|What YOU Can Do To Help|
Concerned About State Budget Cuts?
You can help! Please check out initiative 271 at https://fairtaxcolorado.org/. This initiative would give a small income tax cut to most Coloradans and create a graduated income tax to most Coloradans which would tax higher levels of income at higher rates. This would produce some extra revenue for the state half of which would go to education and half which could be used for other purposes in the state budget. New polling shows strong support for this idea amongst Coloradans.
Click here to fill out the census quickly and easily from your home! The 2010 Census count was used to distribute over $13.1 billion in federal funds in Colorado, which is $2,300 per person, per year in Larimer County! These dollars are critical for programs such as transportation, Title 1 grants to educational agencies, Head Start programs, special education grants, child care, foster care, Medicaid for children, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and more.
Curious about census response rates? Click here.
Health Care Volunteers
Colorado is seeking former or retired health care workers to help at hospitals, testing sites, or care facilities. Sign up here to volunteer.
If you are healthy and able please consider making an appointment to donate blood. People have stepped up to contribute in the near term, but we need to ensure blood supplies are available for the weeks and months ahead. https://www.uchealth.org/locations/garth-englund-blood-donation-center-fort-collins/
Volunteer or Contribute or apply for funding at HelpColoradoNow.org
Wear a Mask
Please wear cloth face masks when you leave your homes to help flatten the curve and keep the people around us safe. Please checkout ColoradoMaskProject.com for the science behind it and learn how to make your own mask – even if you don’t sew.
Colorado Stay at Home Resources: Check out stayathomeco.colorado.gov
Educational Programming for Kids
Tired of being on duty all day for home schooling? Colorado has teamed up with Rocky Mountain PBS and a few of our great Colorado master teachers to help out. Even when the school year is over, please consider using this programming to help prevent the summer slide. More information on programming and schedules can be found here: https://www.rmpbs.org/education/colorado-classroom/
Mask Design Challenge: Calling on all Colorado kids to create their own design for a face mask. Please visit coloradomaskcontest.org to view the contest guidelines and get creative!
Donate Personal Protective Equipment Larimer County has set up a static equipment drive at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment at 1525 Blue Spruce Drive in Fort Collins. Donations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays only.
|General Help and Information|
Please check Colorado’s COVID-19 website here. This is the central resource for everything having to do with this pandemic in Colorado. For COVID-19 help or information:
Phone: CO-HELP: 1-303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911
Do NOT call 911 for general medical advice or COVID-19 testing.
Colorado 211 Service Now Available DON’T call 911, DO call call 211 to get you the help and resources you need. For more information on this new service, click here. And here is the Colorado website for all things COVID-19.
Your Voice on COVID Policy
The Governor’s office has developed a new weblink to capture questions, comments, suggestions, and requests for guidance regarding Colorado’s COVID-19 response. Given the massive volume of such correspondence, using this website, rather than email, will ensure your inquiry is added into their discussion queue for the quickest response possible: https://covid19.colorado.gov/CovidConcerns
Scam Alert: https://www.stopfraudcolorado.gov/
This crisis is, unfortunately, another opportunity for scam artists. Scams include offering testing (hint: you pay money and don’t get tested), cures (hint: there is no miracle cure currently), and more. See bottom of local section below for Fort Collins Police warnings
The Colorado Sun has an excellent resource page where you can quickly view a variety of information related to COVID-19. I found the summary of public orders issued to date especially helpful.
|Local: City, State, School District and More Larimer County|
Check out this excellent website with the latest county information and resources here.
Larimer County Wants to Know if You’re Sick
Self-reporting is the next best thing to adequate testing, click here
City of Fort Collins
Check the latest city updates here. You can also sign up for daily updates here. Fort Collins Police say warn of COVID-19 SCAMS – Click here.
