Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With 33 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday,  confirmed cases in Colorado have  increased to 216 . We must limit the spread of this deadly virus. Social distancing is a must for all and there may be some where self quarantine in necessary.

To be honest, there is a lot we don't know. But what I do know is that I have been hearing from many of you whose jobs are no longer in existence. While your place of employment may have shuttered or issued layoffs, the bills have not stopped coming.   

Though the legislative session is in recess, I have been working behind the scenes with my legislative colleagues to help connect people to the resources they need.

Today, Majority Leader Alec Garnett, Attorney General Phil Weiser and I called on student loan servicers, creditors and debt collectors to suspend mandatory debt collections for those unable to pay during this crisis. AG Weiser responded quickly and joined our call. See full statement here. I appreciate him standing with us.

Together we can put Coloradans first until we get through these extraordinary times.


Boldly Forward,

 
P.S. In an attempt to keep folks informed, I will be sending more frequent updates.  As always, follow me on facebook , twitter and instagram for updates on COVID-19. 
Stay Informed. 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.

For information on COVID19 en Español  click here  (Provided by Denver Health). 
Resources for Health Care Professionals

Governor Polis has set up the
Emergency Childcare Collaborative to provide childcare for:
  • Health care providers and staff: Doctors, nurses, and all hospital support personnel, including maintenance and janitorial staff
  • Public safety: Police, firefighters, EMT, Department of Corrections. 
  • Staff supporting critically at-risk populations: Long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, residential facilities subject to available capacity.
To apply,  click here. If you are a provider who is willing to open your facility to accommodate these critical workers, click  here.



If you would like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to

The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 will be able to apply for funds starting next week. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more. 
Employment Resources

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 with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Please be patient when awaiting a response, as they are experiencing an influx of claims. 

The Colorado Restaurant Association has provided business and employee resources for those affected by business closures. Resources include:
  • Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet for Businesses: click here. Businesses should complete this form to trigger Federal Government economic disaster relief in our state. 
  • Job Attached Unemployment and the workshare program: click here.
  • Legal considerations related to COVID-19 from Messiner Reeves: click here.
  • Sanitation recommendations from Auto-Chlor:  click here .
  • For a full list of unemployment, underemployment, and other assistance,  click here .
  • Colorado online application for food stamps and other various sources of assistance programs such as help with child care, cash assistance, and access to health care coverage:  click here
Evictions & Utility
Assistance

Housing UpdateMayor Hancock has directed  sheriff's deputies to suspend serving eviction orders. 

Denver's Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance program offers help to Denver residents facing a housing crisis or hardship to help prevent eviction or displacement. You can get help paying your utilities or up to 80% of your rent. For help, dial 3-1-1 and press 6

Companies such as Xcel Energy and Denver Water have also announced that they are  suspending utility shut-offs for non-payment while we remain in a state of emergency.

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free - including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Find the closest hot spot to you here . Xfinity is also pausing data plans (giving you unlimited data for no additional charge), refusing to disconnect customer's internet service if the customer contacts them about their inability to pay their bill during this time and increasing the speed of internet for low-income customers. 
Denver Public Schools Offering Free Breakfast  and  Lunch

DPS has suspended schools until Friday, April 6th.  During the closure,  students and family members can receive free meals at eight locations in a "grab-and-go" system. 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 S Federal Blvd,
  • Joe Shoemaker School, 3333 S Havana St
  • Place Bridge Academy, 7125 Cherry Creek N Dr
  • Denver Center for International Studies Baker, 574 6th Ave
  • North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd
  • Manual High School, 1700 E 28th Ave
  • The Montbello campus, 5000 Crown Blvd
  • The Evie Dennis campus, 4800 Telluride St
 
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, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text

Protect Yourself and Others:

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  If you are experiencing these symptoms please first call your health care provider's office to ask if you need to be evaluated in person. If it is necessary, your health care provider will order testing.

If you feel sick, you can call the Denver Health Nurse Line at (303) 739-1211.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment recommends the following action: 

Anyone who has symptoms or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 is encouraged to:
  1. CALL OR EMAIL a health care provider first. If the provider recommends you get testing or care, follow the provider's advice BEFORE going into any health facility. Ask your provider about private lab sites where you can get tested.
  2. DO NOT go to an emergency room to get a test for COVID-19 unless you are having a medical emergency. For COVID-19, that means severe respiratory symptoms such as shortness or breath or breathing difficulties.
  3. DO call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are having a medical emergency. Tell the dispatcher your symptoms. 
People who come to be tested at the state laboratory testing site must bring:
  1. An order from their health care provider (written or electronic) confirming they meet the testing criteria and need to be tested.
  2. Photo identification that matches the name on the provider's order. Undocumented individuals can use any photo ID; it does not have to be government-issued.
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from the Coronavirus, including:
  • Older adults, especially those over age 80.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease.
  • Older adults who have chronic medical conditions are at highest risk.
People at higher risk should take action now to be prepared for this virus if there is an outbreak in their community.  CDC has the information you need to prepare .
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