On Wednesday, Governor Polis announced a statewide stay-at-home order that began on Thursday, March 26 and will last until April 11, 2020. The Governor also provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and actions taken to limit the spread of the virus.
“Coloradans are living through a global pandemic and this decision was made to help save lives,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We will continue doing everything we can to get the resources Colorado needs to address COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. In true Colorado spirit, we’re seeing our friends, family and neighbors rise to the challenge, donating their time, money or extra supplies to support relief efforts at the state and local levels. We are in this together and this is the season to stay at home to save lives.”
This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities including:
- Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
- Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties
Colorado continues facing a shortage of resources in addressing this pandemic, which is why the Governor sent a letter to the Trump administration urging the president to declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado. A major disaster declaration would free up resources for medical care, housing, unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, hazard mitigation and more. California, Washington and New York have received these declarations.
While the state is facing a shortage of resources, Coloradans are stepping up to try and fill the gap. More than 7,000 Coloradans have already signed up to volunteer on helpcoloradonow.org, nearly 1,300 of which have medical training. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund has also raised more than $7 million since launching late last week.
Gov. Polis requested and received dual-status commander authority to ensure unity of command, allowing regular, federal military units to be controlled by a single commander representing the Governor. This will help to eliminate confusion and conflict and allow the state to streamline the utilization of military personnel in this response.
The Governor announced that the state lab has eliminated its backlog and there will be new labs coming online at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University Hospital, and Children’s Hospital. The Governor thanked CSU and CU for their willingness to test the personal protective equipment the private sector is ramping up that the state needs now.
Governor Polis also provided an update on the federal stimulus package which included $377 billion for small business loans and grants, $1200 in direct cash assistance to Americans based on income eligibility.
The Governor also provided an update on the Innovation Response Team, introducing two new members: Lucy Sanders and Tim Miller. Lucy is the CEO and a co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology and will head up Isolation Services. The objective is to provide people who are in self-isolation or home quarantine with critical supplies like food and access to health care, and also ancillary services to make their at-home experience as comfortable as possible. Tim Miller is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rally Software and will head the Software Development Team. The objective is to build applications and web sites for both government and citizens to manage all aspects of the crisis, and provide the state with key data.
The Governor also noted that the Innovation Response Team is working as hard as they can to identify manufacturers and supply chains, but urged the private sector to help in this effort.