Fort Collins Police Impersonators – What to do – Click here
Poudre River Library District
Curbside pickup now available and you can return those materials you’ve been holding on to! More information at: https://www.poudrelibraries.org/
Find Local Restaurants to order food OR buy gift certificates here.
Shopping time for Seniors and Vulnerable Populations
A few Fort Collins stores are offering shopping hours specifically for our most vulnerable populations to allow them to find groceries on fully stocked shelves and help limit exposure to larger crowds. See the list below:Albertson’s: Tesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays from 7-9amCostco: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9am to 10amKing Soopers: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 am to 8 amSafeway: Tuesdays, Wenesdays, & Thursday from 7 am to 9amTarget @ Council Tree: Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 7am to 8amTarget @ College & Troutman: Tuesdays & Wednesdays 8am-9amWhole Foods: Every day 7am to 8amWalgreens: Tuesdays from 8am to 9amWalmart: Tuesdays from 6am to 7am
The city of Fort Collins is seeking volunteers to assist with services to our vulnerable populations. They are launching an expansion of the Adopt-A-Neighbor Program to pair volunteers with neighbors in need during the pandemic. If you are interested in becoming one of the helpers through the city’s Adopt-ANeighbor Program, please visit https://engage.fcgov.com/d/HR/App/AdoptANeighbor to apply and view a detailed volunteer job description. If you or someone you know is in need of help, visit https://fcgov.com/volunteer.
Need Help Getting Groceries?
CSU graduate students want to help. Read more here and click here for their website or call 970-308-5880 to get help or to volunteer.
Another option: A good friend told me she tried out online ordering from her local grocery store the other day, and reported that it was easy and safe!
|Unemployment & Jobs|
Great Resources for the Unemployed
Get help with everything from basic survival to gaining new skills and finding a new job: https://onwardco.org/
Website to Combat Health Care Workforce Shortages
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing launched ConnectToCareJobs.com, a new website to help combat health care workforce shortages in Colorado, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) public health emergency and beyond. Focused entirely on health care, ConnectToCareJobs.com quickly connects residential care facilities and providers with health care professionals seeking employment. ConnectToCareJobs.com also allows health care providers to select open positions they are hiring for and be matched with job seekers that fit their hiring needs. Job seekers can create a profile identifying the position they are interested in, the distance they are willing to travel for the position, and other professional skills and experience.
Cool Tool to Chart Your Path to Education, Jobs, and More
Whether you’re a student, newly unemployed, or just looking to chart a path to a new career, please check out this great tool: https://www.mycoloradojourney.com This website can help you explore ideas about what you want to do involving education and work and help you figure out how to get there.
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Resources for workers and employers to help you navigate this crisis can be found here. As many businesses close to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits. You can file an unemployment claim with CDLE here.
Tired of Waiting on Hold to Talk to About Unemployment Insurance?
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment now has a “call back” form. Fill out this form so they can get back to assist you: https://cutt.ly/gyg56Pc
Regular Unemployment Insurance
The federal legislation also includes extra unemployment benefits — $600 per week for four months — to help those who have lost their jobs or lost wages get through this tough time. This week was the largest spike in unemployment insurance claims in American history with 6.6 million Americans filing.We want to thank you for your patience, and I’m glad that the issues that we were facing the last few weeks with the online filing system have been mostly ironed out. We are continuing to encourage anyone who may qualify for traditional unemployment insurance to file online at ColoradoUI.gov: By traditional, we mean you are a W2 type employee who was laid off or lost hours due to no fault of your own, including COVID-19. You could be eligible for 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits from the state of Colorado. Unemployment insurance in Colorado provides around 55% of an individual’s average weekly pay, up to a maximum $618 per week. In addition to those benefits from the state, you could be eligible for the $600 extra per month for the first four months of unemployment thanks to the federal stimulus package.Furthermore, once you have exhausted your 26 weeks of state unemployment, you would be eligible for another three months of unemployment paid for by the federal legislation. If you have already filed and qualified, then you will not need to file again to get the additional $600 per week from the federal bill added to your weekly benefit.
