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Month: March 2020

Letter to the Governor, RE: Survival of People with Disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic

Read our letter crafted by our Executive Director and several partner organizations to Governor Polis regarding the Survival of People with Disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Download the fully accessible PDF Version

Blue line with three diamond shapes in the middle

CCDC Logo blue and black with the letters CCDC and the words Colorado Cross-disability Coalition

 

 

1385 S. Colorado Blvd., #610-A
Denver, CO 80222
303-839-1775

Julie Reiskin
Executive Director
jreiskin@ccdconline.org
720.961.4261 (Direct)
303.648.6262 (Fax)

March 25, 2020, via Electronic Mail

The Honorable Jared Polis
Colorado State Capitol
200 East Colfax Room 136
Denver, CO 80203

Re: Survival of People with Disabilities during COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Governor Polis,

We want to start this letter by thanking you for your extraordinary leadership during this crisis. Unlike our peers in other states, we are being included in policy decisions and working closely with members of your team (like Elisabeth Arenales) and your cabinet (Kim Bimestefer, Michelle Barnes, Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, and others). We appreciate being involved and allowed to help your administration make the best possible decisions in a horrible situation.

People with disabilities and chronic health conditions are doubly vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis: they are vulnerable to acquiring the virus and to suffering more severe effects, and they are vulnerable to healthcare discrimination that may deny them necessary care. As a result, Coloradans with disabilities and chronic health conditions are experiencing escalating fear and anxiety, on top of any physical effects of the viral illness. We need your continued leadership to communicate and ensure that Colorado will protect
the rights and access to care of disabled people of all ages.

Colorado has a strong and united disability community that includes ADAPT, Centers for Independent Living, Arc Chapters, Disability Law Colorado, numerous organizations representing specific disability groups such as the Colorado Metal Wellness Network, the National Federation of the Blind Colorado chapter, and the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind. The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) is the largest statewide organization run by and for people with all types of disabilities and we are working to coordinate with this amazing community to help with ongoing information dissemination and input to your team on policy issues. We are lucky to have such a strong and united community. This letter is written on behalf of many of these organizations, we wanted to get it out quickly so did not put extended time into sign-ons, but please note the organizations signed on below.

CCDC and others thank you for the swift and decisive actions that you have taken to protect the people of Colorado from COVID-19, reduce community spread, and flatten the curve. Your leadership will protect people with disabilities and their families from the virus’s accelerating spread, including daily increases in the deaths. Our community now asks that you take the following actions to ensure that people with disabilities receive equitable and effective healthcare in Colorado which will, in turn, help maintain the health of all Coloradans.

Prevent and Prohibit Medical “Rationing” Based on Disability

The prospect of shortages of medical staff and equipment for treating those made severely ill by COVID-19 has triggered a discussion of “rationing” medical care.

While the coronavirus crisis poses serious challenges to our social and health care systems, federal laws including the ADA, Section 504, Section 1557 of the ACA, and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) prohibit any “rationing” measures by public or private entities which discriminate on the basis of disability. Denying care to disabled individuals who are likely to benefit from care is unlawful.

Moreover, swift and efficient action now may prevent or ameliorate the need for untenable rationing decisions. There are additional reserves of ventilators and other medical equipment and supplies maintained by hospitals and the U.S. Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.¹ Colorado must follow its own policy statements to ensure that these stockpiles are allocated based on objective need – and distributed throughout the state of Colorado so that health care workers have them on-site.² If existing numbers are projected to be insufficient, Colorado must procure additional equipment and supplies.

People are looking for factual information, honestly, and assurances. As Governor, you are the best person to speak out about the state’s efforts to alleviate widespread fear and anxiety among vulnerable populations, including Coloradans with disabilities.

We further urge the Governor and state agencies to swiftly issue a directive to health plans and insurers, hospitals, and other medical providers on maintaining their obligations under state and federal disability nondiscrimination laws during the coronavirus crisis, including in the allocation of scarce medical resources. Such guidance should include the following basic principles:

  • The presence of a disability, including a significant disability, is not a
    permissible basis for denying people access to care or giving them a lower
    priority for care.
  • The fact that a disabled person may have a lower likelihood of survival is not a
    permissible basis for denying care or allocating the person a lower priority for
    care. If the person will benefit from care, then they are entitled to access care on an equal basis as others.
  • The fact that a person with a disability may require reasonable accommodations during treatment, or more intensive treatment, is not a permissible basis for denying care or allocating the person a lower priority for care.
  • All medical decisions about providing care must be based on current objective
    medical evidence, and not based on generalized assumptions about a person’s
    disability. Treatment decisions shall not be made based on misguided assumptions that people with disabilities experience a lower quality of life.

Covered entities should be permitted to prioritize those with a greater urgency of need, and delay non-urgent care. They need not allocate scarce resources to individuals with no reasonable chance of survival. But people with disabilities should not face discrimination in seeking life-sustaining care that they will benefit from. The lives of people with disabilities are equally valuable to those without disabilities, and healthcare decisions based on devaluing the lives of people with disabilities are discriminatory. Benefit should be derived solely based on medical evidence, not a belief about the life of the patient.

Ensure Access to Home-and Community-Based Services and Related Services

Individuals with various disabilities who rely on personal care assistance face a dilemma during the COVID-19 crisis. No person with a disability should have to choose between catching a potentially deadly new virus and receiving the assistance needed to perform critical activities of daily living such as toileting, eating, dressing, etc. Personal care assistants whether paid or unpaid, should not be required to perform their duties without proper protective equipment to ensure both their own well-being as well as the continued well-being of their own families and other clients with disabilities or face the ethical dilemma of rendering necessary duties while beginning to feel sick.

The following measures are needed to preserve the well-being of people with disabilities while they shelter in place:

  • Fund paid sick leave for any personal care worker unable to work regularly
    scheduled shifts because of illness or the need to quarantine due to exposure. This must also cover any Medicaid consumer-directed or private pay client. Grants to small home health agencies should be made available to allow them to pay their workers. Larger agencies should be required to do the same.
  • Fund and establish backup personal care assistant (PCA) registries, for both
    public and private pay PCAs, and establish streamlined on-call emergency backup alternatives to ensure PCA services when scheduled PCAs are unavailable.
  • Place a moratorium on Medicaid LTSS reassessments that could lead to service hour reductions and consider revising overtime rules.
  • Provide and efficiently distribute protective gear for paid and unpaid PCAs,
    including family, friends, and volunteers who are providing personal attendant
    services. To the extent that shortages make this impossible, provide funding
    for substitute items such as cleaning gloves, industrial respirators, scrubs,
    garbage bags, etc.
  • Continue to include disability-specific providers (whether formal or not, paid or
    not) within the guidance on categories of “essential business” and “essential personnel,” such as public and private personal care attendants, public transit and paratransit, privately contracted Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers, durable medical equipment providers/repairers, and veterinarians.

Even short gaps in coverage of personal care attendants and related services can lead to worsened health and unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization, contrary to the integration principles adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999). These risks are sharply heightened by the dangers posed by the coronavirus.

