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Thursday, September 24, 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 share these updates with your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

The State currently has 67,217 cases, 2,033 total deaths (1,935 are due to COVID), and 7,545 hospitalizations out of 858,108 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, 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, 6 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.

New Case Data

On Tuesday, Governor Polis, along with State Epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, provided an update on some of the latest information regarding COVID-19 cases in our state.

Dr. Herlihy explained that our infection rates have seen a rise in recent weeks, with an anomalous prevalence among 18 to 25 year-olds. In the last week alone, there has been a 74% increase in positive cases among this age group. The Governor reminded Coloradans that this is not the time to let loose and sit idly by as young people act as deadly transmitters of the virus to our most vulnerable populations.

We must take action to let our young people know that the future is in their hands; that they absolutely need to frequently wash their hands, socially distance, and in the case of exposure, get a test, which saves their own lives and those of our grandmothers.

In particular, when we look at age-specific trends in the 18 to 25 demographic, the number of positive cases per 100,000 has exceeded 200, and overall, cases per 100,000 people have shot up in the month of September.

It’s also terribly important that as many Coloradans as possible get a flu shot this year. This will reduce chances of becoming ill from both COVID and the flu, and widespread protection from other airborne viruses is paramount to our strategy of protecting public health until we have a viable vaccine for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Response in Colorado’s Native American Communities

On Tuesday, Governor Polis was joined by Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera, who serves as Chair of the Colorado Commission For Indian Affairs, Adrianne Maddux, Executive Director of Denver Indian Health and Family Services and member of the Hopi tribe, and Lucille Echohawk, Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs At-Large Board Member and former Executive Director of Denver Indian Family Resource Center, to provide an update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response in our Native American communities.

As we have seen in a number of areas, this pandemic is exacerbating and magnifying deep, structural racial inequities. As a result, Colorado’s communities of color are bearing a disproportionate amount of the pain, loss, and devastation caused by the virus.

That includes our American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Nationally, American Indian and Alaska natives have been disproportionately affected in terms of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID, with about five times the hospitalization rates and 40% more deaths than White non-Hispanic persons. While numbers in our state are small, these trends are consistent with what we are seeing across the nation.

The State of Colorado is doing everything possible to mitigate these inequities and the resulting disproportionate impact of COVID-19. Because a majority of the American Indian and Alaska Native population in our state live in urban areas, the partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native community organizations, Colorado’s Urban Indian Health Program, and Denver Indian Health & Family Services, is vital. Our Department of Public Health and Environment also partners with the Denver Indian Health & Family Services to provide free testing for the Native American community.

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor Primavera, and administration staff worked together to respond quickly to strengthen lines of communication with communities across the state, convening regular meetings with the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian Tribes since the onset of COVID-19 in Colorado. Staff have met regularly with the following frontline organizations serving the American Indian and Alaska Native communities:

  • Denver Indian Health and Family Services
  • Denver Indian Family Resource Center
  • Denver Indian Center
  • Spirit of the Sun
  • American Indian Academy of Denver
  • Four Winds Indian Council
  • Native American Services Outreach at Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
  • Denver Public Library

This regular communication has been and continues to be, crucial in identifying valuable opportunities for partnerships among these organizations and with state agencies to support our COVID-19 response efforts. It has also produced unique solutions with other partners across our State and helped identify and address barriers to service.

Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has partnered with the Denver Indian Center to form a COVID-19 Native Response Team. The Denver Indian Center is an urban cultural gathering center for the American Indian and Alaska Native community of the Denver Metro area. The COVID-19 Native Response Team is made up of community members who have been trained in crisis counseling to provide resources and mental health triage.

Using Colorado COVID Relief Funds, non-profits, school districts, municipalities, Tribal organizations, and businesses are helping our most vulnerable being impacted by COVID, and have granted $165,000 to several American Indian and Alaska Native organizations, including:

  • The Denver Indian Center to support their food bank and operations;
  • The Denver Indian Family Resource Center helping to strengthen Native families by providing assistance with COVID-related needs depending on the needs of the individual or family;
  • Four Winds American Indian Council and their food bank; and
  • Herbal Gardens Wellness supporting Native communities.

The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs seeks to reorient the Health and Wellness Committee to focus on addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the community. In the process, state agencies, non-governmental entities, and American Indian and Alaska Native community members were convened to identify strategies to support the community.