Unemployment Insurance PIN
If you have not yet received, or have lost or forgotten, your PIN number you need to receive unemployment benefits, please fill out this simple form. Someone at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, upon receipt of this form, will get the PIN issued, and/or will contact you to provide any needed assistance.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
From the Federal CARES Act is now putting an extra $600 per week into the pockets of qualified individuals including traditional W2 employees, the self-employed, gig workers and independent contractors, etc. Please go to ColoradoUI.gov to apply and for more information.
Unemployment Insurance Expanded Eligibility Self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors who have seen decreased revenue due to COVID-19 can now apply for unemployment insurance. Colorado had been waiting on federal guidance for how to administer benefits to gig workers through the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program passed in the CARES Act. Please visit ColoradoUI.gov for more details.
How to file for Unemployment
If you are applying, be sure to take extra care when going through the application and save your work frequently; it is hard to make changes after you file.Step 1: Collect any income related information;Step 2: Go to coloradoUI.gov and click on the “Workers” button.Step 3: Review your claim before you hit submit. After you file, you should receive a PIN in the mail to launch your claimant account and finish out the process, including requesting payments. You’ll be paid within two weeks.Step 4: Register with your local Workforce CenterJobs are Available in grocery stores, delivery services, Amazon and others. State Job website click here. Article here. Census is still hiring too.
|Housing, Loans, Utilities, Food, Taxes and MoreState of Colorado Resources for Those Facing Eviction, Foreclosure, or Non-Payment of Utility Bills|
For resources, click here.
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium Extended
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued a two-month extension to its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through Aug. 31, 2020. The moratorium applies to homeowners with FHA-insured single-family mortgages.
Guide for renters in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project Free help to come to a better solution for all parties. Tenants that need help can connect for with the project AND lawyers that want to volunteer can sign up: www.cedproject.org
Local Relief for Renters
Neighbor to Neighbor: https://www.n2n.org/rent-assistance/ 970-484-7498 firstname.lastname@example.org Monday through Friday 8 am through 4 pm
Homeward Alliance: https://www.homewardalliance.org/ (970) 658-9878
The Resident Relief Foundation (RRF) and the Colorado Apartment Association have announced a partnership providing assistance to renters. Colorado residents who are struggling to pay their rent because of coronavirus related job loss, illness or income loss may seek assistance from the relief fund. Read more here.
Statewide Relief for Renters
Brothers Redevelopment at www.brothersredevelopment.org
Eviction Protocols by Judicial District (Larimer County is in the 8th Judicial District) click here.
Student Loan News
Lots of great resources available here: neweracolorado.org/navigating-loans Also, read here about how Colorado has struck a deal with private student loan companies to help those with privately held student loans.
Resources for those Facing Poverty here.
Resources for Immigrants in English and in Spanish.
Bell Policy Center Resource Hub
Resources & Information for Seniors at www.LarimerSeniors.org.Colorado
Department of Human Services
Additional resources to help you can be found here.
United Way of Larimer County
Lots of great resources here: https://uwaylc.org/
Larimer County Food Bank
Find out how they’re operating in reaction to COVID-19 here.
Food assistance information
This link includes information on how to apply for food assistance benefits.
Internet for Low Income Residents
Comcast is extending their 60-days of FREE Internet Service to new Internet Essentials Customers. The contract-free program is available to lower-income residents who qualify for public assistance programs such as Medicaid and SNAP. After the 60-day free period, service is $9.95 a month. Read more here.
Federal & State Income Tax Extension until July 15 State Sales Tax Extension for April 20th until May 20 Fort Collins Sales Tax Extension for qualified business up to 60 days Property Tax Payment Information here. Extension of several deadlines for valuation reports to county assessors
Where’s My Economic Stimulus Payment?