CCDC and the signatories below urge the following additional steps to ensure that disabled Coloradans are safe in their homes and communities with supports during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Ensure that accurate and up-to-date information about the progression of COVID-19 within Colorado is fully accessible in alternative print and online formats.
    • We appreciate seeing the sign language interpreters at all of your press conferences. Please make sure videos are always captioned properly (just turning on YouTube captioning does not work). We appreciate the remarkable responsiveness of your staff, especially the Lt. Governor’s Chief of Staff, Crestina Martinez, Maria De Cambra on your Communications team and Theresa Montano in OIT when there has been an error in document accessibility. We hope that process improvements to assure no document goes up that is not fully accessible to people that use screen reading technology are prioritized.
    • We also urge that essential documents are quickly translated into threshold languages, adapted for people with lower reading abilities, and made available in American Sign Language and captioned videos. This must apply not only to Executive Orders but to instructions that are important including how to apply for unemployment, testing protocols, prevention protocols, etc.
  • Require all private insurers operating in Colorado to provide fully accessible, current, clear, and readily available information about in-network and out-of-network coverage of COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • Require public utilities and internet providers to maintain gas, electricity, water, telephone, and internet services for seniors and people with disabilities sheltering in place.
  • Ensure that public and private insurance prioritization of healthcare procedures consider not only the category of procedure before canceling or delaying it as “elective/non-urgent,” but also the underlying conditions and cross-disability needs of the person who will be undergoing a scheduled procedure.
  • Continue provision of ADA paratransit, NEMT, and accessible on-demand service for passengers, including trips to the grocery store, medical facilities, and COVID-19 testing sites. Maintain ADA paratransit service areas even where bus routes are cut or reduced like areas such as Summit and Gunnison.
  • Protect passengers and workers by ensuring the provision of adequate protective gear and cleaning supplies for transit workers, including NEMT providers and janitorial support staff.
  • Place a comprehensive state-wide moratorium on evictions and a hold on termination of public benefits, including all administrative actions that result in individuals being cut off from public benefits. We also ask that any fraud investigations be suspended as this is not a good use of money or resources and could endanger the at-risk individuals.
Ensure Legal Services and Prompt Affirmative Responses to the Potential Violations of Rights of Disabled Coloradans.

We ask that Colorado take steps to bolster financial and human resources in Colorado’s legal service organizations to ensure that they have – the capacity to provide timely representation for individuals who face unlawful medical “rationing” based on disability, any unnecessary and involuntary institutionalization, evictions, benefits issues and other forms of discrimination in COVID-19 treatment and testing.

From past disasters, we know that legal services needs tend to peak 2-12 months after the disaster “ends”. Additional legal services support will be required for the next year. Specifically, Disability Law Colorado, Colorado Legal Services, Colorado CrossDisability Coalition, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and The Colorado Center for Law and Policy will need support to meet the legal needs of low-income Coloradans with Disabilities.

We further ask that you ensure that Colorado and its agencies respond immediately and effectively to any reports or complaints indicating that the rights of people with disabilities are being violated. While this must include prioritization and streamlining of administrative complaint procedures at all relevant agencies to respond affirmatively and forcefully to any formal or informal report.

Our state has long been a leader in many aspects of healthcare, accessibility, and civil rights protections for people with disabilities. Colorado, as the home of the Atlantis Community, the organization that created ADAPT is the birthplace of the internationally known disability rights movement. Help us to maintain our reputation as a leader in preserving the rights of people with disabilities. We would welcome the opportunity to continue to work with your administration on ensuring that people with disabilities in our state receive equal and effective healthcare during the COVID-19 crisis under the priorities detailed above.

Sincerely,
Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition

Ailsa Wonnacott, Association for Community Living, Boulder and Broomfield Counties

Martha Mason, Executive Director, Southwest Center for Independence

Wilfred Romero, The Arc – Pikes Peak Region

Darla Stuart, Executive Director, The Arc of Aurora

Larry McDermott,  The Arc of Weld County

Timothy Fox, Attorney at Law, Senior Partner, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center

Sara Froelich, Chronic Care Collaborative

Lisa Franklin, Executive Director, Parent to Parent

Candie Burnham, Executive Director, Atlantis Community, Inc.

Robert A. Lawhead, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council

Christiano Sosa, Executive Director, The Arc of Colorado

Hope Hyatt, Colorado Mental Wellness Network

Christine Fallebell, The American Diabetes Association

Ian Engle, Executive Director, Northwest Colorado Center for Independence

Jessalyn Hampton, National MS Society

Judith I. Ham, Ability Connection Colorado

Eileen Doherty, Colorado Gerontological Society

Barbara Henry, Domino Service Dogs

Linda Skaflen, Executive Director, The Arc of Adams County



¹ Dan Lamothe, “Pentagon offers respirators, ventilators and labs in expanding coronavirus response,” Washington Post (Mar. 17, 2020) (describing the release of 5 million masks and 2,000 ventilators from military stockpile), https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/03/17/pentagon-offersrespirators-ventilators-labs-expanding-coronavirus-response/;

² Surge Standards, Foundational Knowledge, § 8.4.3, Allocation of Ventilators for Pandemic Influenza, http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/sites/default/files/public/php/258/258_foundation.pdf (“[T]he allocation of ventilators from State and federal stockpiles must take into account the ratio of local populations to available resources, designating appropriate resources for the most vulnerable who are most likely to suffer the greatest impact in any disaster.”).

 

Stay At Home Order

An Easy to Understand Summary

Written by Andrew C. Montoya,CCDC Legal Program Attorney

As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, precisely at 6:00 a.m., the State of Colorado is under a Stay At Home executive order, issued by Governor Jared Polis. Of course, much of the State was already under local Stay At Home orders issued by county authorities, including Denver, Boulder, Jefferson Counties, and the Tri-County Health order covering Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. That’s a lot of pages of dense text, with facts and findings, definitions and prohibitions, and other unfriendly phrasing that’s no fun to read. But worry not, dear friends! Thanks to the venerable Julie Reiskin, I, your friendly neighborhood disability rights lawyer, am here to provide an easy-to-read summary.

Of course, since I am a lawyer, I do have to take a moment to provide a brief disclaimer: this does not constitute legal advice and reading this does not create an attorney-client relationship. You may wish to consult with a lawyer before taking any actions that might violate any of the county or state Stay At Home orders.

Now, on to the main event: the orders! All of the Stay At Home orders, whether at the state or county level, are very, very similar. In fact, most use identical verbiage for most of the orders, changing only the name of the locality. There are a few minor differences—Broomfield’s being shortest and to the point, for instance—but the upshot of them all is the same: Stay At Home (as much as possible). Because of these significant similarities, I will focus on the statewide order issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health as part of the Governor’s executive order, but this summary pretty much covers them all.

All of the orders start with some basic introductory stuff, like reciting the facts about the spread of COVID-19 and its health consequences, the history of other public health orders related to the virus, and the intent behind the order. The order itself is pretty straight-forward. All public and private gatherings of any size occurring outside of people’s homes are prohibited. People are also asked to remain at their homes as much as possible. When that’s not possible, try your best to maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others. The only times you should leave your home is for necessities, like grocery shopping, seeking medical care, getting outside for a bit, or working in or supporting a critical business. Basically, if you need something while staying holed up at home, you can still go out and buy it (including liquor and cannabis (for recreational, curbside delivery only)).

If you work in an essential business, such as those grocery stores, medical offices, and dispensaries, you can go to work. If you work in a job that supports those essential businesses, you can go to work. If you need to help someone or need someone to help you, that can still happen too. If you need gas to drive to the grocery store, you can stop at the gas station. If you work at a restaurant, you can still catch the bus, cab, rideshare, bike or scooter to get you there.

Truly, the exceptions to the general premise of staying at home are enormous! Most of the usual business that we do daily will continue unhampered by the Stay At Home order. Sure, you can’t go hang out at Starbucks with friends, but you can still get a venti dark roast to go and Facetime as you take a leisurely stroll through the park. Just remember to maintain the social distancing that we have all been practicing for days now anyway. Of course, also wash your hands (and don’t forget to sanitize your phone too)!

Important Words and Phrases from Colorado Stay At Home Order:

  • Critical Businesses” means healthcare operations (including in-home attendants), infrastructure (like utilities, telecommunications centers, and social support organizations), a lot of manufacturing, many stores and other retail establishments, many services (like trash collection, mail, and vehicle repairs, as well as law enforcement and fire departments), news media, financial institutions, shelters and food banks, and construction. There are many, many other businesses that qualify as Critical Businesses, including businesses that support listed Critical Businesses.
  • Critical Governmental Functions” means public safety, emergency response and services, public utilities and telecommunications, public transportation (including paratransit), and other similar things.
  • Necessary Activities” means tasks essential to your and your household’s health and safety (including pets and other animals), engaging in many outdoor activities, and working for a Critical Business or Critical Government Function.
  • Necessary Travel” means accessing Necessary Activities, Critical Businesses, Critical Governmental Functions, and travel ordered by law enforcement or a court.
  • Social Distancing” means keeping at least six feet away from others not in your household, washing or sanitizing hands as frequently as possible, not coughing or sneezing into your hands, cleaning high-touch surfaces regularly, and not shaking hands.
  • Vulnerable Individuals” means anyone with a disability, anyone over the age of 60, and anyone with a serious health condition.

