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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. With the rise of COVID-19 in Colorado, it is critical that Coloradans stay safer at home whenever possible, and limit any socializing to your household.
Quick Links to Stay Up to Date
The State currently has 154,038 cases, 2,504 total deaths (2,234 are due to COVID), and 10,861 hospitalizations out of 1,415,886 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, 14 of the last 14 days have had an upward trend in the 7-day moving average of newly reported cases. And in terms of hospitalizations, 12 of the last 14 days have had an upward 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.
A new feature on your phone notifies you if you may have been exposed to someone contagious with COVID-19. By opting in through your iPhone device settings or downloading the app onto your Android device, you can better protect yourself and your family.
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please get a free, quick, and easy test. Visit covid19.colorado.gov/testing to find a testing site near you.
CO Exposure Notifications
On Thursday, Colorado saw it’s highest number of new positive cases of COVID-19 reported in a single day: 6,439.
These numbers continue trending in the wrong direction:
- 1 out of every 110 Coloradans are now contagious with COVID-19. This is statewide.
- Some communities have more community spread than others for example in Adams County 1 in 58 have COVID, and in Denver, it’s 1 in 64 people.
Despite these alarming trends, Governor Polis was able to share some good news with Coloradans on Friday. Last month, the Colorado Exposure Notification technology went live on all Android and Apple phones, and the State is proud to announce that more than one million Coloradans have opted in to receive these notifications — that’s over 17% of the entire state’s population.
Now, we’d like to see another million opt-in! Here’s why:
- The most recent research models from Oxford University suggest that at only 15% adoption, regions could see an 8% reduction in infections and 6% reduction in deaths.
- We are now beyond that 15%. As adoption increases, we increase our potential to see even greater impact made.
- This new tool is a fully secure and private way to stop transmission before it starts.
To reduce the burden on local public health agencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and our Office of Information and Technology quickly stood up a new process that will now text a one-time verification code directly to all people with confirmed positive test results that arrive into the state information system. When the process was automated on November 9, CDPHE was able to send an average of 20 verification codes per day. Now, they are able to send on average, over 5,000 codes.
To prevent business closures, school closures, or further restrictions, we must leverage every tool we have to the fullest extent, and Exposure No
tifications. The more Coloradans who opt-in, the more effective this tool becomes.
Whether you’re Team Android or iPhone, the Governor encourages every Coloradan to visit AddYourPhone.com to learn more and opt-in.
In response to increasing cases of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Polis on Friday ordered the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to return to level 1. This is the highest level of operation, and activates all state agencies, federal partners and the volunteer organizations that serve our communities in crisis. To put this in perspective, the EOC was on Level 1 from March 1 to June 1, 2020, during the Spring wave of virus.
At Level 1, the EOC can better coordinate and synchronize the State’s response to the pandemic.
Hospital Surge Capacity
What is surge capacity? Surge capacity is essentially the ability of our healthcare system to manage a sudden influx of patients.
The worst case scenario is that so many Coloradans get sick that we will not have enough beds or staff to provide care, and as a result, more Coloradans lose their lives. That’s why on Friday, Governor Polis announced that he will issue an Executive Order that clarifies the order of operations for surging hospital capacity in the state.
It is essential that in all parts of our state, we have the surge capacity to meet increasing demand by following the order of operations:
- Hospitals increase their capacity internally by opening up unused space and augmenting their staffing.
- Hospitals must scale back elective procedures, if further capacity is needed.
- The State of Colorado will support CHA to address the Interhospital Transfer System, if patient load continues to surge after steps outlined above.
- Alternative care sites will be used as a tool of last resort. Hospitals need to exhaust all of their resources before alternative care sites are utilized.
