To Department of Regulatory Agencies Licensees & Stakeholders:
As we enter the colder months, the current trends in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are becoming unsustainable and very concerning. Models estimate that about 1 in every 200 Coloradans is currently contagious with COVID-19.
If these trends continue, we will exceed April hospitalization numbers -- the peak of our first wave -- early next month. The most recent modeling predicts that we will exceed all of our existing hospital capacity by the end of the year if we maintain the status quo. Further decreases in social distancing, challenges due to holiday travel, flu season, or people moving indoors because of cold weather may put a greater demand on our hospitals.
As such, now is the time to renew our commitment to battling this pandemic, and to ensure we do everything possible to keep Coloradans safe and our economy moving. Please see the following tools now provided by the state to assist in what will be a vital response to COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
Exposure Notification System
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s Exposure Notification System is a new opt-in feature on your phone that notifies you if you may have been exposed to someone contagious with COVID-19. Using this service could result in receiving notifications days earlier than you would typically get notified by a contact tracer.
This tool is designed especially to protect workers in environments with direct customer or patient interactions. It is not always possible to contact trace to notify an employee if they have been exposed. By utilizing this service, a person could be informed they were exposed before they become contagious. By staying home, they can prevent transmission to coworkers, and prevent outbreaks and closures.
The more Coloradans who participate, the better we can contain this virus and slow its spread. That’s why we’re asking you to encourage your employees, your colleagues and your family and friends to enable the service on their phones.
You can learn more about how the service works at addyourphone.com, where you can also find a supporter toolkit with email templates, a one-page explanation, and social media posts you can use to encourage your fellow Coloradans to enable the service on their smartphones.
Community Dial Updates
With the increase in trends, many Colorado counties moved to a more restrictive dial level this week, and we expect additional transitions may occur. We understand that changes in dial status can lead to some confusion and frustration. While difficult, it is the hope that moving on the dial to a more restrictive level can stem transmission at a local or regional level, and prevent the need for another statewide Stay at Home Order.
That’s why we need your help, now more than ever, in supporting communities as they transition to different levels to combat the spread of the virus. You can visit this CDPHE dashboard to see your county’s current dial level and this website to understand how capacity restrictions change across levels. As with any public health order, all licensees must abide by the guidelines established based on your county’s level.
Continued Compliance with Statewide Executive and Public Health Orders
We have additional tools at our disposal, but the best chance possible to prevent overwhelming our hospitals and having to re-enter Stay at Home lies in compliance with our statewide executive orders and both statewide and local public health orders. This includes reducing public gatherings, social distancing, and wearing masks.
Please note that the statewide mask ordinance is still in effect, and continues to be extended on an as-needed basis by Governor Polis.
The Department has provided a variety of additional guidance documents based on topic and for some specific professions on our COVID-19 Updates page. Please visit this page and CDPHE’s Safer at Home site to review guidelines and orders.
A Note About Colorado’s Wildfires
The Department would also like to extend our concern for our licensees and stakeholders affected by the wildfires burning throughout the state. If you have specific questions about your license in relation to the fires and their impact, please reach out to your licensing division. For questions related to insurance, please contact the Division of Insurance - 303-894-7499 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.
We thank everyone for their continued efforts and cooperation in keeping our communities safe, and Colorado strong through this challenging time.