energize Colorado to supplement the $20M provided by SB20-222. This funding will enable Energize Colorado to provide additional support to small businesses affected by the pandemic. SB20-222 was sponsored by Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Jeff Bridges, Rep. Mary Young, and Rep. Perry Will.
  • $2.6M to the Department of Local Affairs to supplement the funding provided by HB20-1410 for housing assistance to support those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Rep. Tony Exum Sr, Sen. Julie Gonzales, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger.
  • $100,000 to the Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program to supplement the funding provided by HB20-1422 to aid Colorado food pantries and food banks in the purchase of foods to meet the needs of Coloradans. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, Rep. Lisa Cutter, Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, and Sen. Tammy Story.
  • $6.2M to the Department of Corrections for staffing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Halloween Guidelines

For many Colorado kids and families, including the Governor’s, October means one very important thing: Halloween. Unfortunately, as with many beloved traditions and customs this year, Halloween is going to look a little different. Coloradans’ favorite Halloween activities need to be altered a bit to make them safe to participate in during the pandemic.

Here are some helpful Halloween tips and precautions parents and kids can take to ensure they’re celebrating responsibly and doing their part to limit the risk of transmitting the virus:

  • Keep your distance by maintaining six feet of separation – get creative and figure out ways to hand out candy while keeping your distance.
  • Move activities outside, and limit the number of people.
  • Get creative about Halloween activities! There are safer, more preferable activities than traditional trick-or-treating – for example, a candy hunt at a local park with a small group of friends.
  • But if you must trick-or-treat, stay in your neighborhood – only trick-or-treat within a one-mile radius of your home, and make sure to use individually-wrapped candy.
  • Don’t rely on costume masks: Costume masks may not provide a full barrier against respiratory droplets. To protect against COVID-19, a mask should have multiple layers of fabric and be free of any holes or tears.
  • And most importantly, do not participate in any Halloween activities– indoor or outdoor–if you are feeling symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

By planning ahead, keeping an eye on the spread of COVID-19 in your immediate community, taking precautions, and remaining flexible, you can still enjoy the holiday, while also protecting the health and safety of your family and your neighborhood.

Election Update

The Governor reminded Coloradans today that ballots for the November 3 election should be arriving in mailboxes very soon — or may have already arrived, so be sure to keep an eye out for your ballot! Colorado has one of the best election systems in the country.

Our vote-by-mail system is safe, secure, and reliable, which means you do not need to vote in person on Election Day. Voting by mail is the best way to keep yourself and your family protected against the spread of COVID-19. Remember to vote! Our democracy is strengthened when more people participate.

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.

Fiscal Analyst, Colorado Legislative Council

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 300 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:

Upcoming Openings:

• Correctional Industries Advisory Committee
• Fire and Police Pension Association
• Nursing Home Innovation Grant Board
• Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force (NPATCH)
• Statewide Independent Living Council
• Water Resources and Power Development Authority
• Medical Assistance and Services Advisory Council
• Colorado Health Service Corps Advisory Council
• Colorado Aeronautical Board
• Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee
• 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/