Colorado - COVID-19 Covered

Colorado

Total Cases: 93,377 (October 25)
Fatalities: 2,218 (October 25)
Testing:
  • Detailed information on COVID-19 testing in Colorado can be found here.

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • 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 retaliations. (June 9) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order directing workers in critical businesses and critical government functions to wear face coverings. (May 16) 
  • The state launched a new initiative, Can Do Colorado, which will provide guidance to businesses about increasing teleworking capabilities. (May 8) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order directing workers in critical businesses and government functions to wear non-medical (cloth) face coverings in public. (April 17) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • 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) 
  • Governor Polis extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the current economic disruption. (July 12) 
  • The Colorado House of Representatives passed six COVID relief bills, including a proposal for a small business recovery loan fund. (June 9) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order allowing restaurants to obtain temporary approval from licensing authorities to extend their premises to include outdoor dining areas within 1,000 feet of the restaurant. The order also requires the Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division to respond to an application for the temporary modification of a license within 24 hours. (June 5) 
  • Governor Polis announced that the Small Business Administration had granted disaster relief for small business loans in Colorado under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which will allow small businesses, nonprofits, agricultural cooperatives, and aquaculture enterprises affected by the outbreak to seek up to $2 million in low-interest federal loans to pay for debts, payroll and accounts payable. (March 19)  
  • Governor Polis established the Colorado Emergency Childcare Collaborative in tandem with early childhood providers, school districts and foundations, the CDHS, and the OEC to create a system of emergency childcare for essential workers, including healthcare and public safety workers. (CO Emergency Child Care Collaborative) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • 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) 
  • Governor Polis extended the state’s mask requirement for another 30 days. (September 12) 
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment released guidance for indoor visitation in residential care facilities. (September 3) 
  • Governor Polis said the state has prepared draft guidance to allow for indoor visitation at nursing homes and senior living facilities, something many have said is necessary to ensure senior citizens are mentally healthy. (August 26) 
  • Governor Polis has pushed back last call for alcohol from 10:00PM to 11:00PM. (August 20) 
  • Governor Polis amended and extended an executive order regarding Protect Our Neighbors and the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 7) 
  • Governor Polis extended his “Safer at Home” executive order and closed bars for in-person service. (June 30) 
  • Governor Polis announced Protect Our Neighbors, a framework to empower local governments to make decisions about reopening, dependent on public health, health care system, and virus levels. Polis also issued a new round of Safer at Home guidelines for residential summer camps, indoor and outdoor events, bars, personal services, and non-critical manufacturing facilities. (June 15) 
  • Governor Polis signed an executive order transiting the state from Safer at Home to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors. The order permits those above 65 or with underlying conditions to enjoy the state’s outdoor spaces at safe social distances. (June 1) 
  • Governor Polis issued guidelines allowing restaurants to open for in-person dining at 50 percent capacity of the occupancy code limit. (May 25) Additionally, Colorado is waiving state rules and regulations that prohibit spacing tables out in any way; notably, Polis suggested that residents with a “big yard” that live near a restaurant may offer it to them for spaced-out tables. (May 26) 
  • Residents may begin booking campsites in state parks where host counties have permitted them to open, and where social distance and sanitation guidelines are deployed. (May 12) 
  • A number of businesses in Denver are permitted to reopen with six feet of social distancing and 50 percent of staff onsite, among other restrictions. These include offices, retail, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, pet groomers, personal trainers, eye doctors, and chiropractors. Several of these businesses are permitted to reopen with appointment-only service, or with 10 or fewer customers. (May 5) 
  • Governor Polis outlined a three-stage process for the timeline of the crisis in the state: urgent (its current stage), stabilization, and recovery. Polis specified that the stabilization phase will mandate various forms of social distancing; the recovery phase would only begin once a vaccine or treatment could be widely implemented or herd immunity developed. (April 15) 
  • Governor Polis stated that social distancing guidelines will remain in place until a vaccine or cure is found or herd immunity developed. (April 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) 
  • Governor Polis, the Colorado Department of Education, and Colorado Education Initiative are partnering with Rocky Mountain Public Media to provide K-3 students, their families, and caregivers with direct-to-home remote lessons in literacy, science, art, and math through Colorado Classroom: Learn with Me at Home starting Sept. 7 and airing for 15 weeks on RMPBS. (August 31) 
  • Governor Polis says people should expect school closures due to the coronavirus as in-person learning resumes. (August 25) 
  • Colorado released new guidance designed to help parents and schools navigate the pandemic. (August 12) 
  • High school athletes will experience an adjusted sports season in the upcoming school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan will split the year into four seasons and include a moratorium during the fall for an expected increase in COVID-19 cases. While all sports are expected to resume, some will take place at different times than their traditional seasons. (August 5) 
  • Colorado released new guidance related to COVID-19 outbreaks in classrooms. (July 30) 
  • Governor Polis announced that the state would provide all public, Catholic, private, and charter schools with masks in advance of the fall semester. (July 30) 
  • Colorado released guidance for local districts regarding reopening schools this fall. (July 21) 
  • Governor Polis announced Colorado schools can reopen in the fall under a hybrid system of in-person and online learning. He said school systems should prepare to move back to e-learning should a COVID-19 outbreak force campuses to close. (May 18) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Colorado colleges and universities planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The state has issued recommended guidelines for planning for higher education institutions to combat the outbreak(CDPHE) 

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