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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 are 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
We currently have 37,686 cases, 1,738 total deaths (1,594 are deaths due to COVID), and 5,963 hospitalizations out of 406,967 completed tests. Every death is a tragedy. There are families mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.
In terms of new cases, 2 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, 3 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.
The Governor gave an overview of the legislative work that’s been done this year and praised members of both parties for coming together to craft a resilient response to COVID-19 from both a health and an economic perspective.
The General Assembly achieved a lot to help Coloradans throughout this crisis in just a few short weeks. Using coronavirus relief funds, the General Assembly and the Governor provided:
- Direct housing assistance for people struggling to pay rent or cover their mortgage,
- Help for families to pay utility bills and to put food on their tables,
- Supports for small businesses with loans and grants and assistance for those struggling with mental illness or domestic violence
To help more Coloradans get through this crisis, the General Assembly and the Governor also:
- Approved $250 million in CLIMBER loans to continue to assist small businesses.
- Codified provisions from several executive orders, including permitting alcohol takeout from bars and restaurants and making it easier for Coloradans to access telemedicine.
- Passed legislation to provide paid sick leave for Colorado employees, which is vital right now during this pandemic and in the future.
Addressing other issues that affect the health and safety of Coloradans, the General Assembly and the Governor enacted:
- Legislation extending and funding the reinsurance program for 5 more years to save people money on insurance premiums, and to provide additional coverage options to those who can’t afford it;
- Legislation to refer a tobacco and vaping tax to the ballot to help shore up our schools during the downturn, and ultimately to provide free preschool to every child who wants it in Colorado;
- Legislation to preserve and protect our air;
- And overwhelmingly bi-partisan legislation to reform policing in our communities.
The Governor emphasized that cases are rising slowly but consistently. This is not the time to panic. We are nowhere close to reaching or breaching our hospital ICU capacity, which has been the Governor’s top concern throughout this crisis.
However, we also need to keep our guard up to continue to make the progress that we have been making. The Governor will continue to calibrate and adjust the administration’s response going forward using the most updated data. For instance, Colorado has rolled back bar openings, as it has been shown that bars are a hotspot for infectious disease spread.
Unfortunately, many states in the country are showing us exactly what happens if we let our guard down. Increased transmission of the coronavirus can come at the cost of human life as well as the devastation of businesses and our economy.
Texas, for example, started a phased re-opening on May 1st. In early June, Texas experienced a level period, a period of modest growth, and a period of exponential growth in new COVID-19 cases that has not ended. To give some perspective, a section in the Houston Chronicle called “tributes” on Sunday was 43 pages long, memorializing hundreds of loved ones and friends who lost their lives to this deadly virus.
This drastic change occurred in just a matter of weeks and shows just how quickly everything can shift when we are dealing with a novel virus. Texas recently enacted greater restrictions, but hospitals are already reaching capacity, as they are in Arizona and Florida.
And California, which has also seen exponential growth in recent weeks, has just returned to a level of restrictions that looks a lot like our Stay-at-Home phase — banning many indoor activities.
Thankfully, Colorado is in a very different situation. We’ve managed to largely stay open while keeping our case count low. However, cases and hospitalizations are beginning to rise slowly, just as they did in Texas, Arizona, California, and Florida.
We need to maintain our control of the virus, and to do so everyone must do their part. We are currently a positive outlier and we want to keep it that way. There are many things that Coloradans can do to keep themselves and their communities safe:
- Individuals need to be wearing masks, keeping distance, staying Safer at Home or in the Vast, Great Outdoors, protecting vulnerable populations, and practicing proper hygiene.
- The Governor’s office is working to get more PPE and testing supplies, providing economic support for businesses and individuals including $250 million in state CLIMBER loans.
- Local governments are stepping up on mask ordinances, repurposing space to allow for more social distancing, and beefing up local public health agency capacity.
- The business community needs to keep doing the right thing, which means requiring masks for customers, being flexible when it comes to teleworking, and taking steps to protect patrons and employers alike.
Colorado’s collective response to COVID-19 has allowed us to be relatively successful from an economic perspective. As a result, Colorado’s small businesses are performing slightly better than the national average on key metrics, including the ability of businesses to make payments like rent, payroll, utilities, and loans, number of employee hours worked, and number of employees retained. In addition, our unemployment rate, while still persistently and unacceptably high, remains 3 points lower than the national average.
The bottom line is this: The key to greater economic and social activity is to get the simple things right like wearing a mask. The fate of Colorado in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in our hands. As Coloradans, we should not take our fragile success coupled with a cautiously optimistic outlook to mean that COVID-19 is no longer a threat. COVID-19 is still present all across Colorado, and our neighboring states are sending us a warning: everything can change drastically very quickly. Colorado is a positive outlier, and the Governor will continue to adjust the response to meet conditions that the data suggests will slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
PPP Loans Still Available
The administration would like to remind small businesses that there are still $129 billion in Paycheck Protection Program dollars available for aid.
Small businesses who need assistance should apply for a PPP loan by the deadline on August 8th. For more details about this federal program and other state financial assistance programs, please visit choosecolorado.com.
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 210-385-7556. Thank you for doing your part.
We are all in this together!
You can view the Governor’s press briefing and hear his full remarks here.
Deputy Community Engagement Director
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203