Summary of Key Points from Colorado Stay At Home Order:

  • People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick SHOULD stay at home except to seek medical care.
  • People with COVID-19 symptoms and those that have tested positive MUST isolate themselves for at least a full week after symptoms have passed.
  • People experiencing homelessness MUST comply with Social Distancing.
  • ONLY Necessary Travel is permitted, but you MAY use public transportation (including Access-a-Ride), ride-sharing services, and private vehicles.
  • Critical Businesses SHOULD remain open but MUST use Social Distancing.
  • Child care facilities MUST follow strict requirements.
  • Necessary Activities that you MAY do include taking care of your healthcare needs, taking care of your household needs, and assisting with other’s healthcare and household needs.
  • You MAY go outdoors for fun, as long as you use Social Distancing, but gathering spaces, such as playgrounds and picnic areas, are closed.
  • You MAY go to work if you work for a Critical Business, Critical Government Function, a business that supports such a business or government function, or to perform minimum basic operations such as processing payroll and employee benefits.

For now, the order expires just before midnight, April 11, 2020. That may change, and we’ll let you know if it does.

Housing Resources

Many of the below resources are landing pages with up-to-date information. This is the first discussion feed post to provide an example of how this platform will work. See below for resources gathered by the Mile High Connects’ Denver Metro COVID-19 Housing Response Strategy community platform.

FEDERAL & NATIONAL:

  • Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) resources & guidance for supportive housing partners here.
  • Enterprise Community Partners has compiled its updates, resources and latest policy recommendations to protect residents, landlords, and communities here.
  • Latest on Federal Legislative Response to COVID-19 here.
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency coronavirus assistance information & announcements here.
  • Federal Reserve System recent developments here.
  • Federal Reserve System COVID-19 Resources here.
  • Housing Advisory Group updates here.
  • HUD Office of Multifamily Housing Programs COVID-19 Q&A here.
  • HUD Exchange: COVID-19 Prevention & Responses for Homeless Providers here.
  • HUD Emergency Services Grants Program here.
  • National Multifamily Housing Council Coronavirus hub here.
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition Coronavirus & Housing/Homelessness here.
  • National Community Reinvestment Coalition COVID-19 here.

STATE & REGIONAL:

  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment updates here.
  • Colorado Department of Local Affairs – Housing & COVID-19 here.
  • Colorado Department of Human Services resources for low-income Coloradans here.
  • COVID-19 & Homelessness in Colorado here.
  • Colorado Politics Coronavirus updates & news here.
  • Adams County Emergency Management Plan: five strategic projects, including housing stability, here.
  • Adams County coronavirus community resources here.
  • Arapahoe County alert center here.
  • Broomfield City & County COVID-19 news & updates here.
  • Clear Creek County COVID-19 response updates here.
  • Douglas County COVID-19 and county services here.
  • Gilpin County closure & essential services updates here.
  • Jefferson County COVID-19 information here.
  • Park County here.

LOCAL: 

  • City of Aurora COVID-19 resources here.
  • City of Boulder news, updates, orders & resources here.
  • City of Broomfield COVID-19 news and updates here.
  • City & County of Denver news, updates & resources here.
  • City of Lakewood Coronavirus resource center here.
  • City of Westminster news, updates & resources here.

How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency

English/Español

Doctor’s offices and hospitals aren’t the only ones running out of personal protective equipment. Members of the disability community who rely on home health also use PPE. Here are some ideas if you run out of supplies.

1) Use garbage bags with holes cut out for the head as a disposable, one use gown. It can be worn like a cape and thrown out at the end of the visit.

2) If you have a washing machine, purchase a few pairs of scrubs and request workers to immediately change upon arrival. Wash immediately when the visit is over.

3) Purchase or sew a homemade mask, cut up a t-shirt, or use a bandana. This won’t give adequate protection against COVID-19, but the CDC says bandanas are better than nothing to help reduce any spread of the virus through coughs/droplets from a caregiver to the client. If the caregiver has a cough they should not be working.

4) Substitute washable cleaning gloves for medical gloves. In addition to washing them inside and out, spray them with a solution of bleach and water (10-12 parts water to 1 part bleach). 

5)  Before wearing gloves, require aides to thoroughly scrub their hands (including finger tips, under nails, and the tops of hands and wrists) immediately upon entry, and have each worker wipe down all surfaces that were touched before hand washing. If no wipes are available, use hot water (with antibacterial dish soap) to wipe down surfaces.  If they have to use towels, wash them after each use.  

What can you do? Turns out – a lot!

Get involved ♦ We have ideas!

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”– Audrey Hepburn

Line

Despite our current situation, life has handed over an opportunity – more time. We still have the same 24-hours in the day, but we have more space in that time to try something new. You may already be exploring hobbies, books, music, or a myriad of other pursuits. Therefore, we’d like to share some other possibilities with you. And the best part – you can do them from home.

Here are a few things you can try. Some may be a better fit than others for you. So, try something, and then try something else. If you have ideas to add, please send them to us at covid@ccdconline.org.

Quick links to the sections below:

 


Advocate and Engage

Outvote Communication – Relational Messaging with Dawn Howard

Wednesdays at 3:00 pm & Thursdays at 7:00 pm

At CCDC, we are focusing on how to spread our messages to make a significant change and build power within our community. Each week we have two virtual meetings in which we use a messaging app called Outvote to connect people through relational organizing. All messaging, which comes directly from CCDC, is sent through OutVote. These messages include things like calling your legislators, signing on to an action letter, or going down to the Capitol to testify – any time we need to rally people to make a change. And, as the name suggests, it is used for everything related to voting!

We will go step by step and show you how to use the Outvote app on your phone or computer and even provide the messages (if you want them) for you to share with your friends, family, providers, or anyone in your contact list.

Right now, our focus is for us to engage in substantial change without leaving the comfort of our homes (or violating the Stay at Home Orders). Join the next Outvote messaging meeting by clicking on this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3955386232. See you then!

Help influence the COVID-19 stimulus payments to be fair and equitable

Call your member of Congress: Social Security Beneficiaries Will Receive Stimulus Payments Automatically; SSI-Only & VA-Only Beneficiaries Must File Tax Returns. The Treasury Department announced that millions of low-income seniors and people with disabilities who receive only Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Veterans (VA) Disability Compensation or Veterans Pension benefits to file a tax return to collect their stimulus payment. Link to details

Help influence COVID-19 Advocacy: 

Report your advocacy efforts: If your organization is engaged in advocacy on protecting people with disabilities from COVID-19 or if you have been successful at securing action from your state government, we urge you to share details. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will be maintaining a page keeping track of advocacy efforts and policy measures to protect the disability community for the duration of the crisis. Link to the reporting form.

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Be Counted and Vote

Now is the time to confirm your voter registration!

Colorado just finalized the candidates for our June primary ballots, and the election is just over a month away! If you didn’t know an election was coming up, you can go to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website at govotecolorado.gov to update your voter registration.

On June 30, voters will vote in party primaries to choose the Democratic and Republican candidates for state office in November’s general election. This includes offices for the state legislature and Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat, and it’s our final statewide election before this November.

Colorado allows you to update your voter registration at any time before Election Day. You still have time to double-check your registration, but don’t procrastinate too long!

Updating your registration allows you to ensure that you get your mail ballot on time, you can change your voter registration to match your current address, and you can update your political party to ensure you get the primary ballot of your choice. If you want to be sure you’re ready for June, head to govotecolorado.gov!

