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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 134,537 cases, 2,408 total deaths (2,178 are due to COVID), and 10,050 hospitalizations out of 1,351,495 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, 11 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.
Statewide Mask Order Extended
Today, Governor Polis extended the statewide mask order for an additional 30 days, as mask wearing is a scientifically proven way to help slow the spread of the virus and help save lives.
At every opportunity, the Governor’s office implores Coloradans to wear their masks; this action is critical to saving our economic livelihoods and public health.
Governor Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response and provided an overview of vaccine development progress. Early data from Pfizer suggests the vaccines in-development could be 90% effective against COVID-19. This is very encouraging news, but we are not in the clear yet.
Even when the vaccine is approved, there are many unknown variables, including:
- Number of doses Colorado will receive.
- Amount of coverage for the entire population.
- Amount of time to build up immunity (estimated 1-2 months between first and second vaccine dose).
Some doses may be available by the end of this year — and more in 2021, but we do know that there will not be enough to cover the entire population of our state immediately.
In the absence of a vaccine, we must utilize the tools available to us:
• Wear a mask whenever you’re out;
• Avoid social interactions with those outside your household;
• Physically distance from others; and
• Wash your hands regularly.
The Governor hopes that these vaccine developments will inspire Coloradans to double down on what we know works best.
This virus is more prevalent than it’s ever been before in our state and nation. It can be difficult to harness the energy to continue doing your part by using the tools at our disposal outlined above, but we must buckle down and successfully reduce our social interactions.
Over these last few weeks, we have continued to see alarming COVID trends here in Colorado and across the country. Our case numbers are rising and we’ve surpassed spring hospitalization levels.
There are more COVID infections circulating in our communities now than there were in the spring; more than 1 out of 100 people in Denver are contagious with COVID-19.
Last week, the Governor encouraged Coloradans to do three important things:
- Avoid all social interactions with people outside of your household for the month of November: Cancel your social plans. This small inconvenience now could mean saving the lives of your friends and family.
- Wear a mask: Coloradans know that mask wearing is critical to changing these trends and moving forward.
- Stay 6 feet apart from others: Keep your distance even when you’re wearing a mask.
Our COVID response is only as good as Coloradans’ ability to take personal responsibility. We now have the highest levels of COVID-19 we have ever had in Colorado. It’s time to step up to stop these trends. If we can save one life, it will be worth it.
Local vs. Statewide Action
With cases and hospitalizations on the rise, many Coloradans are wondering why the State of Colorado has not issued another Stay-At-Home order.
Stay-At-Home is a last resort to prevent significant loss of life. There are some major differences between the tools we have now and the tools we had in March. Each community in Colorado is experiencing this pandemic differently. What’s happening in Denver County is much different than what’s happening in Jackson County.
In March, a one-size fits all approach was the best option available to save lives and get a handle on the virus, but we now have the Dial Framework in place that allows us to work with each county and support them in addressing their specific needs.
We have extraordinary leaders in our local governments who are making very difficult choices right now. The Governor today highlighted some recent examples of tough decisions that had to be made at the county-level:
- Summit and Adams County implemented a 10 p.m. curfew.
- Denver asked residents to be home by 10 p.m., and also asked residents to only interact with members of their own household for the month of November.
- Many other counties have taken nuanced measures responsive to the issues in their communities, like restricting spectators at youth sports or surging testing in disproportionately impacted communities.
Better Statewide Tools to Help Fight COVID
Governor Polis emphasized that progress has been made in prevention and treatment of the virus, and in October, the Governor submitted the Colorado’s COVID-19 vaccine plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Leveraging public-private partnerships, the State has ramped up our testing capacity, PPE supplies, and hospital capacity across Colorado to improve our ability to respond to COVID-19. As a result, we are much better equipped to respond to this pandemic than we were in March.
Back in March, Colorado’s testing capability stood at 160 tests processed per day in the state lab. That’s why the Governor was proud to announce that the State Lab shattered their own record and performed more than 8,700 tests in one day! And capacity continues to grow — currently, state labs and private partners are able to test a total of 38,000 Coloradans per day.
The State of Colorado is also proud to announce a partnership with company Curative to increase testing in long-term care facilities and rural communities with testing kiosks, and will work with both Curative and Mako to launch testing vans:
Testing Kiosks (Curative)
• Currently being deployed
• Current locations:
• UNC Greeley (students, staff, community members)
• Denver International Airport (employees)
• The test is self-administered, free, quick, and easy:
• Patient swabs inside of their cheek and roof of their mouth
• Once complete, patient seals their test in a secure container and returns to a lab
• The State has plans to deploy 8 more kiosks across the state.
Testing Vans (Curative and Mako)
• In the planning stages
• Testing vans will drive to hot spots across the state.
• This is another dynamic tool that will be used to reach the hardest-hit communities.
Including building up our rapid testing ability, we will use every tool we have to make a difference in finding positive cases and stopping transmission.
As always, if you have any symptoms or think you may have been exposed, you can get a free, quick, and easy test. Find a testing site near you at covid19.colorado.gov/testing.
