Coronavirus in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the highly infectious new coronavirus, and has urged all Coloradans to prepare themselves for at least some disruptions to daily life. Here is an updated list of information to help you do just that.

 

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MAP: COVID-19 cases in Colorado back^

MORE: Maps and graphics tracking coronavirus around the world.

 

TESTING back^

  • CAPACITY: CDPHE, hospitals, clinics and private labs have greatly expanded testing capacity, now often running in excess of 5,000 tests per day. In many locations, people no longer need a doctor’s note to get tested. CDPHE provides updated information on testing on its website. >> LINK
  • LOCATIONS: There are now at least 100 places across Colorado where you can get a test for COVID-19. In many cases, your primary care doctor or medical provider will be your first point of contact in seeking a test. But CDPHE has also assembled a map of community-based testing sites, many of which do not require a doctor’s note, though they may require pre-registration or an appointment. >> LINK

 

OFFICIAL ORDERS back^

Now that an emergency has been declared, Gov. Polis has broad powers to shape daily life in Colorado. But, so far, he has used that authority in more nuanced ways, by issuing some executive orders, but also by issuing non-binding guidance and letting state agencies set emergency rules. Here’s a rundown:

  • An order declaring a disaster emergency. >> LINK
  • A public health order limiting visitation at nursing homes. >> LINK
  • An order closing ski resorts. >> LINK
  • An order closing bars, restaurants, gyms, casinos, theaters, spas, salons and tattoo parlors statewide until the end of April. >> LINK
  • An order suspending elective and non-essential surgeries at hospitals, dentist offices and veterinary practices. >> LINK
  • A request to landlords and property managers to forego evictions and late payment penalties, as the state convenes a panel to address business issues. >> LINK
  • An order suspending in-person instruction at Colorado K-12 schools between March 23 and April 17. >> LINK
  • A rule telling insurance companies not to charge copays or deductibles for medical care related to testing for COVID-19. >> LINK
  • A rule creating a special open-enrollment period related to COVID-19 so people can buy health insurance. >> LINK
  • A rule allowing people age 65 and older to renew their driver’s license without going into a DMV location. >> LINK
  • A rule requiring employers in certain industries to provide paid sick leave to workers during the period they are receiving testing for COVID-19. >> LINK
  • A rule allowing state employees to work from home and providing other protections. >> LINK
  • Guidance for schools and child care centers about when to close because of COVID-19. >> LINK
  • Guidance for the cancellation of public gatherings. >> LINK

 

RESOURCES back^

  • NUMBERS: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is updating its case tallies for the state once a day, as well as providing other information. >> LINK
  • PREPARATION: CDPHE is maintaining a list of links to government websites with advice on how prepare for COVID-19 or the disruptions to our communities that may come from it. Start preparing now. >> LINK
  • PREVENTION: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more tips to keep from getting sick, including avoiding close contact and crowded gatherings. >> LINK
  • SONGS TO WASH BY: Twenty seconds — the amount of time recommended you should spend washing your hands each time — is surprisingly long, about what it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. The Los Angeles Times put together a list of other songs you can sing that are a little catchier. >> LINK
  • SYMPTOMS: Many of the symptoms of COVID-19 appear — at least initially — similar to those of the common cold: Fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. They appear two to 14 days after exposure. The CDC has more. >> LINK
  • WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK: If you feel yourself coming down with something, DO NOT race to the hospital or emergency room — unless you are in dire and immediate need of medical attention. Stay home from work or school and isolate yourself. Practice good hygiene, such as covering sneezes and coughs with a tissue and then throwing the tissue away immediately in a trashcan with a liner. Call your doctor, a hospital or a community health center for guidance on what to do next.
  • COVID-19 or ALLERGIES?: ‘Tis the season to feel a little off — the time when the tail-end of flu season mingles with the beginning of allergy season. The Washington Post has a helpful story on how to differentiate between allergies and COVID-19. The D.C. area is ahead of Colorado when it comes to the start of allergy season, but this will be handy as the weather warms in Colorado. Again, though, stay home and call your doctor if you have any doubts about your symptoms. >> LINK
  • OTHER QUESTIONS: CDPHE has established a COVID-19 hotline, CO-HELP. Call them at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. Information is available in multiple languages. You can also email questions, for answers in English only, to COHELP@RMPDC.org.
  • TRAVEL: The CDC is providing guidance on general travel plans and whether you should cancel them. >> LINK
  • INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: Check the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory page for up-to-date guidance on traveling to your specific destination. A number of countries now have COVID-19-related advisories. >> LINK

 

HOW TO HELP back^

  • HELP FROM HOME: We’ve rounded up ways you can make a difference in your community, even while you’re stuck at home. >> LINK
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