Increase in COVID cases may threaten Garfield County variance
A concerning uptick in COVID-19 cases could put Garfield County’s variance from the state in jeopardy. The county is now at 244 cases since the pandemic began, with 44 being diagnosed between June 8 and 21. The variance could be rescinded if the county sees 60 cases or more in any two-week period. More concerning is that the current pending variance request could be jeopardized, as well as the possible move into the next state-wide phase of Protect Our Neighbors.
NEW amended public health order for Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors
This public health order allows bars to open following updated restaurant guidance and provides updated guidance for higher education, personal services, and manufacturing. It also outlines the steps required to allow residential camps and indoor and outdoor events to resume while minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19.
Food and financial assistance
Garfield County Human Services – For general emergency assistance related to COVID-19, contact Garfield County Human Services in Glenwood Springs (970-945-9191) or Rifle (970-958-5282).
The Garfield County commissioners have made some emergency appropriations to help the community:
- $100,000 to help LIFT-UP provide drive-through meal services at the fairgrounds
- $500,000 to help people impacted by the economic slowdown; people should apply on the Garfield County website under Human Services.
- $40,000 to help the Grand River Health Meals on Wheels program deliver meals
LIFT-UP – Drive-thru food pantries are offered one day a week in Parachute, and two days a week in Rifle, New Castle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
Aspen Community Foundation – The ACF’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund is supporting food assistance and more from Aspen to Parachute.
Colorado PEAK – Online service to apply for food, cash, medical and early childhood assistance programs.
USDA rural development – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking immediate actions to help rural citizens, businesses and communities affected by COVID-19.
Holy Cross Energy – Holy Cross Energy has established $2 million for its members to go toward energy bill payment assistance and member equity checks to help offset impacts from COVID-19. Holy Cross Energy asistencia para miembros.
Jobs and unemployment
Unemployment Insurance – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has numerous resources for workers impacted by COVID-19. Unemployment benefits have been expanded to include self-employed or freelance workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history. Employees who quit their jobs for COVID-related reasons are also covered.
Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – Those who are self-employed, independent contractors or otherwise ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits may apply for benefits on Monday, April 20. This program falls under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act).
Connecting Colorado – a website that helps connect workers and employers.
Colorado Workforce Centers – Workforce centers provide free resources for workers seeking employment. The Northwest Colorado Workforce Area is working to identify which organizations are still hiring, who has immediate needs for staff related to coronavirus as well as what jobs are not impacted by the community response – open positions.
CARES Act – support for families, workers and employers – details on direct support relief payments, unemployment benefits, paid sick and family leave, food and nutrition resources and more from Sen. Michael Bennet’s office.
Colorado Mountain College – CMC has waived tuition, fees and book costs for the summer of 2020 in light of COVID-19.
Eviction and foreclosure assistance – The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) has emergency funding available for rent and mortgage assistance to qualifying low-income families impacted by COVID-19.
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.
Remote work checklist – The Northwest Colorado Small Business Development Center has provided a list of tips for working remotely.