Don’t have it yet? Click here to track it down. The IRS says many problems with this site have now been fixed. For most taxpayers, these cash payments are automatic, and no further action is needed. However, if you have questions, the IRS has launched an online portal to allow you to check if you are eligible or track the status of your payment.
Economic Impact Payments will not be taxed and should not adjust your federal income tax filing or refund for 2020 in any way. The IRS will never call, email, or text you requesting personal or bank information or ask you to pay a fee to receive a stimulus check.
More Information on COVID-19?
Who Can Be Tested for COVID-19?
Colorado can now test:Any individual who has COVID-19 symptomsAny individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responderAny essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working, per state or employer guidelinesColoradans can get tested by your health care providers, local community-based testing sites, specialized testing sites ( See this link for testing sites interactive map), or private sector partners.Coloradans can get tested at no cost. The Division of Insurance has directed Colorado-regulated insurance plans not to charge copays for testing, and Medicaid patients can also get tested without cost. For individuals without insurance, community testing sites can send samples to the state lab and the state will cover the cost. In addition, Coloradans shouldn’t be worried about losing their jobs if they test positive for COVID-19 as most Colorado businesses are now required to provide paid leave for those who test positive. There are two types of test available: Viral (swab based) testing and Antibody (serology) testing. Viral tests determine if the virus is present in a person’s body. They are most relevant for diagnosing new infections quickly after a person has become infected, and help contain the spread. Antibody tests test for the body’s response to the virus, and can be used in research to provide information about where the virus has been and the extent of its spread, but can’t be used in individual patient care due to outstanding scientific questions.
If You’re Sick
Please take a few minutes to fill out this quick Symptom Tracker survey to help our public health team determine how the virus is behaving in your community and adjust our response accordingly. We’ve partnered with Google and MTX on this symptom tracker, and over 1,000 Coloradans have already used this tool to help the state better respond to COVID-19.
Multi-inflammatory Syndrome in Children
Multi-inflammatory syndrome in children has been found to have a strong correlation with children who have antibodies for COVID-19, suggesting that these children recently recovered from the virus. The syndrome is most similar to other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome.Children with this syndrome may become seriously ill and have problems with their heart or other organs, requiring hospitalized care. Colorado currently has three potential cases pending review by the Centers for Disease Control.Parents are encouraged to look for the following symptoms in their children, especially if the child or others in the home have recently contracted COVID-19:High fevers for multiple daysGastrointestinal complaints including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrheaSymptoms similar to Kawasaki Disease, including rash, red eyes, red lips, or a red strawberry-like tongue.A child is exhibiting these symptoms may be in need of urgent care, and a medical provider should be contacted immediately.There is no reason to delay care for this or for any other serious medical condition. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are some of the safest, most sterilized places you can be. There have had troubling reports of people foregoing urgent care for themselves or their loved ones, about people not attending wellness checkups, and not bringing children in for wellness checkups and having their children fall behind on important vaccines.
Free Help for Mental Health, Anxiety, Stress, etc.
Larimer County residents experiencing anxiety, stress, or other mental health concerns because of the COVID-19 situation can receive support over the phone. Help is available free of charge at 970- 221-5551 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Mental Health Crisis Support
Anyone experiencing a crisis should call SummitStone Crisis Services at 970-494-4200, Ext. 4, or text TALK to 38255 to receive mental health support. They may also call the Colorado Crisis Line at 844-493-8255 or 911.
Mental Health Services for Immigrants and people who are Undocumented in our community. ISAAC (Interfaith Solidarity and Accompaniment Coalition) – ISAAC’s NoCo
Emergency Immigration Fund is working with all our community partners in town to give $300 Emergency Relief Grants to immigrants who have lost employment due to the current crisis and who do not qualify for a stimulus check or unemployment insurance. The fund’s fiscal agent is Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins. Arpi and I are members of this board and we can provide direction to people who contact ISAAC directly: (970) 541-1251La Cocina – La Cocina in Fort Collins provides full-access mental health services and equitable health support services to immigrant groups in our community. Please check out their services page. The help children, adolescents, families but also provide Forensic Mental Health Assessments for people in detention.For families coping with COVID-19, resources for children, adolescents, and families from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry can be found here. Health Insurance: Residents who lose their jobs and their employer-based coverage will have a 60-day window this year to enroll in an individual health insurance plan on the exchange. There is no time period in which those who lose coverage must enroll.
