Colorado - COVID-19 Covered

Colorado

Total Cases: 656,850 (September 23)
Tests Administered: 2,636,060 (March 7)
Fatalities: 7,441 (September 23)
Testing:
  • Detailed information on COVID-19 testing in Colorado can be found here. 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment expanded the at-home COVID-19 testing program to all public-facing employees. (April 12) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and Connect for Health Colorado have partnered to improve the call center dedicated to COVID-19 testing and containment results. (January 15) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Polis extended an executive order allowing the Legislature to meet during the pandemic. (January 20) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order requiring hospitals and freestanding emergency departments that had reached capacity or were reasonably anticipated to reach capacity to notify the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. (January 20) 
  • Essential service industries in Colorado include health care operations, critical infrastructure, food and manufacturing, critical retail (including grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores, and marijuana dispensaries), critical services (including trash collection, mail and shipping, self-serve laundromats, and child care), news media, financial institutions, economically disadvantaged population providers, construction, defense, municipal and general services, and businesses that need to maintain minimum basic operations. (March 31)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Polis extended an executive order requiring the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities due to the presence of COVID-19. (April 5) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment announced it would expand the Binax At-Home program to restaurant workers. (March 19) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order to expedite unemployment insurance processing for Coloradans. (July 12) 
  • The Colorado House of Representatives passed six COVID relief bills, including a proposal for protecting workers who raise public health concerns from retaliation. (June 9) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Polis announced the state’s plans to distribute federal funds: Colorado and its local governments will get $5.7 billion in total from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds: $3.8 billion for the state; $1.1 billion for counties; $551 million for metropolitan cities and $265 million for local governments with 50,000 or fewer people. (May 24)  
  • Governor Polis launched a program to pay some unemployed Coloradans up to $1,600 if they decide to return to work. (May 21) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order that allows taxpayers to file their state income tax returns by the extended deadline of May 17, 2021, to align with the deadline extension for federal tax returns. (April 30) 
  • Governor Polis extended and amended an Executive Order temporarily suspending statutes to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and Children’s Basic Health Plan enrollees. (April 30) 
  • Governor Polis extended an Executive Order ordering expedited unemployment insurance claim processing to provide relief to Coloradans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 30) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order temporarily suspending statutes to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and Children’s Basic Health Plan enrollees. (March 1) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) today released an analysis that shows an increase in long-term exposure to fine particle air pollution is generally associated with more COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths at the census-tract level in Colorado. (February 18) 
  • The Colorado Legislature passed a bill that allocated $35.15M to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for grants to certain small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. (December 23) 
  • Governor Polis signed House Bill 20B-1004, which would allow restaurants, bars, and food trucks impacted by capacity restrictions to retain up to $2,000 per month in state sales taxes to pay for rent and other business needs for four months, beginning with November 2020 and lasting until the end of February 2021. (December 7) 
  • Governor Polis also signed Senate Bill 20B-001, a $57.1 million direct COVID-19 aid bill, of which $37 million would go to restaurants, bars, and gyms impacted by capacity restrictions. The bill would also waive fees for liquor licenses for one year. Another $7.5 million would go to cultural and arts organization, and $4 million would be made available to minority-owned businesses. (December 7) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order offering Coloradans impacted by COVID-19 a one-time stimulus payment of $375. (November 28) 
  • Governor Polis announced the Winter Outdoor Grant Program, which would provide funds to restaurants to help finance winterize patio space for outdoor dining. (November 1) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order to provide more economic relief to Coloradans who earn less than $52,000 a year and have filed for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 29) 
  • Governor Polis issued an executive order allocating $14.9 million in CARES Act funding to stimulate the Colorado economy. (October 9) 
  • Governor Polis extended executive orders to help provide tenants with additional protections and provide support for Medicaid. (August 10) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order extending relief to public utility customers to help mitigate, respond to, and recover from the current economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 10) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Polis extended the residential and commercial eviction ban for those who have suffered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 22) 
  • Governor Polis announced the upcoming launch of the Gap Fund application, which went live on August 31. This fund will provide more than $25 million in small business loans and grants to boost small businesses that are the economic engines throughout the state. (August 26) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Polis amended his COVID-19 public health order to remove all restrictions on mass indoor and outdoor gatherings and to update the remaining face coverings requirements, effective June 1. (June 1) 
