Colorado - COVID-19 Covered

Colorado

Total Cases: 52,200 (August 14)
Tests Administered: 605,790 (August 12)
Fatalities: 1,882 (August 14)
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 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 child care 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 child care 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 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

Reopenings:

  • 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 implemented a 10 PM last call for alcohol for a period of 30 days. (July 21) 
  • Governor Polis has implemented a statewide mask mandate. (July 16) 
  • Denver has paused its reopening program as cases in the city begin to rise. (July 15) 
  • 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 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