Congress will pass a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Thursday, there are 1,430 confirmed COVID-19 cases in  Colorado with 24 deaths.  This is an increase  of 344 confirmed cases since yesterday's report. In Denver alone, the number of positive cases has risen to 291. We must  continue to limit the spread of this deadly virus and stay as healthy as possible.  Stay home.

COVID-19  has  had an unprecedented impact on unemployment. Last week, a record of 3.3 million people filed claims for unemployment nationally. This number is up from 281,000 the previous week. In Colorado, unemployment applications are at 45,000 for the first 3 days of this week (preliminary).  

These numbers are devastating. 

Locally  and  statewide, we have stepped up in many ways to support where we can.  By providing small business loans, connecting folks with unemployment resources and more. T he State of  Colorado  and the City of Denver are taking swift action to support our communities. 

Thank you for donating your time and resources, and even ensuring to shop locally to support our small business. Every effort helps tremendously.

Tomorrow, Congress is expected to pass a $2 trillion dollar stimulus packa ge that aims to support Americans facing loss of wages and jobs du ring this time. 

This bi-partisan package includes:
  • relief to Colorado through direct payments to taxpayers (maximum of $1,200 per adult) 
  • increased unemployment benefits (which will now support independent contractors, gig-economy workers, and self-employed individuals) 
  • small business support
  • $130 billion to rebuild our healthcare system
  • additional federal support for states and schools
For more details on this package and who is eligible, click here

If you have lost your job because of COVID-19, there are opportunities opening up. Employers in several industries are hiring  immediately.  There are open positions in health care, grocery stores, package delivery companies, and companies offering online products for delivery. Register here  for more details.

Additionally,  The National Restaurant Association is hosting a webinar tomorrow, Friday March 27th at 1PM that will do a deep dive into the  CARES Act  (the third COVID-19 recovery bill) and its impact on the industry. Register  here  to join the call and for more information

We will get through these extraordinary times together. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Stay healthy, recover strong.

Boldly Forward,





P.S. In an attempt to keep folks informed, I have been sending more frequent updates. As always, follow me on facebook , twitter and instagram for updates on COVID-19.
Stay Informed  with reliable, up-to-date information on COVID19. 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.

You can find a list of telehealth providers and nurselines here For information on COVID19 en Español  click here  (Provided by Denver Health). 
*Denver's Stay-at-Home Order

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Hancock has issued a mandatory  stay-at-home order for Denver, which is now in effect. 

Click here for the full text, including exemptions to the restrictions. Find frequently asked questions here
*COVID-19 By The  Numbers
Updated 3.26 at 4:09 PM

Colorado: 344 new cases were reported on Thursday for a total of 1430 cases and 24 deaths. [ Source]

United States: All 50 states have confirmed cases, with the largest hotspots in New York (37,258 cases), New Jersey (4,402 cases), and California (3,183 cases). [ Source ]

Global:  China, South Korea and Singapore have been reporting less than 100 new cases per day, while 3 countries reported more than 5,000 new cases on Wednesday, including Italy (5,210), Spain (7,457), and the United States (13,355 new cases) [ Source ]
Economic Relief

Governor Polis has recently taken the following executive actions:

Expediting payment of unemployment claims.

Asking companies to allow  deferment for payment for mortgages, and  landlords not to charge late fees for rent until April 30th.
 
 
 

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.
a
Additional COVID-19 Updates from the Governor

*Governor Polis has issued a statewide "Stay-at-Home" order that will last through April 11th.

Non-critical workplaces in Colorado are required to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%, with certain exceptions.  [Full Text]

Gov. Polis launched the state's Innovation Response Team (IRT) to ramp up a mass testing program for COVID-19 and develop alternatives for critical medical supplies in short supply.

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

Suspension of elective and nonessential surgeries and medical procedures, to free up medical devices and personal protective equipment for medical staff.

Hair and nail salons, spas, tattoo and massage parlors are CLOSED until April 30th.
Federal Response
Updated 3.26 at 1:36PM

b*$2 Trillion Aid Package

The White House and Senate leaders reached a compromise on an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. This will include  sending direct payments to taxpayers, increasing unemployment benefits, providing small businesses that keep their workers with emergency loans, providing distressed companies with government bailouts and providing hospitals with $100 billion in aid.  The New York Times is providing live updates on this package here

ReceivingPayment*Receiving your direct payment. Single adults with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents and have an annual gross income (income before taxes) of $75,000 or less will receive $1,200. For every child age 16 or younger, you will receive an additional $500. You do NOT have to apply to receive this payment. These payments are expected to come within the next three weeks.

UnemploymentBenefits*Expanding unemployment benefits. This bill more than doubles the average unemployment benefit by adding $600 to the weekly benefit. It will also allow self-employed and part time workers to receive benefits, expanding the number of Americans that are covered.

*Delaying student loan payments.  Under this bill you can delay student loan payments for up to 6 months. Interest will not accrue until September 30th, without penalty. You must request this delay. 

