DENVER – Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and announced new executive actions to protect the health and safety of Coloradans. At a news conference, Governor Polis announced the launch of the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.
“We are acting boldly and swiftly together to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. The science and data tells us this will get worse before it gets better,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are in this together and the state is taking the necessary actions to slow the spread of this disease.”
The Governor signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities.
This order also directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to support P-12 school systems in developing and implementing plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast, and offering waivers for instructional time as appropriate. Click here to read.
“Protecting the health of all Coloradoans is our top priority, and moving to online learning and other ways to support learning at home is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We know school leaders, educators and families will have a lot of questions about how to support their students’ learning at home during this unprecedented time. The department is working on guidance and developing resources to support our schools and students, and it will be available very soon.”
The Governor also announced that he would be extending the suspension of downhill ski area operations through April 6. COVID-19 has spread throughout many mountain communities where ski resorts are located and this is a necessary step to help slow the spread of the virus. Last week, the Governor issued an executive order suspending ski area operations until March 22. Click here to read the order.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, the Colorado Department of Public Health also issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people. Gatherings include community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals or any similar event that brings 10 or more people together. Click here to read.
Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at www.HelpColoradoNow.org.