Glenwood Springs limits overnight short-term lodging; recommences city construction projects

Overnight Lodging Restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO – Citing the health impacts of COVID-19, City Manager Debra Figueroa, acting as City Health Official, signed Public Health Order No. 1-20, prohibiting the non-critical operation of lodging facilities.  Given that the City of Glenwood Springs is a prominent tourist destination for domestic and international travelers, and the heightened risk of further Community Spread through public contacts among visitors, locals, and service providers, the City of Glenwood Springs has determined that the closure of short term lodging facilities to all non-critical lodgers, is imperative for public safety.

Effective 12 pm (MST) on April 6, 2020, no Lodging Facilities shall accept any new bookings or reservations during the Order which lasts through May 7, 2020.  Current reservations up to and including May 7, 2020 shall be cancelled for all Lodging Facilities.  Any current occupants of Lodging Facilities shall be permitted to remain until the end date of their reservations.

Exceptions to this restriction include reservations for employees of Critical Businesses as listed in Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Order 20-24, or those performing a Critical Government Function. In addition, booking a reservation is allowed for purposes of obtaining a primary place of residence.

The full City of Glenwood Springs Public Health Order is attached as approved.

“The continued risk of individuals unknowingly transmitting the virus from one community to another continues to be a big problem, even with well-intentioned travel. Minimizing travel between communities is one important piece of our fight against this virus. City Council found it necessary to make sure the lodging industry does not further contribute to community spread. Governor Polis has ordered people to stay home, and the City of Glenwood Springs is heading that message,” said Mayor Jonathan Godes.

City Construction Projects

City Council voted to recommence City construction projects that had previously been halted due to concerns for COVID-19 jobsite safety.  Moving forward all projects will be required to submit a COVID-19 Jobsite Safety Work Plan outlining how employees will maintain social distance and how critical activities will be conducted to avoid possible transmission. The State of Colorado CDPHE department has put out a COVID Multi-Industry Construction Guidance document that will be the minimum allowed for construction work site controls. Using the State guidance as a minimum plan, City staff will work with Contractor submitted Jobsite Safety Work Plans for approval. The Two Rivers Park restoration and boat ramp project will move forward. The City’s Elevated Waterline Insulation and Cedar Crest Neighborhood street/water/sewer improvement projects will be allowed to begin starting next week, April 6th.

Glenwood Springs limits overnight short-term lodging; recommences city construction projects

State health department distributes third allotment from Strategic National Stockpile

DENVER, April 3, 2020: The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) are distributing critical resources to help communities respond to COVID-19. This week, Colorado received a third allotment from the Strategic National Stockpile, which is being distributed across the state.  

The Strategic National Stockpile is “the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.” This week Colorado received its third allotment, which included:

  • 122,490 N95 masks
  • 287,022 surgical masks
  • 56,160 face shields
  • 57,300 surgical gowns
  • 392,000 gloves
  • 3,636 coveralls

Colorado has received a total of the following materials from all three allotments:

  • 220,010 N95 masks
  • 517,000 surgical masks
  • 100,232 face shields
  • 100,140 surgical gowns
  • 504,000 gloves
  • 3,816 coveralls

Information about the first allotment can be found here and the second allotment can be found here.

The State Unified Command Group, which is part of the State EOC, will distribute these materials to every county health department and tribe throughout the state where they are needed most. The following factors were used to determine allocation:

  • county population
  • portion of the population that is older than age 65 proportional to the state population
  • the number of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals
  • if the county or tribe has received supplies previously

All counties health departments and tribes in the state will receive supplies. CDPHE will work with regional staff to coordinate deliveries.

