Mayor Hancock Issues Mandatory Stay-at-Home Order for Denver

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Hancock has issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for Denver, starting at 5 PM tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24th. 

The order will stay in effect until April 10th and may be extended as needed. 

I know this is a big shift, but it was also expected. We know that staying home is the most effective way to slow the spread of this deadly virus and protect human life.

A summary of the order is below. (click here for the full text including the full list of exemptions) 
  • All individuals in Denver are ordered to stay at home, unless they are leaving for certain activities, certain government functions, or to operate certain businesses. These exemptions are summarized below and listed fully in the public health order
    • Individuals may leave for outdoor activities as long as they are maintaining social distancing. Parks will remain open, but picnics, sporting events like volleyball and basketball, and other group activities are prohibited. Playgrounds will close.
    • Individuals experiences homelessness are exempt from this order.
  • All businesses in Denver, except for certain businesses defined in the public health order, are required to close for in-person work. All businesses may continue operations that consist of employees working from home.
  • All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a home are prohibited, except the limited purposes defined in the public health order.
  • All travel, including travel by scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, is prohibited, except for the purposes of performing certain activities or to commute to work to operate certain businesses, defined in the public health order.
Several of the exceptions and exemptions are listed below. This not a comprehensive list. For the full list, review the public health order here.

Allowed Activities
  • Obtaining medication, visiting a health care professional, or other activities related to health and safety
  • Caring for a family member or pet in another household
  • Shopping for food and picking up take-out from a restaurant. Denver Public School students and families are allowed to pick up meals at DPS food distribution sites.
  • Individual outdoor activities like walking, running, biking, and hiking
Businesses which can remain open
  • Health care operations, pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, convenience stores and pet supply stores. Restaurants will still be allowed to deliver food and offer takeout meals
  • Gas stations and auto repair shops, banks, laundromats, child care facilities
     
  • Rideshare operators (uber, lyft, etc)
Certain government functions are also exempt from the order including law enforcement, fire fighters and emergency dispatchers.

With 129 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, confirmed cases in Colorado have increased to 720 with 7 deaths. As of Monday morning, Denver is reporting 148 positive cases and has spent $4.1 M on supplies, equipment and other expenses related to COVID-19.  Mayor Hancock's action today will help minimize the  loss of life in Denver due to COVID-19.  Nothing is more important that that.

Once again, please stay home. It is the only way to  stop the spread of this deadly disease. 

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  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). 
Economic Relief

Governor Polis has recently taken the following executive actions:

Expediting payment of unemployment claims.

Asking companies to allow for up to 90 days in the determent for payment for mortgages, and  landlords not to charge late fees for rent until April 30. 
 
Ordering law enforcement to  not use resources to respond to foreclosures or evictions. Note: the  federal government has ordered a suspension of foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions for at least two months for the 28 million mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
Asking utility companies not to shut off service for people who cannot pay. Denver Water, Xcel, and Comcast/Xfinity have already agreed not to shut off service.
 
Extending the state tax filing deadline to July 15, without caps or limits. (The federal tax filing deadline was also delayed until July 15th). 

For Individuals and Businesses in Denver: 

Denver small businesses impacted by COVID-19 closures and social distancing measures 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

Non-critical workplaces in Colorado are required to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%, unless an  employer can ensure their workers are no closer than 6 feet away from each other.  The order does not apply to critical businesses, including health care, infrastructure, manufacturing, restaurants and bars, trash collection, mail services, auto repair, and the news media. [Full Text]

Gov. Polis launched the state's Innovation Response Team (IRT) to ramp up a mass testing program for the COVID-19 virus, create a suite of services for citizens under isolation or quarantine, develop mobile and other technologies to help track the spread of the virus and support infected citizens, and develop locally-sourced alternatives for critical medical supplies in short supply.

Restaurants will be able to temporarily sell alcohol for take-out or delivery. This website lists Metro Denver and Boulder restaurants that are offering take-out, delivery, curbside pick-up and drive-through options.