This Order directs all general hospitals to submit a plan to the state with their maximum surge bed count by November 18, and a complete surge plan to CDPHE by November 20th, 2020, and must include:
- A detailed plan to potentially increase bed capacity by at least 50% and provide staffing and medical equipment for such increase;
- Strategies to increase the number of ICU beds by transitioning medical and surgical beds to ICU beds if needed;
- A detailed staffing plan, sufficient to provide adequate care for all beds, including those in use or available to patients other than COVID-19 patients; and
- A mandate for elective procedures to be actively managed, reduced and/or delayed, if there is a surge of COVID-19 infections in the county or municipality where the Facility is located.
Additionally, the Order directs that all hospitals report the following at 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. each day:
- The maximum number of staffed ICU beds that can be made available for patients in need of ICU level care; and
- The maximum number of staffed medical and surgical beds available for non-ICU hospitalization.
The State is encouraging hospitals and medical providers to continue utilizing telehealth and virtual visits as much as possible.
Under the current public health order, hospitals that are at more than 70% capacity or have less than a two-week supply of PPE must actively manage their elective procedures to ensure they have adequate capacity for a surge of patients. This has been Colorado law since July.
The State plans to update these executive orders and public health orders — and go a step further by making it clear that hospitals experiencing stress and strain must begin a mandatory scale back of elective procedures in anticipation for a surge of patients in the coming weeks.
The State of Colorado has also activated medical workforce staffing contracts through the State Emergency Operations Center in order to assist with medical surge needs:
- These medical professionals will initially support state agencies providing services to vulnerable populations.
- They may also be used to support hospitals experiencing staff shortage or our alternative care sites if needed.
The State will continue to pursue additional staff augmentation efforts as many providers are reporting staffing shortages.
Alternative Care Sites
Alternative Care Sites will be mobilized as a last resort. We hope we never have to use these facilities but are prepared to activate them if necessary, and continue to monitor the situation daily to see if the activation of these sites is needed.
There are three sites in Colorado that can be utilized if needed: the Colorado Convention Center, St. Mary Corwin in Pueblo, and St Anthony North Family Medicine on 84th in Westminster.
- The Colorado Convention Center in Denver can open with 80 beds and expand to 2000 beds within five weeks.
- St. Mary Corwin in Pueblo has 25 beds and will receive COVID-19 positive individuals from long term care facilities. It can expand to 240 beds.
- St. Anthony facility in Westminster can open with 25 beds for COVID-19 individuals from long term care facilities. It can expand to 78 beds.
Staying Safe Over the Holidays
As we approach the holiday season, it’s critical that Coloradans only interact with members of their own households because we are at a breaking point in Colorado.
The safest and best option to protect you, your loved ones and Colorado as a whole, is to have Thanksgiving dinner with those who you live with and avoid traveling.
While we know that nothing can replace having a meal with your family, the best thing you can do is to connect with them virtually.
If you must interact with those outside of your home, here are the safest ways to do it:
- Quarantine for at least 10 days and ideally 14 days before seeing your family or friends; and
- Quarantine for 14 days after you see them.
So, if that is your plan for Thanksgiving, it is recommended that you start quarantining now.
Coloradans should also remember to:
• Wear a mask;
• Keep at least 6 feet from others;
• Wash hands frequently; and
• Order Thanksgiving groceries online, if possible.
Staying Safe Over the Holidays
On Friday, Governor Polis announced a new partnership with COVIDCheck Colorado, part of Gary Community Investments, launched seven testing sites around the metro area that are now open to the general public.
At these sites, licensed medical staff administer nasal swab PCR tests. COVIDCheck Colorado partners with multiple labs to process these tests.
Testing is a critical part of slowing the spread of this virus and these additional options for Coloradans will make it that much easier to get tested.
If you think you have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms, find a testing location near you at covid19.colorado.gov/testing or visit one of the following locations:
All City Stadium
1495 S. Race Street, Denver, CO, USA
Cherry Creek High School
4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO, USA
Instructional Support Facility
5416 S. Riviera Way Aurora, CO 80015
North High School
3125 Eliot Street, Denver, CO 80211
Mountain Range High
12500 Huron Street Westminster, CO 80234
St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center
33 Quail Road, Longmont, CO 80504
Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning Center
5771 E. 1st Ave, Aurora, CO 80011
To make the process even quicker and easier at a COVID Check testing site, pre-register at covidcheckcolorado.org. The average wait time is 2-3 days.
