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Friday, July 31, 2020

Community Leaders,

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 spread these updates to your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

The State currently has 46,204 cases, 1,822 total deaths (1,691 are deaths due to COVID), and 6,413 hospitalizations out of 523,174 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, 6 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, 7 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.

Remembering Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

The Governor took time to remember the late Rep. John Lewis, who was laid to rest on Thursday in Atlanta. Please read the Governor’s remarks below:

Serving alongside John Lewis in Congress was one of the honors of my life — an honor I share with many of my former colleagues in Congress.

John wasn’t just a civil rights hero, or a member of Congress — he was the conscience of our nation. When John spoke, everyone listened. And it’s because we knew his words carried real weight — the weight borne by generations upon generations yearning to be free and to realize the full promise of America. The weight that John carried his entire life.

I encourage everyone to read his last words which were published in newspapers across the country.

He wrote, in part, that “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”

And now as John passes the torch, the best way to honor his legacy is to continue fighting for the things he stood for — equality, justice, civil rights, human rights, voting rights, and so many other ideals that our nation strives to live up to. We need to continue to work together to build that Beloved Community that John spent his life working to create.

– Governor Jared Polis

Cease and Desist Issued to Live Entertainment

The Attorney General’s office has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Live Entertainment on behalf of CDPHE, the company responsible for these large-scale super spreader events we’ve been seeing in Weld County with over 5,000 people.

Under current guidelines, an outdoor venue is permitted to host a maximum of 175 people within their usable space with a minimum of 6 feet of distance between individuals or non-household contacts.

Unfortunately, these guidelines were not followed. Thousands of people were together, all on top of each other with no masks, no social distancing, without regard for the fact that the people of our nation are living through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic that has killed over 150,000 Americans. That’s more lives lost to this pandemic than the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the 9/11 terror attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

This is unacceptable and the state will use the full force of law to protect the public health. We cannot allow the irresponsible actions of a few to jeopardize thousands of Coloradans’ lives and hundreds of thousands of Colorado jobs.

Long Term Health Effects

Governor Polis has repeatedly stated that a big part of this is protecting vulnerable populations, and that we’re all in this together. However, trendlines are reflecting that younger people are taking this less seriously.

There are many long-term health effects of COVID-19 on the body. This is a new, novel virus and we are learning more about it every day. There are studies happening all over the world — searching for a cure, trying to develop a vaccine, and examining the long-term effects of this deadly virus.

And we’re already seeing concerning evidence of persisting damage to vital organs:

Lungs: We know that COVID-19 attacks the lungs, causing inflammation, and so many studies have been done on the long-term impact on lungs. These studies have shown that many survivors continue to have persistent shortness of breath, decreased lung function, dry cough, and pain while breathing after contracting the illness. These symptoms are often more severe for those placed on a ventilator.

Brain: Researchers have also found impacts on the brain. According to a report in the BBC last month, “than 300 studies from around the world have found a prevalence of neurological abnormalities in Covid-19 patients, including mild symptoms like headaches, loss of smell and tingling sensations, up to more severe outcomes such as aphasia [ah-FAY-sha] — inability to speak — along with strokes and seizures.” Neurological abnormalities were found in about 50% of patients. Scientists believe that one of the reasons may be that the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen because of the way COVID-19 restricts breathing.

Heart: Earlier this week, two German studies found heart abnormalities in COVID-19 patients months after recovery. Out of 100 adults that were studied, 78 of them had heart abnormalities.

Dr. Thomas Maddox, chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Science and Quality Committee, cited that heart inflammation could lead to weakening of the heart muscle and, in rare cases, abnormal heart rhythms.

And that’s just what we know right now — less than a year after the virus was discovered. As researchers continue to study this disease, we may learn more about how this virus wreaks havoc on our internal organs.

It’s important to remember that young people are not invincible to this disease. Yes, young people are more likely to survive a bout with COVID-19 than some of your older counterparts, but one of the potential consequences is permanent long term damage to the body. This isn’t just a two-week process. For many, it’s a months-long struggle that could last their entire life.

Governor Polis asks that older Coloradans also remain vigilant in light of this new information. We should all be doing our best to keep our distance, wash our hands, wear masks, and act responsibly to save our own lives and the lives of others.

COVID Relief Fund Update: IKEA

Coloradans have stepped up to support each other during this difficult time. In addition to the generosity of so many individuals, creative partnerships with the private sector have expanded our ability to help Coloradans who are being directly impacted by this global pandemic.

The Governor and IKEA Retail U.S. announced that the company is calculating unemployment claims submitted by their employees and donating that money back to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. The company is donating nearly $1 million, one of the largest contributions to the Fund to date.

This is a very difficult time for our nonprofit community. Because of the economic contraction, many organizations are dealing with a much larger caseload than normal, and in many cases, having to do it with fewer donors.

The administration would like to thank IKEA for stepping up in this way, and to all those — individuals, corporations, foundations, who have helped to support the relief fund.

Organizations on the Move

Rotary Club of the North Fork Valley Foundation received $3,600 from the fund for a program that takes fresh food grown by North Fork Valley farmers — including fresh greens, seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, cheeses, and meats — and distributes it to local families in need through Farm Runners and the Old River Trading Post, two North Fork businesses currently addressing hunger in needy children, their families and older adults. They’ve already been able to donate around 1,000 boxes of food. This is a win-win for families and farmers, and thanks to this funding, the food boxes will continue to be delivered throughout the summer.

Aurora Community Connection requested $50,000 from the fund and with that money, they were able to pay all or part of one month’s rent for 28 families and help another 42 families gain access to rent assistance resources available through other agencies. With the funding, the ACC’s family resource center is continuing to provide housing support, utility support and food access to working families experiencing partial or complete wage loss due to the pandemic. By offering resource and referral services within a comprehensive case management framework, ACC is working with families to not only access essential resources in the short-term, but to provide stability so families can be self-sufficient beyond the immediate crisis.

Eastern Plains Healthcare Consortium — a collaboration of rural hospitals in the eastern part of the state serving Adams, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Yuma Counties — requested $15,000 in funding to set up a centralized call system where COVID-19 cases that are transferred to hospitals on the eastern plains from other health systems are connected with a team of case managers. This will not only foster collaboration across health systems but help to build capacity at our rural hospitals.

A Call to Action

So far, the fund has raised over $22 million and distributed $16.4 million to over 750 organizations serving Coloradans in all 64 counties. Governor Polis is proud to announce that the fund will be accepting a sixth round of grants. Information on will be updated on August 5th to reflect these changes. We’ll be accepting tiered applications for coordinated organizations, up to $100k

If you’re an individual or a corporation or a foundation, please donate and help us meet the needs of all Coloradans, and if you’re an organization that is in need of funding, please apply for funds for Round Six.

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 hear his full remarks – CLICK HERE

Deputy Community Engagement Director

200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203