Complete your Census
    • Go to www.my2020census.gov to enter your information.
    • Contact five friends and help them complete their Census while you are on the phone with them.
    • Attend an upcoming webinar to learn more about the Census. Webinars are listed on the Virtual Events page.
Join the #Vote4MedicaidProject

CCDC’s goal is to create a groundswell of support for Medicaid aimed at statewide candidates so that one cannot win a statewide race in Colorado without supporting Medicaid.  We want people to educate candidates for office, especially statewide office, about the importance of Medicaid.

“Our goal is that every statewide candidate for any office, of any party, understands the important role Medicaid plays both in the lives of people with disabilities and in Colorado’s health care system.” Read more about the #Vote4MedicaidProject

Get Out the Vote

As we get closer to the presidential election, we will be ramping up our push to get everyone out to vote. Depending on what happens with the pandemic, this may look very different this year. But that might also mean that there will be more for you to do from home.

Relational Organizing with Dawn Howard

We need to ensure all of us are involved in the upcoming election. Our voices need to be heard, and you can help through the neighborhood, family, and social organizing. Learn from and work with Dawn Howard from CCDC about using the app OutVote to marshal your neighborhood forces to rally the disability vote. This is just one way to regain some of the power that was lost to the virus. Information is found on the Virtual Events page.

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For Kids!

#operationASLStorytime

#operationASLStorytime is creating a virtual community for deaf kids. The link above will take you to a list of videos of sign language users reading children’s books. While books seem to be geared towards kids, CCDC has not reviewed all the books listed. Please ensure the appropriateness for your child.

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Influencing Policy – Take Action!

Calls Needed Now: Request for Action by Denver Homeless Out Loud!

Calls to the governor are needed to demand action for people without housing!  Link to the details

The National Low Income Housing Coalition

Is also urging people to Tell Congress to Ensure Housing Stability During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

RTD Hosts telephone town halls to discuss COVID-19, changes to services, project updates and answer questions

In an effort to keep the community informed about COVID-19-related changes and other topics, RTD will be hosting a series of telephone town halls in April and May in each of the 15 districts in its service area. Other topics to be discussed are safety efforts, status of ongoing projects and updates for the region. The forum will also answer questions from the listening audience. A Spanish language telephone town hall in will be hosted in May. Link to details.

Apply for the Mayor’s Youth Commission Today!

The Mayor’s Youth Commission provides youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and advise the director of the Office of Children’s Affairs on issues impacting youth living in the City and County of Denver. Learn more and apply.

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Learn, Share, and Enjoy

Check out The Art of Doing Stuff

This blog is written by Karen Bertelsen, a former television host in Canada. Her topics are all over the board and sprinkled liberally with sarcasm, snark, and a small amount of cussing. But her topics are fun, and you might find something you find appealing that you can do while under lock-down – something like How to Raise a Monarch Butterfly. It is pretty easy!

100 things to do while stuck inside due to a pandemic

What’s there to do while stuck indoors? USA Today has compiled 100 suggestions to help make your time quarantined as enjoyable – and perhaps even as productive – as possible.

Online short course:  COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient

From Northeastern University, you can take a quick course that provides the necessary knowledge and skills you need to be safe and resilient. Spend an hour moving through the course’s simple steps. It may be the most important thing you do. Link to course

Join the conversation: Engage in an open discussion with like-minded people.

Wednesday at 7 pm and Saturday at 10 am, CCDC hosts an open discussion time. Both are captioned using CART, and Saturday includes ASL interpretation. Link to details

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Emergency Services for People with Disabilities 

English/Español

The Denver Division of Disability Rights encourages you to take reasonable steps to prepare yourself and your home for emergencies, while also remaining calm.

Although restaurants and bars have been directed to close to onsite seating for the next eight weeks, many restaurants remain open for delivery, carry-out, and drive-through services. Additionally, most essential businesses and services, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, health care facilities, banks, gas stations, and public transportation options remain open.

Supplies and Planning

It is good practice to have adequate supplies to shelter in your home that can last between 3 -5 days. Suggestions include the following:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Canned goods
  • Pet food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Non-prescription medications
  • Water
  • Dried/dehydrated foods
  • Disinfectants
  • Flashlight
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries/Electronic Chargers

In addition to the previously shared guidance regarding preventative actions (wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, stay home when sick), we also recommend the following:

  • Prepare a household plan:
    • Talk to your neighbors about your plans and consider sharing resources.
    • Think about how to create spaces in your residence to separate sick household members from others.
    • Create an emergency contact list that includes friends, family, neighbors, healthcare providers, and any community resources you normally use for personal care and safety.
    • Collect and securely store important documents, such as birth certificate, social security card, passport, licenses, living will, and deeds to property.
  • Create a checklist for any First Responders that describes:
    • Any medical conditions and requirements for providers,
    • A list of medications and medical supplies needed for your safety and care,
    • Any medical or dietary allergies.
  • Share information with authorities related to survival requirements:
    • If you use life-support devices that depend on electricity, notify the Denver Department of Public Safety (see resource below) and your electricity provider to see if you can be placed on priority reconnection.

Emergency Communications

The Denver Department of Public Safety provides residents with disabilities an opportunity to submit information about yourself or other members of your household who have disabilities in order to help 911 respond appropriately during an emergency. Your information will remain confidential and will give officers advance warning about any pertinent information prior to responding during an emergency.

Please find additional information and the form for the registry (located at the bottom of the page) here: Emergency Services Communications for Special Needs Services

Stay Updated

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will continuously monitor the COVID-19 situation and updates will be communicated through Denvergov.org and the Division of Disability Rights’ email listserv. To be added to the listserv, please send a request to DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.

Finally, if situations specific to the disability community arise that our division should be made aware of, please email DisabilityAccess@denvergov.org.

You can also communicate any disability-related needs, discrimination, or other question to covid@ccdconline.org.

4.23 Governor’s Community Engagement Update on COVID-19

In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below includes the latest steps we are taking to respond to the Coronavirus threat.

**INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL**

Topline Update

We currently have 10,878 cases, 508 deaths, and 2,123 hospitalizations out of 50,645 completed tests. We are thinking of these families and communities during these trying times.

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily and can be found here.


“Safer At Home”

The Governor continues to offer more guidance about the transition from the statewide Stay-At-Home order to the Safer-At-Home order.

The most important thing to understand is that this is not going to be back to normal. It’s not even going to be a major adjustment from where we are right now. It is going to be a period of more sustainable social distancing practices.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Vulnerable populations and older adults must stay at home except when absolutely necessary.
  • No group gatherings over 10 people.
  • Critical business remain open with strict precautions (social distancing, masks for all employees, more frequent cleanings, etc.)
  • Retail businesses open for curbside delivery and phased-in public opening with strict precautions.
  • Restaurants and bars remain closed except for takeout/delivery. Work towards phased reopening.
  • Nightclubs, gyms and spas remain closed.
  • Elective medical and dental procedures begin, with strict precautions to ensure adequate personal protective equipment and the ability to meet critical care needs.
  • Personal services (salons,, dog grooming, personal training, etc) will open with strict precautions.
  • K-12 schools remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Telecommuting continues for offices. Starting May 4, up to 50% of staff may work in person (with social distancing in place) but we encourage employers to continue to maximize telecommuting.  Meaning if you can run your business with 100% telecommuting please do that!

Here is a one-pager that may help with additional questions.

More Specific Guidance For General Public & Industries

Here’s some specific guidance for the general public and for business owners; sector-specific information will be made available in the coming days.

General Public
  • Strongly advised face coverings and staying 6ft apart in public
  • No gatherings over 10 people
  • Sick people may not go to work
  • Avoid unnecessary travel including for recreation
Vulnerable Populations and Older Adults
  • Continue to follow the Stay at Home Order, which means only going out when absolutely necessary
  • Utilize special industry hours for vulnerable populations like early
  • Extreme precautions at facilities that serve seniors including assisted living.
What Does This Mean for Seeing My Friends and Family?
  • People should still limit interactions except with immediate household
  • If you do see limited family or friends outside of your household, be extra cautious to stay 6 ft apart, wear face covering, and limit contact
  • Stick to solo and non-contact recreation activities like running, walking, or hiking in your local community.
  • Do not travel outside of your local community for recreation. Avoid contact sports or equipment.

