CDPHE: Colorado Has Spent About $70 Million Fighting COVID-19

The fight against COVID-19 has been an expensive one for the state of Colorado.

As in, approximately $70 million expensive.

"That flucuates every day either through the cancellation of orders that may not come to fruition or we find opportunities to purchase PPE or other equipment necessary to keep Coloradoans safe, the number will go up a little bit. We work closely with our federal partners on funding solutions through a variety of funding programs the federal government is offering," said Mike Willis, Director of the Office of Emergency Management.

Willis said personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical workers remains at a critical level in the state.

"PPE is strained throughout the state in all kinds of facilities including nursing homes, long-term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities. They are all under great stress. We're doing everything we can, including significant cooperation with the federal government, to push PPE to those facilities."

As Colorado moves into the Safer At Home phase and the weather continues to be good, CDHPE is encouraging people to follow Gov. Polis' request to recreate within 10 miles of their homes.

"We really need everyone to do the right thing," Willis said. "Travelling beyond your community and potentially spreading this to other communities is a really counterproductive thing to do. We don't want to get into the thing about enforcement. We're just asking people to do the right thing."

The state does, apparently, want to "get into the thing about enforcement" when it comes to businesses abiding by the service standards, such as social distancing, employees wearing masks and having employees telecommute.

Monday, Gov. Polis made it clear he wants people to turn in businesses that are not complying.

"We have an 'ask' of you and that is your help in enforcing these standards," the governor said. "Local public health, local law enforcement simply don't have the capacity to monitor every business every day in making sure they are conducting business in as safe a way as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic. But you, the public, are our eyes and ears. Helping to ensure safety in every store, in every business in Colorado is a responsibility we all share."

If you see establishments that are not taking the proper precautions and are disobeying the public health order and violating the laws of the state of Colorado, report them to the local public health agency and the attorney general's office," Gov. Polis added.

Tuesday, Patty Salazar, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, echoed the governor's request.

"We are asking that citizens not only contact the state if they are witnessing businesses that are in violation of the public health order but to also contact your local health authority," Salazar said. "This will help us ensure that we are maximizing compliance across the board."

The full teleconference with CHDPE officials is below, along with an order of questions/topics.

4-28-20 CDPHE Teleconference

Order of topics/questions:

--Follow state or local order?

--Do nursing homes have enough PPE?

--Recreating within 10 miles of your home.

--How many tests per day is the state doing and what's the goal?

--Guidelines for Halfway Houses?

--Update on contact tracers.

--Asymptomatic test numbers.

--How know when to lift restrictions when hospitalization numbers lag?

--Estimate for virus deaths?

--When does state expect the next phase of looser restrictions to begin?

--Tracking daily hospitalizations.

--How much has the state spent?

--Number of tests increasing.

--Understanding effects of virus on people of color.

--Ideal number of tests needed?

--Impact on infants and kids who are vaccinated.

--Have list of test sites?

--Air Bridge and PPE details.

--Why not have data download available?

--Guidelines for hair salons?

--When will restaurants open?

--Keeping meat packing plants open.

--Who enforces business compliance?

--Nursing home compliance.

--Any complaints for businesses on Monday?

--Independent tests approved and reliable?

--Does Weld County Health have the authority to cite violators?

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