Suspension of all elective and nonessential surgeries and medical procedures, to free up equipment, including ventilators and personal protection items for medical staff.

All hair salons, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors and massage parlors are CLOSED through April 30th.

Federal Response

March 6th: the  Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, a $8.3 billion package to prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.  This package includes:
  • $3 billion+ for development of vaccines and therapeutics;
  • $9.3 million in funds for Colorado to support state and local health agencies
  • Support for small businesses -- allows for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest loans to affected small businesses, to help cushion the economic blow of this public health emergency. 
March 18th: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes:
  • Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured;
  • Paid emergency leave; 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave;
  • Enhanced Unemployment Insurance, a first step that will extend protections to furloughed workers;
  • Strengthened food security initiatives, including SNAP, student meals, seniors nutrition and food banks; 
  • Clear protections for frontline workers, including health care workers and other workers who are in contact with those who have been exposed or are responsible for cleaning at-risk places; 
  • Increased federal funds for Medicaid, as states face increased costs. 
Additional Legislation

A $1-2 trillion economic stimulus package is being negotiated in Congress that would  include sending checks directly to Americans.

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. Thank you for reaching out (you know who you are).
Resources for Seniors 

Senior shopping hours. Stores have begun dedicating certain hours for seniors, click here for the full list. 

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 is providing transportation options for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Older Adult Resource Directory. An extensive directory of contact information, including benefits (social security, medicare), emergency services, nutrition & meals and healthcare. 

Food pantry schedule. A listing of over 30 Denver food pantries with hours and contact information.

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 help you pay utility bills and up to 80% of your rent. (Denver residents only). 

Xcel Energy, Denver Water 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, they will waive any late fees and they will open up Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. 


1) N ot terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and

2) W aive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic
Small Businesses & Workers

Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2 million as part of the Small Business Administration's 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

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

Business and employee resources from the Colorado Restaurant Association.
Mental 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, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 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 completely free, confidential and available 24/7.

Maria Droste Counseling Center. Providers are now able to connect virtually with their clients in their homes, using a secure video platform.

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.
Food Assistance for Students  and Families

Denver Public School students and family members  can receive free meals at twelve sites 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
  • 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, until circumstances change. Each Powersack will contain 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 who do not live in Denver can find nearby locations to pick up breakfast and lunch  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 . To apply, click here . If you are a provider, click here

How to talk to your child about COVID.

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.

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 : If you would like to donate money or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to www.HelpColoradoNow.org

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

With the increased concern over COVID-19, people are calling 911 for reasons other than a medical emergency, including asking for general information about COVID-19. People should call 911 ONLY with a medical emergency. 

Do not call 911 if you are seeking general medical advice or wish to be tested for COVID-19. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), consider a telehealth visit or nurseline advice before seeking in-person care. Ask your primary care provider if they offer telehealth visits.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has provided the following guidance to people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:


For people with mild symptoms: Early on, symptoms may feel like a common cold, including a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness.
  • People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in-person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be tested right away. 
  • If you have mild symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or suspect that you were exposed but are not able to be immediately tested, please stay home and avoid contact with others. Isolate yourself until:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that's 3 days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Use over-the-counter medication to treat mild symptoms. There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. While this illness can be severe and require hospitalization, most 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 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. 
  • Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • Call 911 for:
    • Symptoms of heart attack or stroke
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Choking
    • Difficulty speaking, walking, or seeing
    • Severe allergic reactions
    • Confusion, dizziness, or disorientation
    • Sudden, severe pain
For more information visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's website.
College Students and Higher Education

Meeting Students' Basic Needs During COVID-19.  Many students are wondering how this transition will affect their ability to put food on the table and pay bills. This guide offers a few of the ways that institutions are stepping up to meet students' basic needs in this moment of uncertainty (provided by CoPIRG Foundation).
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