Industry Best Practices

Remember: non-essential workplaces should be operating at no more than 50% capacity and should allow employees to telework whenever possible. If during stay at home they were able to successfully telecommute 100% of their employees- keep doing that!

Here are some best practices you should be implementing to protect your workplaces, your employees, your customers, and the public at large.

Worksites
  • Deputize workplace coordinator(s) charged with addressing COVID-19 issues
  • Maintain 6 foot separation when possible, and discourage shared spaces
  • Sanitize all high touch areas
  • Post signage for employees and customers on good hygiene
  • Ensure proper ventilation, Open windows, fans, etc.
  • Avoid gatherings (meetings, waiting rooms, etc) of more than 10 people
  • Implement symptom monitoring protocols (including workplace temperature monitoring) where possible
  • Eliminate or regularly sanitize any items in common spaces (i.e., break rooms) that are shared between individuals (i.e., condiments, coffee makers, vending machines)
  • Large workplaces and worksites will need to set up daily symptom screenings.
    • These work! We had a member of our leadership in our emergency operation center get flagged for elevated temperature, he went to get tested, he tested positive, we quarantined all his contacts at the EOC for 14 days and we avoided an outbreak.
Employees
  • Require employees to stay home when showing any symptoms or signs of sickness, and connect employees to company or state benefits providers
  • Provide flexible or remote scheduling for employees who need to continue to observe Stay at Home, who may have child or elder care obligations, or who live with a person who still needs to observe Stay at Home due to underlying condition, age, or other factor
  • Encourage and enable remote work whenever possible
  • Encourage breaks to wash hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Phase shifts, breaks to reduce density
  • Provide appropriate protective gear like gloves, masks, and face coverings
Customers
  • Create special hours for vulnerable populations only
  • Encourage 6 foot distancing inside of the business for all patrons
  • Encourage use of protection like gloves, masks, face coverings
  • Provide hand sanitizer at entrance
  • Use contactless payment solutions, no touch trash cans, etc. whenever possible

Guidance for Local Governments

Coloradans did a good job staying at home as a state and as a result, according to our modeling, we no longer need a state-wide stay-at-home order. But each community is in a different situation with regard to COVID-19.

Many local municipalities, especially those with large populations or in areas where there are hotspots, may continue to have more restrictive rules in place. Others may have very few or even zero cases of COVID-19.

Local and County governments have three options:

  1. 1. Stay consistent with state order
  2. 2. Go farther than the state order, including but not limited to stay at home orders or additional protective measures.
  3. 3. Apply for a waiver from CDPHE to relax guidelines further than the state. Local governments will need to have very low case count and/or demonstrate proof of 14 consecutive days of decline of infection of COVID-19 in the jurisdiction. The application to CDPHE must include a written County COVID-19 suppression plan approved by the appropriate local public health authority, all hospitals within the jurisdiction and elected leadership within the jurisdiction.

Timeline

Here’s a timeline of implementation over the coming days:

Sunday, April 26:
  • Last Day of Stay-at-Home Order
  • Safer-at-Home executive order
Monday, April 27:
  • Public Health Order and guidance to be issued:
    • Retail – Curbside can begin
    • Real Estate – showings can resume
Friday, May 1
  • Retail and Personal Services can open if implementing best practices
Monday, May 4
  • Non-critical offices can reopen if best practices and lower density are being implemented.

Testing Update

Finally, Gov. Polis provided a critical update on the state’s testing capacity. Currently, the state is able to successfully test and isolate 33% of the symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the state within 48 hours. Our plan is to increase that by 5 percentage points each week, which is a reasonable goal. In order to meet the demand for testing supplies, the state has been working around the clock to secure additional testing capability and supplies despite challenges within the supply chain.

Here’s an update on our work:

  • The state has partnered with Solgent, a Korea manufacturer of detection reagents.  100,000 tests will arrive in Colorado by the end of this week.  These tests have been validated by our state lab.
  • The state is also partnering with Accugene, a Korean manufacturer of swab kits.  We have ordered 150,000 swab kits which will be delivered by May 8th.  The state lab has validated these swabs for use in Colorado.
  • The state is partnering with Colorado State University to expand testing for workers at skilled nursing facilities who are treating the most vulnerable populations.  This program will conduct over 90,000 tests of skilled nursing facility workers at 40 locations over the next 8 weeks. We have worked with CSU to conduct an initial pilot and found many asymptomatic individuals to be infected with the virus.
  • The state is partnering with CU Anschutz to use antibody tests to test health care workers for exposure and potential immunity.  This program will bring five thousand antibody tests to Colorado for testing health care workers with the option of up to 200,000 over the next several months.
  • We already have the National Guard conducting testing at the state’s three largest nursing homes.
  • We are excited to work with the Gary Community Foundation to help bring 200,000 FDA-authorized antibody tests to Colorado. We will deploy them to test health care workers and do community testing for disease surveillance, exposure and potential immunity.
  • We are asking every local public health agency in the state to partner with the state to set up community testing sites.  As we receive more testing supplies, the state will provide swab kits, other testing supplies and technical assistance to local public health and their partners with the goal of having a testing site in every county.
  • We are executing contracts with 6 different private sector partners to expand laboratory capacity for the community.  These relationships will be critical to quickly capitalize on new supplies as they as supplies become available.

All of the Above Strategy

At the end of the day, Colorado needs to employ an all-of-the-above strategy to defeat the virus. The main components are:

  • 65% social distancing maintained
  • Stay at home for vulnerable and 65 years old and older Coloradans
  • Increased protection measures, compliance and enforcement for senior congregate care facilities
  • Increasing testing and aggressive contact tracing program
  • Building more healthcare capacity
  • Face covering wearing culture
  • Excellent hygiene at all times

We greatly appreciate your helping to share information during this crisis. We will continue to send these regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs from our office. My cell phone is 210-385-7556. Thank you for doing your part. We’re all in this together!

Thanks,

Analysse


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Enlaces para Mantenerse Actualizado:

Actualización Principal

A partir del día de ayer, han existido 10,878 casos, han fallecido 508 personas y se han hospitalizado a 2,123 personas de 50,645 pruebas de detección realizadas. Tenemos a estas familias y comunidades en nuestros pensamientos durante estos tiempos difíciles.

La información de estos datos se divide en varias categorías, se actualiza diariamente y pueden ser revisada aquí.


“Más Seguro en Casa”

El Gobernador continúa ofreciendo orientación adicional acerca de la transición de la orden estatal de Permanecer-en-Casa comparado con Más-Seguro-en-Casa.

Lo más importante es comprender que no volveremos a la normalidad inmediatamente. Ni siquiera representa un ajuste significativo desde nuestra situación actual. Este es un período de prácticas de distanciamiento social sostenibles.   Estos son algunos de los puntos clave:

  • Las poblaciones vulnerables y los adultos mayores deben quedarse en casa, excepto cuando sea absolutamente necesario.
  • No hay reuniones de grupo de más de 10 personas.
  • Los negocios críticos permanecen abiertos con precauciones estrictas (distanciamiento social, máscaras protectoras para todos los empleados, limpieza más frecuente, etc.)
  • Los negocios al por menor/minoristas abren únicamente para la entrega en la acera y la apertura pública gradual con precauciones estrictas.
  • Los restaurantes y bares permanecen cerrados, excepto para llevar/entregar alimentos. Con planeación para la reapertura por fases.
  • Clubes nocturnos, gimnasios y spas permanecerán cerrados.
  • Comienzan los procedimientos médicos y dentales electivos, con estrictas precauciones para garantizar un equipo de protección personal adecuado y la capacidad de satisfacer las necesidades críticas de salud.
  • Los servicios personales (salones, peluquería canina, entrenamiento personal, etc.) se abrirán con estrictas precauciones.
  • Las escuelas K-12 permanecen cerradas durante el año escolar 2019-2020.
  • El teletrabajo/trabajo desde casa continúa para las oficinas. A partir del 4 de mayo, hasta el 50% del personal puede trabajar en persona (respetando el distanciamiento social), pero alentamos a los empleadores a continuar maximizando las condiciones de teletrabajo. Es decir, si puede dirigir su negocio con un 100% por medio de teletrabajo, ¡hágalo!

