Colorado governor announces relief fund, emergency child care for those impacted by coronavirus

Colorado has launched a relief fund and volunteer effort to help those who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus.

Jared Polis (D-Colorado) announced a relief fund Wednesday for people who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to challenge Coloradans to do our part, each and every one of us, to help us all get through this,” Polis said.

Donations can be provided to helpcoloradonow.org, Polis said. As of Wednesday morning, it had raised $2.8 million and the governor said he was reaching out to large organizations for donations.

These donations will help fund everything from medical supplies to staff at homeless shelters and aid for service workers who have lost their jobs due to an order from the governor’s office that restaurants cease all operations outside of takeout and delivery.

In addition, Polis said the fund needs volunteers. He also asked that people donate blood if they can, since blood banks are reporting shortages.

“You can help with blood, if you’re eligible; you can help with money, if you have it,” Polis said.

Polis also said he has established a means for essential workers to continue to receiving childcare on a sliding scale based on income. This information is available at covidchildcarecolorado.com.

This comes after numerous school districts in Colorado closed due to social distancing efforts associated with the novel coronavirus. Nonessential workers have been asked to work from home, but parents who work as emergency workers or at grocery stores will still be going to work.

Polis said his office has also made unemployment insurance available to Coloradans who lost their jobs as the result of COVID-19. He conceded that he expects claims to increase as “the virus takes a larger toll on our economy.”

He said the governor’s office is also shifting more workers to the call center to help people with their unemployment claims. Polis also said his office has reached out to the Small Business Administration for loans and is working to enact further measures.

The governor also called on the federal government to pass a stimulus package that President Donald Trump had previously said would send checks to people across the country.

Polis said his office was looking at options to help people who have lost their income due to COVID-19 pay their rent and mortgages, and that at this point eviction orders will “not be processed as they normally are.”

Cases of the novel coronavirus were first reported in Colorado on March 5 and more have been confirmed since then. As of this writing, two people have died.

On Monday, Polis said bars and restaurants across the state will offer takeout and delivery only for 30 days and larger gathering places like theaters and casinos will close to combat the spread of COVID-19.

All the ski areas across the state have also closed.

Health officials have advocated for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. People with preexisting health conditions and those over 60 have been told to stay home in order to avoid contracting the disease.

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