Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Tuesday, there were 14,316 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 736 deaths. There are 2,775 cases and 164 deaths in Denver.   Please continue to stay home. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the General Assembly temporarily adjourned on March 14th. Since then, I have been working hard from a distance, including advocating for the state to  collect and publicize   race data related to COVID-19, ensure that folks have access to benefits, and responding to the needs of our community.  

Even though the outbreak in Colorado is far from over, the legislature will reconvene on May 18th. We must pass the state budget by its June 30th deadline and other critical pieces of legislation like the school finance act .

But it is not going to be easy. The disruption to Colorado's economy caused by COVID-19 has put the state in rough financial shape, and the tools available to us to address our financial state are limited by TABOR . As a result it will be almost impossible to maintain current funding for vital programs.

Budget experts are predicting that the state will receive $3 billion less than planned , between this fiscal year (ending June 30th) and next fiscal year (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021). That's roughly 10% of the budget Governor Polis proposed in November

We will have to make tough choices to balance the budget. The Governor has already asked state agencies to recommend  more than $40 million  of budget cuts, across all departments, between April and June of this year. These cuts will be tough and it will important for all of us to make certain that these cuts reflect our values as a state.

There is some good news:  Colorado expects to receive as much as $2.5 billion in federal aid However, most of that money could be restricted to covering programs directly related to COVID-19, like rent assistance, rather than fun ding regular spending priorities like K-12 and higher education.

This is going to be the most difficult session since I was elected. Many bills that are desperately needed will need to be postponed until another year, and I am not looking forward to making the difficult budget choices necessitated by this crisis. But throughout this process, I promise to keep you informed, and I promise to do everything I can to continue to fight for our vulnerable communities.

Let's recover strong. We will get through this together.  

Boldly Forward,

P.S.  In an attempt to keep folks informed, I have been sending more frequent updates and created a  COVID-19 resources page  on my website. Click  here  to suggest a new resource. As always, follow me on  facebook twitter , and  instagram   for updates on COVID-19. 
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

For telehealth providers and nurselines, click here.

For info and resources in Spanish (Español)click here  (ACLU of Colorado).
COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall: Racial Disparities and Immigrant Communities

Join me. Rep. Jonathan Singer, and a panel of guest speakers for a  discussion on racial disparities and immigrant communities. 

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29th at 6 PM

Where: Zoom! R egister here 

Guest Speakers:
ACLU Webinar: Ensuring Racial Equity During COVID-19 (And Beyond)

Join us for a webinar to address, through a racial lens, the collection and reporting of demographic data of COVID-19 cases in Colorado, how to address the racial inequities of the COVID-19 response, and resources available to communities of color.

When: Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 PM
Where: Your house! Register here
Facebook Live Town Hall!

Join me and elected officials from Northeast and Far Northeast Denver for our weekly Facebook LIVE town hall on COVID-19.

When: Friday, May 1st, 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Facebook event: here  
Stay-at-Home Orders and 'Safer-at Home'
Updated 4/27 at 1 PM

The statewide stay-at-home order has ended. Counties with local restrictions can continue to enforce them. 

Governor Polis has  announced a new 'safer-at-home' phase starting today, Monday, April 27th, which will have many of the same recommendations and restrictions currently in effect, while allowing for a gradual reopening. Read the executive order here .

P lease call 3-1-1 to report Denver businesses that you believe should be closed, that are not practicing social distancing, that are not maintaining a clean and safe work environment, or that are violating any other city laws. 
COVID-19 By The  Numbers
Updated 4.28 at 5:02 PM

2,775 cases and 164 deaths.  [ Source ]

437 new cases were reported on Tuesday for a total of 14,316 cases and 736 deaths.   [ Source ]

United States
New York leads the nation in total cases (295,137)  and total deaths (17,638). 
Other states with high case totals include  New Jersey (113,856), Massachusetts (56,462), and Illinois (45,883). [ Source ]

The United States leads the world in new cases (23,196), total cases (1,029,878), and total deaths (58,640).  Other nations with high numbers of new cases include France (3,742), the UK (4,309), and Russia (6,198) .  [Source]. 