Orientación más Específica para el Público en General e Industrias

Esta es una guía específica para el público en general y para los dueños de negocios; La información específica del sector estará disponible en los próximos días.

Público en general
  • Se recomienda encarecidamente cubrirse la cara y mantenerse a 6 pies de distancia en público.
  • No hay reuniones de más de 10 personas.
  • Las personas enfermas no pueden ir a trabajar.
  • Evite viajes innecesarios, incluso para recreación.
Poblaciones Vulnerables y Adultos de Edad Avanzada
  • Continúe siguiendo la Orden de Permanecer en Casa, lo que significa salir solo cuando sea absolutamente necesario.
  • Utilice horas especiales (temprano) que la industria dedica a poblaciones vulnerables.
  • Precauciones extremas en las instalaciones que sirven a las personas de edad avanzada, incluidos hogares para ancianos.
¿Qué Significa esto para Ver a mis Amigos y Familiares?
  • Las personas deben limitar la interacción, excepto con familiares inmediatos en el hogar.
  • Si ve a familiares o amigos fuera de su hogar de manera limitada, tenga cuidado de mantenerse a 6 pies de distancia, use un cubre bocas y limite el contacto.
  • Apeguese a actividades recreativas en solitario y sin contacto como correr, caminar o excursionismo en su comunidad local.
  • No viaje fuera de su comunidad local para divertirse. Evite los deportes de contacto o el equipo.

Mejores prácticas de la industria

Recuerde: los lugares de trabajo no esenciales deben seguir operando a menos del 50% de su capacidad y deben permitir a los empleados trabajar a distancia siempre que sea posible. Si durante la estadía en casa los empleados pudieron trabajar desde casa con éxito al 100%, ¡sigan haciendo eso!   Estas son algunas de las mejores prácticas que debe implementar para proteger sus lugares de trabajo, sus empleados, sus clientes y al público en general.

Lugares de trabajo
  • Designe un coordinador en el lugar de trabajo encargado de resolver problemas relacionados con COVID-19.
  • Mantenga una separación de 6 pies en todo momento que sea posible e impida los espacios compartidos.
  • Desinfecte todas las áreas de alto contacto.
  • Publique señalamientos para empleados y clientes acerca de buena higiene.
  • Asegure una ventilación adecuada, ventanas abiertas, ventiladores, etc.
  • Evite reuniones (reuniones, salas de espera, etc.) de más de 10 personas.
  • Implemente protocolos de monitoreo de síntomas (incluyendo monitoreo de temperatura en el lugar de trabajo) cuando sea posible.
  • Elimine o desinfecte regularmente cualquier elemento en los espacios comunes (es decir, salas de descanso) que se comparten entre las personas (es decir, condimentos, cafeteras, máquinas de expendio de comida).
  • Los lugares de trabajo amplios y lugares de trabajo deberán configurar exámenes de síntomas diaries.
    • ¡Esto funciona! Nosotros designamos a un miembro de nuestro equipo de liderazgo en nuestro centro de operaciones de emergencia a cargo de señalar cuando alguien tenía temperatura elevada, esa persona fue a hacerse la prueba, el resultado fue positivo, pusimos en cuarentena a todas las personas que estuvieron en contacto en el Centro de Emergencia Operativo (EOC) durante 14 días y evitamos un brote de contagio.
Empleados
  • Solicite a los empleados que se queden en casa cuando presenten síntomas o signos de enfermedad, y conecte a los empleados con proveedores de beneficios estatales o de la empresa.
  • Proporcione una programación flexible o remota para los empleados que necesitan seguir observando Permanecer en Casa, que pueden tener obligaciones de cuidado de niños o ancianos, o que viven con una persona que aún necesita observar Permanecer en Casa debido a una condición de salud seria, edad u otro factor.
  • Promueva y habilitar el trabajo remotamente siempre que sea posible.
  • Promueva descansos para lavarse las manos o usar desinfectante para manos.
  • Implemente trabajos por turnos, momentos de descanso para reducir la concentración de personal.
  • Proporcione equipo de protección adecuado como guantes, máscaras protectoras y cubiertas faciales.
Clientes
  • Cree horarios especiales de servicio solo para poblaciones vulnerables.
  • Promueva el distanciamiento de 6 pies dentro del negocio para todos los clientes.
  • Promueva el uso de protección como guantes, máscaras protectoras, cubiertas faciales.
  • Proporcione desinfectante para manos a la entrada del negocio.
  • Utilice soluciones de pago sin contacto, no toque botes de basura, etc. siempre que sea posible.

Orientación para Gobiernos Locales

Los residentes de Colorado hicieron un buen trabajo al quedarse en casa, como resultado, de acuerdo a nuestro modelo, ya no necesitamos una orden de Permanecer en Casa en todo el estado. Pero cada comunidad se encuentra en una situación diferente con respecto a COVID-19.

Varios municipios locales, especialmente aquellos con grandes poblaciones o en áreas donde existen puntos críticos, pueden seguir teniendo reglas más restrictivas. Otros pueden tener muy pocos o incluso cero casos de COVID-19.

Los gobiernos locales y del condado tienen tres opciones:

  1. 1. Mantenerse alineados con la orden estatal.
  2. 2. Superar la orden estatal, incluidos entre otros, las órdenes de permanecer en casa o medidas de protección adicionales.
  3. 3. Solicitar un permiso a CDPHE para relajar las pautas del estado. Los gobiernos locales deberán tener un recuento de casos muy bajo y/o demostrar pruebas de 14 días consecutivos de disminución de la infección de COVID-19 en su jurisdicción. La solicitud para CDPHE debe incluir un plan escrito de supresión COVID-19 del condado aprobado por la autoridad de salud pública local correspondiente, todos los hospitales dentro de la jurisdicción y los funcionarios líderes dentro de la jurisdicción.

Calendario

Este es un calendario de implementación en los próximos días:

Domingo 26 de abril:
  • Último día de orden de estadía en el hogar.
  • Orden ejecutiva más segura en el hogar.
Lunes 27 de abril:
  • Orden de Salud Pública y orientación a seguir:
    • Negocios al por menor/minoristas: servicio en la acera puede comenzar.
    • Bienes raíces: las exhibiciones pueden reanudarse.
Viernes 1 de mayo
  • Los negocios al por menor/minoristas y personales pueden abrirse solo si implementan las mejores prácticas.
Lunes 4 de mayo
  • Las oficinas no críticas pueden reabrir si implementan prácticas seguras y reducción en la concentración de personal.

Actualización Acerca de las Pruebas

Finalmente, el gobernador Polis proporcionó una actualización importante sobre la capacidad de aplicación de pruebas del estado. Actualmente, el estado puede aplicar pruebas y aislar con éxito el 33% de los casos sintomáticos de COVID-19 en el estado, en 48 horas. Nuestro plan es aumentar un 5 por ciento cada semana, lo cual es un objetivo razonable. Con el fin de satisfacer la demanda de suministros de pruebas, el estado ha estado trabajando las 24 horas para garantizar la capacidad y los suministros de prueba adicionales a pesar de los desafíos dentro de la cadena de suministro.

