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DENVER – Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. The Governor also announced the launch of a social media push to encourage Coloradans to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The digital campaign is called #DoingMyPartCO.
“Doing right by our fellow Coloradans is about more than just protecting our health care system, health care workers, and our most vulnerable populations. Science tells us that doing good deeds helps our own mental health, which will continue to be a challenge for Coloradans in the weeks ahead,” said Governor Polis. “It’s not going to be easy, but the more seriously we take this public health emergency, the better we can weather the storm and get through this crisis with as little damage as possible.”
The Governor continued to reiterate the goal of flattening the curve to stop the spread of this virus. The Governor announced that tomorrow CDPHE will open a testing site outside Telluride in partnership with San Miguel County. This testing site will serve about 100 high-risk patients who have been pre-selected by area health care providers as a priority for being tested. The site will not accept walk-up or drive-up patients.
The state of Colorado is amplifying support for communities across the state and increasing testing capabilities in mountain communities. This is why today Colorado welcomed 50 nurses dedicated to help with the state’s COVID-19 response. This effort was made possible from a portion of the $3 million from the Disaster Emergency Fund ordered in Gov. Polis Executive Order. The Governor continued to encourage Coloradans to engage in aggressive social distancing measures.
The state issued a public health order on the temporary suspension of dine-in service at restaurants and bars. The public health order is effective March 17, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., and for the next 30 days closes brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, public bars, taverns, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, Cigar bars, gyms, gymnasiums, theaters, casinos, movie and performance theaters, opera houses, concert halls, and music halls, restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption. These places are encouraged to offer food and beverage using a delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service.
The restrictions imposed by this order do not apply to any of the following: Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverage not for on-premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries, Room service in hotels, Health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities; Crisis shelters or similar institutions; Food courts inside the secured zones of airports; and any emergency facilities necessary for the response to these events.
Read the public health order here.
Colorado’s Unemployment Insurance Division is responding to questions from both employers and workers impacted by closures as a result of the Coronavirus. Employees who see a reduction in hours or layoffs are encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits, which can provide partial wage replacement, at https://www.colorado.gov/cdle/unemployment
Employers may also be eligible for programs to avoid layoffs like Colorado’s Work Share program, which allows employers to split the cost to retain employees with Unemployment Insurance.
We know that we will need extra staff to contend with a surge in cases in the very near future. The state’s jobs database – ConnectingColorado.com – will continue to post listings for statewide jobs available.
The Governor also announced DMVs and all DOR facilities will be closed to the public for one month from March 18 – April 18. But many operations and processes will continue.
All state driver license offices will be closed to the public but will continue to process online license and ID renewals and other DMV online services. Those that cannot complete renewals online are encouraged to call the DMV call center at 303-205-5600, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Coloradans specifically seeking CO-RCSA services or information should call 303-205-2335. Customers who have appointments will need to reschedule them once normal operations resume but are encouraged to try the many online services available at https://mydmv.colorado.gov/_/
The Governor provided the public and parents with an update that the Colorado Department of Education has received a waiver from the US Dept. of Agriculture to continue serving free and reduced meals to our students while schools are closed.
The Governor announced the launch of the Doing My Part CO digital campaign where the Governor and the administration are encouraging folks to do the right thing and share it on social media with the hashtag #DoingMyPartCO and challenging five friends to do the same. For example, challenging people on social media to share photos and videos of practicing proper hygiene and social distancing, or getting groceries or medicine for an elderly neighbor.