DENVER - Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the State’s response to COVID-19, reiterated the importance of Safer at Home, and discussed the State’s testing strategy.
“These next few weeks are critical and I know Coloradans will continue to be safer at home as much as possible and wear masks when in public,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Testing is an important puzzle piece to Colorado’s response to this pandemic and the state continues ramping up our testing capability, infrastructure, and epidemiological work and will continue to aggressively seek resources through the private sector and federal government. When this crisis began the state could only run 140 tests per day and we have increased that capacity 20-fold, with more to come.”
To date, 67,094 tests have been conducted in Colorado. Colorado has been running 3,000 tests per day, and there is the lab capacity to run 10,000 tests, but supply constraints don’t allow for that yet. The goal is to increase testing from 3,000 to 5,000 per day by the early May and up to 8,500 by the end of May. In order to reach testing goals, Colorado is working to increase testing supplies, availability of testing, and epidemiological capacity. Testing will help the State identify those who are sick, identify hotspots around the State, and protect those who are vulnerable, but it must be accompanied by isolation or quarantine and follow-up contact tracing to get maximum suppression impact.
There are two types of COVID-19 tests: nasal swabs and blood tests. Nasal swab tests can diagnose whether people have COVID-19; blood tests typically measure the body’s response to the virus and not the presence of the virus itself.Colorado is still in need of a number of testing supplies to conduct swab tests including:
There are four types of testing sites in Colorado:
The Governor also provided an update on testing at senior living facilities. There have been a total of 1,171 tests run with 99 positives (55 Symptomatic, 33 asymptomatic, 11 unknown) at four facilities. In addition, today there is testing happening at the Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora. The State is also partnering with Colorado State University to test 45,000 nursing home workers in the coming months. By May 1, the State expects to have weekly supplies of 85,521 masks, 388,733 gloves, 7,840 gowns, and 10,413 pairs of eye protection for nursing home workers.
The Governor also provided an update on the Equity Task Force and announced its members today. Members include:
View the news conference on the Governor’s Facebook page and view the ASL version here.
Tri-County Health Department’s Board of Health directs executive director to develop Public Health Orders extending Gov. Polis Stay at Home order with few exceptions
Tri-County Health Department will be extending Gov. Polis Stay at Home order until May 8th in Arapahoe and Adams Counties in an effort to stem the ongoing high level of COVID-19 virus infection in these counties. Douglas County, which has had case numbers level off in recent weeks will not be subject to this order and will continue with the Governor’s Safer at Home order released earlier this week.
“We want to get people back to work as soon as it is safer to do so,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “This extension in Adams and Arapahoe will give us more time to do several things: expand public health measures such as testing and contact notification, develop and implement strategies in partnership with our business community on how to safely reopen, and to encourage the public to practice social distancing and other safety measures---all of which should hopefully reduce the spread of this disease.”
TCHD along with other Denver Metro health departments — Jefferson County Public Health, Broomfield County Public Health, Boulder County Public Health, Denver Public Health and Environment– has been looking carefully at the Governor’s Safer-at-Home plan for dealing with COVID-19, including his request that each county and region examine their own data and context and make decisions appropriate for the nature of the epidemic in their areas. TCHD has done so and has come to the conclusion that, like much of the Metro area, Adams and Arapahoe Counties are not yet ready to relax the restrictions that were put in place with the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order.
The key difference between the statewide Stay-at-Home order and the Tri-County’s planned extension of the order in Adams and Arapahoe counties is the allowance for non-Critical Businesses to begin to offer curbside delivery of products as a step to helping our businesses re-open. Additionally, travel to pick up these goods will now be included in the definition for necessary travel.
Governor Polis’ “Safer at Home” order calls for a gradual reopening of businesses throughout the state. Some businesses can open April 27, for example, retail businesses can offer curbside service. Salons and other personal services can re-open May 1, with strict protocols. Restaurant, bars and venues will remain closed.
Tri-County Health Department will issue the public health orders for Adams and Arapahoe County by Sunday, April 26, 2020.
Yesterday Congress approved a second round of funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). SBA is working on reopening the applications. We encourage you to prepare your application in anticipation of the reopening date.
Paycheck Protection Program loans have already provided Colorado’s small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors with over $7B of payroll loans through its initial round of funds. EIDL recipients throughout the state have also secured critical low interest loans from the SBA. The second round of funding enables more Colorado PPP and EIDL applications to move forward.
The additional $320B appropriation for PPP includes specific allocations for small financial institutions and community credit unions while also providing funds for minority owned businesses. These forgivable loans will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and Colorado businesses are encouraged to apply promptly.
The additional $60B appropriation for EIDL also allows Colorado businesses to resume seeking low-interest recovery loans from the SBA.
Statewide, this program stands to benefit more than 600,000 businesses, nonprofits and gig workers so we encourage eligible program participants to seek these payroll loans at your local lending institutions.
Next Steps for Applying to PPP
Consider these next steps when applying for the Paycheck Protection Program:
Next Steps for Applying to EIDL
Consider these next steps when applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
The goal of this phase is to maintain 60-65% physical distancing.