There are many ways people can contribute to these efforts:

  • The EOC is coordinating requests for supplies, donations of supplies, vendors who can provide supplies, and trained medical personnel. Please follow the three steps on the Colorado Business EOC website [colorado.gov/cobeoc/business-members-and-vendors] to create an account in the state resource database. The State EOC uses this database to fill all resource requests from state and local agencies during emergencies.
  • Coloradans who wish to donate or volunteer to help those affected by COVID-19 should visit www.helpcoloradonow.com.
  • There is an urgent need for blood. Go to vitalent.org to sign up to donate blood.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is meant for single-use and is recommended by the CDC to be used for COVID-19 testing. In order to preserve these important resources for critical health care needs, CDPHE is urging the public to not wait for a test to self-isolate. People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested right away. Call your health care provider only if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath. 

If you have any symptoms — even mild ones — public health urges you to stay home and isolate yourself until: 

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
  • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Anyone in your household you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.
  • If you have a medical emergency, call 911. If you have severe respiratory symptoms, especially shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tell the 911 dispatcher about your symptoms. Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.


El Departamento de Salud del Estado distribuye la tercera cuota de recursos de la Reserva Estratégica Nacional

DENVER, 3 de abril del 2020: El Centro de Operaciones de Emergencia del Estado de Colorado (EOC) y el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE) están distribuyendo recursos esenciales para ayudar a las comunidades a responder al COVID-19. Esta semana, Colorado recibió una tercera cuota de la Reserva Estratégica Nacional, que se empezará a distribuir en el estado.   

La Reserva Estratégica Nacional  es “el mayor suministro de la nación de productos farmacéuticos y suministros médicos con alta capacidad de salvar vidas para su uso en una emergencia de salud pública lo suficientemente grave como para agotar los suministros locales”. Esta semana, el estado de Colorado recibió la terca cuota de recursos, que incluyó los siguientes materiales:

  • 122,490 mascarillas N95
  • 287,022 mascarillas quirúrgicas
  • 56,160 protectores faciales
  • 57,300 batas quirúrgicas 
  • 392,000 guantes
  • 3,636 overoles

El estado de Colorado ha recibido la suma de los siguientes materiales de las tres cuotas correspondientes a la reserva:

  • 220,010 mascarillas N95
  • 517,000 mascarillas quirúrgicas
  • 100,232 protectores faciales
  • 100,140 batas quirúrgicas 
  • 504,000 guantes
  • 3,636 overoles

Le invitamos a consultar información acerca de la primera cuota aquí y de la segunda cuota aquí.

El Grupo de Comando Unificado del Estado, que es parte de la EOC, le distribuirá estos materiales a cada departamento de salud de los condados y tribus en todo el estado en donde más se necesiten. Se utilizaron los siguientes factores para determinar su asignación:

  • población del condado
  • porción de la población mayor de 65 años, proporcional a la población del estado
  • número de residencias y centros de asistencia para adultos mayores y hospitales
  • si el condado o la tribu ha recibido suministros con anterioridad

Todos los departamentos y tribus del estado recibirán suministros. El CDPHE comunicará con el personal de la región para coordinar las entregas.

Hay muchas maneras mediante las cuales las personas pueden contribuir a estos esfuerzos:

  • El EOC está coordinando las solicitudes y donaciones de suministros. De igual manera está coordinando con los proveedores de dichos suministros y con el personal médico capacitado. Por favor siga los tres pasos indicados en el sitio web del Colorado Business EOC [https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cobeoc/business-members-and-vendors] para crear una cuenta en la base de datos de recursos del estado. El EOC estatal utiliza esta base de datos para satisfacer todas las solicitudes de recursos de agencias estatales y locales durante una emergencia.
  • Los habitantes de Colorado que deseen donar o ser voluntarios para ayudar a los afectados por el COVID-19 deben visitar www.helpcoloradonow.com.
  • Hay una necesidad urgente de sangre. Consulte a vitalent.org para inscribirse y donar sangre.

El equipo de protección individual (EPI) está diseñado para un sólo uso y los CDC lo recomiendan para las pruebas del COVID-19. Con el fin de preservar estos importantes recursos para las necesidades críticas de atención médica, el CDPHE le insta al público a no esperar a llevarse a cabo una prueba para aislarse. Es posible que las personas que no corran un alto riesgo de enfermedad grave no necesiten ser evaluadas en persona o analizadas para detectar el COVID-19. No todas las personas con síntomas serán evaluadas de inmediato. Llame a su proveedor de atención médica sólo si su enfermedad se agrava, especialmente si tiene dificultad para respirar.