After large outbreaks,  South Korea has been reporting less than 100 new cases per day, and Germany has a maintained a low death rate.
Updated 4.27 at 3 PM

NEW: I ndependent contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals can now apply for unemployment benefits  hereState benefits are retroactive to February 2nd and the federal $600 per week is retroactive to March 29th, for those individuals who qualify. 

Note: if you had more than $2,500 in W-2 income, you must apply for benefits through the regular state unemployment portal here. This applies even if you had substantial income from non W-2 sources.

Governor Polis has taken the following executive actions:

Delaying the due date for business sales tax from April 20th to May 20th.

Allowing homeowners to split their property tax payments over April and May.

For Individuals and Businesses in Denver: 

Denver small businesses can seek cash grants of up to $7,500 from a $4 million relief fund created by Mayor Hancock and the City of Denver. Apply here.

Denver has announced initial Economic Relief Package for Business and Employees. Read more about these packages here.
Additional COVID Updates from Governor Polis and Mayor Hancock
Updated 4/27 at 2 PM

Denver is banning alcohol and group sports in city parks until July 23rd. 

Elective surgeries and medical procedures are allowed to resume.

Governor Polis announced new regulations to keep residents of senior living facilities safe. Read more here.

Essential workers and government employees are required to cover their faces when close to colleagues or the public. [ Full text]

Governor Polis announced the formation of a health equity response task force to ensure equitable access to care and testing for all Coloradans. The state will also be providing new COVID-19 updates including racial data.

Individuals can obtain a marriage license remotely . [ Full text ]

The Department of Corrections will have greater flexibility to manage the prison population in order to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak behind bars. [Full text]

Remote notarizations will be permitted. [Full text]

Restaurants can sell alcohol for take-out or delivery. This website lists Metro Denver and Boulder restaurants that are still open.

Click here for a full list of the Governor's executive orders.
Updated 4.27 at 2 PM

Small Business Support. new package of support for small businesses and hospitals has been signed into law, including $310 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program.  Apply now.

$1,200 Economic Assistance Payments 
Who is eligible? Single adults with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents and make $75,000 or less will  receive  $1,200 ($2,400 for a couple), which phases out for individuals making more than $99,000 or couples making more than $198,000. Eligible individuals will also receive $500 for each child 16 and younger. FAQ here.

Individuals without documentation and others without a social security number, including those with an ITIN, are not eligible.

How do I receive my direct payment?

If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and received a refund via direct deposit, you do not need to take additional action. Automatic payments have begunClick here if you haven't received your payment. 

If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and did not receive a refund, or if you did not provide your direct deposit information, you need to enter your direct deposit information here.

Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take actionRecipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

Individuals who make less than $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 or w ere not otherwise required to file a federal tax return for 2019, and don't plan to, should fill out this quick IRS form to receive their payment. You will need to provide your  Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. 

Why can't I get my payment status? The "Get My Payment" application will return "Payment Status Not Available" for several reasons, including:
  • You are required to file a tax return, but:
    • The IRS hasn't finished processing your 2019 return
    • The application doesn't yet have your data; the IRS is adding more data to allow more people to use it.
  • You don't usually file a return, and:
    • You used Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here but the IRS hasn't processed your entry yet.
    • You receive SSI or VA benefits; information has not been loaded onto our systems yet for people who don't normally file a tax return.
  • You're not eligible for a payment (see Eligibility).
UnemploymentBenefitsExpanding unemployment benefits. More than doubles the average unemployment benefit by adding $600 to the weekly benefit. It also allows self-employed and part time workers to receive benefits. Apply here.

Delaying student loan payments. Federally-serviced student loan payments are automatically deferred until September 30th without interest or penalty. 

PERA. Waives the penalty for Coronavirus-related distributions up to $100,000 during 2020, along with other changes.

