Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

487FF0D645A1B128872585C1005F60BF Hearing Summary


Date Aug 11, 2020      
Location Old State Library

Discussion on 2020 Emergency Related Executive Orders and COVID-19 Disaster Response - Committee Discussion Only

10:12:56 AM  
Kachina Weaver, representing Governor Polis' office, came to the table to discuss the COVID-19 disaster response.
10:17:12 AM  

Kacey Wulff, Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response, Resilience, and Recovery, gave an overview of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the presentation was distributed to the committee (Attachment E). She responded to questions from the committee regarding hospital capacity. She discussed the three phases of the state's response, including Stay at Home, Safer at Home, and Protect our Neighbors. She discussed the ability of local governments to seek variances to state restrictions if they meet specific virus control metrics.

10:29:51 AM  

Ms. Wulff continued the presentation by discussing the structure of the state's response teams. She also discussed the Colorado COVID-19 relief fund.

10:33:59 AM  
Ms. Wulff responded to questions from the
committee regarding the magnitude of the response to the virus in Colorado,
especially as compared to the H1N1 flu virus deaths in the country and
in the state.  The committee continued to ask questions about the
closure of businesses in the state, the stay home order, and what constitutes
essential business.
10:46:24 AM  
Jill Ryan, Executive Director of the Colorado Department
of Public Health and Environment, discussed the state's public health response
to COVID-19. She highlighted response strategies, including issuing public
health orders, tracking epidemiological indicators, and coordinating testing.
She responded to questions from the committee regarding COVID-19 outbreaks,
testing capacity in Colorado, incidents of COVID-19 that are asymptomatic,
how the virus manifests in patients, how the state works with local public
health agencies, and testing practices statewide.
11:12:36 AM  

Ms. Ryan continued her presentation by discussing the local variance process, testing capacity in the state, and reported positive tests versus estimated total number of cases. She responded to questions from the committee regarding how the incidence rate is affected by tourism.

11:18:08 AM  

Ms. Wulff responded to questions from the committee regarding school reopening guidance.  She responded to questions from the committee regarding masks for educators.

11:23:56 AM  
Ms. Wulff responded to questions from the committee regarding
support for child care facilities. Ms. Ryan responded to committee questions
regarding federal public health money for local public health agencies
and the communication between the state and local public health agencies.
11:30:24 AM  
Stan Hilkey, Executive Director of the Department of Public
Safety, discussed the state's public safety response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He reviewed the different efforts to address COVID-19, including public
health rapid response, health care management, consequence management,
and resource management.
11:37:41 AM  

Kevin Kline, Director, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, discussed the emergency management response in the state. He discussed alternative care sites, noting they are not currently being used, but are available if cases increase. Committee discussion on this issue continued. The committee discussed federal funding for alternative care sites, and the potential impact of the President's recent executive orders on federal emergency funding. Mr. Kline further responded to questions from the committee regarding the use of the National Guard for testing support.

11:57:59 AM  

Mr. Kline discussed how COVID-19 has affected evacuation and emergency planning for the wildfire season. He discussed personal protection equipment coordination.

12:00:31 PM  
Ms. Wulff discussed the Governor's executive
orders issued related to COVID-19 and responded to questions from the committee
regarding the orders, how schools will address COVID-19 and the flu occurring
at the same time in winter, and how incidents of sickness will be handled
in schools.  Committee discussion on this issue continued.
12:12:10 PM  
Lauren Larson, Director, Governor's Office
State Planning and Budgeting, discussed the state's financial response
to COVID-19.  She discussed how federal funds were distributed through
state agencies, and noted that $1.2 billion was appropriated through the
FY 2020-21 Long Appropriation bill. She discussed expenditures related
to alternative care sites, and highlighted the need for additional federal
funding for disaster response.  She discussed unemployment insurance
and the solvency of the unemployment insurance fund.
12:26:29 PM  
Ms. Larson continued by discussing the ongoing need for federal
action on enhanced unemployment benefits, and how that affects housing
security, layoffs, and business closures in Colorado.  She gave an
initial general fund revenue update.  Ms. Larson responded to questions
from the committee regarding mortgage assistance.
12:32:51 PM  
Ms. Larson responded to questions from
the committee regarding federal funding that flows directly to providers
and local entities.  
12:39:14 PM  
The committee recessed.  The afternoon portion of the
Executive Committee meeting is reflected in a seperate summary, but the
audio recording for this date contains the audio for both meetings.