For more F.A.Q on stimulus checks, unemployment and the Coronavirus bill, click here

Families First Coronavirus Response Act,  Signed on March 18th. To read more on what this Act includes, click here

T he  Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental  Signed on March 6th. See what this $8.3 billion package includes  here

For more information on the federal response to COVID-19, click here.
Connect for Health CO Open!
 
You called for it and we answered! You can NOW sign up for health insurance through the Colorado Health Exchange. This special enrollment window will close on April 3rd.
Resources for Seniors 

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

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. 

Food pantry schedule. A listing of food pantries in the Denver Metro area.

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

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

Xcel Energy, Denver Water (en español) and Comcast / Xfinity Wifi have suspended utility shut-offs for non-payment.

T-Mobile has announced that they will not terminate service because of inability to pay and will waive ate fees.


1) N ot terminate service to customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

2) W aive late fees caused by circumstances related to COVID-19.
SmallBusinessSmall Businesses & Workers
Updated 3.26 at 12:32PM

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2 million as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

If you have been laid off due to a business closure related to COVID-19, are experiencing wage reductions or are working fewer hours, you can file a claim here

Resources from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, including information on paid sick leave.

Business and employee resources from the Colorado Restaurant Association.

*Join the National Restaurant Association tomorrow, Friday, March 27th at 1PM MDT for a webinar that will do a deep dive into the CARES Act (the third COVID-19 recovery bill). Register here

*The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade is offering a few options for folks to help navigate resources:
*Several employers are hiring, including health care, grocery stores, package delivery companies, and companies offering online products for delivery. Register here  for more details.

*The VA is seeking temporary employees. For specific details on this opportunity email VHAECHResourceLaborPool@va.gov.
MentalHealthMental Health

Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page
with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health or substance use challenges.  

Colorado Crisis Services. If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, call 1-844-493-8255 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.
Assistance for Students  and Families
Updated 3.26 12:07 PM

*Denver Public Schools will be distributing laptop computers to families who need them   to support the transition to remote learning. The last day to pick up these computers will be tomorrowFriday, March 27th. Learn more.

Denver Public School students and family members  can receive free meals at twelve sites . Breakfast is available from 8-9 a.m., and lunch is available from 12-1 p.m.

The locations are: 
  • Abraham Lincoln High School, 2285 Federal Blvd 
  • Valverde Elementary School, 2030 W Alameda Ave
  • Joe Shoemaker School, 3333 S Havana St.
  • Place Bridge Academy, 7125 Cherry Creek N Dr.
  • Cowell Elementary School, 4540 W 10th Ave
  • North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd
  • STRIVE Prep - Sunnyside, 4735 N Pecos St
  • Bruce Randolph School, 3955 Steele St
  • Denver Center for International Studies - Baker, 574 W 6th Ave
  • Manual High School, 1700 E 28th Ave
  • The Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St
  • The Montbello Campus, 5000 Crown Blvd
In addition, Food for Thought Denver  will be providing Powersacks at all twelve locations, 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.

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.

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

A full list of Food Distribution sites from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment here
Childcare and Resources for Parents

If you are a health care professional or work in public safety, and need childcare, you may be eligible to receive it through the  Emergency Childcare Collaborative .

How to talk to your child about COVID-19.
Updated 3.26 at 1:15 PM

Personal Protective Equipment and other medical supplies.
Please drop off items from this list, including unused personal protective equipment, with Project C.U.R.E.

* To donate Personal Protective Equipment 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 .

Location: 10377 E Geddes Ave Ste. 200, Centennial, CO 80112

Hours: 7 AM - 5 PM, Monday - Friday. If you cannot drop off during those hours, you can leave supplies by the West door of the building.

Help Colorado Now : Donate money or sign up to volunteer here.

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

*Consider signing up to be a volunteer, or a neighborhood team leader here. Volunteer needs will vary depending on where you are located and what you are willing and able to do. Some volunteer options are administrative, client advocacy, construction, mental wellness, food bank support, language skills, healthcare, volunteer management, childcare, delivery of goods and more!

*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.
College Students and Higher Education

Meeting Students' Basic Needs During COVID-19.  This guide offers a few of the 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%. This went into effect on March 13, 20202 and will hold for at least 60 days. 

Do not call 911 if you are seeking general medical advice or a COVID-19 test.

If you have symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), consider a telehealth visit or nurseline advice before seeking in-person care.  The  CDPHE   has provided guidance to those experiencing symptoms:

For people with mild symptoms: Early on, symptoms may feel like a cold, including cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness.
  • If you have mild symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or suspect that you were exposed, please stay home and self-isolate Use over-the-counter medication to treat mild symptoms. M ost individuals recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications.
For people with more serious symptoms, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath:
  • Continue to self-isolate Call your health care provider or a nurseline if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath. Your provider may recommend you be tested for COVID-19.
For people with severe symptoms: (severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)
  • Call 911 and tell the dispatcher your symptoms. These could include symptoms  of heart attack or stroke; d ifficulty breathing; c hoking; d ifficulty speaking, walking, or seeing; s evere allergic reactions; c onfusion, dizziness, or disorientation; or s udden, severe pain.
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
leslie@leslieherod.com
303-866-2959
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 322
Denver, CO 80203