Governor Polis has  extended  schools closures until April 30th. 
Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Wednesday, there are 3,342 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 80 deaths. In Denver, there are 636 confirmed cases with 10 deaths.   Social distancing will save lives. Stay home.

As you all know, in Colorado, being a state legislator is supposed to be a  part-time  job. While many of us are doing what we can to continue working while the legislature is temporarily adjourned, some legislators are literally out on the front lines saving lives. 

To respond to this crisis, a few of my colleagues in the legislature are risking their lives by providing health care on the front lines of COVID-19.

Representative Kyle Mullica,  who we profiled last week, has  been working as an ER Nurse and keeping an audio diary to give insight into the lives of health care workers treating patients with COVID-19. Read more about his experience and listen to excerpts  in  The Colorado Sun

"What's so scary about this is we have no tools," he says. "All hospitals are able to do - until they figure out antivirals -   is treat those symptoms. And as a provider, for me at least, that's really scary. That scares the hell out of me." 
- Rep. Mullica

Getting Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to healthcare professionals, and other essential workers, has been a seemingly insurmountable challenge during this pandemic. Today Governor Jared Polis announced a shipment headed for Colorado containing 10,000 masks from China. If you have any additional PPE, find more information about donation  here

Shout out to the other legislators on the front lines including   Representative Yadira Caraveo (HD 31), the only physician in the General Assembly;  Representative Sonya Jaquez Lewis   (HD 12),  whose work as a pharmacist ensures patients have access to life saving prescriptions; and  Senate President Leroy Garcia (SD 3), who has been responding to emergency calls as a paramedic in Pueblo.

I am so proud to serve in Colorado General Assembly with my courageous  colleagues . Thank you to all of the medical professionals and essentials workers who are putting their lives on the line every day.

They stay at work for you, so please stay at home for them. Keep it up, Colorado. 

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. 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). 
Motus Theater Presents: Women of Resolution - 
Virtual From The Homes of Colorado Legislators 

Women of Resolution  shares the autobiographical stories of Araceli Velasquez, Ingrid Encalada Latorre, Rosa Sabido and Sandra Lopez. Four women who sought sanctuary to prevent being deported and separated from their families. Scripted by Kirsten Wilson based on interviews recorded by recorded by Joel Dyer and Motus staff. 

RSVP to attend an intimate virtual reading of Women of Resolution, presented by Motus Theater, from the homes of Representative Leslie Herod, Representative Barbara McLachlan, Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Senator Kerry Donovan.

When: Sunday, April 5th at 2PM (MT)
Where: Your house! 
RSVP here
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 4.01 at 10:58 AM

Colorado: 376 new cases were reported on Wednesday for a total of
3,342  cases and 80 deaths. [ Source ]

United States: The largest hotspots are New York (76,030   cases), New Jersey (18,696 cases), and California (8,582 cases). [ Source ]

Global:  4 countries reported more than 4,500 new cases on Tuesday: Germany (4,923), France (7,578), Spain (7,967), and the United States (24,742). After a large outbreaks, South Korea has 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.
a
Additional COVID-19 Updates from the Governor
Updated 4/1 at 2:23 PM

*Governor Polis has extended school closures until April 30th.   

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 4.1 at 12:30 PM

b$2 Trillion Aid Package

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

 

Direct Payments.  Single adults with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents and make $75,000 or less will  receive  $1,200, plus $500 for each child 16 and younger. Individuals making more than $99,000 or couples making more than $198,000 are not eligible. 

 

Payments will be delivered automatically to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns. When available, electronic direct deposit will be used in place of mailing a physical check. If you haven't yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you may want to do so quickly so that the IRS has your up-to-date information on file. Find an FAQ here.

UnemploymentBenefitsExpanding 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. This bill allows federally-serviced student loan borrowers to defer payments until September 30th without interest or penalty. 

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.
PPEPersonal Protective Equipment
Updated 4.01 at 1:43 PM

*Today Governor Polis announced that China is sending Colorado 10,000 masks. 

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


Types of PPE
Received
Need
N95 Masks 220,000 2,000,000
Surgical Masks 517,000 4,460,000
Face Shields 350,000 880,000
Surgical Gowns 720,000 100,140
Gloves 504,000 4,300,000
Ventilators 0 10,000

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.
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse During COVID-19: Resources
Updated 3/31 at 1:20pm

Not everyone has a safe environment to "stay at home."  If it is not safe for you to remain home and you cannot find another safe place to stay, please contact the  National Domestic Violence Hotline : (800) 799-7233. If you are unable to speak safely you can visit thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522. 

If you or someone you know is in an unsafe living arrangement, please call Safe Shelter at 303-772-0432. If you are in danger, call 911. 

Child abuse reports have dropped drastically  since the "stay at home" order was implemented. Colorado's Office of Children, Youth and Families urges everyone to keep an eye on children and teens in your neighborhood and report incidences of neglect or abuse to this hotline: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437)

In response to current COVID-19 pandemic, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has developed new resources and compiled state and national guidance to help domestic violence coalitions, service providers and advocates support survivors and operate effectively. View those here.

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health has developed a tip sheet that outlines key steps in advocating for survivors' continued access to mental health and substance use services and medication. View this here
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.

Coloradans living with Alzheimer's. Although the Alzheimer's Association of Colorado is closed, they are still working to providing resources such as a 24/7 helpline (800-272-3900), community resource finder and education. See the full list here
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 4.1 at 1:456 PM

* Denver Metro Small Business Development Center has information
for receiving SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Small Business Emergency EIDL Grants, SBA Express Bridge Loans, Paycheck Protection Loans and the Small Business Debt Relief Program.

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for emergency grants up to $10,000 and loans up to $2 million as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

The  Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade is offering a few options for folks to help navigate resources:

Denver has provided resources for job assistance.

Business and employee resources from the Colorado Restaurant Association.

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 3.31 at 2:25 PM

Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page
with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health or substance use challenges. You can also find COVID-19 updates and tips on coping here

Mental Health Colorado is also currently providing services through telemental health and are accepting new clients. If you are interested in receiving services, please call 303-504-7900. 

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 4.1 at 1 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.

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.
Assistance for Students  and Families
Updated 4.1 at 2:17 PM

*Governor Polis has extended the closure of schools until April 30th. 

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.

Laptops at home. Denver Public Schools are distributing laptop computers to students who need them for remote learning. Please contact your school if you still need to pick up a laptop.

Wifi at home. New Comcast customers will receive 2 months of free service, which is normally $9.95/month.

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
Updated 4/1 at 1:15 PM

Emergency Childcare Collaborative. The  state will extend a full tuition credit to all essential workers identified in Updated Public Health Order 20-24, which includes those who work in health care, grocery stores and restaurants, public safety, and other fields.

If you are a family who meets the criteria above, fill out the application for child care here.

This 100% tuition credit will provide child care to all essential workers until May 17. The program is aimed at serving families in need of child care in order to continue to perform their critical duties. 

Note: Parents who have options to keep their children at home with a family member or have other arrangements are encouraged to use those. Emergency child care provided through the Collaborative is for when all other non-group care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options.

Updated 4.1 at 2:29 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.

*Before you donate please review the Attorney General's charity fraud page here.
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.

Each of us can do our part to fight COVID-19 by staying home as much possible and practicing social distancing when we need to leave the house. Hospitals and medical staff will be under enormous strain in the next few weeks to care for individuals with COVID-19, and by staying home, you can make sure those beds are available for others. 

If you are feeling symptoms of COVID-19 or are worried about a possible exposure to someone who has tested positive, please review the guidance below from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).


For People Experiencing Symptoms (provided by 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