Si presenta algún síntoma — aunque sea leve —  la salud pública le exhorta a que permanezca en casa y se aísle hasta que: 

  • No haya tenido fiebre durante al menos 72 horas (sin el uso de medicamentos) Y
  • Otros síntomas (tos, sensación de falta de aire) hayan mejorado Y 
  • Hayan transcurrido al menos 7 días desde que aparecieron sus síntomas por primera vez.
  • Cualquier persona en su hogar con la que haya tenido contacto estrecho (de menos de 6 pies durante aproximadamente 10 minutos) debe someterse a cuarentena por 14 días, incluso si a usted no se le ha realizado la prueba del COVID-19.
  • Si tiene una emergencia médica, llame al 911. Si tiene síntomas respiratorios graves, especialmente dificultad para respirar o sensación de falta de aire, infórmele al operador del 911 de sus síntomas. No espere a que se le realice una prueba del COVID-19 para llamar al 911.

Actualizaciones en  covid19.colorado.gov.

State health department distributes third allotment from Strategic National Stockpile

CDOT and DNR remind people to avoid heading to the mountains this weekend

STATEWIDE — As the weekend approaches the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources are reminding people to resist the temptation to travel to the mountains for recreational activities. Staying close to home and limiting travel are essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.  

“The Governor has said it best, our mountains, rivers, forests, and trails will be there when this pandemic is over and Coloradans are recommended to avoid travel for recreational purposes,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Although we encourage people to get outside for their own well-being, Coloradans need to keep their recreational activity to local trails and parks, maintain social distancing guidance, and avoid dangerous activities to reduce the strain on our search and rescue and emergency teams.” 

As defined under Governor Polis’ statewide Stay-At-Home order, travel is limited to what is absolutely critical, such as obtaining food or medicine.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on hospitals and first responders everywhere — especially in smaller mountain communities where people often visit for recreation,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “One of the easiest ways people can help is by staying off the road. This reduces the potential for crashes and the resulting stress on our health care system and local emergency responders. Staying closer to home this weekend will be a safer choice for multiple reasons.”

Car crashes are consistently among the leading injury-related reasons for emergency room admissions in Colorado. Avoiding travel between cities and regions is an important part of limiting the spread of COVID-19 between different communities.

CDOT and DNR remind people to avoid heading to the mountains this weekend

Gov. Polis provides guidance to municipalities on local elections

DENVER – Gov. Polis issued guidance to municipalities across Colorado who are preparing for upcoming elections. 

“We want to ensure that Coloradans across our state are able to participate in their local elections and that this pandemic does not impact our democratic process,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s critical that Coloradans stay home during this time to the extent they can, but it’s also critical that they exercise their right to vote in all elections whether it’s for your fire district, electric coop, or town. Clerks have been working hard preparing for these elections, and we want to support them and hold them accountable for making sure Coloradans can safely exercise  our right to vote.

More than 100 municipal elections are being held on April 7 across Colorado. In an effort to preserve the right to vote in free and fair elections, and building on the work of the Colorado Municipal League (CML) and local elections administrators, Gov. Polis is issuing guidance to local municipalities to ensure that all Coloradans can vote safely. This includes:

  • Encouraging absentee methods of voting where possible
  • Following the social distance guidance provided in Public Health Order 20-24
  • Encouraging early voting and voting during off-peak hours, where voter crowds may be smaller throughout the day
  • Drive-up voting or ballot drop off for eligible voters
  • Consulting guidance provided by CML and local health agencies regarding how to safely conduct municipal elections

Read the full guidance here. Read CML’s guidance here.

