Gov. Polis to Meet With President
On Wednesday, Governor Polis will travel to the White House to meet with President Trump to discuss the state’s response to coronavirus and advocate for more federal resources to help Colorado deal with the public health and economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enforcement of Public Health Orders
Coloradans and local businesses did a fantastic job of obeying the Stay-at-Home order. Widespread compliance with the Stay-at-Home order allowed us to suppress the spread of the virus, build health care capacity, obtain more personal protective equipment, and scale up testing for coronavirus.
Ultimately, because of this compliance, we were able to lift the Stay-at-Home order and enter into the Safer-at-Home phase.
We need to keep up the good work and adhere to the Safer-at-Home phase in order to save lives and hopefully relax additional restrictions sooner rather than later -- but only if the data tells us that it’s safe.
That’s why many Coloradans were shocked and saddened this weekend watching videos on social media of the C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Lone Tree illegally operating in violation of public health orders, putting dozens if not hundreds of residents at risk.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has determined that C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock is causing an imminent health hazard. As such, CDPHE is using their authority under the Colorado Food Protection Act to take action to suspend the license of the business indefinitely until it can be established that there is no longer a threat to public health. In addition, Tri-County Health is also working on enforcement actions; the state is supportive of those efforts.
Governor Polis expressed his extreme disappointment regarding businesses disobeying the law, subjecting themselves to legal penalties or even worse -- the illness and death of employees and patrons. The Governor reiterated that he will do what is necessary to protect public health and preserve the rule of law. Finally, Gov. Polis implored Coloradans to think of the pain and devastation of families mourning those lost to coronavirus before considering participating in risky activities.
We all need to do our part -- continuing to stay home, wear masks, and practice distancing -- if we’re going to beat this virus.
State Campgrounds to Reopen May 12
Starting tomorrow, May 12, camping can resume in state park campgrounds, unless the host county objects. Camping must be done with observance of social distance and sanitation guidelines, and accept campers by reservation only.
Visit cpwshop.com to make a reservation, or go to cpw.state.co.us for additional important information on the reopening of state park campgrounds.
For now, we are still urging Coloradans to recreate locally. For camping, be sure to pick up fuel and supplies in your home area -- please do not overwhelm stores close to recreation areas. These areas have limited health care capacity and the consequences of an outbreak could be severe.
Timeline for Additional Decision Making
Today, the Governor shared the timeline for deciding if we can further relax restrictions on our economy and society.
The state takes into consideration a number of factors in this decision-making process, including:
• What level of suppression of the virus have we been able to achieve?
• What is our ability to do testing and containment?
• Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?
• Does our health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?
• What’s the level of risk vs. societal / economic / psychological reward?
• Is the policy sustainable?
And finally, we need the ability to continue to monitor and evaluate what’s working and what’s not.
To be clear -- the dates below are not potential opening days. These are the days when we believe we will have enough data to make a decision. We simply need more time to collect data on how Coloradans are behaving during the Safer-at-Home phase.
After the decision is made if there is a safe way to partially loosen the restrictions, the Governor will announce when the following activities could take effect.
SKIING: On May 25, we will decide whether ski resorts can be open for Spring skiing at the end of May, only of course if the host county wants them open.
RESTAURANTS: On May 25, we will decide if we can begin phasing in restaurants and at what level. We are working hard with stakeholders to explore how to keep both employees and customers as safe as possible.
SUMMER RESIDENCY / DAY CAMPS: On May 25, we will also decide whether we can open summer residential and day camps in June, and if so, under what conditions. We know kids and parents are eagerly awaiting a decision on that.
After June 1, we will modify the Safer at Home order further to phase in other things like summer activities and public spaces like libraries. We will make these decisions on a rolling basis, based on the latest data and evidence, but just like we tried to give an accurate picture for May towards the end of April, we will try to give an accurate picture for what June looks like by the end of May so people can plan accordingly.
None of us can know in advance what the actual decisions will be, because that will depend on what the data is telling us about how people are behaving. If we are doing a good job keeping our distance, staying at home, wearing masks or facial coverings when we go out, then it will show up in the data, and we will have more flexibility to remove additional restrictions on our economy. On the flipside, if folks aren’t following the Safer at Home order, it will show up in the data, the rate of spread and hospitalizations will begin to tick up, and we may need to hold off or go in the opposite direction. Let’s continue to take this seriously.
Partnership for At-Home Literacy
A strong literacy foundation is important for making sure that every child in our state gets a great education. The COVID-19 crisis has made it challenging for many of our Colorado kids to receive the education that they need because many don't have access to the internet or a laptop. We cannot let the COVID-19 crisis get in the way of our youngest learners acquiring the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.
That’s why we are so excited to be announcing a partnership between Rocky Mountain PBS, The Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Education Association, Gary Community Investments, and the Colorado Education Initiative, called Colorado Classroom: Learning at Home! Programming will start a week from today, next Monday, May 18th, at 8 am.
Every Monday through Friday for the next five weeks, Rocky Mountain PBS will provide 2 hours of standards-aligned K through 3 literacy and English language development lessons by master teachers to students across the state - from the Eastern plains to the Western slope - on Rocky Mountain PBS’s station. Rocky Mountain PBS services at least 98% of Colorado’s households with high-quality programming at no additional cost to families.
This partnership will help bring high-quality, standards-aligned programming in both literacy, and English language development, to help ensure every child has a strong foundation.
This initiative will feature eight amazing Colorado teachers from across the state who will be designing exciting, interactive and fun lessons for all students with a focus on language development.
We want to thank the Colorado Education Association for generously providing the funding for educator stipends to our excellent master teachers for their time and expertise.
Furthermore, we want to thank One Book Colorado, run by Serve Colorado - The Governor’s Commission on Community Service, for featuring archived One Book videos featuring beloved Colorado sports figures and other celebrities.
If you want more information on educational materials, resources for kids, and other free resources during the COVID crisis please visit stayathomeco.colorado.gov/
Aerial Parade / Fundraiser
On Thursday, a group of local aviators will donate their time and resources to raise money and awareness for the Help Colorado Now relief fund through a Flyover Fundraising Parade and Aerial Salute to essential workers.
With a generous $500,000 challenge match from Lockheed Martin, a major employer in Colorado, the aerial event hopes to inspire donations and challenge other individuals and corporations to come together as we continue to support those most impacted by COVID-19. This aerial parade of more than 30 aircraft is scheduled to take flight Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the skies above the Denver Metro Area.
Organizers encourage people to watch from their homes and not to gather in public areas. And, of course, always follow social distancing public health guidelines.
The squadron of planes will take off from Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield and loop the Denver Metro Area Front Range, from Longmont to Castle Rock, as both a salute to essential workers and a fundraising awareness platform for the Colorado COVID Relief Fund. All donations made to the fund will support Colorado communities impacted by COVID-19. Hosted by Mile High United Way, the Colorado COVID Relief Fund is part of the State’s Help Colorado Now initiative. Donations can be made at www.HelpColoradoNow.org.
Update on the COVID Health Equity Task Force
We know that this virus is disproportionately impacting communities of color and we want to hear directly from all Coloradans so we can have an informed public policy response that meets the needs of everyone.
So please click here to fill out the survey regarding your top concerns related to COVID-19 and racial disparities. Your responses will remain anonymous and will help inform the work of the team from a community perspective.