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Safer-at Home Phase
What is Safer-at-Home?
The Social Distancing work done by Coloradans has worked to help flatten the curve. However, Governor Polis believes that the level of Social Distancing under the Stay-at-Home order is not sustainable for all areas of Colorado. Safer-at-Home is the second phase of Colorado’s COVID-19 response that is a “phase of individual responsibility, and a phase of sustainability.”
How does Safer-at-Home differ from Stay-at-Home?
The Stay-at-Home Order will expire on April 26th.
Beginning on April 27th, Retail Stores can begin using curbside pick-up and real estate showings can resume. Elective surgeries and Dental Offices may re-open if following social distancing guideliness.
On May 1st, Retail and Personal Services can open if they follow the safe practices, including keeping 6-feet between customers and limiting the number of customers in the store. Personal Services include hair salons, personal trainers, and dog parlors, among others. For questions about which businesses may re-open, visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/ or reach out to Jeni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 4th, non-essential offices may re-open to 50% capacity if symptom and temperature checks are in place for employees. Coloradans should continue to work from home if at all possible.
Is this a Grand Re-opening of Colorado?
No, this is not a grand re-opening. In fact, it is quite the opposite. During this new phase, parts of the economy may re-open but must follow the same social distancing requirements that are currently in place, including keeping 6 feet between one another and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people. People should continue to restrict their non-essential travel as much as possible. Coloradans should not throw parties, plan trips to the mountains, or play pick-up soccer games under this order.
This is a slowly phased-in adjustment to our COVID-19 response. If Coloradans stop following the social distancing requirements, there will be a spike in cases and a Stay-at-Home order will need to be reinstated.
When will Restaurants and Food Services re-open?
Governor Polis’ Coronavirus Task Force has indicated that Restaurants and Food Services may resume some services beginning some time in Mid-May. However, they have not stated a date for that change. Right now, restaurants and food services may continue to provide take-out and delivery.
2020 Federal COVID-19 Rebates
Why is Congress proposing to pay rebates to individuals?
The public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are significant. These rebates help Americans afford what they need during this public health crisis, as many are experiencing a significant cash crunch.
When will the rebates be distributed?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will work to deliver rebates quickly in the form of advance payments. For people who filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or
address information already on file with the IRS. Electronic distributions will be automatic to an account the payee authorized January 1, 2018 or later.
How large are the rebates?
The amount of the rebate depends on family size. The payment is $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers), and $500 per qualifying child under age 17. The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers).
Do rebates need to be repaid?
No, rebates do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files
their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021.
How will rebates be delivered?
It depends. Rebates will be delivered automatically—by the IRS—to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns. When available, electronic direct deposit will be used in place of mailing a physical check.
Many individuals don’t need to file a tax return. Are non-filers eligible for rebates?
Yes. There is no earned income requirement to be eligible for a rebate, but non-filers may need to take additional steps to receive their rebates. The Social Security Administration will share information for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) beneficiaries with IRS to help ensure these beneficiaries receive an automatic advance payment. The IRS will conduct a public awareness campaign to reach other non-filers and provide them with information on how they can access rebates.
How will a person who has recently moved access rebates?
The IRS will determine payment delivery systems for everyone entitled to rebates.
Will the rebates affect my eligibility for federal income-targeted programs?
No, the rebate is considered a tax refund and is not counted towards eligibility for federal programs.
What identification requirements apply to receive rebates?
Taxpayers must have Social Security Numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive
Governor Polis issues Statewide Stay in Place Order
As of 6 am on March 26th, the state of Colorado is under a “Stay in Place” order. This order requires that all non-essential businesses close and all employees must work from home if possible. This order will stay in effect until Saturday, April 11th, unless otherwise ordered. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Stay in Place order.
Why is the Order necessary? On March 5, 2020, CDPHE’s public health laboratory confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued to climb. We all need to take these precautions for the preservation of public health and safety throughout the entire State and to ensure our healthcare delivery system can serve those who are sick.
The Polis administration, along with other state, local, and federal authorities, has taken a wide array of actions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, prevent further spread, and protect against overwhelming our health care resources.
