Gov. Polis Provides Update on COVID-19 From Eastern Plains

Friday, September 11, 2020

FORT MORGAN - Governor Polis discussed the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and visited local businesses, agriculture producers, and organizations supported by the COVID-19 Relief Fund today in Sterling, Otis, Yuma, and Fort Morgan.

"We rely on a strong and vibrant Eastern Plains community and economy to help Colorado truly thrive, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to support individuals and families during this challenging time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I was thrilled to visit so many of the local businesses, organizations, and non-profit recipients of the COVID Relief Fund who are at the heart of these communities and are working to strengthen the local economy and provide support.”

This afternoon, Governor Polis was joined by Betsy Markey, the Executive Director of OEDIT, Rick Garcia, Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs, and Angie Paccione, Executive Director at the Colorado Department of Higher Education at today’s briefing from Fort Morgan Community College on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Governor began the day in Sterling where he visited the Annex, a co-working space that helps support the area’s small businesses which are key to Colorado’s economic resiliency. 

Gov. Polis then visited a fourth-generation dry land farmer in Otis to discuss the challenges facing farmers with the ongoing climate-induced drought and the importance of Colorado’s agricultural sector which contributes billions to the economy. The Governor later visited Morgan Community College and met with students and faculty. 

This afternoon, Gov. Polis visited OneMorgan County, Early Childhood Council for Yuma Washington & Kit Carson Counties, and S.H.A.R.E Inc., all recipients of COVID-19 Relief Fund grants. OneMorgan County is a trusted hub for immigrant and refugee residents in Northeastern Colorado. They received a $25,000 grant to create and distribute COVID-19 prevention information in seven of Morgan County’s most prevalent languages.

The Early Childhood Council for Yuma Washington & Kit Carson Counties received a $20,000 grant to provide information, resources, support, and supplies to early learning and child care providers across the Yuma, Washington, and Kit Carson counties. They help deliver food, health and safety supplies, and key personnel so that early learning centers and homes can remain open safely, or reopen, and provide care to the children of essential workers.

S.H.A.R.E Inc. received a $10,000 grant to help support its operations during a time of increased demand. Like many domestic violence shelters across the state and country, the organization is experiencing a sharp increase in demand for their services as levels of abuse rise due to the pandemic.

To date,  the relief fund has provided nearly $1.6 million to organizations serving counties on the Eastern Plains, including Yuma, Washington, Sedgwick, Phillips, Lincoln, Cheyenne, Morgan, Logan, and Kit Carson.

Gov. Polis also announced that next Wednesday is the last day families can apply for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). P-EBT provides eligible families with funds to help buy food. Households that were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program can receive up to $279 per eligible child.  P-EBT is for all families with eligible students, regardless of immigration status, and not part of the public charge rule. Some families that were on SNAP this spring may have automatically received P-EBT this July. All other eligible families must apply before September 23. Learn more at


View the Governor’s news conference.