BiNaxNow Test Distribution
Governor Polis announced on Friday that we have now distributed approximately 400,000 Abbot BinaxNOW tests to 51 partners across the state including Local Public Health Agencies, community health centers, State Agencies, and to other congregate settings, including to people experiencing homelessness and schools.
The Abbott BinaxNOW test is a rapid antigen point-of-care test that uses a card and a nasal swab to diagnose an active COVID-19 infection:
- Tests can provide results within about 15 minutes of administering the test, which is critical in the effort to minimize disease transmission.
- Unlike many COVID-19 tests, the Abbott BinaxNOW tests do not require any additional tools, machines, or resources to process.
- These are not as accurate as the gold standard PCR tests, but even with a lower accuracy rate, the BINAX test is 97% sensitive when used on symptomatic people.
The State is currently implementing usage of these tests for repetitive screening in 24/7 facilities, and hopes to make them widely available to essential workers, such as teachers and other frontline workers.
The Big Three
This virus is as serious as it’s ever been, so now is the time for Coloradans to show their resolve by following the Big Three in November:
- Do not interact with other households throughout the rest of the month, protect your vulnerable and elderly family members by self-quarantining before Thanksgiving.
- Wear a mask.
- Physically distance yourself.
Our numbers will continue to get worse if nothing is done to change course, and if we continue to see our family and friends against public health recommendations. This will not go on forever, but with the holidays fast approaching, we must all continue to do our part to stop the spread in Colorado.
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.
Marketing Director, Department of Revenue
• Description: The Professional in this position manages and directs the Marketing section for the Lottery. This includes managing the marketing, advertising, consumer and lottery research, promotions, sponsorships, special events, and product development and management of program areas to increase Lottery sales. Develops annual marketing plans consistent with the Marketing budget and in furtherance of Lottery goals.
• Application Closing Date: 11/20/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2902142/marketing-director
Broadband Office Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Information & Technology
• Description: This high-profile position reports to our Chief Information Officer and Executive Director and has two core responsibilities in support of this mission: 1) ensure programs are efficiently, effectively and elegantly managed to deliver high impact. 2) develop and implement growth strategies that advance broadband program sustainability and relevance throughout the state. Among the specific responsibilities, the Broadband Office Executive Director will lead the state’s broadband initiatives with public and private sector stakeholders, including the governor’s office and legislative leadership.
• Application Closing Date: 11/23/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2901819/broadband-office-executive-director
Director of Budget & Finance, Office of Colorado State Public Defender
• Description: Reporting to the State Public Defender, this is a senior-level management position responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the Office of the State Public Defender’s (OSPD) financial services team, programs and services under the strategic direction of executive management. Work involves consulting in program objectives; coordinating organizational and operational components of the agency; developing policies that govern financial systems and operations; managing the agency’s budget and resources; and, allocating human, fiscal, operating, and capital resources for the agency.
• Application Closing Date: 11/30/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2909157/director-of-budget-finance
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 the 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 Board & 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 upcoming openings and immediate openings due to resignations below:
• Statewide Independent Living Council
• Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee
• Colorado Human Trafficking Council
• 7th Judicial District Nominating Commission
• Colorado Scenic and Historic Byways Commission
• Minority Business Advisory Council
• State Housing Board
• Air Quality Control Commission
• Sickle-Cell Anemia Advisory Board
• Urban Drainage and Flood Control Districts
• Water Conservation Board
• Water Quality Control Commission
• Health Facilities Authority Board of Directors
Immediate Openings Due to Resignations:
• Food Systems Advisory Council
• Employee Ownership Committee
• Chemical Demilitarization Citizens Advisory Commission
• Colorado Commission on the Aging
If you have any questions about Boards and Commissions, please contact Nikky Patel, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
Deputy Community Engagement Director
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203