  • Governor Polis’ office said the face mask mandate did not apply to those who are vaccinated. (May 14) 
  • Governor Polis announced another 30-day extension to the statewide mask order. (May 3) 
  • Governor Polis said that mask requirements “don’t apply to groups of vaccinated people in Colorado.” (April 28) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order to further protect tenants from being evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 20) 
  • Colorado announced it would allow counties to implement COVID-19 regulations at the local level while still maintaining some limited requirements across the state. (April 16 
  • Governor Polis announced the state would begin to rescind some of its COVID-19 restrictions. (April 12) 
  • Governor Polis amended and extended an executive order authorizing executive directors of certain state agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents due to COVID-19. (April 9) 
  • Governor Polis announced all residents 16 years of age and older would be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 2. (March 29) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment released an updated Public Health Order and guidance for indoor visitation at residential care facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities. (March 23) 
  • Colorado announced residents in Phase 1.B.4 would now be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including those 50 years of age or older and frontline workers in higher education, food service, journalism, manufacturing, public transit, public health, human services, faith communities, some state and local government divisions, and services to homeless populations. (March 18) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order directing the Colorado Division of Insurance to enact a rule regarding rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. (March 15 
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reinstated elective medical, dental, and veterinary services. (March 12) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order extending the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration. (February 15) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order temporarily suspending statutes to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and Children’s Basic Health Plan enrollees. He also amended and extended an executive order ordering expedited unemployment insurance claim processing to provide relief to Coloradans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (February 1) 
  • Governor Polis reiterated Colorado’s commitment to vaccinating 70% of the state’s residents who are 70 years of age and older by February 28, in addition to vaccinating all healthcare workers and first responders. (January 13) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment released an amended public health order providing updates to the COVID-19 dial framework. The new changes included: Worship and ceremonies such as weddings and funerals would be classified as essential and could exceed capacity limits under certain circumstances; Institutions like museums, aquariums, and zoos would be permitted to open indoors in order to perform educational functions, up to 25 percent capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is fewer. (December 7) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment announced several Colorado counties would move to stricter levels on the state’s COVID-19 dial. (November 19) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment released a public health order that provided necessary updates to the COVID-19 dial framework. The order stipulated that Level Red would indicate counties where there was severe risk of COVID-19 spreading rapidly, while allowing some businesses to remain open at very limited capacity. A sixth level, Level Purple: Extreme Risk, would be added to the dial, representing when hospital capacity risked being breached and most businesses and indoor services must be closed. (November 17) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment updated the Safer at Home public health order to provide greater flexibility to gyms located in counties in in the third level. (October 27) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment amended its Safer at Home public health order to limit personal gatherings to no more than ten people from no more than two separate households.(October 23) 
  • Governor Polis issued amendments to the Safer at Home order, tying the last call order to the county’s dial level. (October 9) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment released guidance for temporary outdoor structures for restaurants and events. This information will help restaurants safely accommodate customers outdoors in the upcoming colder months using temporary structures or pop-up structures. (September 24) 
  • Governor Polis amended and extended the Safer at Home executive order, which includes the last call order. Last call for Colorado bars will now be 12:00AM in Level 1, 11:00PM in Level 2, and 10:00PM in Level 3. (September 20) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a dial to help local governments and Coloradans navigate and apply safety guidance throughout the pandemic. (September 15) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Polis announced the state would phase out mask requirements in schools, with fully vaccinated teachers and students allowed to stop wearing masks now — if their districts agree. (May 19) 
  • Colorado launched an At-Home Testing Program for educators, providing 2 million at-home tests to be delivered directly to the homes of teachers, staff, and selected students. (January 28 
  • Colorado has provided 1.6 million masks to schools in the state over the last ten weeks in a program that will continue until at least Thanksgiving. (October 8) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order facilitating learning pods in schools to protect students from COVID-19. (September 10) 
  • Governor Polis launched the $32.7 million-dollar Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Education (RISE) fund to support schools in creating sustainable innovations to improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency. (September 9) 
  • Colorado partnered with T-Mobile to provide free broadband connection to 34,000 students at no cost to their families. (September 2) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Colorado colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

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