The economic impacts of COVID-19 are significant, and threaten to undermine the economic stability of many Coloradans and local businesses. The period of the economic disruption must be minimized by minimizing the spread of the virus. We must take action to shore up economic security, employment, community cohesion, and community recovery.
Where does the “Stay in Place” order apply? The Governor’s executive order includes the entire state except areas in which a county health authority obtains approval from CDPHE to modify the order. Unless you work for a critical business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible. Although this order does not apply to critical business, social distancing will be mandated for those businesses that remain open.
What is the difference between the stay in place order and social distancing? Stay in Place makes it very clear that Coloradans should take extreme steps to avoid contact with anybody outside their household and minimize contact in public places that could be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus.
Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions. The Stay in Place order requires people to remain in their homes unless they are going to or from work or doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet.
What does the Stay in Place order do? For Businesses:
● Critical businesses exempt from this Executive Order.
● Critical businesses must take all steps possible to comply with social distancing requirements.
To remain at home, only leave their home to engage in activities or perform tasks critical to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members or to go to or return from critical work. They can leave their home to:
● Obtain food and other household necessities for themselves and their family or household members.
● Deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, food, pet supply, other household consumer products, and products or equipment necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of a residence.
● To engage in outdoor activity, such as, walking, hiking, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, biking or running. For purposes of outdoor activity, State parks will remain open to the public to engage in walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar outdoor activities but all playgrounds, picnic areas, other similar areas conducive to public gathering, and attended areas shall be closed.
● To perform work for critical industries.
● To care for a family member, a vulnerable person, or pet in another household, or to care for livestock kept at a location other than an individual’s home.
● To seek medical care.
● Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate until their symptoms cease or until they have a negative test result.
Is this mandatory or just guidance? This order is mandatory.
How will this order be enforced? Residents who suspect that someone is violating the order should first contact their local public health agency to report any concerns. Residents may also file a report with the Attorney General’s Office at email@example.com if local law enforcement or a local public health agency is unresponsive.
Will the Colorado National Guard be enforcing this order? No. The Colorado National Guard will be supporting logistics, transportation, and medical response efforts. The Guard will not be enforcing this order.
What is a Critical Business or Operation Under the Order? These are the businesses that will be open:
1. Healthcare Operations, Including:
● hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health facilities.
● medical and dental care, including ambulatory providers.
● research and laboratory services.
● medical wholesale and distribution.
● home health care companies, workers and aides.
● pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
● behavioral health care providers.
● veterinary care and livestock services.
● nursing homes, residential health care, or congregate care facilities
● medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers, including durable medical equipment technicians and suppliers.
● This does NOT include health clubs as defined in C.R.S. § 6-1-102(4.6), fitness and exercise gyms, and similar facilities.
2. Critical Infrastructure, Including:
● utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission.
● oil and gas production field operations.
● public water and wastewater.
● telecommunications and data centers.
● transportation and infrastructure necessary to support authorized businesses.
● hotels, and places of accommodation.
● businesses and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, persons with access and functional needs, or otherwise needy individuals.
● food and plant cultivation, including farming crops, livestock, food processing and manufacturing, animal feed and feed products, rendering, commodity sales, and any other work critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain.
3. Critical Manufacturing, Including:
● food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages.
● medical equipment supplies or instruments.
● sanitary products.
● household paper products.
● any business that produces products critical or incidental to the processing, functioning, development, manufacture, or delivery of any of the categories of products included in this part 3.
4. Critical Retail, Including:
● grocery stores including all food and beverage stores.
● farm and produce stands.
● gas stations and convenience stores.
● restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery only)
● marijuana dispensary.
● firearms stores.
● hardware, farm supply, and building material stores.
● establishments engaged in the retail sale of food and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products)z.
● Pet stores and gun stores.
● Liquor and marijuana.
5. Critical Services, Including:
● trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal.
● mail and shipping services, and locations that offer PO boxes.
● laundromats and drycleaning services.
● building cleaning and maintenance.
● child care services (following the requirements outlined in exemptions below).
● auto supply and repair (including retail dealerships that include repair and maintenance, provided that retail activity ceases).
● warehouse/distribution and fulfillment.
● funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries.
