By Michael R. Greco, Fisher Phillips LLP
The Colorado Department of Public Health issued Public Health Order 20-28 to govern the next phase of Colorado’s reopening, labeled “Safer at Home.” Every business in Colorado planning to reopen over the next few weeks in some capacity should become familiar with the order and the requirements for its business.
The PHO also contains requirements for critical businesses that have been and will continue to operate during the Safer-at-Home Phase. The PHO was issued in response to the Governor’s Executive Order D 2020-44, which in addition to mandating return to work requirements, expanded the Colorado paid leave rule that initially came out in March.
Below are a few of the key provisions that will require action on the part of both critical and non-critical businesses. Employers must implement the following measures based on previous CHPHE guidance:
Please note that CDPHE has changed its guidance for how to monitor employee temperatures in the workplace. CDPHE now provides that the best practice for essential and nonessential businesses is to implement a temperature check station at the entrance to your business. If this is not feasible, employees should check for symptoms at home and report symptoms either electronically or on paper per the system created by the business.
Employers must also implement the following measures:
“Vulnerable individuals” have been expanded to include:
Employers with over 50 employees in one location have additional protocols to follow including stations for screening and temperature checks, closing common areas, and strict guidance to social distancing requirements.
In addition to numerous requirements for an employer to implement in order to be deemed safely operating during the Safer-at-Home phase, the PHO also includes restrictions and guidelines for customers and the public. The PHO reemphasizes previous guidance regarding social distancing, disinfection protocols, and limits on the number of people in gatherings. Critical and non-critical businesses should familiarize and train their supervisors and employees regarding the required protocols in the PHO.
What Should Employers Do?
As you begin the process of reopening, you should familiarize yourself with our alert: Back to Business Checklist and 5 Steps To Reopen Your Workplace, According To CDC’s Latest Guidance. You should also keep handy our 4-Step Plan For Handling Confirmed COVID-19 Cases When Your Business Reopens in the event you learn of a positive case at your workplace. For a more thorough analysis of the many issues you may encounter from a labor and employment perspective, we recommend you review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center For Employers.
Fisher Phillips will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact Michael R. Greco.
Centennial City Council Continues to Meet Virtually
While City facilities have been closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, City Council Members continue to conduct business virtually while ‘at home’ orders are in place. Go to the City’s website to view agendas for upcoming meetings or join meetings online. Residents and business owners can also speak to Mayor Stephanie Piko during virtual Meet the Mayor meetings every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Fill out this form to sign up.
Use the Hashtag #WeAreOneCentennial to Share Stories or Photos of Good Deeds in Your Area
During difficult times, it's important to remember that communities tend to step up to challenges in a variety of ways. We have seen uplifting stories in the news and on social media of people helping people and businesses helping businesses. The City is encouraging residents and business owners to tell their own positive stories from their area by using the hashtag #WeAreOneCentennial. Our plan is to share these on our social media channels in the hopes of inspiring others to do similar good deeds.
Think Local, Support Local. See Which Restaurants Are Still Offering Delivery and Carry Out
Local restaurants and bars are owned and operated by your neighbors. Help show you care about the well-being of your community during this difficult time by purchasing from the local Centennial businesses listed on the City's Think Local web page.
Get Regular Updates on Centennial’s Business Community
Read local business news, learn about resources for businesses, keep up with economic development efforts, and much more through the free Centennial Business Monthly e-Newsletter. Sign up for this and other e-newsletters at centennialco.gov/notifications.
The Warrior Bonfire Program, a nonprofit member of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, can retire your tattered, torn and faded US Flags. Each US Flag is retired at a Bonfire ceremony by US Armed Forces Purple Heart recipients (those wounded in combat at the hands of the enemy) honoring fallen members of the US Armed Forces. The Warrior Bonfire Program can retire your US Flag in honor of fallen comrades of those it serves or in honor of a fallen military member you wish to honor.
Please contact the Warrior Bonfire Program to arrange picking up or delivering your flag. If you would like to have your US Flag retired for a fallen Veteran you wish to honor please include name, last rank and branch of service. Point of Contact is Mike Foss, [email protected]
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.