Colorado - COVID-19 Covered

Colorado

Total Cases: 383,008 (January 23)
Tests Administered: 2,352,403 (January 22)
Fatalities: 5,462 (January 23)
Testing:
  • Detailed information on COVID-19 testing in Colorado can be found here. 
  • 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 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:

  • 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 signed House Bill 20B-1004, which allows restaurants, bars and food trucks impacted by capacity restrictions to retain the 2.9% state sales tax for four months, beginning with November, 2020 and lasting until the end of February. Those businesses can keep up to $2,000 per month to pay for rent and other business needs. The estimated loss of revenue to the state could reach up to $52.8 million, according to the bill’s fiscal note. (December 7) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order that will offer COVID-impacted Coloradans with a one-time stimulus payment of $375. (November 28)
  • Governor Polis announced that applications are open for thWinter Outdoor Grant Program, which will provide funds to restaurants to 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 coronavirus 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) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order directing the Department of Human Services to utilize federal funding for childcare services. (July 27) 
  • Governor Polis announced $20 million in funding for rental and mortgage assistance will be made available to eligible residents. (July 17) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order which would direct the Colorado Department of Human Services to access federal funds for childcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 27) 
  • Governor Polis signed several more relief bills, including measures to allocate grants to small businesses. (June 24) 
  • Governor Polis signed several bills supporting relief for residents during the pandemic, including allocating funds for housing and utility bill payment-related assistance. (June 22) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order temporarily suspending certain statutes to maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan. (June 14) 
  • Governor Polis issued an executive order limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections to provide relief to Coloradans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 30) 
  • Governor Polis sent a letter encouraging hotel and motel owners to help address the COVID-19 pandemic by agreeing to temporarily house homeless Coloradans and the state’s most vulnerable citizens. (April 13) He also sent a letter saying he will mobilize 250 Colorado National Guard members to support existing shelters in Denver with staffing shortages for those who are experiencing homelessness. (April 13) 

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 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) 
  • Governor Polis extended the mask mandate another 30 days. (January 8) 
  • Colorado received its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine on December 14. (December 14) 
  • 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 and Environment (CDPHE) announced several Colorado counties are moving to stricter levels on the state’s COVID-19 dial. (November 19) 
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an updated public health order that provides necessary updates to the COVID-19 dial framework. The order updates Level Red to indicate counties where there is 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, will be added to the dial, representing when hospital capacity risks being breached and most businesses and indoor services must be closed. (November 17) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced several Colorado counties are moving to stricter levels on the state’s COVID-19 dial. (November 5) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) updated the Safer at Home public health order. The order provides greater flexibility to gyms located in counties in Safer at Home Level 3. (October 27) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) today 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 extended Colorado’s indoor mask mandate for another 30 days in a new executive order. (October 11) 
  • 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 12:00 AM in Level 1, 11:00 PM in Level 2, and 10:00 PM 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:

  • 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 today signed an executive order facilitating learning pods due to the presence of COVID-19. (September 10)  
  • Governor Polis launched the $32.7 million-dollar Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Education (RISE) fund today to support schoolin creating sustainable innovations to improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency. (September 9) 
  • Colorado is partnering 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. 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com