The Committee prioritized developing culturally responsive Public Service Announcements and other materials to help educate the community on COVID-19 testing, hand washing, face coverings, and the importance of mental and behavioral health care.

Adrienne Maddux, Executive Director of the Denver Indian Health and Family Services, and Kathryn Redhorse, Executive Director of the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, co-chaired the Committee ensuring these efforts were native led and native designed public education campaign.

The state looks forward to continuing our conversations and identifying innovative partnerships to support the incredible work these organizations are doing.

Housing & Eviction Prevention Update

The Governor addressed housing and some of the recent steps the administration has taken to ensure Coloradans can remain stably housed. During times of economic uncertainty and a global pandemic, a home is the safest place to be, and we need to make sure people have a home in which to stay safe.

After the Special Eviction Prevention Task Force met for the second time, the group made recommendations to discuss the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) federal order, resources for Coloradans and next steps to help keep people housed in Colorado during the pandemic.

In light of the recent federal notice on evictions, today the Governor extended and amended EO185 to include a notice requirement that requires landlords to notify tenants in writing of their rights under the new federal CDC eviction order.

Since launching the two programs to help people who have financial need due to COVID-19 pay their rent or mortgage, the state has been able to administer rental and mortgage assistance to those in need. To date, $7.49M in rental and mortgage assistance has been distributed to Coloradans.

As of last Friday, through our Property Owner Preservation program, where landlords apply on behalf of their tenants, the Division of Housing has distributed $5.276 million to more than 4,000 households (4,064).

Through our Emergency Housing Rental Assistance program, where individual households can apply for rental and mortgage assistance, our Division of Housing has distributed $2.361 million to 1,095 households.

There is no doubt that much work remains to be done. By doubling down on our commitment to helping keep Coloradans stably housed in the months ahead and leveraging partnerships with not just state agencies, but community advocacy organizations, we move the goalpost a little bit closer every day.

Updated New Americans Initiative Resources

Read and share important resources on COVID-19, housing, education, and more for Colorado’s New Americans, immigrant, and refugee communities in English here and in Spanish here.

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.

CCD President, Community College of Denver
• Description: Reporting to the Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System, the president will work with system leadership and the CCD campus community to advance the college to new levels of excellence. As the chief ambassador of the Community College of Denver, the president will: generate and steward its financial resources; identify new and strengthen existing partnerships and relationships with the local and state governments, businesses, alumni, other educational institutions, and civic organizations; and ensure that CCD continues to be a dynamic learning resource that empowers students to succeed and fuels the cultural and economic vitality of the region.
• Application Closing Date: 09/30/2020
• Apply:

Chief of Staff and Strategy, Secretary of State
• Description: The Colorado Secretary of State’s office seeks applications from highly qualified candidates for the position of Chief of Staff and Strategy. This position is in the Senior Executive Service (SES), a performance-based pay plan reserved for senior-level management positions.
• Application Closing Date: 10/01/20
• Apply:

Deputy Director, Colorado Energy Office
• Description: The Deputy Director focuses are primarily operations and personnel. They ensure effective and efficient office operations through leading strategic planning, ensuring elegant program implementation, mentoring senior staff direct reports, and representing the office with other units of government. They ensure the mission and vision of the agency are reflected in the work products as well as internal and external customer service. The Deputy Director leads the office’s personnel management, drives employee engagement, and builds office culture where employees can thrive.
• Application Closing Date: 10/06/2020
• Apply:

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:

State Boards & Commissions Openings

We are continually looking for qualified candidates to serve on almost 300 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 for September and October below:

September 2020:
• Colorado Secure Savings Program Board
• Correctional Industries Advisory Committee
• Fire and Police Pension Association
• New Energy Improvement District Board
• Nursing Home Innovation Grant Board
• Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force (NPATCH)
• Property Tax Administration, Advisory Committee
• Workforce Development Council
• Opioid Crisis Recovery Funds Advisory Committee
• Healthcare Insurance Affordability Enterprise

October 2020:
• Governors Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee
• Petroleum Storage Tank Advisory Committee
• State Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Council
• Statewide Independent Living Council
• Water Resources and Power Development Authority

To apply, fill out an application at this link. To see other Boards and Commissions openings for the rest of 2020 and part of 2021, you can visit this link.

If you have any questions about Boards and Commissions, please contact Nikky Patel, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions at
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