Connect for Health Colorado
Colorado consumers are encouraged to enroll through our state’s exchange, Connect for Health Colorado. Financial assistance for those who qualify is only available when enrolling through Connect for Health Colorado. Connect for Health offers tools such as the Quick Cost & Plan Finder that can help check eligibility for financial assistance while finding plans that fit consumers’ needs.
COVID-19 and Chronic Disease Website
Health District offers free health coverage enrollment assistance
Those who have lost their health insurance or had a change in household income due to job loss can get free health coverage enrollment assistance from Larimer Health Connect.The program will offer assistance by phone, online and by in-person appointments for those without computer or internet access. No walk-in appointments will be accepted due to the outbreak, and those seeking an appointment should call 970-472-0444.The program will help people sign up for coverage from:Health First Colorado (Medicaid)Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)Private health plans from Connect for Colorado Health Colorado Marketplace (Those who lose their health insurance have 60 days to enroll in a private marketplace plan. Though open enrollment is typically only in fall, a special enrollment period offered by the state for uninsured individuals and families is open through April 3.)The Health District is also providing prescription assistance services by phone to help residents of northern Larimer County without prescription drug coverage. Call 970-416-6519 for more information.
|Businesses “One-Stop Shop” for Northern Colorado Business Owners|
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) At last report, the Paycheck Protection Program still has money available for small businesses, independent contractors, the self-employed, and nonprofits. This program offers direct assistance in the form of forgivable loans for two-and-a-half months of your average monthly payroll expense. The idea is that instead of laying people off and having them go on unemployment, we can help small businesses make payroll and stay in business so folks can keep getting a paycheck from their employer.Small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors can begin applying for these forgivable loans. Visit choosecolorado.com. Visit the SBA’s website at sba.gov/ppp for more information. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) representatives are available to answer any constituent questions through the COVID Economic Hotline at 303-860-5881.
Expedited Emergency Small Business Loans
Other emergency loans of up to $2 million, at low interest rates are now available for small businesses throughout Colorado. Visit their website to apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/
More Small Business Funding Resources
Small businesses can also access the following database of alternate funding resources for businesses in need here.
The Small Business Navigator can direct you to resources and answer questions about Colorado-specific resources. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hotline: (303) 860-5881
Social Distancing Certification Form for Businesses
If a business is not on the list of authorized businesses, but the business is able to remain open and comply with the social distancing requirement that all employees remain at least six feet apart at all times, complete the following certification and maintain in your business records: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WusiYVYelOtFI6W7_CPpNBaJneXMxxwL/view
The Economic Stabilization and Growth Council is actively identifying all available and potential resources, technical assistance programs, and funding opportunities and how these tools can scale quickly. That begins with federal programs such as the SBA loans but also includes engaging with the banking industry locally and seeking creative solutions to fill any gaps in federal relief. Impacted businesses should reach out to us for more information in the following ways:Economic Injury Hotline at 303-860-5881;Small Business Navigator email at email@example.com;COVID-19 resource website at https://choosecolorado.com/covid19/ for real time updates and to sign up for email updates.
Weekly calls and webinars hosted by regional Small Business Development Centers may be of interest to business owners seeking more information regarding relevant resources in a given region. Follow this link for information: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wsQDxR2nPZMo3OfKX7TB5uNIv63T4V-7
Innovation Response Team
If you are a private sector company who wants to partner with the Innovation Response Team on acquiring testing, critically constrained medical supplies, technology, or support services for people who are isolated, please click here.