Gov. Polis provides guidance to municipalities on local elections

City of Glenwood hosts community forum on Facebook

Councilor Paula Stepp, Dr. Alan Michael Vargas M.D, Grand River Health and Brisa Chavez, Garfield County Public Health, WIC Lead Educator, Hispanic Engagement Coordinator, will host a live community forum to present information regarding COVID-19 at 3 pm Friday, April 3, 2020. The live forum can be viewed at the City of Glenwood Springs’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/349862902017307/posts/1158084167861839/?d=n

La Concejal Paula Stepp, el Dr. Alan Michael Vargas MD, de Grand River Health y Brisa Chavez, Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield, Educadora de WIC y Coordinadora de Participación Hispana, organizarán un foro comunitario en vivo para presentar información sobre COVID-19 a las 3 pm el viernes 3 de abril, 2020. El foro en vivo se puede ver por la página de Facebook de la Ciudad de Glenwood Springs:  https://www.facebook.com/349862902017307/posts/1158084167861839/?d=n

City of Glenwood hosts community forum on Facebook

Roaring Fork Schools planning for school to resume through distance learning April 20

Beginning April 20, the Roaring Fork Schools will resume school through distance learning. Once distance learning begins, students will be asked to do specific learning activities and complete assignments by specific due dates. Teachers will be providing office hours and crew circles to keep students connected via Google Hangouts Meet. Elementary and middle schools will post grade-level ‘Week at a Glance’ documents to their websites each week, while high school teachers will post theirs in Schoology, the district’s learning management system. Special education and language development supports will also be provided during this time. 

“We have been very intentional with our timeline for launching distance learning. We wanted to make sure we had adequate time to prepare for this shift in how we are delivering school, which is a major departure for our students and teachers alike,” said Superintendent Rob Stein. “After watching other schools around the country quickly jump to implementing distance learning without great success, we are taking time to plan thoughtfully,” said Superintendent Rob Stein. 

Through April 20, the district is in what it has coined the “Ramp up to Distance Learning Phase,” which focuses on ensuring students reconnect with the learning community, providing students with structured activities allowing them to revisit key concepts, and preparing students for new methods of teaching and learning beginning April 20. Teachers and instructional leaders are currently developing online lesson plans and printed materials for younger students that will be sent home via food delivery routes or picked up at schools. Upon returning from spring break on Monday, district staff started calling families to check in and assess needs, including internet and computer access. Students in grades 3-12 are able to check out their school-owned Chromebooks in order to access digital learning resources. Information about free and low-cost internet options is being provided to families.

“Our plan is rooted in equity. Many students face barriers such as language, disability, or access to the internet which must be addressed before we attach any consequences to academic work or participation. Some students are caring for younger siblings. We need time to work through all of these issues before launching a formal distance learning program,” Stein said. “Our students are in school for 13 years, and right now, amidst change and crisis, the greatest need is to build a solid foundation for staying connected for the remainder of the school year.” 

The guiding principles for distance learning in the Roaring Fork Schools are engagement, belonging, equity, wellness, mastery, and simplicity, reflecting the district’s strategic plan as well as research from best practices in distance learning from leading organizations. 

Roaring Fork Schools planning for school to resume through distance learning April 20

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEVALLEY VIEW COVID-19 CUMULATIVE STATS

April 2, 2020, GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO – Valley View recognizes the importance of information during this COVID-19 pandemic. It will therefore start to share regular COVID-19 statistics with the media and our community. These statistics will hopefully affirm the collective importance of following public health guidance to best protect ourselves, our loved ones and fellow community members.

We’re all in this together. Please stay home and practice physical distancing. #FlattentheCurve

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 4/2/2020

Specimens collected thru Valley View: 175

Positive results: 22

Pending results: 2

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 11

Garfield County reported deaths: 1

Reported numbers are from Valley View only and could change at any time.

Definitions:

Specimens collected: These are specimens collected by Valley View providers that are sent to outside laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing. This is a cumulative number.

Positive results: These are the number of positive COVID-19 results returned from the Valley View specimens tested. This is a cumulative number.