For an F.A.Q on direct payments, unemployment and the rest of the bill, click  here
PPE*Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Updated 4.28 at 3:09 PM

*As of Monday, April 27th, Governor Polis announced that the state had distributed the following personal protective equipment.

Type of PPE
N95 Masks
Surgical Masks
Face Shields
Surgical Gowns

To donate Personal Protective Equipment. If you have small quantities of supplies to contribute, between 1-25 boxes of personal protective equipment, donate these supplies to the Denver public health department or fill out  THIS FORM for larger donations.
Connect for Health CO Open!
Updated 4.27 at 3:15 PM

Sign up TODAY for health insurance through the Colorado Health Exchange. This special enrollment window will close THIS Thursday, April 30th. 

COVID-19 testing is free if you're uninsured, but if you test positive and have a serious case, you may incur large costs for treatment without insurance.  If you are uninsured, consider signing up to protect your health and safety during this epidemic. Get coverage today.

Note: you have 60 days to get health insurance anytime you lose job-based health coverage.
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
Updated 4/14 at 12:40 PM

If you are in danger, call 911. 

If it's not safe for you to remain home and you can't find another safe place to stay, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233. If you can't speak safely, visit or text LOVEIS to 22522


If you or someone you know is in an unsafe living arrangement, call Safe Shelter at (303) 772-0432. 


State and national guidance to help domestic violence coalitions, service providers and advocates support survivors and operate effectively (from the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV): click here.

Tip sheet that outlines key steps in advocating for survivors' continued access to mental health and substance use services and medication, from the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health: click here.

Violence Free Colorado resources: click here.

Child Abuse and Neglect

Reports of child abuse have dropped drastically since the stay-at-home order was implemented. Service providers worry that abuse and neglect is still happening but going unreported due to school closures. 

The Office of Children, Youth and Families urges everyone to keep an eye on children and teens in your neighborhood and report neglect or abuse to this hotline: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)
Updated 4.22 at 3 PM

Senior Care Centers. Governor Polis announced new regulations to protect residents of senior care centers. 

Senior shopping hours. Stores are dedicating hours for seniors, click here.

Scams. The AARP has compiled common scams to avoid.

Show our seniors some love and support. Read  7 ways to boost your loved one's morale here (provided by AARP).

Transportation  for seniors. The Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council has transportation options for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Older Adult Resource Directory. An extensive directory of contact information, including benefits, emergency services, meals and healthcare. 

Open Food Pantries in Denver. Click here for a map.

Denver Regional Council of Governments Aging and Disability Resources. A collection of resources including guides to in-home healthcare, transportation, and legal assistance.

Coloradans living with Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association of Colorado has a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900), community resource finder, and training courses.
Housing*Rent, Utilities & Services
Updated 4.28 at 2 PM


The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project is  a collaborative, community legal project to support Coloradans struggling to pay rent. If you need to talk to a lawyer about your situation, click here. If you are a Colorado lawyer and want to volunteer, click here.

Denver's Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) program can pay utility bills and up to 80% of rent.

The Colorado Tenant's Guide to COVID-19   helps tenants navigate conversations with landlords, respond to eviction proceedings, and get support in this challenging time.

*You can access the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project for information about rent and evictions as well as free legal support.

Utilities and Other Services

Xcel Energy, Denver WaterComcast, and T-Mobile have suspended service shut-offs for non-payment.  Over 700 other companies have suspended service shut-offs due to non-payment and are waiving late fees. 

AAA is providing free emergency roadside assistance for first responders and healthcare workers traveling to and from their duties. Read more here

Lyft is providing free scooter rides for first responders, medical, and transit staff. Critical business employers can email to enroll employees.

McDonald's is providing free "Thank You Meals" to all first responders and healthcare workers via drive-thru and carry-out by simply showing a work badge.

For additional resources, discounts, and offers for health care workers, click here.
SmallBusiness Small Businesses
Updated 4.27 at 3 PM


Small Business Support.  new package  of support for small businesses and hospitals has been signed into law, including $310 billion for the depleted  Paycheck Protection Program.   Apply now .

