Fri Jun 19th, 2020
Tags: 2020 Census, Can Do Colorado Community Challenge, Colorado, Coronavirus (COVID-19), coronavirus pandemic, Governor Jared Polis, Wearing Masks
Masks are the passport to the Colorado we love. According to a recent study by Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, social distancing is not enough to reduce the rate of infection, but when paired with widespread mask-wearing, the results are dramatic.
According to the report, mask-wearing is “an acceptable way of managing the pandemic and re-opening economic activity” until we have a cure or vaccine.
That’s why the state launched a public service announcement campaign about mask-wearing.
Wearing masks is one of the easiest things Coloradans can do to reduce the economic damage and help the state reopen as quickly and as safely as possible.
Can Do Colorado Community Challenge
As Coloradans continue to learn how to live with COVID-19, the Governor would like to encourage creativity and innovation among leaders so we can reopen parts of our economy as safely and as quickly as possible.
To do that, Governor Polis launched the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge today, a new program that rewards companies and local governments who are getting creative with teleworking and reducing in-person interactions.
Teleworking has a range of benefits beyond helping to stop the spread of COVID-19, including:
This program is the result of a partnership between many of the state’s departments and agencies—all doing their part to encourage these practices with businesses and communities across our state.
The multi-agency effort will be complemented by a small, rapid grant program from the state with microgrants for business telecommuting plans and mini-grants for local government changes that will reduce in-person interactions, such as street repurposing for dining and recreation, or e-bike pilot programs for workers to continue to reduce congestion, traffic, and air pollution.
More information about the program is available on candocolorado.org.
Youth Behavioral Health Survey
In 2019, the Colorado Department of Human Services was directed to spearhead Colorado’s Behavioral Health Task Force to improve Colorado’s behavioral health system.
The task force is collecting data from many different sources so they can hear firsthand how our behavioral health system impacts the residents of our state. It is especially important to hear from young people, aged 12-26, about their mental health experiences, so the task force is soliciting input using a new survey.
Given the well-documented uptick in mental and behavioral health issues among young people in our state, it’s more critical than ever to have people share their stories.
The survey will be open until June 22, and can be accessed by visiting coloradoyouthsurvey.com.
The 2020 Census is happening right now and it is incredibly important for everyone to get counted. The Census helps determine the state’s level of representation in Congress and funding from the federal government that every Coloradan benefits from.
Getting Colorado’s fair share of our federal resources is always important, but it is absolutely crucial that we get what we need to fight this devastating pandemic.
The Census form should have arrived at your home with a unique number provided to you. If you don’t have the form or the number, that’s okay — just visit 2020Census.gov to make sure you can fill out the online form and get counted.
The Census may call you if they have questions, but be on the lookout for scams — an official Census call will not ask you for money or bank information.
Let’s make sure all Coloradans get counted.
Behind the Numbers: Mike’s Story
The importance of continuing safety precautions, such as wearing your mask and other sanitary practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cannot be overstated.
We want to share this story about one of our state employees’ experiences with COVID-19
Mike Clark, a Civil Engineer with the Colorado Department of Transportation in Region 1 came down with COVID-19 on Sunday, March 15, and spent nine days in bed getting progressively weaker and sicker. He went with his wife to urgent care and the next thing he remembers is waking up nearly two weeks later in the ICU at St. Anthony’s Hospital.
He woke up to nurses in white plastic space helmets, a ventilator down in his lungs with no way to talk, and a constant thirst that couldn’t be satisfied because there was no way to swallow.
Two or three days after waking up, the ventilator was removed, which Mike said felt like having his toenails pulled through his throat, but at least he could whisper and beg for ice cubes to re-hydrate.
After being in bed for so long, he lost up to three percent of muscle mass per day, with no strength to walk and barely enough strength to roll onto the bed pan. Mike puts this pandemic into perspective:
“If there is anything that should prompt you to wear a mask at work, it is the thought of lying in bed, in a hospital, atop a bed pan.”
Mike had to learn to walk again with the help of a walker, and even needed physical therapy to swallow again. Today, Mike is able to eat solid food again and has regained his ability to walk with the assistance of a cane.
After 34 days and a terrifying near-death experience in the hospital, Mike was finally able to return home.
There have been tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases in Colorado. Behind each case is a person. Although we hesitate to say Mike was “lucky,” we know that not all have had as fortunate of an outcome.
Mike is deserving of our thanks for being willing to share his story, so we can all remember what’s at stake. He is a true public servant, and we wish him all the best on his road to recovery.
As businesses and recreational areas open up, it is essential that we: