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'Donations, Volunteers And Blood:' Polis Urges Coloradans To Pitch In To New Relief Effort

Gov. Polis speaks to reporters at the state Capitol on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
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Gov. Polis speaks to reporters at the state Capitol on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

The state of Colorado has launched a new relief fund and volunteer website to help residents who are being affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Residents can contribute and sign up to volunteer at www.helpcoloradonow.org.

"It could mean health care assistance. It could mean food delivery," Gov. Jared Polis said. "It could mean mental wellness support. Child care support, so much more we're going to need. I want to challenge Coloradans to do our part, each and every one of us, to help us all get through this together."

Polis said the relief fund had collected more than $2.8 million as of Wednesday morning.

He added the funds will be used to purchase medical supplies and help workers who have been laid off because of the virus.

The relief effort comes a day after the state's unemployment filing website experienced technical difficulties due to an unprecedented level of traffic.

Polis is also calling for residents to donate blood, after blood banks have reported a sharp drop in donations with their regular drives being cancelled.

"Many of the COVID-19 patients don't need blood but we have everything that normally occurs as well," he said. "We have people with heart attacks and appendicitis ... Donating blood is safe and you shouldn't be at all concerned about giving blood at this time."

The state has also launched an effort to help first responders and health care workers get emergency child care. More info can be found at https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/

Polis said he would be announcing additional measures to help workers who have been affected by business closures during the virus outbreak soon.

Copyright 2020 KUNC

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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