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outreach began: Patients with a positive COVID-19 test who have been hospitalized at Valley View. This is a cumulative number.

Additional Questions:

“From whom is Valley View collecting specimens?” With limited testing resources, specimens are collected from only hospitalized and/or high-risk patients with a physician referral. This means that a special swab of the nose occurs, it is then placed in a tube and sent to an outside lab. “High risk” means those with the greatest risk for severe disease, complications and death.

“What is the turnaround for test results?” At this point, Valley View is receiving test results in approximately 24 to 48 hours.

“The number of positive tests is not the same as admitted patients. Why?” Not all positive patients require hospitalization. For patients with mild symptoms, his/her doctor may recommend that they recover at home with specific instructions (e.g. isolation, monitor symptoms). Other positive patients may be very ill and need hospitalization.

“What is the status of these individual hospitalized patients?” Per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Valley View will not speak to the specific status of an individual patient.

### 

About Valley View

Valley View is an independent, not-for-profit health system based in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Founded in 1955 with funds raised by the community, Valley View Hospital has evolved into a 78-bed multi-disciplinary facility providing a broad spectrum of health services with an integrated network of specialty centers and physician practices, including comprehensive cancer care, an interventional cardiology center and neurosurgical and orthopedic care. Valley View HealthCare is also located in Eagle, Silt and Willits. Local events and outreach efforts include community health fairs, blood drives, a physician-led education series, a kids and teen safety fair, and Rally the Valley, the signature event of the Valley View Foundation. Valley View is designated as a Planetree facility, representing the highest level of achievement in person-centered care. Valley View has been recognized for performance excellence from Healthgrades, J.D. Power & Associates, Truven Health “Top 100 Hospitals”, Survey Vitals and Consumer Reports. PeopleCare. That’s Valley View. www.vvh.org.  

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

COVID-19 special enrollment period for health insurance extended to April 30

Extension allows uninsured Coloradans more time to enroll during global pandemic

DENVER – The COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period for individual health insurance will be extended to run through April 30, 2020. The original period that was announced on March 19 was set to end on Friday, April 3. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has worked with Connect for Health Colorado to add nearly a month more for Coloradans who are currently uninsured to get health coverage.  

For anyone enrolling after April 3, their health insurance will become effective May 1. 

“We want to do everything we can to ensure Coloradans have the resources they need during this difficult time,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “As this pandemic continues, we know that having health insurance will be critical, which is why we are extending this enrollment period. Everyday my administration is evaluating what steps we can take to minimize the health impact and economic impact of this crisis.”

“I’m pleased that our team, and the folks at Connect for Health Colorado, have worked to make this happen,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “I urge everyone that doesn’t have insurance to work with Connect for Health Colorado to determine what insurance plans are available to them and to see if they qualify for financial assistance.” 

Only people who are currently uninsured are eligible to enroll, as this is not a period for people with coverage to change plans. Uninsured spouses and children will also be allowed to enroll at this time, even if one spouse or a child’s parent may already be insured. 

All individual insurance plans (meaning plans NOT from an employer) are available. People enrolling during this period only have to verbally attest that they are currently uninsured, and the insurance companies cannot require further proof of being uninsured. 

Colorado consumers are encouraged to enroll through our state’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Financial assistance for those who qualify is only available when enrolling through Connect for Health Colorado. Contact Connect at 855-752-6749 or find in-person assistance through their statewide network of certified experts at connectforhealthco.com/person-help, including appointments with a broker or assister by phone. In addition, Connect for Health offers tools such as the Quick Cost & Plan Finder that can help check eligibility for financial assistance while finding plans that fit consumers’ needs. 

Coloradans who lose their job, or who may lose their job in the coming weeks, and thus lose their employer-based health insurance, are reminded that loss of such coverage allows them a 60-day window to enroll in individual coverage, whenever that might happen throughout the year. See Connect for Health Colorado’s “When can I buy insurance?” page for details. 

