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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Community Leaders,

Analysse 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 includes some updates and information that the Governor provided yesterday. We appreciate your support in helping to spread these updates to your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

We currently have 10,878 cases, 508 deaths, and 2,123 hospitalizations out of 50,645 completed tests. We are thinking of these families and communities during these trying times.

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

“Safer At Home”

The Governor continues to offer more guidance about the transition from the statewide Stay-At-Home order to the Safer-At-Home order.

The most important thing to understand is that this is not going to be back to normal. It’s not even going to be a major adjustment from where we are right now. It is going to be a period of more sustainable social distancing practices.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Vulnerable populations and older adults must stay at home except when absolutely necessary.
  • No group gatherings over 10 people.
  • Critical business remain open with strict precautions (social distancing, masks for all employees, more frequent cleanings, etc.)
  • Retail businesses open for curbside delivery and phased-in public opening with strict precautions.
  • Restaurants and bars remain closed except for takeout/delivery. Work towards phased reopening.
  • Nightclubs, gyms and spas remain closed.
  • Elective medical and dental procedures begin, with strict precautions to ensure adequate personal protective equipment and the ability to meet critical care needs.
  • Personal services (salons,, dog grooming, personal training, etc) will open with strict precautions.
  • K-12 schools remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Telecommuting continues for offices. Starting May 4, up to 50% of staff may work in person (with social distancing in place) but we encourage employers to continue to maximize telecommuting. Meaning if you can run your business with 100% telecommuting please do that!

Here is a one pager that may help with additional questions – CLICK HERE

More Specific Guidance For General Public & Industries

Here’s some specific guidance for the general public and for business owners; sector-specific information will be made available in the coming days.

General Public

  • Strongly advised face coverings and staying 6ft apart in public
  • No gatherings over 10 people
  • Sick people may not go to work
  • Avoid unnecessary travel including for recreation

Vulnerable Populations and Older Adults

  • Continue to follow the Stay at Home Order, which means only going out when absolutely necessary
  • Utilize special industry hours for vulnerable populations like early
  • Extreme precautions at facilities that serve seniors including assisted living.
    What Does This Mean for Seeing My Friends and Family?
  • People should still limit interactions except with immediate household
  • If you do see limited family or friends outside of your household, be extra cautious to stay 6 ft apart, wear face covering, and limit contact
  • Stick to solo and non-contact recreation activities like running, walking, or hiking in your local community.
  • Do not travel outside of your local community for recreation. Avoid contact sports or equipment.

Industry Best Practices

Remember: non-essential workplaces should be operating at no more than 50% capacity and should allow employees to telework whenever possible. If during stay at home they were able to successfully telecommute 100% of their employees- keep doing that!

Here are some best practices you should be implementing to protect your workplaces, your employees, your customers, and the public at large.

Worksites

  • Deputize workplace coordinator(s) charged with addressing COVID-19 issues
  • Maintain 6 foot separation when possible, and discourage shared spaces
  • Sanitize all high touch areas
  • Post signage for employees and customers on good hygiene
  • Ensure proper ventilation, Open windows, fans, etc.
  • Avoid gatherings (meetings, waiting rooms, etc) of more than 10 people
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring) where possible
  • Eliminate or regularly sanitize any items in common spaces (i.e., break rooms) that are shared between individuals (i.e., condiments, coffee makers, vending machines)
  • Large workplaces and worksites will need to set up daily symptom screenings – These work! We had a member of our leadership in our emergency operation center get flagged for elevated temperature, he went to get tested, he tested positive, we quarantined all his contacts at the EOC for 14 days and we avoided an outbreak.

Employees

  • Require employees to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness, and connect employees to company or state benefits providers
  • Provide flexible or remote scheduling for employees who need to continue to observe Stay at Home, who may have child or elder care obligations, or who live with a person who still needs to observe Stay at Home due to underlying condition, age, or other factor
  • Encourage and enable remote work whenever possible
  • Encourage breaks to wash hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Phase shifts, breaks to reduce density
  • Provide appropriate protective gear like gloves, masks, and face coverings

Customers

  • Create special hours for vulnerable populations only
  • Encourage 6 foot distancing inside of the business for all patrons
  • Encourage use of protection like gloves, masks, face coverings
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrance
  • Use contactless payment solutions, no touch trash cans, etc. whenever possible

Guidance for Local Governments

Coloradans did a good job staying at home as a state and as a result, according to our modeling, we no longer need a state-wide stay-at-home order. But each community is in a different situation with regard to COVID-19.