Esta es una actualización de nuestro trabajo:

  • El estado se ha asociado con Solgent, un fabricante coreano de reactivos de detección. A fines de esta semana 100,000 pruebas llegarán a Colorado. Estas pruebas han sido validadas por nuestro laboratorio estatal.
  • El estado también se ha asociado con Accugene, un fabricante coreano de equipos de hisopos. Hemos ordenado 150,000 equipos de hisopos que se entregarán antes del 8 de mayo. El laboratorio estatal ha validado estos hisopos para su uso en Colorado.
  • El estado se está asociando con la Universidad Colorado State University (CSU) para aumentar las pruebas para los trabajadores en centros de enfermería especializada que atienden a poblaciones vulnerables. Este programa efectuará más de 90,000 pruebas a trabajadores de centros de enfermería especializada en 40 ubicaciones durante las próximas 8 semanas. Hemos trabajado con CSU para realizar un programa piloto inicial y descubrimos que muchas personas asintomáticas están infectadas con el virus.
  • El estado se está asociando con la Universidad CU Anschutz para usar pruebas de anticuerpos para evaluar a trabajadores de salud en busca de exposición e inmunidad potencial. Este programa traerá cinco mil pruebas de anticuerpos a Colorado para evaluar a los trabajadores de la salud con la opción de hasta 200,000 en los próximos meses.
  • Ya tenemos a la Guardia Nacional realizando pruebas en los tres hogares de ancianos más grandes del estado.
  • Estamos entusiasmados de trabajar con la Fundación Gary Community Foundation para ayudar a traer 200,000 pruebas de anticuerpos autorizadas por la FDA a Colorado. Los usaremos para evaluar a trabajadores de atención médica y realizar pruebas en la comunidad para la vigilancia de enfermedades, exposición e inmunidad potencial.
  • Estamos pidiendo a todas las agencias locales de salud pública del estado que se asocien con el estado para establecer sitios de prueba en sus comunidades. A medida que recibamos más suministros de prueba, el estado proporcionará equipos de hisopos, otros suministros de prueba y asistencia técnica a organizaciones de salud pública local y sus socios con el objetivo de tener un sitio de prueba en cada condado.
  • Estamos preparando la ejecución de contratos con otros 6 socios del sector privado para ampliar la capacidad de laboratorios en la comunidad. Estas relaciones serán fundamentales para aprovechar rápidamente los nuevos suministros a medida que estén disponibles.

La Estrategia Completa Anterior

Al final del día, Colorado necesita emplear una estrategia completa para derrotar al virus. Los componentes principales son:

  • 65% de distanciamiento social constante.
  • Permanecer en casa para los residentes de Colorado vulnerables y mayores de 65 años.
  • Aumento de las medidas de protección, cumplimiento y aplicación de las normas para los centros de atención a personas de edad avanzada.
  • Incremento de pruebas y un agresivo programa de identificación y seguimiento de posible contacto.
  • Construir capacidad en el sistema de salud.
  • Cubrir el rostro como un hábito.
  • Excelente higiene en todo momento.

Apreciamos de sobremanera que compartan esta información durante esta crisis. Continuaremos enviando actualizaciones periódicamente. Como siempre, no duden en comunicarse conmigo si tienen alguna pregunta o necesidad. Mi teléfono celular es 210-385-7556. ¡Estamos todos juntos en esto!

Gracias,

Analysse

Analysse Escobar
Deputy Community Engagement Director
P 303.866.3380
C 210.385.7556
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203
analysse.escobar@state.co.us | www.colorado.gov/governor

Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), all messages sent by or to me on this state-owned e-mail account may be subject to public disclosure.

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Deputy Community Engagement Director
P 303.866.3380
C 210.385.7556
200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203
analysse.escobar@state.co.us | www.colorado.gov/governor

https://www.facebook.com/jaredpolis/  

Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), all messages sent by or to me on this state-owned e-mail account may be subject to public disclosure.

Grocery Stores Dedicate Time for Those at Highest Risk

Several stores are making sure those at the highest risk for the Coronavirus have a chance to get the essentials they need to stay quarantined. They have dedicated time frames seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations can shop to minimize their risk.

Below is a partial list of stores offering modified hours (subject to change). If your local store isn’t listed, or you aren’t sure if your’s is participating, contact them directly to ask about this option.

NOTE: There have been reports of incorrect charges for individuals ordering online for pick-up or delivery. Items that are out of stock may accidentally be charged to the customer. We suggest you review your receipt carefully and contact the store or your bank in cases of error.

Big Lots

Stores are reserving the first hour of each day for senior citizens and “those most vulnerable to this virus,” CEO Bruce Thorn said in an email to shoppers. Shop and find your location

Dollar General

Dollar General has dedicated the first hour of each business day to senior shopping. Click here for locations and store hours.

King Soopers

King Soopers will reserve 7a – 8a on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for senior customers. Click here for locations and store hours.

Safeway

Safeway is going to reserve store hours for seniors/at-risk shoppers on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7am-9 am. Click here for store locations and hours.

Target

Target stores nationwide will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores for seniors and other vulnerable guests. Click here for store locations and hours.

Walmart

Beginning March 24 Walmart locations will open for one hour on Tuesday mornings (6 a.m. for most locations) for seniors only. The pharmacy and vision center will also be open for that hour. Walmart Online Shopping

Whole Foods

Starting on Wednesday, March 18, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the general public, under the new adjusted hours posted on the store’s web page. (example: if a store’s new hours are 9 am-8 pm, customers who are 60+ can shop starting at 8 am). Click here for locations and hours.

Ed Department Offers More Special Education Guidance Amid COVID-19

Disability Scoop The Premier Source for Developmental Disability News
by Michelle Diament | March 18, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education is giving schools more information about administering special education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As schools across the nation shutter in response to coronavirus, federal officials are giving educators additional insight on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a webinar and fact sheet this week for education leaders aimed at ensuring that students’ civil rights are upheld while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

The webinar reminds school officials that distance learning must be accessible unless “equally effective alternate access is provided.”

Online learning tools should be compatible with any assistive technology that students use and schools must regularly test their online offerings for accessibility, the Education Department said.

“OCR’s accessibility webinar is intended to remind school leaders at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels of their legal obligations to ensure that all students, including students with disabilities, can access online and virtual learning programs,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights. “Students with disabilities must have access to educational technology utilized by schools, and OCR will continue to work to ensure that no student is excluded from utilizing these important tools.”

If a student with a disability is absent from school for an extended period because of coronavirus, but the school remains open, the student has a right to continue to receive a free appropriate public education, or FAPE, the Education Department’s fact sheet states. But if schools close and no educational services are being provided, then the school does not have to serve students with disabilities, the agency said.

In addition, the fact sheet explains that individualized education program teams are not required to conduct in-person meetings while schools are closed. And, any evaluation of a student with a disability that must be done face to face should be postponed until the school reopens.

Evaluations that do not need to be done in person may proceed so long as the child’s parent or guardian consents, the Education Department indicated.

At least 74,000 schools serving 38.8 million students across the country have announced plans to close because of coronavirus, according to Education Week.

The latest information from the Education Department expands on guidance issued last week on how to address the needs of students with disabilities during the pandemic.

Advocates with the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, which represents special education attorneys, have criticized the Education Department’s approach, arguing that the right to FAPE under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act remains intact even when schools close.

Information, News Articles, and Blogs

Make sure you take a moment each day devoted just to you.  There might just be some good that comes from all of this.

There is more out there than just facts and statistics. We have been finding crucial information, great articles, helpful suggestions (like how to keep your six-year-old engaged), inspirational writing, and ways to calm your fears.  This page has all of that and more. Check out what is found on these pages. If you have something you saw or maybe even wrote and would like it considered, send it to us at covid@ccdconline.org.

List of articles on this page. Click to go directly to that article.

