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State of Colorado
On June 30, 2020 Governor Jared Polis today extended the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Executive Order, and provided an update on Colorado’s next steps during the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing more details on the Protect Our Neighbors framework. The Governor was joined by Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment; Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s top epidemiologist; Joni Reynolds, the Gunnison County Public Health Director; and Jason Vahling, the City and County of Broomfield Public Health Director.
The Governor did not announce any additional relaxing of restrictions today, but described the new phase: Protect Our Neighbors that will give local communities more freedom to provide economic opportunity while ensuring that they have the necessary public health capacity. The introduction of the new phase means that different parts of the state could be at different phases of reopening, based on local conditions and capabilities.
Moving forward, communities that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems, paired with low virus levels, can take on more control over their reopening plans. In order to reopen to this greater extent, communities must have:
- Low virus prevalence;
- Health care capacity to handle
- a surge; and
- Strong public health capacity to contain outbreaks and surges locally, including the ability to test, track, and trace.
In order to qualify for Protect Our Neighbors, a county (or region) must do two things:
- Certify qualification according to the scientific metrics; and
- Submit a mitigation and containment plan on what the county or region will do if they fall out of compliance with any of the metrics. This containment plan must be accompanied by letters of support from local elected leaders including county commissioners and mayors, the hospitals that serve that community, law enforcement, county emergency management, local public health, and if applicable, tribes
The certification process will begin next week. To learn more about how a community can qualify, click here.
Communities in Protect Our Neighbors will be able to permit all activities to occur at 50 percent of pre-pandemic capacity, with at least six feet between non-household members and no more than 500 people in one setting at a time. Local communities may issue more detailed guidelines or public health orders for different settings, so long as the capacity does not exceed these caps.
Douglas County Variance
Late Friday, June 26, Douglas County received a letter of approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment(CDPHE) pertaining to the County’s variance request for gatherings, receptions, events and life rites – and the County’s variance request for theaters, team sports and pools.
Approvals are specific to limited capacities, sustainability of favorable public health data, with social distancing and adherence to public health orders. The approvals will:
- Allow 175 people indoors and 250 outdoors for: gatherings, receptions, events and life rites; indoor and outdoor pools;
- Allow 50 players indoors and outdoors for recreational league sports and tournaments;
- Allow libraries and bowling alleys to expand to 50% capacity not to exceed 175 people indoors; and
- Allow 175 people indoors at movie theaters, performance theaters, opera houses, concert halls and music halls.
For all indoor and outdoor spaces, in order to achieve 6-foot distancing, the limit is 50% of the posted occupancy code ensuring a minimum of 28 square feet per person not to exceed more than 175 people gathered in a confined indoor space at any given time, and not to exceed 250 in an outdoor space.
Funding for Businesses
SBDC Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources Webpage
Get information on all funding options (EIDL, PPP, Bridge Loans), tax credits and tax deferrals and download the PPP application
Help Colorado Now (non-profits and community organizations)
The Colorado COVID Relief Fund’s purpose is to raise and coordinate allocation of funds based on prevention, impact and recovery needs of community-based organizations in Colorado.
Paid Leave and Tax Credit
Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.
Guides and Resources fro the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Other Resources for Businesess
Digital Resource Center from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Digital Resources Center provides the latest state guidelines, sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools and resources to help employers and employees return to work safely and successfully. They will regularly update these tools and resources as new information becomes available.
Arapahoe/Douglas Works! Resources for Employers
Information on The Work Share & Rapid Response Programs, Unemployment, and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Rules
Families First Act - Sick and Medical Leave for Employees
Requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements.
Douglas County Community Response Webpage
Find information on public health, human recovery needs, economic recovery needs and volunteer opportunities
Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Resources are available to support small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, and independent contractors.
Two-Month Grace Period for Business Personal Property Tax - Douglas County
Good news for businesses owners in Douglas County who face an upcoming deadline to file their business personal property declarations. Douglas County Assessor Lisa Frizell has extended the deadline to June 15 with no late penalties imposed.
Resources for Employees
Health Insurance for Individuals
You can purchase health insurance within a 60-day window of losing job-base coverage, a change in income and other life changing events.