Senator Steve Fenberg | COVID-19 Update
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COVID-19 Update

03 Apr COVID-19 Update

 

Updates from the Capitol

There have been a few updates since the Governor’s Stay-At-Home announcement last week, and those have been added to his most recent public health order. The Governor has also extended school closures and provided updates on what the state is doing to secure hospital beds, ventilators, and personal protection equipment. The good news is that the latest data shows that the rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Colorado may have slowed a bit, but the peak is still expected to be at least a few weeks away. 

Next week, I’ll be hosting two telephone town halls. We’ll send more details out shortly, but wanted to get them on your radar now:

Student Debt Town Hall with New Era Colorado
Thursday, April 9th from 3-4pm

COVID-19 Town Hall with Congressman Joe Neguse
Friday, April 10th from 5-6pm

In this week’s email, I want to highlight some new developments, both at the state level and at the federal level. In addition to what is listed below, please follow the State of Colorado’s webpage that posts current updates, along with a list of resources.

As always, I will continue to frequently update my Facebook and Twitter with important information, and let you know of any important developments.

 

 

The Supreme Court Weighs In

Just before suspending the legislative session a few weeks ago, we submitted an interrogatory (a fancy term that means “question”) to the CO Supreme Court to ask if we can come back to session after this public health crisis is behind us. Fortunately, the court ruled in our favor and decided that the legislature can return back to work to extend session once this public health crisis is further behind us. Read the article from the Colorado Sun about this here.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

 

State response 

  • Governor Polis instituted a statewide Stay-At-Home order that went into effect at 6am on Thursday morning, March 26, and lasts until Saturday, April 11, 2020.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court ruled, on April 1, in favor of Colorado Democrats that the legislature can return back to work to extend session once this public health crisis is further behind us. This ruling means that when we return to the Capitol, we’ll have time to pass legislation to get Colorado back on its feet. Read the article from the Colorado Sun about this here.
  • Boulder County will receive $485,056 in federal Community Development Block Grants, secured through the $2 trillion federal relief package. U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse’s office announced the grant for the county Thursday, and more information will be coming shortly.
  • Governor Polis ordered school campuses across Colorado to remain closed for in-person learning through April 30.
  • If you are a small business looking for help navigating the relief options, please reach out to the Small Business Assistance Hotline: (303) 860-5881.
  • The special enrollment period for health insurance was extended to April 30th. For more information, please go to Connect for Health Colorado.
  • Unfortunately, some people are taking advantage of the situation and there have been many reports of schemes that result in stolen funds and/or identity theft. Beware! And please report any concerns to stopfraudcolorado.gov.
  • The Governor announced a plan to add patient facilities due to the expected overcrowding during the month of April. He added that the State is aiming to add 12,000 hospital beds.

 

 

Federal response

  • Congress passed a $2 trillion relief package which was signed into law by the President on March 27. The bill ensures that up to 90% of adults in the United States will receive a one-time payment of $1,200, with a $500 addition per dependent child. Payments will be in the form of a check or direct deposit and will likely be processed in a matter of weeks.
  • The White House officially extended social distancing guidelines through the end of April.
  • During a press conference on April 1, the President noted that medical equipment is being sent directly to hospitals, not the national stockpile.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that a select bipartisan committee will be created to oversee the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the management of the most recent relief package.

 

 

Stay Informed 
For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

Para información sobre COVID19 en Español haga clic aquí (Proporcionado por Denver Health).

 

 

Resources

 

 

Children & Family Services

Food Assistance

  • Boulder Valley School District is distributing several meals’ worth of food items and fresh produce to families on, and after, March 30, between 11:30am – 1:30pm. They will not be offered next as the District is in Spring Break. The addresses for each of the following location can be found on the BVSD website.
    • Creekside Elementary School
    • Crest View Elementary School
    • Columbine Elementary School
    • Emerald Elementary School
    • Louisville Middle School
    • Nederland Middle-Senior High School
    • Pioneer Elementary
    • University Hill Elementary School
    • Sanchez Elementary School
  • St. Vrain Valley School District is operating 11 drive-through pick-up sites where students, families, and staff can receive lunch and breakfast food items between 11:00am-12:30pm. (Due to anticipated weather on Thursday, March 19, no meal distribution is planned, but will resume on Friday, March 20.) Addresses fro the following SVVSD meal distribution locations can be found on the SVVSD website.
    • Timberline PK-8
    • Northridge Elementary School
    • Altona Middle School
    • Sunset Middle School
    • Soaring Heights PK-8
    • Frederick High School
    • Mead Middle School
    • Lyons High School
    • Hygiene Elementary School (12:00 – 12:30 only)
    • Niwot High School (11:00 – 11:30 only)
    • Learning Services Center (11:00 – 11:30 only)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps individuals and families buy food that is healthy and nutritious. Apply for Health First Colorado through Colorado PEAK.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder offers grab-and-go food bags for pick up at their main office on Yarmouth during regular business hours for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Mental Health

  • Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health of substance use challenges.
  • Colorado Crisis Services: If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or you can text TALK to 38255.
  • Mental Health Partners is still taking new clients, using telehealth sessions for assessments and evaluations. Please call 303-443-8500 to access those services. 

Rent and Utilities

  • A guide for tenants in Colorado has been created by housing advocates to answer many frequently asked questions related to paying rent, relationships with landlords, and evictions. It can be found here.
  • Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) provides financial assistance for utilities, rent, or mortgages for Boulder and southern mountain residents.
  • Coordinated Entry staff will be working remotely and will be conducting assessments via phone only. If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance, call 720-386-9002.
    • Longmont Coordinated Entry: Client should call 303-579-7364 between noon-2:00pm.
    • Boulder Coordinated: Clients should call 303-579-4404 (daily 10:00am – 4:00pm except Tuesdays, from noon-4:00pm).
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assists low-income families and individuals with their heating costs (ends April 30th).
  • Energy Outreach Colorado is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Coloradans pay their utility bills during hardship.
  • Xcel Energy agreed not to disconnect residential customers until further notice.
  • Comcast is increasing internet speeds for all customers and offering 60 days of free internet services to low-income families.
  • Additional resources for assistance with payment of rent, mortgagen and utility bills can be found by calling 211 or by visiting www.211colorado.org.

Unemployment

  • The Governor has ordered up to four days of paid sick leave for certain workers experiencing flu-like symptoms and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
  • Anyone who has lost their job or had their hours cut due this pandemic may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • For employers looking to avoid layoffs, CDLE’s Work-Share Program allows eligible employees to work fewer hours and collect partial unemployment benefits.

 

 

Additional resources

To prioritize your own health and safety, please consult with local health care professionals, and take advantage of the resources that have been provided. Below is some information with up

 

 

Ways to Donate & Volunteer

 

 

If you’d like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Also, private sector companies who want to partner with us on acquiring testing, critical constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please also go to https://covrn.com/#Join-Innovation-response-team.

 

 

Personal Protective Equipment

To donate PPE keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state’s COVID19 response. If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment donate these supplies to your local public health department, local community health center, community clinic, or local hospital. If you have more than 25 boxes, or the pieces of larger equipment such as anesthesia machines or ventilators, fill out THIS FORM.

 

 

If there is anything my office can do to help, please feel free to reach out and we’ll do everything we can to get you answers to questions or point you in the right direction.

Stay safe,