Information

  • ⇓  A Call to Arms (or at least lawsuits, if necessary) for pandemic-related disability discrimination complaints (Español)
  • ⇓  CCDC Investigates CSL Plasma Centers for Discrimination
  • ⇓  Census 2020 & COVID-19
  • ⇓  COVID-19 and people with chronic disease (CDPHE)
  • ⇓  Caregivers of people with disabilities are exempt from the stay-at-home order.
  • ⇓  Ed Department Offers More Special Education Guidance Amid COVID-19
  • ⇓  Emergency Services for People with Disabilities (Español)
  • ⇓  Guide for Hospitals on Best Practices for Communication with Individuals with Disabilities
  • ⇓  Grocery Stores Dedicate Time for Those at Highest Risk
  • ⇓  How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency (Español)
  • ⇓  Patent’s Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • ⇓  Standards of Care in plain speak

News Articles

  • ⇓  Concerns growing over medical care discrimination
  • ⇓  How is the coronavirus impacting people with disabilities? (international interview including CCDC Board Member, Dr. Kimberly Jackson)
  • ⇓  In The Face Of Ethical Aberrations In Several States, Colorado Stands Strong Against Discrimination In COVID-19 Care

Blogs

  • ⇓  Calming Ourselves and Building Our Power
  • ⇓  For Coloradans Living Or Caring For People With Disabilities, Fears Over COVID-19 Run Much Deeper
  • ⇓  Love in the Time of Corona — A MESSAGE FROM KEVIN JOHN FONG
  • ⇓  The Secret to Keeping Your Kids Happy, Busy and Learning if Their School Closes Due to Coronavirus
  • ⇓  Shopping for Quarantine? Here’s How to Not Be a Jerk at the Store
  • ⇓  Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day
  • ⇓  Some Kind of Hero, A letter from Vincent Atchity, the President of Mental Health Colorado

All Articles and Links to Posts

Information

A CALL TO ARMS (OR AT LEAST LAWSUITS, IF NECESSARY) FOR PANDEMIC-RELATED DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS.

CCDC’s Civil Rights Legal Program has numerous and growing concerns regarding discrimination against people with disabilities as a direct result of decision-making by both private and public entities occurring during the pandemic. Continue reading about your options if you feel you have been discriminated against due to disability.

CCDC Investigates CSL Plasma Centers for Discrimination

Have you experienced discrimination based on disability when attempting to donate plasma to a CSL Plasma Center in Colorado? For example, were you denied the opportunity to donate plasma and receive payment for doing so for a disability-related reason? If so, our Civil Rights Legal Program needs to hear from you as soon as possible. This is a 3 part series:

  • Part 1: Overview of the investigation by the CCDC Civil Rights Legal team
  • Part 2: Explains the information regarding whether you would be interested in being a plasma donor and why it is crucial and beneficial.
  • Part 3: Provides you with the legal background for the types of disability discrimination individuals might be experiencing as a result of attempting to donate plasma at CSL Plasma centers.

Census 2020 & COVID-19

There are three ways to respond to the 2020 Census from the comfort of your own home – online, by phone, or by returning the paper questionnaire.

COVID-19 and people with chronic disease (CDPHE)

Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80; people who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes; older people with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk.

Caregivers of people with disabilities are exempt from the stay-at-home order.

Caregivers of people with disabilities, paid or unpaid, are exempt from the stay-at-home order. For Medicaid CDASS clients, the state is working on a letter we can give to our attendants. Once available, we will share it here. Workers should continue to provide services to clients as long as they are healthy and using proper precautions such as handwashing. How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency

Ed Department Offers More Special Education Guidance Amid COVID-19

As schools across the nation shutter in response to coronavirus, federal officials are giving educators additional insight on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.

Emergency Services for People with Disabilities (Español)

The Denver Division of Disability Rights encourages you to take reasonable steps to prepare yourself and your home for emergencies, while also remaining calm. Read more for supply recommendations, emergency communication options, and more.

Guide for Hospitals on Best Practices for Communication with Individuals with Disabilities
CCDC and six other partner organizations came together to create a guide to help hospitals and other providers what effective communication is during an emergency. This guide offers general guidelines as well as disability-specific best practices.

Grocery Stores Dedicate Time for Those at Highest Risk

Several stores have dedicated time frames seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations to shop and therefore minimize their risk.

How to Improvise PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in an Emergency

Doctor’s offices and hospitals aren’t the only ones running out of personal protective equipment. Members of the disability community who rely on home health also use PPE. Here are some ideas if you run out of supplies. (Español)

Patent’s Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 10, 2020, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D 2020 034, suspending two specific rights of individuals at inpatient mental health units and institutes,* but a close reading of the Governor’s Order demonstrates that the suspension of these rights is not limitless.

While it is important for facilities to follow the Governor’s Executive Order to protect the health and safety of individuals in the facility as well as the community at large, patient’s rights overall have not been suspended by this Order. Disability Law Colorado emphasizes the limited scope of the rights suspended by the Governor’s Executive Order and encourages the respondent’s counsel to continue to advocate for their client’s rights that remain intact. If the respondent’s counsel or their clients would like to consult with Disability Law Colorado about these or other patient’s rights issues, please feel free to contact us at 303.722.0300. Thank you for your continued advocacy for your clients. Be well!

Standards of Care
This is a very plain speak guide to understanding the COVID-19 illness. It uses simple language and drawings to help everyone understand what happens if they get sick, what to do to stay healthy, and when to go to a doctor. Excellent for anyone, adult or child, who needs easy to understand explanations.

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News Articles

Concerns growing over medical care discrimination:

Apr. 19, 2020 – Disability advocates file a federal complaint against some states over rationing treatment, Alicia Acuna reports. Please note that the Colorado Medical Rationing plan also prohibits discrimination based on race, immigration status, language, criminal justice status, income, ability to pay, etc.    Our order prohibits ALL discrimination.

Fox News Story 1,             Fox News Story 2

How is the coronavirus impacting people with disabilities?

Pandemic brings added worry for some of the world’s most vulnerable. CCDC’s own Dr. Kimberly Jackson was interviewed as a part of Tuesday, 4/21st episode of The Stream, An Al Jazeera independent global news network.

In The Face Of Ethical Aberrations In Several States Colorado Stands Strong Against Discrimination In COVID-19 Care

NEWS PROVIDED BY Global Down Syndrome Foundation:  140 Organizations Help Ensure People with Disabilities Will Receive Equitable Treatment under Colorado’s Newly Published “Critical Care Triage Guidance for Crisis Standards of Care”

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Blogs

Calming Ourselves and Building Our Power

To ensure better outcomes for our community during this unprecedented time, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition is proactive, compassionate, and conscious in our response to COVID-19.

For Coloradans Living Or Caring For People With Disabilities, Fears Over COVID-19 Run Much Deeper

An article by Jessica Yarmosky, Mar 24, 2020, for CPR.

Love in the Time of Corona — A MESSAGE FROM KEVIN JOHN FONG

Pandemics are potent phenomena. One moment, life proceeds per usual routines, and the next, we find ourselves scrambling over toilet paper. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted our lives in every way, and preventing transmission, while far from assured, appears to be straightforward. An equally daunting challenge, however, is about how we are going to interact with one another as this crisis unfolds.  Read more

The Secret to Keeping Your Kids Happy, Busy and Learning if Their School Closes Due to Coronavirus

As millions of children are displaced from their schools due to the coronavirus, a sub-crisis has risen for American parents: What will the kids do all day? The widespread school closures have sent a ripple effect into parent communities as many scramble to find ways to transition kids into at-home life smoothly. It’s one thing to entertain them all day on the weekends. It’s another when you have seven days a week to fill for an indefinite period of time.

Shopping for Quarantine? Here’s How to Not Be a Jerk at the Store

This is an excellent article about what and how to buy so you have enough without making it hard for the next person to get what he or she needs.

Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day

“We have a preemptive opportunity to save lives through the actions we take right now that we will not have in a few weeks. It is a public health imperative. It is also our responsibility as a community to act while we still have a choice, and while our actions can have the greatest impact.” From an article written by Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, the executive director of Ariadne Labs in Boston, MA.

Some Kind of Hero, A letter from Vincent Atchity, the President of Mental Health Colorado

“Over the past few days, I’ve looked through some old books that present accounts of living through experiences that are somewhat comparable to what we’re all going through now. What becomes apparent in stories —as well as in our own lived experience —is that in the context of a pandemic, our survival and wellbeing call for a very different kind of heroism .” Continue Reading

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Important Notice
CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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