Federal Government Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Until April 30th
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you to all of you who joined Majority Leader Alec Garnett and me for our tele-town hall yesterday. We had over 1,500 participants with questions ranging from Colorado's supply of personal protective equipment, health insurance and the safety of home deliveries. A full list of resources offered on the call can be found here.

As of Monday, there are 2,627 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 51 deaths. In Denver, there are 521 confirmed cases with 9 deaths. 

Today, Governor Polis  announced that the spread of COVID-19 is slowing. Instead of the number of cases doubling each day, the number of cases is doubling every 5 days. 

This is good news, but we aren't out of the woods yet. In fact, current models show that Colorado COVID-19 cases will peak on April 15th. That date is, of course, subject to change. One way to ensure the change is in our favor is by flattening the curve and staying home.

I know social distancing  and  isolation can be tough, but keep it up Colorado! We will beat this pandemic together.

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). 
*Stay-at-Home Orders

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Polis has issued a mandatory statewide  stay-at-home order, which follows Denver's stay-at-home order.

Click here for the full text of Denver's public health order, including exemptions. Find frequently asked questions here.
*COVID-19 By The  Numbers
Updated 3.30 at 11:45 AM

Colorado: 320 new cases were reported on Sunday for a total of
2,627  cases and 51 deaths. [ Source ]

United States: The largest hotspots are New York (66,544   cases), New Jersey (16,636 cases), and California (6,855 cases). [ Source ]

Global:  4 countries reported more than 4,500 new cases on Sunday: Germany (4,740), Italy (5,217), Spain (6,875), and the United States (19,913). After large outbreaks, China and South Korea have been reporting less than 150 new cases per day. [ Source ]
DisasterDeclarationEconomic Relief
Updated 3.29 at 10:01 AM

*President Tr ump approved Colorado's request for a major disaster declaration . This declaration allows the state and tribes, along with some local governments and nonprofits, to receive federal money to help with COVID-19.

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.
*Additional COVID-19 Updates from the Governor
Updated 3/30 at 11:45 AM

Click here for a full list of Executive Orders.

*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]

Certain auto insurance requirements for restaurant delivery drivers have been lifted (Full text).

Governor Polis' statewide "Stay-at-Home" order will last through April 11th. To read frequently asked questions about this order click here. [ En Español

Note: To report gatherings or business that are not complying with the stay-at-home order, please contact your county public health department (Denver) or go to the Attorney General's website.

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 3.30 at 12:30 PM

b*$2 Trillion Aid Package

This package  include s  direct payments to taxpayers, increasing unemployment benefits and providing them to independent contractors, emergency funds for small businesses that retain workers, providing distressed companies with government bailouts and providing hospitals with $100 billion in aid.

ReceivingPayment*Direct payments. Single adults with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents and have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive $1,200, plus $500 for each child 16 and younger. Individuals who make more than $99,000 or couples who make more than $198,000 are not eligible. 

If you've gotten a tax refund in the last two years by direct deposit, that's where the money will be sent. You do not have to apply to receive payment, which is expected   within the next three weeks . If you  haven't yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, do it as soon as you can, so that the government has your up-to-date information on file. Frequently asked questions can be found here.

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.

*Delaying student loan payments.  Under this bill you can delay student loan payments for up to 6 months, without penalty or interest accruing. You must request this delay through your loan servicer.

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.
*Personal Protective Equipment
Updated 3.30 at 6:00 PM

Many of you asked for additional information about PPE's. We've added this section and will update it as new data becomes available.

Colorado's Medical Supply Tracker:

Types of PPE
N95  654,207 417,540 236,667
Surgical Masks 1,475,135 368,500 1,106,635
Face Shields 244,934 41,280 203,654
269,984 73,800 196,184
832,290 712,000 120,390
25,700 0 25,700

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 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 .
Connect for Health CO Open!
Updated 3.30 at 12:30 PM

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 this Friday, 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
Updated 3.30 at 12:30 PM

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 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 3.30 at 12:30 PM

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek 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.

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.
MentalHealth Mental Health
Updated 3.30 at 12:40 PM

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.
AtHomeLearning* At Home Learning & Activities
Updated 3.30 at 12:40 PM

DPS has gathered family and student resources including at home activities in the subjects of art , math , reading/writing  , science and more ! They also have provided ways to support your Pre-K learners.

Although The Denver Public Library is closed, they still have many free online resources you can access such as book clubs, story time, and programs like daily Ukulele lessons. See an extensive list of these programs here. Additional resources gathered by The Denver Public Library for teens, children and Spanish speakers can be found here.

Rocky Mountain PBS will air educational programs from 6AM - 5PM, weekdays, to support at-home learning. View the program schedule and learning resources here.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance will launch Cyber Dance 2020 . CPRD's Cyber Dance 2020 begins an ongoing series of classes and movement activities, serving all ages and levels of ability. These classes will be "pick your price". Please pay what you can. Any questions contact Amelia Dietz at amelia@cleoparkerdance.org .

Check out  the Denver Museum of Nature  and Science  Facebook page  for past Scientists in action videos. 

Assistance for Students  and Families
Updated 3.30 at 12:45 PM

LaptopsTechnology needed. The state is working to ensure that every child has access to computers for online and distance learning. Learn more about communities in need and technology requested here. Fill out this form to donate.

DPSFOODPlease note the new times for grab-and-go meal pick up. Denver Public School students and family members  can receive free meals at twelve sites . Breakfast and Lunch will now both be available for pick up on weekdays from 11 AM - 12:30 PM only.

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 3.30 at 4:44 PM

* Help Colorado Now has raised $7.7 million dollars from nearly 4,000 individuals, foundations and companies since the fund launched. More than 9,000 volunteers including 2,000 health care volunteers have signed up to date.   The grant process has now begun and will be on a rolling basis. Those interested in applying for relief funds up to $25K can apply here

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.

*Denver is working to support residents who are experiencing homelessness and in need of shelter. They have an immediate need for volunteers to support this work. If you are healthy, willing and not in an at-risk category, email sheltervolunteer@denvergov.org to sign up and someone will contact you with more information.

College Students and Higher Education
Updated 3/27 at 2:23PM

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. 

*Right now, Coloradans across the state are dealing with financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and student loans are making it worse for young people, especially young people of color. Click here for some tips from New Era Colorado if you're struggling to pay back your student loans during this uncertain period of time.

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
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 322
Denver, CO 80203