● in-person pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end of life services provided social distancing is observed to the greatest extent possible.
● storage for critical businesses.
● animal shelters, animal rescues, zoological facilities, animal sanctuaries, and other related facilities.
6. News Media, Including:
● other media services.
7. Financial Institutions, Including:
● Banks and credit institutions.
● Insurance, payroll, and accounting services.
● services related to financial markets.
8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
● homeless shelters and congregate care facilities.
● food banks.
● human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support.
9. Construction, Including:
● especially for housing and housing for low-income and vulnerable people.
● skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers.
● other related firms and professionals for who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of residences.
10. Defense, Including:
● defense and security-related operations supporting the State of Colorado, local government, the U.S. Government or a contractor to either or all.
11. Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and critical Operations of Residences or Other critical Businesses, Including:
● law enforcement.
● fire prevention and response.
● building code enforcement.
● emergency management and response.
● building cleaners or janitors.
● general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor.
● automotive repair.
● Snow removal.
12. Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
● technology support for online and telephone services.
● child care programs and services.
● government owned or leased buildings.
● critical government services.
Information and Resources – COVID-19
For live updates straight from the State Government, please visit covid19.colorado.gov. This website will be the state’s primary resource for information related to COVID-19 and will feature statewide coordinated response information.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has created the following phone line and email for COVID-19 info:
Phone: CO-HELP: 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911
COVID-19 Safety, Testing, and Symptoms
The CDPHE has compiled information related to dealing with public health during this period. You can find that information here:
Information regarding COVID-19 Testing is here:
What should you do if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms?
Helping Volunteers for Public Health and Safety
- Colorado Sun’s comprehensive list of information related to COVID-19
- Denver Post’s running list of events canceled and postponed in Colorado due to the outbreak of the coronavirus
- Colorado Sun’s map of where COVID-19 cases have been identified
- CPR’s Coronavirus FAQ
Workplace, Labor, and Employment Resources
Information for Small, Medium, and Large Businesses
- Information regarding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster assistance loans
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease from the SBA
- CDC’s Environmental cleaning and disinfecting
- The Disaster Recovery and Continuity Guide for Colorado Businesses
- U.S. Department of Labor Offers Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus
- Society for Human Resource Management: Coronavirus information and FAQs
- Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Information for the Restaurant Industry
Information for Colorado Workers
- Emergency Paid Leave Rule – This rule is meant to limit the spread of highly contagious disease and enables workers in at-risk occupations to access testing.
- Unemployment Insurance – During layoffs, all employees are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance. Those who are job-attached (meaning workers will be expected to return after a separation of up to 16 weeks) should file as “job-attached.”
- Work-Share Program may allow certain employees who have reduced hours to claim partial unemployment benefits.
- Layoff/Separations assistance, information and resources
- Connecting Colorado state database for job seekers.
- Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation: Information on FECA Coverage for Coronavirus Disease
Education, Child-Care, and COVID-19
- Colorado Emergency Childcare Collaborative for health care workers, including critical support staff, and emergency first responders.
- Colorado Department of Education information on Emergency Feeding programs for school-aged children
- List of locations for meal sites from individual school districts
- If you don’t see your school district listed, look for their contact information on this website and reach out for more information
- CDPHE’s Recommendations on what to do when children are home
- Colorado Department of Human Services Food Distribution Household Programs for households in need with food assistance
- Colorado State University’s Updates, Information, and Resources for Students.
- Colorado Community College System’s Updates for Front Range Community College Students.
- U.S.Department of Education
Student Loans during COVID-19
How To Get A Student Loan Forbearance
- If you want to suspend payment of your federal student loans for 60 days without any penalty, you can contact your federal student loan servicer to request an administrative forbearance. This is not automatic.
- If you choose this option, you won’t be required to make any federal student loan payments for 60 days.
- Importantly, this only applies to federal student loans held by a federal government agency. If you’re not sure if your student loans qualify, contact your student loan servicer to confirm.
- If you are pursuing public service loan forgiveness, pausing your federal student loan payments won’t count toward the required 120 payments. That said, the program doesn’t require consecutive payments, so you can simply resume your federal student loan payments after the temporary period ends and still be eligible for student loan forgiveness.