Sistahbiz  emergency grants  for black women entrepreneurs.


Colorado has opened applications for the Colorado COVID Relief Fund,  which provides small business relief funds up to $25,000.
Denver businesses who have had to temporary close, lay off staff, or are struggling to pay rent and utilities, can  apply for grants  up to $7,500.  To apply,  click here .

Resources for employers from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment

Eviction assistance for businesses, industry-specific information, and an e conomic Injury Hotline (303-860-5881 or email, from the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.
Updated 4.22 at 3 PM

State benefits will be retroactive back to February 2nd and the federal $600 per week is retroactive back to March 29th for those who qualify.

Note: if you had more than $2,500 in W-2 income, you must apply for benefits through the regular state unemployment portal here. This applies even if you had substantial income from non W-2 sources.

Resources for Workers  from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment.

Paid sick leave up to four days.

Unemployment benefits f or traditional employees (apply now).

File a wage complaint if you were not paid for hours worked.

Layoff / separations assistance, information and resources.

Business and employee resources from the Colorado Restaurant Association

Finding New Work

Health care facilities, grocery stores, package delivery companies, and companies offering online products for delivery are hiring. Register here  for more details.

Connecting Colorado state database for job seekers.

Denver resources for job assistance.
MentalHealth Mental Health
Updated 4.13 at 1:25 PM

Support for Isolated Trans People. The Validation station is a free text service which sends daily support to isolated trans people.

Mental Health Center of Denver has compiled a list of resources to help maintain positive well-being during this time. They are providing "telemental" health and are accepting new clients. Call (303) 504-7900. 
Colorado Crisis Services. If you are concerned about your own mental health or someone close to you, call (844) 493-8255 or text "TALK" to 38255.

National Crisis Text Line. Text SHARE to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. It's free, confidential and available 24/7.

Maria Droste Counseling Center. Providers can  connect virtually with clients.

Denver Metro Counseling  is providing  online therapy

Denver Therapy Match. Search for Denver providers here.

Open Path. For additional reduced rate options

Psychology Today. Search for statewide providers here.
AtHomeLearning At Home Learning & Activities
Updated 4.13 at 1:15 PM

DPS has family and student  resources for Pre-K through 12th grade including at-home activities for art, math, reading / writing, science and more.

Virtually Denver includes dozens of ways to experience arts and culture from home, including Denver museums, music, and performing arts.

The Denver Public Library has free online resources including books, movies, music, story time, and other programs.

Rocky Mountain PBS will air educational programs from 6 AM - 5 PM, weekdays, to support at-home learning.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will launch Cyber Dance 2020, an ongoing series of classes and movement activities, serving all ages and levels of ability. Please pay what you can and contact with questions.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has online activities and a facebook page with videos of scientists in action.

Virtual Field Trips including over 500 museums, Yellowstone National Park, and the Great Wall of China.

The Stay at Home Colorado Guide has free resources, supports, and activities to help you, your family, and your loved ones during this time. You can submit suggestions of free resources here
Food Assistance for Students  and  Families
Updated 4.24 at 4 PM

DPS has  suspended in-person instruction for the rest of the school year.

Meal Assistance

Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. DPS students and families can receive free meals at sites throughout the city. Breakfast and lunch are available from 11 AM - 12:30 PM, Monday - Friday, and dinner is available from 3:30 - 5:30 PM. For a list of distribution sites, click here.

Powersacks. Food for Thought Denver  will be providing Powersacks at all distribution sites, every Friday. Each Powersack contains enough food for a family of four for two days. They are available for anyone in need, not just DPS students.

Meal Delivery. School buses will deliver weekday meals to schools and community locations throughout the city for the remainder of the school year. They will stop at each site for 20 - 30 minutes to hand out breakfast and lunch. On Fridays, weekend breakfast and lunch are also available for pickup. For delivery sites, click here.

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 info on SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Students outside Denver can find nearby locations to pick up meals  here.