● Critical businesses will remain open with strict precautions (social distancing, masks for all employees, more frequent cleanings, etc.)
● Retail businesses may open for curbside delivery and phased-in public opening with strict precautions.
● Elective medical and dental procedures begin, with strict precautions to ensure adequate personal protective equipment and the ability to meet critical care needs.
● Personal services (salons, dog grooming, limited personal training, etc.) will open with strict precautions. (starting May 1st)
● Telecommuting continues for offices. Starting on May 4, up to 50% of staff can work in person (with social distancing in place).
● Nightclubs, gyms and spas will remain closed.
● No group gatherings of more than 10 people.
● K-12 schools remain online only for the 2019-2020 school year.
● Vulnerable populations and older adults must stay home unless absolutely necessary.
What Does This Mean for the General Public?
● Follow Safer at Home guidelines
● Strongly advised face coverings and staying 6ft apart in public
● No gatherings over 10 people
● Sick people may not go to work
● Limit non-essential travel
What Does This Mean for Older Adults and Vulnerable Populations?
● Continue to Stay at Home except when absolutely necessary
● Utilize special industry hours for vulnerable populations
What Does This Mean for Seeing Friends and Family?
● People should still limit interactions except with immediate household
● If you do see limited family or friends outside of your household, be extra cautious to stay 6 ft apart, wear face covering, and limit contact
● Stick to solo and non-contact recreation activities like running, walking, or hiking in your local community. Do not travel outside of your local community for recreation. Avoid contact sports or equipment.
What are Next Steps for the Safer-at-Home Phase?
The state is working to develop best practices and specific guidance for different industries during the Safer-at-Home phase and will have more details in the coming days. This includes:
● Elective Medical and Dental Services
● Personal Services
● Real Estate
How Will Local Governments be Affected?
Under the Safer-at-Home phase, local governments will have a variety of options.
● Operates under the state's Safer-at-Home executive order and public health orders.
● They can go farther than the state, including but not limited to stay at home orders or additional protective measures.
● They can apply for a variance from the state. To do so, they will need to demonstrate proof of very low case counts of COVID 19 and/ or 14 consecutive days of decline of infection of COVID-19 in the county. They also must submit an application that includes a written COVID-19 suppression plan approved by the appropriate local public health
authority. All local hospitals and elected officials must sign off on the plan.
What is the timeline for the Safer-at-Home phase?
Sunday, April 26:
● Last day of Stay at Home Order
● Safer at Home Order Issued
Monday, April 27:
Public Health Order and guidance to be issued:
● Retail - Curbside can begin
● Real Estate - showings can resume
Friday, May 1
● Retail and Personal Services can open if implementing best practices
Monday, May 4
● Offices can reopen at 50% reduced capacity, if best practices are being implemented.
Note: if you can continue telecommuting at higher levels, you are encouraged to do so.
Mayor Piko will continue to be available to meet with Centennial residents every Tuesday for the rest of April and throughout May from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. virtually. These meetings provide an opportunity for Centennial citizens to share their ideas, concerns or questions with an elected official.
If you are interested in scheduling a time to speak with Mayor Piko please complete this form. Once the form is submitted, you will be contacted by a member of City staff to schedule a time for you to speak with Mayor Piko. The Mayor will be available Tuesday mornings on April 28 and May 5, 12, 19 and 26.
Please complete the form by noon the Monday before. For example, if you would like to schedule time with Mayor Piko on May 5, you must complete the web form by noon on Monday, May 4. If you have questions please contact Naomi Lowell at 303-754-3341.
As Colorado awaits the anticipated second round of federal funding to reopen applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), we recommend you continue preparing to submit an application. Consider these steps:
As you may be aware, the funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan has been fully expended to date. Current statistics show that the SBA PPP Loan has provided $6 billion in funding to our Colorado small business communities and we are hopeful that this number will continue to grow in the future.
As of now, the SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. The EIDL program is no longer accepting new applications and applications previously submitted for an EIDL Cash Advance and loan will continue to be processed on a first come, first served basis.
Both the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury are urging Congress to appropriate additional funds into these programs so that every small business who is eligible will have the chance to participate and receive the funds they need.
Business owners should remain in contact with their lender and make sure they have the documentation necessary to complete the PPP application in the event congress appropriates additional funding to continue the program.
We will continue to provide updates and resources on our website with the relevant Federal, State, and local resources available to small business owners as we navigate and adapt to these changes.
The SBA Express Bridge Loan and SBA Debt Relief programs are still providing funds/relief.
The SBDC is your continued resource provider to navigate the loans and grants available to you, and your strategic business consultants with disaster relief expertise to ensure you are financially prepared during relief, recovery and business continuity phases.
The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Colorado SBDC have been consistently updating this list of additional available resources with available small business grants and loans for the Colorado small business community. If you are able, please take some time to research and review this list.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4/15/2020
Delaying Care for Non-COVID Patients can Lead to Greater Health Issues
Centura reminds consumers it is safe to receive care
(ENGLEWOOD, COLO.) In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, medical emergencies unrelated to COVID-19 still occur. Centura Health wants to remind our patients and communities that all of their health care needs, including life-threatening conditions and chronic illnesses, can be treated safely even as the fears of COVID-19 loom.
