Gov. Polis takes action on statewide fires

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order and extension memorializing his verbal disaster declaration on August 18, 2020, due to multiple fires statewide and authorizing the use of the Colorado National Guard to support firefighting operations throughout the state.

The executive orders also authorize the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to temporarily suspend certain regulations, certifications, and licensing requirements for out-of-state providers of emergency medical services and physician medical directors to provide support for fire response in Colorado.  

Gov. Polis takes action on statewide fires

Governor Polis announces state has delivered more than 1 million masks to school teachers

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis announced today the State of Colorado has provided 1,112,000 medical-grade masks to public and private teachers and student facing faculty this fall in order to help keep them safe from COVID-19.

“This is a challenging time for students, parents, and teachers which is why the State committed to providing teachers with masks, and today we are thrilled to announce that the State has provided over 1 million masks to Colorado’s teachers,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’ve visited schools across Colorado and have heard from teachers, superintendents, and educators about how they believe mask-wearing is important to keep themselves and students safe and to ensure we can overcome the challenges created by this virus together. I also want to extend my thanks to the State Emergency Operations Center and Colorado Department of Education staff members who worked tirelessly to ensure these masks were delivered to our teachers.” 

In July, Gov. Polis announced that the state would be distributing  KN95 masks to teachers each week in public schools across the state for at least 10 weeks, regardless of whether the school is starting in-person, in a hybrid manner, or remotely. The week of September 14 marked the seventh week of this program. This summer, the governor also announced it would also provide masks to private school teachers across the state.

Governor Polis announces state has delivered more than 1 million masks to school teachers

Gov. Polis takes action on learning pods, extends alternate care sites executive order

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order facilitating learning pods due to the presence of COVID-19.

“This executive order temporarily suspends statute to facilitate learning pods due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado, and to balance health and safety with needed flexibility for supervision and care of children who are learning remotely during this pandemic,” the executive order reads.

Gov. Polis also extended an executive order allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado due to COVID-19.

Gov. Polis takes action on learning pods, extends alternate care sites executive order

Governor Polis signs executive orders related to wildfires and National Guard

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis took action around the Grizzly Creek Fire and the Colorado National Guard. 

Gov. Polis today signed an executive order declaring a state of disaster emergency due to the Grizzly Creek Fire in Garfield and Eagle counties and related damage to Interstate 70, enabling state agencies to coordinate and making resources available for fire suppression, response, consequence management, and recovery efforts. The Grizzly Creek Fire is now 91% contained. 

Gov. Polis extended an executive order calling certain elements of the Colorado National Guard to state active duty for the purpose of force protection. This executive order has been extended by governors for over a decade.

“The Colorado National Guard plays a critical role in the State’s emergency preparedness and protection. The Colorado National Guard is a supporting agency for nearly every State emergency function including Homeland Security and Homeland Defense plans,” the executive order reads. 

Governor Polis signs executive orders related to wildfires and National Guard

Gov. Polis Launches $32 Million RISE Education Fund

Response, Innovation, & Student Equity (RISE)

Education Fund 

DENVER- Governor Jared Polis launched the$32.7 million Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Education(RISE)fund today to support high-needs school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education in creating sustainable innovations to improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency for pre-K-12 through higher education. 

“We must do more to expand opportunities for every student to receive an education that prepares them for a bright future. Which is why I’m thrilled to announce this transformative funding program that supports real innovation to close equity gaps in our communities, help our students rise, and share what works with others,” said Gov. Polis.

The RISE Education Fund utilizes federal funds from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, included as part of the CARES Act. The fund will support innovative, locally driven solutions, help to address broad structural challenges that have the potential to be replicated in the future, and advance equity by reaching those students most likely to have been affected by the economic, social, and health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Specific areas of focus include providing new student-focused models of learning, dramatically rethinking the student experience for higher education, strengthening and formalizing linkages between P-12, higher education, and industry, and catalyzing innovations that can drive long-term impact after the life of the grant. Priority will be given to proposals that serve rural areas, propose to serve schools or school districts in priority improvement or turnaround status, and those that address significant equity gaps. 

“The RISE Fund is a unique opportunity amid all the hardship and challenges schools, districts, students and families have been facing,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “I appreciate the governor’s leadership in creating the RISE Fund and I encourage our districts to take advantage of this opportunity to use what we have learned so far in this pandemic to think creatively and innovatively about solutions to today’s challenges that could lead to lasting positive changes in our ability to support all students for years to come.”  

“This fund will help address the impact our colleges and universities face as a result of the pandemic and ask them to innovate and enhance efficiencies to improve higher education in the state,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.  “I challenge our institutions to rethink the student experience and keep equity in the forefront of their proposals. Thank you, Gov. Polis, for prioritizing the hearts and minds of our students through the P-20 Equity and Innovation Fund.”

The deadline for the first round of applications is October 17, 2020. Applicants can find more information about the grant here. Applications will be reviewed by a grant selection committee composed of parents, educators, students, education leaders, and other community members appointed by Governor Polis and chaired by Gary Community Investments President and CEO, Mike Johnston.

The RISE Fund is an incredible opportunity to support the students and communities who have been hit hardest by COVID,” said Mike Johnston, chair of the grant selection committee and CEO of Gary Community Investments. “And while we want to help solve the inequalities that have been exacerbated through COVID, we really want to create the innovation that will directly address the underlying inequities that have always been present in underserved communities.”

In addition to the RISE Fund, the Governor announced a public-private partnership with funders, including the Gates Family Foundation and Gary Community Investments, to provide resources and strategic design support for applicants to ensure the fund reaches a diversity of geographies across the state. Grants will be available to assist applicants who plan to apply for the second deadline of December 19, 2020 to ensure a robust community engagement and strategic design process for communities that need more time and resources to put forward quality applications. Applicants can find more information about this fund here.   