___________________________________________

Extensión del periodo especial de inscripción de seguro médico debido al COVID-19 hasta el 30 de abril

La extensión les permite a los habitantes de Colorado sin seguro médico inscribirse durante esta emergencia de salud pública.   

DENVER – El periodo especial de inscripción de seguro médico individual debido al COVID-19 será extendido hasta el 30 de abril de 2020. El periodo original que se anunció el 19 de marzo tenía una fecha de término del viernes, 3 de abril. La División de Seguro de Colorado (DOI, siglas en inglés) y parte del Departamento de Agencias Regulatorias (DORA, siglas en inglés), han trabajado con Connect for Health Colorado para agregar casi un mes más para que los residentes de Colorado que actualmente no tienen seguro médico lo obtengan.   

Para cualquier persona que se inscribe después del 3 de abril, su seguro médico iniciará el 1 de mayo.

“Deseamos hacer todo lo que podamos para garantizar que los habitantes de Colorado tengan los recursos que necesitan durante este periodo difícil,” indicó Gobernador Polis. “A medida que continúa esta pandemia, sabemos que tener seguro médico será crítico y es por esta razón que estamos extendiendo este periodo de inscripción. Todos los días, mi administración está evaluando qué pasos podemos tomar para minimizar el impacto en la salud y el impacto económico de esta crisis”.

“Me complace que nuestro equipo y las personas en Connect for Health Colorado hayan trabajado para lograr esto,” indicó Michael Conway, Comisionado de Seguro de Colorado. “Exhorto a todas las personas que no tengan seguro médico a trabajar con Connect for Health Colorado para determinar cuáles planes de seguro están disponibles para ellos y para enterarse si cumplen con los requisitos para recibir asistencia financiera”. 

Solamente las personas que actualmente no tengan seguro médico cumplen con los requisitos para inscribirse, ya que este no es un periodo para que cambien sus planes las personas que ya tienen cobertura. Los conyugues y los niños sin seguro médico también podrán inscribirse en este momento, incluso si el otro cónyuge o padre del niño ya tiene seguro.

Todos los planes individuales de seguro médico (o sea, NO planes de un empleado) están disponibles. Las personas que se registren durante este periodo solamente deben atestiguar verbalmente que no tienen seguro actualmente y, las compañías de seguro médico no pueden requerir pruebas adicionales de que no tengan seguro médico. 

Se les motiva a los consumidores de Colorado a inscribirse en nuestro mercado estatal, Connect for Health Colorado. La asistencia financiera para las personas que cumplen con los requisitos solamente está disponible al registrarse mediante Connect for Health Colorado. Contacte a Connect for Health Colorado al número 855-752-6749 o encuentre asistencia en persona mediante la red estatal de expertos certificados en la página connectforhealthco.com/person-help, lo que incluye una cita con un agente o asistente por teléfono. Además, Connect for Health Colorado ofrece herramientas como el Quick Cost & Plan Finder (Buscador rápido de precios y planes), el cual puede ayudar a las personas a revisar si cumplen con los requisitos para recibir asistencia financiera y a la vez ayudarles a encontrar un plan que encaje con sus necesidades. 

Se les recuerda a los habitantes de Colorado que han perdido su trabajo y que posiblemente perderán sus trabajos en las próximas semanas, junto con el seguro médico de su empleador, que tal pérdida de cobertura les permite un periodo de 60 días de inscripción para recibir cobertura médica individual, sin importar cuando ocurra durante el año. Visite la página “¿Cuándo puedo adquirir un seguro?” de Connect for Health Colorado para obtener más detalles.    

COVID-19 special enrollment period for health insurance extended to April 30

Gov. Polis Sends Letter to Vice President Pence Requesting Additional PPE to Address Shortage

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis discussed Colorado’s personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage at a news conference on Wednesday, April 1. On March 28, Governor Polis sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence requesting additional PPE and ventilators to address the severe shortage Colorado is facing.

“We are facing a crisis-level shortage of these essential supplies to protect our health care workers and first responders. Colorado’s COVID-19 death rate is rising faster than any other state right now; the pandemic is spreading so fast that lags in testing are masking the true conditions experienced by Coloradans across the state,” Governor Polis wrote. 

