Governor Jared Polis Declares State of Emergency for Colorado — What Does it Mean?

PHOTO BY LIBBY JAMES. U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse.

By Joe Neguse
Congressman, 2nd District of Colorado

I want to share a brief update on Congress’ efforts to address the Coronavirus, and steps our health officials are taking in Colorado to assist our communities and combat spread of the virus.


Today (March 10), Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency for the state of Colorado. In particular this will open up access to additional resources and give the state legal flexibility to take proactive steps to contain the spread of Coronavirus. This will include:

  • additional sick leave for workers (in particular for workers handling food, hospitality, child care, health care and education);
  • expanded testing capacity and providing tests at no costs to patients;
  • a new drive-up lab for patients who have been directed by a doctor to get tested. The Lowry Facility is located at 8100 E. Lowry Blvd in Denver and will be open starting on Wednesday;
    allowing seniors over 65 to renew their driver’s licenses online to enable them to avoid the DMV.
  • The emergency declaration is a 30-day order that can be renewed as needed, as long as this public health emergency lasts.

Last week, I voted for, and the President signed, an emergency funding bill allocating $8.3 billion to ensure that the Centers for Disease Control and our state and local governments have the funding they need to response to the Coronavirus. This package includes $9.3 million for Colorado and:

  • More than $3 billion for research and development of vaccines;
  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response;
  • Nearly $1 billion for medical supplies, to support healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers;
  • $7 billion in low-interest loans to help small businesses affected by the outbreak.
    and it waves certain Medicare telehealth restrictions for seniors during the Coronavirus public health emergency.

Additionally, we are discussing additional provisions this week to ensure nation-wide uninsured individuals can access testing, and expanded paid leave and unemployment insurance is made available to ensure Americans can get the help they need and take time off work without spreading the virus in their workplace.

You can find additional resources and basic information on our website:


To slow the spread of Coronavirus into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions for those returning from countries with widespread sustained transmission.

Depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread.

CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide and all travel to countries with widespread sustained transmission. Read more at

A reminder on basic steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you safe:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Our staff is available to answer questions and direct you to appropriate resources should you need assistance:

CO-HELP LINE: 303-389-1687

Call our staff: (970) 372-3971// (303) 335-1045

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