Gov. Polis Provides Update on COVID-19 Response

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

DENVER - Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response and was joined by Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, lead epidemiologist at CDPHE, and Adrianne Maddux, Executive Director of Denver Indian Health and Family Services. The Governor, Lt. Governor, and Maddux addressed how the pandemic is affecting Colorado’s American Indian/Alaska Native communities. 

“Our health officials are concerned about the recent increase in virus transmission across our state. The increase is most pronounced in 18-25 year olds, who have a much lower hospitalization rate, but sadly the rate is also increasing in Coloradans of all ages and we need to turn that around,” said Governor Jared Polis. “As a state, our success is measured by our collective efforts to support and protect each other. We all must do a better job of wearing face masks, avoiding large crowds, and physically distancing ourselves.”

American Indian and Alaska Native populations have been overrepresented in hospitalizations and deaths. 

“Our partnership with the American Indian Tribes and communities that call Colorado home strengthens the fabric of our state” said Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera. “I’m proud to work directly with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe through the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs, as well as the numerous organizations who are working to support American Indians/Alaska Natives living off of tribal lands. Together, we are working to identify and address the barriers that many community members are facing. While I’m proud of the work we’ve done, there’s still much left to do and I look forward to building on these partnerships to continue improving outcomes for Colorado’s American Indian/Alaska Native populations.”

Gov. Polis and Dr. Herlihy also addressed the rising number of cases among 18-25 year olds, as well as all other age groups in Colorado, and the potential danger for community spread if not careful. Both emphasized the importance of avoiding large crowds and not attending parties in order to minimize transmission of the virus. Overall, Colorado has seen an increase in cases in all age groups. The increase is the highest in the 18-25 year old age group.

Gov. Polis today announced that the state would be implementing mandatory furlough days for all state employees, unless they are considered exempt, due to the budget shortfall. This thoughtful furlough plan helps address the state's budget shortfall while ensuring that the state’s lower wage workers are not impacted and we can continue to deliver high quality critical services for Coloradans. The state will save between $7-8 million and this will affect 23, 600 state employees. 

The Governor today amended and extended an Executive Order providing assistance to residential and commercial tenants at risk for eviction who were economically harmed by COVID-19. The Executive Order directs all landlords of rental properties to notify tenants in writing of federal protections against eviction provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor also extended Executive Orders addressing marriage licenses and temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes.