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CORONAVIRUS DIARY, 03-24-20 | Case update: 912 cases, 11 deaths reported by CDPHE

Colorado Politics
March 24, 2020

According to CDPHE, data is updated daily about 4 p.m. and includes cases reported through 4 p.m. the previous day. This reporting gap, the department said, gives epidemiologists time to review the data and improve the accuracy. Due to this delay, our numbers may be different than what is being reported by local public health departments. — Linda Shapley

NFIB survey shows small businesses are feeling the pain

Small businesses are increasingly feeling the impact of the coronavirus shutdown, according to a national survey released Tuesday.

The NFIB Research Center’s latest survey on a dramatically escalating from a survey released 10 days earlier. The center called it “profound.”

The latest survey suggested 76% of small businesses are negatively impacted by the pandemic, up from less than 25% earlier this month. About 5% said they were positively impacted, which the center said is attributable to a rush in sales of certain goods.

“History shows small business has led every recovery,” Tony Gagliardi, NFIB Colorado state director, said in a statement Tuesday. “If government provides the correct survival tools to Main Street, small-business owners will take it from there and lead the nation back to a booming economy.” — Joey Bunch

Denver Mayor Hancock launches business task force 

Amid the blur of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s press conference yesterday, when he issued a new stay-at-home order that sent people flocking to liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries, some news he shared may have gotten lost. It includes the fact that a task force was created to help local businesses impacted by the coronavirus. 

The new task force includes Denver’s “key” economic and financial experts, the city said in a Monday press release. Their focus is to gather data on the impacts of the epidemic on businesses and employers. 

The group is also working to fast-track the development of cash assistance and other tools, the city said.

“I want to assure our business community, especially our small businesses, that we are with you for the long haul,” Hancock said Monday afternoon. — Alayna Alvarez

Arvada Center: Don’t forget the arts

With the nation shut down, it’s going to put a strain on small theaters and nonprofits that are losing important revenue from canceled or postponed events, including shows and classes.

Ways people can help include:

  • Donating the value of their tickets rather than asking for a refund.
  • Making a new donation or increasing an existing gift. 
  • Buying a gift certificate to a future event.
  • Setting up a giving page on social media.
  • Subscribe for a future season.
  • Donate to one of the local crowd-funded Artist Relief Funds: Denver Metro Area Artist Relief Fund and the Colorado Artist Relief Fund
  • Donate to one of the national artist relief funds: Actors FundMusicians Foundation
  • Hire an artist! Do you need some web design done? Social media? Tutoring? Translation? Babysitting? Career coaching? Follow the link for a database of Colorado artists and their skills and contact information.” 

“During these unprecedented and uncertain times, the Arvada Center looks to our friends, donors, and patrons to help us weather this storm,” the organization said in an email Monday. — Joey Bunch

Arvada chamber puts on Chow for Champions

During the coronavirus crisis, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce is collecting donations and feeding the city’s police officers, as well as other first responders and volunteers, every Tuesday and Thursday.

The chamber is looking for 10 donors of $20 for each meal, or one donor to cover the entire $200 cost. The program also helps local restaurants, the chamber said.

Those interested in helping out can email samantha@arvadachamber.org.

To register and suggest an organization to recognize with a meal, click here. — Joey Bunch

Gardner, GOP senators call for task force to counter Chinese claims about COVID-19 origin

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and two fellow Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday called on President Donald Trump to establish a task force to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s “malicious propaganda” about the origins of the novel coronavirus.

“Now that COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the globe, the CCP and its officials have the audacity to spread disingenuous claims that the United States is responsible for this pandemic,” the senators wrote in a letter to Trump. “This is not simply dishonest, it is dangerous.”

Gardner, joined by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Mitt Romney of Utah, call it “critical that our country fight back against this propaganda” in the letter, which requests the Trump “formulate a coordinated, (U.S. government)-wide response” under the direction of the National Security Council.

China’s ruling party, the senators contend, “is manipulating facts surrounding a global pandemic that originated due to their own incompetence” in an effort to gain an advantage over the United States while “the rest of the world scrambles to clean up the CCP’s mess.”

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry tweeted earlier in March that “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” part of what U.S. officials say has been a concerted effort to shift blame for the pandemic from Chinese government’s early response to the outbreak in Wuhan.

The senators say the Trump administration’s response should include producing a document outlining how the coronavirus emerged and efforts by the Chinese government to “conceal its seriousness.” — Ernest Luning

Colorado Supreme Court revises rules for defendant appearances in public health crisis

The Colorado Supreme Court Monday announced revisions to the criminal procedures rules to deal with defendants’ court appearances during a public health crisis.

Under rule 43f(1)  of criminal procedures, under a public health crisis, a defendant may appear by phone at arraignments or other proceedings. A separate confidential phone line must be provided so that the defendant can confer with their attorney.

Rule 43f(2) adds that a defendant, with their consent, can appear by phone for a plea entry, sentencing, “a deferred judgment violation hearing, a probation violation hearing, sentencing following the revocation of a deferred judgment or probation, or a transfer hearing following termination of placement in community corrections.” — Marianne Goodland

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