$2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package has been signed into law.

COVID-19 Tele-Town Hall on March 29th at 3:30PM. More informatio n here .

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As of Thursday, there are 1,734 confirmed COVID-19 cases in  Colorado with 31 deaths.  This is an increase  of 304 confirmed cases since yesterday's report. In Denver, the number of positive cases is 328. Social distancing will help us flatten the curve. Keep it up. Stay home.

Like many of you, I have friends and family that are feeling extremely overwhelmed due to school closures. Some of my friends with kids are worried, stressed and frankly, over listening to Paw Patrol 24/7. Staying home doesn't have to mean losing touch, right Representative Garnett (pictured below)? From virtual tours to dance classes, here are some ways to keep you and your kids engaged:
DPS will launch remote instruction on April 6 or 7 (depending on your school's calendar). To make sure that our students have access to remote instruction please  donate  new or refurbished laptops. Learn more here. For additional resources on home learning click here.

There are many ways to keep your kids (and you!) engaged and have fun while doing it! Institutions are all stepping up to provide resources for kids while they are home. Even Baby Shark is doing it's part (WARNING: this will get stuck in your head). 

We will get through these extraordinary times. Please continue to keep you and your kids inside and safe.

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). 
TownHallCOVID-19 Tele-Town Hall 

Join Majority Leader Alec Garnett and Representative Leslie Herod on Sunday, March 29th at 3:30 PM to talk about COVID-19. Participants will be able to ask questions and hear back from their Representatives as well as Attorney General Phil Weiser, Christopher J Ott, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer for HCA Healthcare Physician Service Group, Pat Teegarden, Director of Policy and Legislation, for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, and Dr. Bill Burman, the Director of Denver Public Health.

When: Sunday, March 29th at 3:30PM

Click here to register.
Denver's Stay-at-Home Order

To slow the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Hancock has issued a mandatory  stay-at-home order for Denver, which is now in effect. 

Click here for the full text, including exemptions to the restrictions. Find frequently asked questions here.

*COVID-19 By The  Numbers
Updated 3.27 at 3:25 PM

Colorado: 304 new cases were reported on Friday for a total of
1734   cases and 31 deaths. [ Source ]

United States: All 50 states have confirmed cases, with the largest hotspots in New York ( 44,635  cases), New Jersey (6,876 cases), and California (4104 cases). [ Source ]

Global:  China, South Korea and Singapore have been reporting less than 150 new cases per day, while 3 countries reported more than 5,000 new cases on Thursday, including Germany (6,615), Spain (8,271), and the United States (17,224 new cases) [ Source ]
Economic Relief

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 3/17 at 4:01 PM

*Governor Polis has removed restrictions on auto insurance for restaurant delivery drivers. [Full Text]

Governor Polis has issued a statewide "Stay-at-Home" order that will last through April 11th.

*To report instances where folks are not following the "Stay-at-Home" order please contact your county public health department ( Denver) or go to the Attorney Generals 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 3.27 at 3:11 PM

b*$2 Trillion Aid Package

Today an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package was signed into law. This package  include s  sending direct payments to taxpayers, increasing unemployment benefits, providing small businesses that keep their workers with emergency loans, providing distressed companies with government bailouts and providing hospitals with $100 billion in aid.  The New York Times is providing live updates on this package here

ReceivingPayment*Receiving your direct payment. Single adults with Social Security numbers who are U.S. residents and have an annual gross income (income before taxes) of $75,000 or less will receive $1,200. For every child age 16 or younger, you will receive an additional $500. You do NOT have to apply to receive this payment. These payments are expected to come within the next three weeks.

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, expanding the number of Americans that are covered.

*Delaying student loan payments.  Under this bill you can delay student loan payments for up to 6 months. Interest will not accrue until September 30th, without penalty. You must request this delay. 

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.
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.
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

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 / 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 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 3.26 at 12:32PM

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business 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.

*The VA is seeking temporary employees. For specific details on this opportunity email VHAECHResourceLaborPool@va.gov.
MentalHealth 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, 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 3.27 3:00 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 (starting today) 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.

Assistance for Students  and Families
Updated 3.27 11:35 AM

Laptops*Technology needed. The Colorado Department of Higher Education is working together with Help Colorado Now to ensure that every child has access to computers for online and distance learning. For many of our most vulnerable students, even a few weeks can be the difference between success and failure. Learn more about communities in need and technology requested here. Help ensure that student's studies aren't interrupted and donate new and refurbished laptops today. 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 be available for pick up on weekdays from 11AM-12:30PM. 

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.
*Personal Protective Equipment
Updated 3.27 at 1:00 PM

Colorado currently has 1849 ICU beds and 9,000 ventilators. The goal is to add 1,000 ICU beds by May, 5,000 ICU beds this summer and 7,000 ventilators. Please see donation/drop off resources below.

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.

You can also fill out this form and someone will reach out to you to coordinate the donation.

* To donate Personal Protective Equipment keep the bare minimum amount of supply you need to conduct essential or life saving functions, and contribute the remainder to our state's COVID19 response. 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 .

Updated 3.27 at 12:50 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.
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