Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Monday, there are  7,691  confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado with 308 deaths. In Denver, there are 1,372 confirmed cases with 70 deaths. These numbers are leveling off, but Governor Polis warned that difficult days are still ahead. Please continue to stay home. 

Nearly one month ago, the General Assembly temporarily adjourned to help slow the spread of COVID-19, leaving hundreds of bills up in the air. But that hasn't stopped Governor Polis from signing legislation that had already passed in both chambers, including three of our bills:

1) The Colorado Building Families Act (HB 20-1158)

1 in 8 couples experience infertility , but 63% of American patients, including tens of thousands of Coloradans, lack insurance coverage for fertility treatments and cannot afford the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs. 

This bill requires insurance companies cover infertility diagnosis and treatment. 


This bill will stop ICE from making a civil arrest in or near a courthouse, effective immediately.

Increasingly, ICE has been arresting individuals for alleged violations of immigration laws while these individuals are at the courthouse. Many times, these individuals are there because they are witnesses or crime victimsNo one should feel like they can't access justice through the courts because of their immigration status.

This bill prohibits ICE from making a civil arrest in or near a courthouse, effective immediately.

3) Compensation And Representation Of Student Athletes (SB 20-123

For too long  collegiate  athletes have been banned from profiting from their name, image and likeness. Recent movements across the country have forced colleges and the NCAA to reevaluate this practice. 

This bill will support college athletes who work hard and train diligently by allowing them to profit off of their image and likeness and to monetize the brand they have worked so hard to cultivate.

Thank you to everyone who shared their story in support of these bills, we  couldn't have  done it without your advocacy. 


The General Assembly is  scheduled  to reconvene May 18th. There are so many bills remaining in limbo. Some will live, some will die, and new bills will be introduced. For me, I will be working to prioritize COVID-19 response and recovery, pass a balanced budget, and continue to push forward on bills that will make a real impact on the lives of Coloradans. Tough decisions lie ahead.

Together, we will recover stronger. 

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 facebooktwitter, 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.

For telehealth providers and nurselines, click here.

For info and resources in Spanish (Español)click here  (ACLU of Colorado).
Stay-at-Home Orders
Updated 4/7 at 11:46 PM

Governor Polis has extended the statewide  stay-at-home order until Sunday, April 26th.

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

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 4.13 at 11 AM

Colorado: 388 new cases were reported on Monday for a total of
7,691   cases and  308  deaths. [ Source ]

United States: States with the highest number of total cases are New York (188,694 ), New Jersey (61,850), and Massachusetts (25,475). [ Source ]

Global: 4  countries reported more than 4,000 new cases on Sunday: Italy (4,092), Turkey (4,789), UK (5,288), and the United States (27,421). [Source]

After a large outbreaks, South Korea has been reporting less than 100 new cases per day and Germany has reported a very low death rate.
DisasterDeclarationEconomic Relief
Updated 4.13 at 12 PM

President Tr ump 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.

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.

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 4/13 at 3:57 PM

*Governor Polis announced that Colorado will soon be providing key Coronavirus Updates including racial data.

*Governor Polis launched the Colorado Face Mask Design Challenge. Send in your most creative face masks and you might be highlighted on their website! Click here for more information. 

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]

Governor Polis' statewide "Stay-at-Home" order will last through April 26th. To read frequently asked questions about this order click hereNote: 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.

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.
DirectpaymentsFederal Response
Updated 4.13 at 12:10 PM

$2 Trillion Aid Package

Direct 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, which phases out for individuals making more than $99,000 or couples making more than $198,000. 

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

How do I receive my direct payment?

If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you do not need to take additional action. Automatic payments have begun.

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 income 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. 

UnemploymentBenefitsExpanding 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.

Delaying student loan payments. Allows federally-serviced student loan borrowers to defer payments 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

Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed 3/18. More info here.

T he  Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental, signed 3/6. More info here.
PPEPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Updated 4.7 at 1:10 PM

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.

Federal request for PPE as of April 6:

Type of PPE
Received
Need
N95 Masks 220,010 2,000,000
Surgical Masks 517,000 4,460,000
Face Shields 100,232 880,000
Surgical Gowns 100,140 720,000
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 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 4/4 at 1:45 PM

Not everyone has a safe environment to "stay at home."  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 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. 

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.

The 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 here

Violence Free Colorado has gathered resources you can find 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.
Rent, Utilities & More
Updated 4.11 at 12 PM

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.

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.

Other Services

AAA Colorado is provide free emergency roadside assistance for all first responders and healthcare workers traveling to and from their duties throughout Colorado. Read more here

Lyft is providing free scooter rides for medical staff, first responders, and transit staff. To get started, critical business employers can email HeroScooters@Lyft.com to enroll their employees.
SmallBusiness Small Businesses
Updated 4.2 at 1:30 PM

The Coronavirus Small Business Loan Program: What You Need To Know, read here


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

Comprehensive resources including information on SBA Express Bridge Loans and Paycheck Protection Loans  from the  Denver Metro Small Business Development Center.

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.
SmallBusinessEmployment
Updated 4.7 at 1 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)

NOTE: If you are an  independent contractor, freelancer, or self-employed worker, the state is not yet accepting applications for unemployment benefits. 

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, "benefits will be retroactive and eligible claimants will not lose benefits while you wait to file a claim."

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.

For Artists

Apply for grants from the Colorado Artist Relief Fund, up to $1,000.
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 more seriously 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
FoodAssistance for Students  and Families
Updated 4.13 at 1:30 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. DPS is providing a limited number of hotspots to students from  these high schoolsAlso, new 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

Updated 4.13 at 1:39 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.

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

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.

Denver is seeking volunteers to support residents experiencing homelessness and in need of shelter. If you are healthy, willing and not in an at-risk category, 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.
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