Many local municipalities, especially those with large populations or in areas where there are hotspots, may continue to have more restrictive rules in place. Others may have very few or even zero cases of COVID-19.

Local and County governments have three options:

A. Stay consistent with state order

B. Go farther than the state order, including but not limited to stay at home orders or additional protective measures.

C. Apply for a waiver from CDPHE to relax guidelines further than the state. Local governments will need to have very low case count and/or demonstrate proof of 14 consecutive days of decline of infection of COVID-19 in the jurisdiction. The application to CDPHE must include a written County COVID-19 suppression plan approved by the appropriate local public health authority, all hospitals within the jurisdiction and elected leadership within the jurisdiction.

Timeline

Here’s a timeline of implementation over the coming days:

Sunday, April 26:
• Last Day of Stay- at-Home Order
• Safer at Home executive order

Monday, April 27:
• Public Health Order and guidance to be issued:
• Retail – Curbside can begin
• Real Estate – showings can resume

Friday, May 1
• Retail and Personal Services can open if implementing best practices

Monday, May 4
• Non-critical offices can reopen if best practices and lower density are being implemented.

Testing Update

Finally, Gov. Polis provided a critical update on the state’s testing capacity. Currently the state is able to successfully test and isolate 33% of the symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the state within 48 hours. Our plan is to increase that by 5 percentage points each week, which is a reasonable goal. In order to meet the demand for testing supplies, the state has been working around the clock to secure additional testing capability and supplies despite challenges within the supply chain.

Here’s an update on our work:

  • The state has partnered with Solgent, a Korea manufacturer of detection reagents. 100,000 tests will arrive in Colorado by the end of this week. These tests have been validated by our state lab.
  • The state is also partnering with Accugene, a Korean manufacturer of swab kits. We have ordered 150,000 swab kits which will be delivered by May 8th. The state lab has validated these swabs for use in Colorado.
  • The state is partnering with Colorado State University to expand testing for workers at skilled nursing facilities who are treating the most vulnerable populations. This program will conduct over 90,000 tests of skilled nursing facility workers at 40 locations over the next 8 weeks. We have worked with CSU to conduct an initial pilot and found many asymptomatic individuals to be infected with the virus.
  • The state is partnering with CU Anschutz to use antibody tests to test health care workers for exposure and potential immunity. This program will bring five thousand antibody tests to Colorado for testing health care workers with the option of up to 200,000 over the next several months.
  • We already have the National Guard conducting testing at the state’s three largest nursing homes.
  • We are excited to work with the Gary Community Foundation to help bring 200,000 FDA-authorized antibody tests to Colorado. We will deploy them to test health care workers and do community testing for disease surveillance, exposure and potential immunity.
  • We are asking every local public health agency in the state to partner with the state to set up community testing sites. As we receive more testing supplies, the state will provide swab kits, other testing supplies and technical assistance to local public health and their partners with the goal of having a testing site in every county.
  • We are executing contracts with 6 different private sector partners to expand laboratory capacity for the community. These relationships will be critical to quickly capitalize on new supplies as they as supplies become available.

All of the Above Strategy

At the end of the day, Colorado needs to employ an all-of-the-above strategy to defeat the virus. The main components are:

  • 65% social distancing maintained
  • Stay at home for vulnerable and 65 years old and older Coloradans
  • Increased protection measures, compliance and enforcement for senior congregate care facilities
  • Increasing testing and aggressive contact tracing program
  • Building more healthcare capacity
  • Face covering wearing culture
  • Excellent hygiene at all times

We greatly appreciate your helping to share information during this crisis. We will continue to send these regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs from our office. My cell phone is 210-385-7556. Thank you for doing your part. We’re all in this together!

Thanks,
Analysse Escobar
Deputy Community Engagement Director

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