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Dear Friend,

From my family to yours, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season. I hope you are able to enjoy this time relaxing and recharging.

This year has been among the most challenging in recent memory, but as we close the book on 2020 and begin looking ahead, it is important to keep in mind that we must continue to be vigilant about keeping our loved ones and our communities safe. 1 in 36 people in Pueblo County are currently contagious with COVID-19 and Pueblo has the highest death rate from the virus in Colorado.

As the vaccine is beginning to be distributed to healthcare workers across our state, the light at the end of the tunnel grows closer. Thanks to the hard work of our healthcare workers and the cooperation of Coloradans across the state, we avoided a spike in COVID-19 cases over Thanksgiving. Still, the most rapid path to fully reopening, saving lives, and returning to normal is to avoid a spike over Christmas and New Year's Day.
This year, I'm thrilled to be joining my family to celebrate the holidays over video. For recommendations on how you can celebrate the winter holidays safely, check out CDPHE's Winter Holiday Tips page.

Additionally, it is critical to remember during this time that mental health is just as important as physical health. If you are experiencing a crisis or need someone to talk to, please reach out to Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255.

As always, if there is anything I may assist you with, please don't hesitate to contact my office by emailing me or by calling (303)-886-2968.

Legislative Session Postponed

Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases across Colorado and uncertainty surrounding how the winter holidays will impact the spread of the virus in our state, my colleagues and I will be postponing the beginning of regular legislative work until February.

The General Assembly will convene on January 13 and meet for as little time as is necessary to address urgent business and attend to certain constitutional and statutory obligations. We will then go into a temporary recess with the goal of resuming the legislative session on February 16th.

With the first vaccines being distributed in our state, the end of this pandemic is finally in sight– but it’s time for Colorado to be more vigilant, not less. Delaying our legislative session is a responsible and science-driven choice that will protect the health and safety of the public while ensuring that we’ll be able to get our work done on behalf of the people of Colorado. This pandemic has exposed and heightened many existing inequities in our economy, and we’ll come back in February ready to work towards ensuring every Coloradan has a fair shot at success.

You can view the full press release here.

Fair Care Program Extended!

With child care providers facing unique challenges resulting from the pandemic, it is more clear than ever that our child care workforce and our working parents need our support. Most child care facilities in Colorado are owned or operated by women, and more than 40% of our child care workforce is composed of women of color. Furthermore, throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, women of color have been more likely to be on the front line as essential workers and are more likely to lose their jobs.

I'm thrilled that Pueblo's leaders came together to extend the Fair Care Program after seeing resounding success from the pilot program. In just 3 weeks, the Fair Care Program provided educational assistance to more than 200 children of first responders & essential workers while their parents were out serving our communities.

For more information on the Fair Care Progam, check out their website.

December Economic and Revenue Forecast

Last Friday, my colleagues & I received the economic & revenue forecasts from the Colorado Legislative Council and the Governor's Office of State Planning & Budgeting.

Our economy is recovering faster than we anticipated, but too many Coloradans are still being left behind. Though high-wage employment has nearly recovered, middle- and low-wage earners are continuing to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, there is a lower percentage of women in the workforce than at any point since 1986, as families across the state are forced to grapple with fewer jobs and limited childcare options.
While I'm proud that we provided direct relief to Coloradans during the special session, it's clear there is more work to do. We need our federal government to step up and ensure that those most impacted by the pandemic don't get left behind during the recovery.

You can view the full Legislative Council forecast here, and you can view the full OSPB forecast here.

Vaccine Distribution Update

This week, the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Colorado, following last week's arrival of the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. For each of these vaccines, a diverse group of people participated in every phase of the clinical trials, and both companies have reported that the vaccines have around 95% efficacy.

The vaccine will be distributed in phases. These phases are designed to save as many lives as possible by vaccinating high-risk essential health care workers first. CDPHE is working closely with local public health agencies, health care providers, pharmacies, and diverse community partners to distribute the vaccine as equitably and efficiently as possible.

Due to limited availability, we expect that it will take several months until everyone is able to access the vaccine. To save lives until the vaccine becomes widely available, we need to prioritize essential health care workers and Coloradans who are most at risk for getting severely sick or even dying of COVID-19.

Cost will not be an obstacle to getting the vaccine. Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance will cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, uninsured Coloradans will have access to free vaccines.

To view more information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, check out CDPHE's vaccine website.
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Copyright © 2020 Representative Daneya Esgar, HD 46, All rights reserved.


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