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House District 1
The Governors State of Emergency and What it Means for You.

 
What the State of Emergency Means for You

On March 10th, Gov. Polis declared a state of emergency in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). This declaration will help ensure resources are available to the state to combat COVID-19.

A few of the directives in the state of emergency include:
  •  workers in food handling, hospitality, child care, health care, and education can get paid sick leave to miss work if they exhibit flu-like symptoms and have to miss work awaiting testing results for COVID-19. 
  • Workers without paid leave that test positive will need to contact CDLE for additional support such as wage replacement and access to unemployment insurance. 
  • State employees who test positive are being directed to work from home if they can do so.
  •  For impacted state employees who cannot work remotely, such as correctional officers, assisted living staff, etc., the administration is working to ensure paid leave options for those who are ill, can continue to put food on the table while protecting public health.
  • Coloradans over 65 can renew their license online until the risk of exposure subsides.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will be opening a drive-up lab at their facility in Lowry to test anyone who has a note from their doctor stating that they meet the criteria for testing. You must still have a doctor’s order to get tested at the new drive-up lab. That facility is located at 8100 E Lowry Blvd, Denver, CO 80230. 

 

 

What we know about COVID-19 (Corona Virus)

  • People who are at greatest risk for this virus are:
    • People who have traveled to areas where widespread community transmission is occurring.
    • Affected geographic areas with widespread of sustained community transmission: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html 
    • Travel health notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
    • People who had direct close contact with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19.
    • Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including:
    • Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80.
    • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
    • Older people with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk.
      People at higher risk should take action now to be prepared for this virus if there is an outbreak in their community.
    • CDC has the information you need to prepare.
  • At this time of year, there are many causes of respiratory illness in Colorado and around the globe.
  • There are many kinds of corona viruses currently circulating in Colorado and the U.S. that cause respiratory illness. These corona viruses are not COVID-19.
  • People who have symptoms and a recent travel history to affected geographic areas should contact a health care provider.
    • Symptoms of corona virus infection include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
    • People who have corona virus symptoms who also have a recent travel history to an affected area should first call a health care provider, urgent care, or hospital for instructions before going to a clinic or emergency room in person.
  • COVID-19 is able to spread from person-to-person and has caused disease ranging from mild to severe, including disease resulting in death. 

Suggested Precautionary Measures

Take everyday actions to protect yourself and those you love. There are effective ways to reduce the risk to yourself and the people you care about.

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm and prepared: Resources on how to prepare can be found at the following resources:
  • FEMA: Guidance for COVID-19 preparedness
  • CDC: Getting your household ready for COVID-19
  • CDPHE Environmental Cleaning Guidance for COVID-19​
  • People who are not sick do not need face masks to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Ill people should wear a mask to protect family members or in any scenario where needed to prevent the spread of germs.

Workplaces and Businesses

  • Employers should take steps to make it possible for employees to minimize close contact with large numbers of people when necessary.
  • Make sure flex place options are available.
  • Urge employees to stay home when they are sick, and be flexible with sick leave benefits.
  • Model and encourage everyday actions to limit the spread of illness.

CDC recommendations for businesses and employers

Event and community gatherings

If you are considering postponing or canceling events and gatherings, coordinate with your local public health agency and other community decision-makers to align with community preparedness and mitigation practices.

CDC recommendations for large gatherings and community events

Schools

Please contact your school or district for information about current or potential school closures.
Things to remember

It is normal to be scared, distressed or angry when you hear about a disease outbreak, even when you are at low risk of getting sick. Be careful not to turn fear and anger towards people who have become sick. But remember to ask yourself:
  • Would you think or do the same thing if this was a different infectious disease, like the flu?
  • Does what I’m doing make people safer or does it create more fear or harm? 
Know that the risk of COVID-19 is not at all connected with race, ethnicity, or nationality. Blaming others will not help fight the illness. Seeking and sharing accurate information will. Recognize signs of stress in yourself. Identify what you are afraid of. Figure out if what you fear is something that you can address right now. If not, know what activities help you release energy from stress and fear, such as physical activity, listening to music, or talking with someone you trust. Do something that puts you in a positive mood.

What we are doing

State public health’s role includes

  • Testing for COVID-19 at the state lab seven days a week. The testing lab can be found at: 8100 E. Lowry Blvd, Denver, CO 80230. This week, the center will be open 10 a.m. - 2 p.m Wednesday - Friday.
  • Providing information about the disease and how to report suspected cases to local health departments and health care providers in Colorado.
  • Coordinating with local public health agencies to determine the need for monitoring, quarantine, or other restriction of movement and activities for individuals with travel history to foreign countries where community spread is prevalent.
  • Ensuring health care providers know how to safely manage and collect specimens from people with possible COVID-19 infection and supporting hospitals and local public health labs in collecting and transporting those specimens.
  • Working with local public health agencies, community health care providers, suppliers/distributors, as well as federal partners, to identify and mitigate potential shortages of supplies, medications, and personal protective equipment that would likely be used in the event of an outbreak in Colorado.
  • We are monitoring supply chain irregularities, and we’re providing guidance to health care partners on how to optimize and conserve supplies.
We are working diligently at the state level and are doing our best to protect every Coloradan. In line with the rest of the state Harvey Park Rec. Center and I have decided to cancel my March town hall until further notice. 

 Please feel free to reply to this email or to call me at 303-866-2966. If you have any questions, concerns, or even a simple idea on how I can better serve our district, please reach out to me.

Sincerely, 
Susan Lontine
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