Governor Polis Provides Update on Colorado Response to COVID-19

Friday, October 9, 2020

DENVER - Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic today. 

“People of all ages are concerned with the significant increase of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Colorado and know that we must all need to do our part better to stop the spread of this deadly virus. We might be tired of the virus but it’s not tired of us,” said Governor Polis. “Whether you are 23 or 93: wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, and interact with less people each day because you love your family, yourself, and your community.”

Governor Polis signed an Executive Order today allocating $14.9M in available CARES Act funds to support the state's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • $6.0M to Energize Colorado to supplement the $20M provided by SB20-222. This funding will enable Energize Colorado to provide additional support to small businesses affected by the pandemic. SB20-222 was sponsored by Sen. Faith Winter, Sen. Jeff Bridges, Rep. Mary Young, and Rep. Perry Will.  

  • $2.6M to the Department of Local Affairs to supplement the funding provided by HB20-1410 for housing assistance to support those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Rep. Tony Exum Sr, Sen. Julie Gonzales, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. 

  • $0.1M to the Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program to supplement the funding provided by HB20-1422 to aid Colorado food pantries and food banks in the purchase of foods to meet the needs of Coloradans. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, Rep. Lisa Cutter, Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, and Sen. Tammy Story. 

  • $6.2M to the Department of Corrections for staffing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis also highlighted the Energize Gap Fund, which is a bold, ambitious proposal and bipartisan effort in the state legislature to provide much-needed relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the state that are feeling the impacts of this pandemic. In the first round, 6,000 applications that requested $79 million in grants and $56 million in loans were submitted. Over 50 percent of applicants were from women-owned entities, more than a quarter were rural entities, 12 percent were from Latino-owned enterprises, and 10 percent were from black-owned enterprises. The second round of applications just opened this week. 

Gov. Polis also discussed tips and tricks for Halloween. Coloradans should keep a physical distance and figure out ways to hand out candy while keeping distance. Move activities outside and limit the number of people. Get creative about Halloween activities, for example, a candy hunt at a local park with a small group of friends. Trick or treat close to your home. Those participating in Halloween related activities should not rely on costume masks because they may not provide a full barrier against respiratory droplets. To protect against COVID-19, a mask should have multiple layers of fabric and be free of any holes or tears.  Most importantly, do not participate in any Halloween activities - indoor or outdoor - if you are feeling symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Gov. Polis also extended Executive Orders related to learning pods.  View the news conference on the Governor’s Facebook page.