A map of the 44 open food pantries in Denver can be found here.

Wifi at home. N ew Comcast customers will receive 2 months of free service, which is normally $9.95/month.
Childcare and Tips for Parents
Updated 4/22 at 3 PM

Emergency Childcare Collaborative. A  100% tuition credit will provide childcare to all essential workers until May 17.  If you are a family who meets the criteria above, fill out the application for child care  here .

Other Resources for Parents

Online groups in English and Spanish, from Illuminate Colorado

Donate and Volunteer
Updated 4.28 at 3 PM

Help Colorado Now has raised over $12 million, including $1 million in small donations, and recruited more than 10,000 volunteers, including more than 2,500  health care volunteers. You can donate or sign up to volunteer here.

Apply here for grants up to $25,000 from the COVID-19 Relief fund.

Health Care Response Volunteer Sign Up. Once you sign up you will be contacted and matched with a hospital or care facility in need in your area.

Other Volunteer Sign-up here. Roles include administrative, client advocacy, construction, mental wellness, food bank support, language skills, healthcare, volunteer management, childcare, delivery of goods and more.

Blood donors needed. Donor eligibility here. Make an appointment here.

Plasma donation. If you have been diagnosed and completely recovered from COVID-19, you can donate your plasma. For more information on donor eligibility and how to sign up click here

How to help feed unemployed workers, hospital staff, school kids and others in need around Denver.

Instructions for coordinating a meal donation to Denver hospitals are below and you can always  contact my office for assistance .

Denver Health: Contact Amy Friedman at (303) 602-2926 or email

Children's Hospital: Contact Rachel Bernhardt at

National Jewish Health & St. Joseph: Contact Justine at (303) 270-2833.

Porter Adventist: Email
UC Health: Fill out  this form or thank hospital workers   here.
Presbyterian St. Luke's & Rose Medical Center: Fill out this  form explaining your donation.
College Students and Higher Education
Updated 4/22 at 3 PM

This guide offers a few ways that institutions are stepping up to meet students' basic needs, including buying food and paying bills. (provided by CoPIRG Foundation).

FedLoan Servicing will reduce their interest rates to 0% and automatically delay federally-serviced loan payments until September 30th.

Click here for some tips from New Era Colorado if you're struggling to pay back your student loans.
Protect Yourself and Others
Updated 4/13 at 1:30 PM

Each of us can do our part to fight COVID-19 by staying home as much possible. When its necessary to leave your house, please practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Guidance For People Experiencing Symptoms, provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health (CDPHE)
  • Mild symptoms (might include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness, with or without fever):  Self-isolate, and use over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms -- like you would for a cold or other respiratory illness.
  • Serious symptoms, especially trouble breathing: Self-isolate, use over-the-counter medications and contact a health care provider or nurseline if your illness becomes more severe. The provider may recommend you be tested for COVID-19, and should be able to instruct you on how to get a test.
  • Severe symptoms: call 911 for symptoms of heart attack or stroke; difficulty breathing or choking; difficulty speaking, walking, or seeing; an allergic reaction; confusion, dizziness, or disorientation; sudden, severe pain.
Past COVID-19 Newsletters
Updated 4.27 at 3:36 PM

4.27  - Blood Donation

4.26 - Adopt a Pet!
4.25 - Who's Hungry?

4.12 - Easter Sunday
4.11 - Scams

Paid for by Leslie Herod for Colorado. Contributions are limited to $400 every 2 year election cycle from individuals, sole proprietorships, LLPs, LLCs and state PACS and $5,350 from small donor committees. Contributions from corporations, labor unions, foreign governments and non-US citizens are prohibited. Contributions are not tax deductible. Donations from registered Colorado lobbyists or principals of lobbyists are prohibited during the legislative session running from January 8th to May 6th, 2020 and any email or donation page from this campaign is not soliciting a contribution from lobbyists or principals of lobbyists. 

Leslie Herod for Colorado
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 322
Denver, CO 80203