As reflected in requests to FEMA and HHS, Colorado needs:

  • 10,000 ventilators, and associated equipment and pharmaceuticals
  • 2,000,000 N95 masks
  • 4,460,000 surgical masks
  • 720,000 gowns
  • 880,000 face shields
  • 4,300,000 pair gloves — small, medium, and large

“I am asking that you increase the ventilators and PPE that is being sent to Colorado for this critical moment, to help us safely cross the bridge ahead of us until we can start to reap the benefits of our other unprecedented procurement and manufacturing efforts,” the Governor’s letter concludes. Read Governor Polis letter to Vice President Pence here.

Gov. Polis Sends Letter to Vice President Pence Requesting Additional PPE to Address Shortage

Gov. Polis provides update on state’s response to COVID-19

CENTENNIAL – Gov. Polis today provided an update to the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is one of the greatest challenges we’ve ever faced. The more we stay home, the sooner we’ll be able to squash this threat, start earning money, and support our families,” said Governor Jared Polis. “At this point of this crisis, masks and gloves equals lives. Ventilators equals lives. We will continue to work with new suppliers in the private sector until Colorado’s needs are met. My administration is moving heaven and earth to acquire the needed materials to support the expected medical surge, and ensure that we can do adequate testing so that we can better isolate and contain future cases.”

The Governor provided an update on the State’s severe need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and what the State is doing to get that necessary equipment it needs to ensure the supply needs for Coloradans are met.  The Governor also discussed the surge of patients Colorado hospitals should expect to see in the coming months and how hospitals are preparing to respond, including a tiered system for how patients will be classified. View the full presentation here

Scott Bookman, incident commander for the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment outlined the key operating assumptions for the state and wildly important goals for the state to: 

  • Support healthcare systems with coordinated access to private sector resources to acquire PPE, ventilators, and other equipment. 
  • Coordinate the recruitment and utilization of volunteer medical professionals to provide surge capacity within the healthcare system. 
  • Provide information on the status of the healthcare system
    Create systems that overlay the normal healthcare system to provide coordination and response when the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed.

“I believe that this plan — along with the drastic physical distancing measures that we are all taking — will allow us to deal with the surge of patients without overwhelming our public health capacity here in Colorado,” Bookman said. 

The Governor thanked the National Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, health care workers, state workers and everyone working hard to respond to this pandemic and continued to urge Coloradans to stay home.  The Governor encouraged Coloradans with medical training to help bolster medical staff by signing up to volunteer at HelpColoradoNow.org and thanked the 2,500 medical volunteers who have stepped up. 

Gov. Polis also announced that he would extend the suspension of normal in-person learning at all public and private elementary and secondary schools until April 30.  Read the full Executive Order here

The Governor signed an Executive Order expanding the use of telehealth services. This will increase the capacity of the state’s health care system, help preserve critical personal protective equipment needed for medical professionals on the front lines, and allow Coloradans to meet with a doctor remotely. Telecommunications providers have made a commitment to ensure that telehealth services can be effectively delivered in Colorado communities. Read the full Executive Order here

The Governor also provided guidance to all State agencies and departments, as well as the public, on methods of service of process. View the guidance here

The state’s special enrollment period for the state’s health care exchange is ending on Friday. Visit connectforhealthco.com and enroll today.

Upon reports of an alarming increase in people who own a second home in the mountains traveling there, the Governor passed along an important announcement on behalf of Gunnison County, and other mountain resort communities who might echo it: please stay in your primary residence and do not put extra pressure on Colorado’s mountain health care systems.

April 1 is Census Day and Gov. Polis encouraged all Coloradans to fill out the census from the safety of their homes. The census is a crucial tool to ensure the people of Colorado get access to the resources they need to thrive, both now and in the future. It also ensures that Colorado is fairly represented in Congress.

Gov. Polis provides update on state’s response to COVID-19