In the spring, Colorado was competing with other states and our own federal government to get the medical supplies to first responders and frontline medical staff.
Over the last 10 months, in the absence of leadership from the federal government, we have forged relationships with companies and other governments in order to secure the PPE we need to effectively respond to this virus. In March, we had less than 300,000 N-95 masks and no KN-95 masks. Today we have:
• 9.7 million KN-95 masks
• 640,000 N-95 masks
• Over 10 million surgical masks
• Over 3 million face shields
• Over 1.2 million gowns.
The State has also entered into long-term contracts with major manufacturers to provide monthly deliveries of PPE to the state, and is proactively working with local public health partners to identify more ways to support our communities.
In response to the trend of rising hospitalizations, the State is working closely with our hospital partners to rapidly scale it up. Here are some updates:
- Due to improvements in clinical management of COVID, the average length of stay in a hospital has decreased from one to two days.
– A shorter hospital stay means that beds become available more quickly and hospitals can treat more patients.
- This week, a Statewide Transfer Center was launched by the Hospital Association
– Enables rapid coordination between hospitals to notify and fully utilize every single bed in the state.
- The State is preparing for surge capacity by:
– Activating St. Mary Corwin and St. Anthony’s on 84th to provide a safe place for people to recover before returning to nursing homes.
– If needed, activating the Colorado Convention Center as a field hospital.
The State hopes we never need to activate resources reserved for surge capacity, but we are prepared to do so if the time comes.
Increased Knowledge of the Virus
We all know more about this virus right now than we did 10 months ago, and we are consistently working to update safety guidelines and restrictions around data and science:
- There is a higher risk of contracting the virus indoors:
The State is working with our local restaurants to encourage outdoor dining, even throughout the winter, and why the statewide mask order pertains to mask-wearing indoors.
- Coloradans know the tools they can use to protect themselves and those around them:
– Mask wearing
– Physical distancing
– Washing your hands
- Coloradans know what to do, because they have done it before.
Smaller jumps in cases after July 4th and Labor Day.
These spikes were easier to get under control because Coloradans understand how to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The single biggest risk is not where you go, but who you go with. Unlike in March, now we all know how not to get the virus— you avoid interacting with people outside your household, you wear a mask while in the company of people outside your household especially indoors, and you wash your hands frequently. We just need to have the will and discipline to minimize our exposure risk.
State Workforce Working Remotely
Today, Governor Polis announced that state employees will be working remotely, at least through the end of November. This is in an effort to do our part to change the trajectory of this virus, and applies to state employees (with limited exceptions) in counties with orange or red levels of incidence.
When the numbers were looking better statewide, the Colorado State Government was planning to return to in-person work at reduced levels in November. Due to our alarming trends, the Governor asks that our local governments and businesses in the private sector that have the ability, do everything they can to ensure that employees can work remotely, so we can sooner get back to business as usual while keeping everyone safe.
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.
Workforce Area Director for South Eastern and South Central Regions, Department of Labor and Employment
• Description: As the person overseeing the workforce system in the South Eastern and South Central Regions, you will directly supervise staff and oversee a team of up to 35 people, including contract staff. You will work closely with your peers from other areas around the state, who are supported by a central administrative unit, and overseen by the Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium (CRWC) Director. The Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium is housed within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
• Application Closing Date: Today, 11/09/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2888823/workforce-area-director-for-south-eastern-and-south-central-regions?keywords=director&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs
Director, Unemployment Insurance Division, Department of Local Affairs
• Description: The Director of Unemployment Insurance is an influential leader responsible for cultivating public and private partnerships across the state and nation to ensure Colorado reaches its goals, while remaining at the cutting edge of the Unemployment Insurance field. This position establishes the mission for UI to lead and direct the divisions and programs in Unemployment Insurance in support of the Executive Director and Governor’s vision. The Director guides the development and implementation of the division’s strategic direction, identifies and communicates the division’s priorities, and effectively manages resources, people, and operations toward achieving the CDLE’s mission and goals.
• Application Closing Date: 11/12/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2879885/director-unemployment-insurance-division?keywords=director&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs
Senior Health IT Manager, Office of eHealth Innovation
• Description: The Office of eHealth Innovation is responsible for defining, maintaining, and evolving Colorado’s Health IT strategy to improve health for Coloradans through coordinated health IT infrastructure, policy, and innovation. The Office of eHealth Innovation was formed as a direct result of a consensus between public and private stakeholders on the need of Health IT governance. Executive Order B 2015-008 established Colorado’s Office of eHealth Innovation and the eHealth Commission, with fiscal and administrative support from Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF). The Office and eHealth Commission continue efforts in 2020 and beyond focused on advancing priorities of the Polis-Primavera Administration. The Senior Health IT Project Manager reports to OeHI through the Project Management Office within OIT. This role is responsible for implementing key Roadmap initiatives and collaborating with stakeholders to ensure strategies and projects align with evolving state and community needs.
• Application Closing Date: 11/13/2020
• Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2884434/sr-project-manager-term-limited?keywords=sr.%20project%20manager&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 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 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.
Deputy Community Engagement Director
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203