CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response for May 20, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Gov. Polis Provides COVID-19 Update
DENVER — Gov. Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and discussed a new development impacting children. The Governor was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s leading epidemiologist and Dr. Sam Dominguez, MD, PhD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and Medical Director of the Microbiology Lab at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“We are taking these new developments impacting children very seriously and want to ensure that Coloradans have the information they need to know what to look for and keep their families safe during this difficult time,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This isn’t a vacation. If Coloradans want restaurants to open like I do, our kids to be able to return to school, want to be able to ski next season, and if we want to save your life and the lives of our loved ones then we all need to continue to do our part. This is not a normal Memorial Day Weekend. It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the middle of a worldwide pandemic – the worst pandemic since 1918 and the worst we hopefully will ever see in our lifetime.”
Gov. Polis discussed reports of a new COVID-19-linked syndrome impacting children in Italy, the United Kingdom, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, and likely other states. There are currently three potential cases in Colorado, pending review by the CDC. The state will share those results with the public as soon as possible.
This syndrome, which has been found to have a strong correlation with children who have antibodies for COVID-19, has commonly been referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, abbreviated as (MIS-C). MIS-C is most similar to other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Children with this syndrome may become seriously ill and have problems with their heart or other organs, requiring hospitalized care. While this disease seems to be very rare, the state is taking it seriously.
The Governor also called on the White House to extend the federal deployment of National Guard service members until the end of the year, instead of just until June 24. National Guard members have served as crucial front line responders and boosted the state’s ability to test, monitor, and respond to this crisis. If this decision is not reconsidered, Colorado could lose hundreds if not thousands of frontline workers overnight. The state’s ability to test, to monitor, and to respond to this crisis would be diminished without the brave guardsmen and women. On April 29, every single member of Colorado’s federal delegation sent a letter to the White House imploring the president to continue funding Colorado’s Guard through the end of the year.
The Governor also provided an update on the COVID Relief Fund, announcing it has raised just over $18 million. In the third round, there were 134 approved grants in total: 101 in the Impact priority area, and 33 in the Prevention priority area. The total amount funded in this cycle was $2.7 million. To date, through the first three rounds, 505 grants have been disbursed for a total of $11.1 million to organizations serving all 64 counties. Decisions are being made for the 4th round of funding and the 5th round is now open for applications, for impact and recovery. Organizations seeking funding should apply by Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m.
The Governor also announced that the Rose Community Foundation is accepting funding requests to support organizations that are working to mitigate or alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on communities in the seven-county Greater Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. The proposal deadline is May 27.
Priority Funding Areas include:
Mental health (telehealth counseling, therapy, case management, hotlines, mindfulness, physical activity)
Job loss / back to work support (re-training, up-skill training, job search/placement, childcare assistance)
Basic needs assistance for individuals and families (rent, utilities, family economic stabilization, etc.)
Census outreach work that has been disrupted by COVID-19
Health disparities in communities of color
Addressing racial/ethnic backlash to COVID-19
Virtual service delivery
And other public health priorities.
Grants will be structured as general operating or programmatic grants, at the request of the applicant, with all funds to be used for the organization’s stated response to COVID-19 or its impact on the communities served. Visit the Rose Community Foundation website for details on how to apply for funding.
To watch the full news conference, visit the Governor’s Facebook page.