“I am worried about our communities. COVID-19 is, of course, at the front of everyone’s mind as it should be. However, the number of calls and visits we are seeing across our communities are alarmingly low,” explains Dr. Judd Dawson, Centura Health Physician Group. “I think about the patients with diabetes, heart failure, chest pain, leg swelling and other problems that can cause significant problems. My concern is that individuals are ignoring symptoms because they do not feel anything can be done for them in the present pandemic situation.”
When patients delay care, the likelihood of a more permanent negative outcome increases. Centura Health Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centers are open and receiving patients. As patients arrive, Centura takes extra precautions to screen patients and ensure that presumed or confirmed COVID-19 patients are placed in an isolation area.
For both primary care and specialty care visits, Centura Health and their team of caregivers provide the option to connect virtually with current patients using secure video, commonly referred to as telehealth or virtual care. Signing up is free and patients only pay per visit. Providers can conduct virtual visits for patients as clinically appropriate, including chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and arthritis. Patients can call their caregiver to schedule an in-person or virtual care visit today.
“Whether your chronic health issues are not in control, or if you feel you are developing something new, health concerns carry their own risks beyond just becoming infected,” stated Dr. Dawson. “We want you to have the best chance of returning to normal life when the pandemic is past.”
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ABOUT CENTURA HEALTH
Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 21,000 of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through our 17 hospitals, two senior living communities, neighborhood health centers, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services, and Flight For Life® Colorado, our caregivers make the region’s best health care accessible. We’re on a mission to build flourishing communities and whole person care. We’re Centura Health, and we’re your dedicated health partner for life. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit the Centura Health website.
Operation will host recovering COVID-19 patients after discharge
Littleton, CO—April 15, 2020--The Arapahoe County Fairgrounds have been converted to a tier 4 alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients to help alleviate crowding at regional hospitals. The temporary facility will host cases that don’t require acute or critical care. Upon opening, the site can hold 54 individuals and can increase capacity up to 150 if the need arises. The medical shelter is the product of a multi-agency response team that completed the transformation in a matter of days with the help of the Colorado National Guard.
The alternate care facility does not accept walk-up patients and is not a hospital. Rather, the facility operates as a medical shelter and is best suited for those patients who are ready to return to their original housing situation but are unable to do so because of their circumstances. Local hospitals will make direct referrals for guests to the facility. The temporary alternate care facility is being managed by the Arapahoe County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), with paramedics and medical students providing care and observation for recovering guests.
“We are grateful to have the expertise and resources to provide this much-needed facility for Arapahoe County,” said Nancy Sharpe, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “Reducing patient loads on our hospitals means that those who need critical care can get it, and the temporary facility will provide observation and care for individuals recovering from the disease.”
The Emergency Operations Center—which operates under the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office—is managing the County’s response to the pandemic, working in partnership with the Board of County Commissioners, Tri-County Health Department, state and local officials. The EOC coordinates resources, implements emergency operations and handles logistics support for law enforcement and municipalities across the County.
Building on established emergency plans, the EOC outfitted the facility, relocating existing supplies such as durable medical equipment and beds from across the County. Local municipalities and nonprofits also donated to support the facility, including use of a shower trailer donated by the nonprofit Aurora Warms the Night. The EOC also finalized contracts with local businesses for feeding, linens, sanitizer stations, janitorial services and security.
Assisting with the transformation of the site was the South Metro Fire District, Sable Altura Fire Department, the Colorado National Guard, Xcel Energy, Rocky Vista University and Concorde Career College. “Arapahoe County is fortunate to have amazing partnerships in place to assist with our COVID-19 response. The skill, ability, and resourcefulness of our partners allowed us to convert this building to an alternate care facility in record time,” said Nate Fogg, the County’s emergency manager. “Their contributions are monumental and important for our efforts to maintain the health and safety of all Arapahoe County citizens.”
Future of School (FoS) & Hide In Plain Sight (HIPS), a South Metro Denver Chamber nonprofit, are coming together to support the urgent needs of students and families in Douglas County through a unique partnership.
According to the Colorado Department of Education there are 5,759 students who receive free meals in the Douglas County School District as they are either homeless or live in poverty!
Please help Hide In Plain Sight support our local children
with their basic educational needs.
The DC Remote Learning Relief Fund will provide access to critical needs of students and teachers in our local schools. The COVID-19 crisis has shifted classrooms into the homes of children. Yet, many do not have all that they need to engage in remote learning environments. We must help them to ensure equity and equality for all kids.
Future of School (FoS) & Hide In Plain Sight (HIPS), a South Metro Denver Chamber nonprofit, are seeking donations to fund our DC Remote Learning Relief Fund to provide Douglas County School District students and teachers with what they need most--computers, broadband access and other tech-based supports – these items are what many low-income families do not currently have.
PLEASE donate today at www.hideinplainsight.org click on the Donate button and choose the Robin Hood program and a particular school if you wish to have your gift designated to it in Douglas County.
Thank you for your support!