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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. 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 16,907 cases, 851 deaths, and 2,838 hospitalizations out of 83,266 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.

The daily growth in cases is continuing to decline. As of yesterday, the growth rate is down to 1.4% And we’re continuing to see positive results on the hospitalization side. The growth rate as of yesterday was 0.1%. We all need to keep doing our part if we want that momentum to continue, especially as we enter this new Safer at Home phase.

Remembering Retired Colorado Firefighter and Paramedic Paul Cary

The Governor took a moment today to acknowledge the life and work of Paul Cary, a retired paramedic, a grandfather, and a Colorado hero who volunteered to travel to NYC to serve on the front lines as a paramedic and save lives. He began working on April 1 and tragically passed away on April 30 at the age of 66 after contracting COVID. Yesterday, he returned home to Colorado for the last time.

We can never express just how grateful we are for people like Paul, and all our emergency responders who are on the front lines of fighting this virus. Paul dedicated his life to the service of others, and he will be greatly missed. Our hearts go out to Paul’s family, friends, and loved ones, we grieve with them today. The Governor urged the people of Colorado to honor Paul Cary’s memory and all of our first responders by continuing to take this seriously and practice social distancing and mask-wearing so we can beat this virus.

Stakeholder Engagement Update

We know that as we begin to loosen these restrictions on our economy and our society, we need to provide clear guidance to individuals, public officials, businesses, nonprofits and other entities to ensure that we can maximize compliance and be successful in this next phase. In addition to our regular press conferences, our website coloradosaferathome.com, and putting out information on our social media accounts, we’ve been holding calls with various groups of stakeholders to educate folks on what the new order means, take questions, and incorporate feedback to improve the plan. We know that for Safer a Home to work we need to make sure that the guidelines are being implemented well.

This past week we had webinars to go over the new guidelines and answer any questions. The Governor participated in some of these to hear from store owners, customers, hospitals, and others, totaling nearly 3,000 participants on these webinars. We spoke with retail associations, personal services providers, general commerce leaders, chambers of commerce leaders, members of the healthcare sector, hospitals, post-secondary education leaders, child care leaders, local government, and real estate sector representatives.

Governor’s Advisory Committee for Cooperation and Implementation

Along with clear guidance for individuals, businesses, and local governments, we need to ensure compliance on a broad scale. On April 24th, the Governor announced that we would be establishing an advisory committee to ensure that we are hitting our benchmarks, and that the rules are enforceable so that we can sustain this “new normal” for the long haul.

The board will advise the Governor and CDPHE on policies and regulations that are designed to maximize social distancing at the local level, specifically focused on how local governments, and local public health can coordinate with the state on educating the public about these regulations, and maximizing compliance and enforcement. We also wanted to ensure that communities large and small, and areas across our state are represented so we can make this work for every community.

Today, the Governor announced the bipartisan membership of the board:

• County Commissioner representing over 250K residents – Steve Johnson, Larimer
• County Commissioner representing under 250K residents- Hilary Cooper, San Miguel
• Mayor representing City over 100K residents – Nick Gradisar, Pueblo
• Mayor representing City under 100K residents – Barbara Bynum, Montrose
• Local Public Health Official in County Over 100K residents- Robert McDonald, City and County of Denver
• Local Public Health in County Under 100K residents- Heath Harmon, Eagle County
• A County Sheriff- Jeffery Shrader, Jefferson County
• A Local Police Chief- Gary Creager, Broomfield
• A Local Fire Chief- Thomas DeMint, Poudre Fire Department
• One Representative of the Economic Recovery and Stabilization Council- Kyle Martinez, Olathe
• Governor’s Chief of Staff- Lisa Kaufmann
• Executive Director of Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS)- Stan Hilkey
• Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)- Jill Ryan
• Executive Director of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA)- Patty Salazar

*NEW* Map of Local Community Based Testing Sites

We are providing guidance and supplies to help local public health agencies stand up local testing sites across the state. These are especially important in rural areas of the state where private providers are limited in number and capacity. Today, the Governor debuted a new tool on our COVID-19 website, a map of these community-based testing sites throughout the state!

Several weeks ago, we distributed a playbook to local public health agencies to support them in their work, and asked them to submit a request to the state. So far, we’ve received requests in 59 counties. The state lab has completed readiness assessments and approved plans for 40 sites. We have sent supplies to all 40 of these testing sites, and as more come on line, we will be sending supplies to those as well to meet people where they are. And in addition to the 40 State supported testing sites, we have provided supplies to several large hospital systems and clinics in the Denver-metro area including Denver Health, National Jewish, Children’s Hospital and Kaiser. And the State Lab has distributed over 22,000 testing kits across the state since April 8th.

Click Here to Access the Community Bases Testing Sites Map

These testing sites are set up and operated by local health agencies with support from the state. We are trying to compile and provide as much information as possible. As we get more information, we’ll add it. And as more sites become operational, we’ll add those sites to the map. Right now there are at least 20 listed and we will be continuing to update this tool as soon as sites are ready.

It’s important to remember that these sites are not the only route to testing. The community-based testing sites are really meant to fill in the gap for underserved communities outside the main metro regions. There are many private providers that are doing testing, particularly at hospitals and clinics in our most populous metro areas along the Front Range. We are working to compile and verify information on these private testing sites to add to the map. Our hope is that this map can be a one-stop source for people looking for where they can get a coronavirus test.

Animal Protection Week

This week is Animal Protection Week. One of the silver linings of this crisis is that folks are adopting new furry friends left and right! And as great as that news is, we know that we still have many challenges when it comes to the humane treatment of pets, livestock, wildlife, and all living creatures. From setting up wildlife corridors to partnering with local shelters to hold adoption events at the Governor’s Mansion, we take pride in our pro-animal policies in this administration, and we want to take this moment to acknowledge all of the furry and feathered friends that call Colorado home.

COVID Relief Fund

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5th, is Colorado Gives Day. The Governor’s COVID Relief Fund is excited to announce a $250k match for all donations received on Tuesday May 5th. If it’s $5 or $500, your support is instrumental in continuing to support our most vulnerable communities being impacted by COVID-19.
You can donate at this link: www.coloradogives.org/colorado-covid-relief.

Special Shout Outs

Last week we started a section called the special shout-out — we have two special shout-outs today.

  • Teacher Appreciation Week – We show our appreciation every year, but this year it’s even more important to show our appreciation for the efforts of Colorado’s 50,000-plus teachers. We want to thank all of the teachers out there for their work, adapting their lesson plans, their technology setup, and going above and beyond to keep our kids engaged with the learning during these trying times.
  • Colorado Education Initiative and PCs for People – We know that at-home learning is a challenge for many families. An estimated 54,000 students in Colorado lack internet-enabled devices and hot spots. The Governor’s office has partnered with the Colorado Education Initiative and PCs for People, a non-profit that refurbishes desktops and laptop computers, to provide a way for companies and individuals to donate their used laptops and desktops to be utilized for low-cost purchases for school districts and charter schools. Donations of any size are accepted and support overall impact. You can donate by visiting givecomputers.org and we also have information on the Help Colorado Now website.

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/