“We want to help the widest range of applicants score high on their proposals, by giving them more time, resources, and strategic design support to strengthen their applications,” said Mary Seawell, Senior Vice President for Education with Colorado’s Gates Family Foundation. “This support will help applicants ensure their initiatives are as strong as their commitment to students and educators.”

Gov. Polis Launches $32 Million RISE Education Fund

Governor Polis provides update on response to COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic today. Gov. Polis was joined by Sarah Tuneberg, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Brittany Bowlen, Denver Broncos to announce that the Broncos will have limited capacity starting on Sept. 27 when the Broncos square off against Tampa Bay.

“Colorado is Broncos Country and I know that everyone, including my family, has been eager to get back to football Sundays and I am thrilled to announce today that for the Denver Broncos’ game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 27, we will be allowing a limited number of fans to attend,” said Gov. Polis. “We are able to take this step due to Coloradans doing our part in wearing masks and avoiding large groups and the commitment and dedication of the Broncos to go above and beyond in putting together an experience for fans that is as safe as possible. As I’ve been saying all along, this virus isn’t going away any time soon and we’ve got to figure out a way to live with this virus.”

Capacity at the stadium will initially be limited to about 7.5% of the stadium capacity or approximately 5,700 fans. Due to its very large size, the stadium is set up as a series of outdoor events, all following the state’s outdoor event guidance. The state and the Broncos organization will continue working together to ensure the safety of fans and players is protected and they will together re-evaluate increasing fan attendance for future home games. 

Every fan entering the stadium will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing like they would in any other public place. Any fan who does not comply with mask-wearing guidelines or social distancing requirements will be required to leave the stadium. Tailgating is not permitted in parking lots and congregating in parking lots, concourses or the stadium bowl is prohibited.

The franchise will assign entry gates based on seat location and Broncos fans are asked to provide additional time in order to abide by social distancing requirements during the security process. 

Fans should stay home if they are sick, showing any COVID-19 symptoms or if they have come in close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19. Please visit one of the state’s free, quick and easy community testing sites to get tested for COVID-19.  

The organization has set up safety enhancements at Empower Field at Mile High, staff will go through a health screening and temperature check, are required to wear PPE at all times, and Broncos staff will have gone through COVID-19 safety training.  The Broncos have received this approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, per the public health order requiring professional sports to get any plans for spectators approved by the state. Other venues interested in taking a similar approach must apply for a variance in conjunction with their local health department. 

Gov. Polis was joined by Sarah Tuneberg, Senior COVID-19 Advisory, and Innovation Response Team Leader, to announce a new partnership between the state of Colorado and Google and Apple that will leverage cutting-edge technology to help us slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s called Exposure Notification services that all Coloradans can opt-in to on their phone later this month. This mobile phone service will allow people to know if they might have been exposed to COVID without compromising their privacy or data. This is entirely optional. Privacy and security are at the core of the design of the service. The service will be offered to both iOs and Android users in Colorado. If someone opts-in, they can be notified if they’ve been exposed to the virus from another person also using the service. 

The technology does not track location and does not share anyone’s identity with Google, Apple, other users, or the State. But, it can give an early heads up if someone using the service has been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Every Coloradan can make the individual choice if they’d like to use this service. Colorado is one of the first states in the country to deploy this technology. Read the frequently asked questions.

In addition, the governor announced that three counties would be moving into the Protect Our Neighbors level: Mesa, Gilpin, and Rio Blanco. 

Gov. Polis today also took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, extending executive orders temporarily suspending certain statutes to maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan, providing assistance to residential and commercial tenants at risk for eviction, and ordering expedited unemployment insurance (UI) claim processing

Watch today’s news conference. 

Governor Polis provides update on response to COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis took action to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the current economic disruption due to the presence of COVID-19. 

The governor also extended an executive order temporarily suspending certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities due to the presence of COVID-19.  

In addition, the governor extended an executive order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. 

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis took action to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor extended and amended an executive order concerning changes to 2020 election activity to limit in-person contact while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the secretary of state’s operations.  This executive order temporarily suspends the requirements for any notarization or handwritten signature in any rules, regulations, or forms regarding the certification or acceptance of nomination, selection, or appointment. 

The governor extended the Protect Our Neighbors executive order. The governor also extended an executive order ordering the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Polis announces 6th round of COVID relief fund awards

DENVER – Gov. Jared Polis today announced the 6th round of COVID Relief Fund grantees. 

“The generous donations of businesses, organizations, and individuals at helpColoradonow.org are critical to supporting people on the ground who are working to help those who have been directly impacted by this virus,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’ve been fortunate enough to visit with several organizations doing this work and I’m proud of the way Coloradans have stepped up to support their efforts. While we are moving in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to do.  I know that by coming together and supporting these local efforts, we can come out of this even stronger.” 

During the sixth round, the COVID Relief Fund awarded 78 individual applications for a total of $1,778,050. New to this deadline, the Fund began accepting applications from collaborative efforts that include three or more organizations to encourage community and regional coordination. In the sixth round, the Fund awarded grants to 19 collaborative applications for a total of $1,581,000. In total, during the sixth round the Relief Fund awarded 97 grants for a total of $3,359,050.  

To date, the fund has raised more than $22 million and distributed $19.7 million to nearly 800 organizations serving Coloradans in all 64 counties. 

View the full list of grantees, cycles 1-6. View the list of donors. Visit helpcoloradonow.org to learn more.  

Governor Polis announces 6th round of COVID relief fund awards