Independent Contractors, Freelancers, and Self-Employed Workers Can Apply for Unemployment Starting This Monday, April 20th.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Thursday, there were 8,675  confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 374 deaths. In Denver, there are 1,592 confirmed cases with 75 deaths. We are flattening the curve, but we can't stop now.
Please stay home this weekend.

I know weekends haven't been as relaxing or exciting as they used to be, but hopefully you have found ways to fill yours with at-home or virtual fun.  My weekend is packed with virtual hang outs and you're invited! 

Today at 3:30 PM, join Northeast and Far Northeast Denver elected officials for our weekly Facebook LIVE COVID-19 Town Hall . We'll be giving updates on community resources and answering your questions. Check out last week's town hall here and join us later today  on my Facebook page!

Anyone else miss Sunday brunch? Make yourself a mimosa and join me and three mayors this Sunday at 10 AM for virtual brunch.  I will be interviewing the queen of memes, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly LGBTQ mayor of a major American city, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

What should I ask them? Click here  to give me some suggestions and RSVP here

Need more ideas for weekend plans? Good thing there is so much to do! I'm excited to tune into the Global Citizen's One World Together at Home special featuring performances by 70+ artists including Lady Gaga, Elton John, Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah and more! This event will happen tomorrow and will raise money for the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). Sing and dance your hearts out! We can see them, but they can't see us!

Need more? Have a movie night with Jamie Lee Curtis. Do a virtual tour of the Denver Botanic Gardens or the Denver Zoo. Learn a new language with free online Spanish classes. Join Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga for a virtual wine and paint night. Learn how to make sushi, ravioli, bread and more

It doesn't stop.  Here are even more activities for the weekend. W hatever you choose to do, please stay safe, stay home, and wear your mask if you need to leave for essential activities. 

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 facebooktwitter, 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 COHELP@RMPDC.org.

For telehealth providers and nurselines, click here.

For info and resources in Spanish (Español)click here  (ACLU of Colorado).
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: TODAY, Friday, 4/17, 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Facebook event:  here

HD8HD 8 VIRTUAL Monthly Meeting

When: TOMORROW, Saturday, 4/18
Time: 9:30 - 11:30 AM
Where: Zoom Meeting or 
dial in to (301) 715-8592
Meeting ID: 760 642 414

*Stay-at-Home Orders
Updated 4/15 at 1:26 PM


Mayor Hancock has  extended  Denver's stay-at-home order until April 30th. 

*Please 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. 

If you are outside Denver, contact your local public health department  or the Attorney General's office here

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 4.17 at 1 PM

Denver

1,592 cases and 75 deaths. [ Source]

Colorado

395 new cases were reported on Thursday for a total of 8,675 cases and 374 deaths.  [ Source ]

United States

New York leads the nation in total cases (222,284 ), and total deaths (12,192). 
Other states with high case totals include  New Jersey (75,317), Massachusetts (32,181), and Pennsylvania (29,441). [ Source ]

Global

The United States leads the world in new cases (29,567), total cases (690,631), and total deaths (35,944).  Other nations with high numbers of new cases include  the UK (4,617) , Turkey (4,801), and France (12,416) .  [Source]. 

After large outbreaks,  South Korea has been reporting less than 100 new cases per day, and Germany has a very low death rate.
DisasterDeclaration*Economic Relief
Updated 4.17 at 1 PM


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.

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

Federal Action

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

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 4/16 at 11:50 AM

Colorado will be providing new COVID-19 updates including racial data.

Governor Polis launched the Colorado Face Mask Design Challenge. Send in your most creative face mask design and you might be highlighted online! Click here for details. 

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]

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.

Click here for a full list of the Governor's executive orders.
Updated 4.17 at 12:40 PM

$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. 

Individuals without documentation and others without a social security number are not eligible.

Eligible individuals will also receive $500 for each child 16 and younger. FAQ here.

How do I receive my direct payment?

*If you filed a 2018 tax return and received a refund, or filed a 2019 tax return, you do not need to take additional action. Automatic payments have begunIf you gave your bank account information when filing and don't yet have your payment, click here.

*If you filed a 2018 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, or you can file your 2019 tax return with your direct deposit information.

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. 

UnemploymentBenefits*Expanding unemployment benefits. 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. (Colorado will start accepting applications from self-employed people starting this Monday, April 20th).

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
PPEPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Updated 4.14 at 5:53 PM

Colorado has ordered more than $46.2 million worth of medical supplies that the state plans to distribute to health care facilities and local government agencies across Colorado. The state has also received  supply donations offered by businesses and individuals through the state's HelpColoradoNow website. 

As of Friday, April 10th, the Colorado Unified Command Group has distributed the following supplies allocated from the Strategic National Stockpile, FEMA, and private donations:

Type of PPE
Received & Distributed
Need
N95 Masks
460,740
2,000,000
Surgical Masks
472,000
4,460,000
Face Shields
61,344
880,000
Surgical Gowns
94,080
720,000
Gloves
844,500
4,300,000
Coveralls
3,816
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 the Denver public health department or fill out  THIS FORM for larger donations.
Connect for Health CO Open!
Updated 4.4 at 1:30 PM

You can NOW sign up for health insurance through the Colorado Health Exchange. This special enrollment window will close on 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 thehotline.org 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)
Seniors 
Updated 4.11 at 2:30 PM

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. 

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.

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 & More
Updated 4.16 at 12 PM

Housing

*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.

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 HeroScooters@Lyft.com to enroll employees.
SmallBusiness* Small Businesses
Updated 4.16 at 12 PM

Federal

*NOTE: The Small Business Administration is not accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program or the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.

Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sistahbiz  emergency grants  for black women entrepreneurs.

Colorado

 
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 oedit_sbnavigator@state.co.us), from the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.
SmallBusiness*Employment
Updated 4.17 at 12:45 PM

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

Paid sick leave up to four days.

Unemployment benefits f or 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 Colorado has resources for those struggling with mental health or substance use challenges, in additional to tips on coping. 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 amelia@cleoparkerdance.org 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 4.15 at 2 PM

Denver Public Schools 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 full list of food distribution sites from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment 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 Resources for Parents
Updated 4/2 at 2:15 PM

Emergency Childcare Collaborative. A  100% tuition credit will provide child care to all essential workers, including health care, food industry, and public safety, until May 17. The program is aimed at serving families in need of child care in order to continue to perform their critical duties.

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 4.16 at 2 PM

Help Colorado Now has raised over $10 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.

Denver is seeking volunteers to support residents experiencing homelessness. If you are healthy and not at-risk, email sheltervolunteer@denvergov.org.

Review the Attorney General's charity fraud page here before donating.

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

Donate food to your local hospital systems: 
College Students and Higher Education
Updated 4/10 at 4:05 PM

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% 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.
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