In The News

2020 Last Call for Nominations : Volunteers for CNA Board of Directors

August 4, 2020

The decision has been made to hold a virtual Annual Meeting of the Colorado Nurses Association membership on October 17, 2020.  There will be no Annual Conference in 2020.   Please Save the Dates, October 1 & 2, 2021 for our in person Annual Conference and Membership Assembly.  

More information will follow.

Colorado Nurses Association

Last Call 2020 Call for Nominations & Elections Board of Directors

Notice of Annual Meeting October 17, 2020 

Voluntary action on behalf of the common good is the inherited legacy of every American....”

Katherine Tyler Scott, in Creating Caring & Capable Boards

Serving as a volunteer member of the Colorado Nurses Association Board of Directors is an important and time-consuming effort of the individuals who choose to run for these membership representative positions.  

Elections are held annually for a two-year term and rotate in such a manner that one-half of the Board of Directors rotate off every year, unless one chooses to run for two consecutive terms.  The President is a three-year term, the first year serving as a President-Elect to support leadership succession of the Association.  

Please review the CNA bylaws for more specific information.

Your volunteer role as a member of the CNA Board has three primary aspects: fiduciary, commitment to service, and supportive of CNA Mission and Strategic Plan. 

 Your fiduciary obligation is to balance the financial sustainability of the association and maximize member services.  Your commitment to service recognizes that we are a member driven association dependent on volunteer leadership and involvement. Your supportive role is to help make CNA work for our members and to assist in achieving our mission and strategic plan.

Key personal attributes found to contribute to inclusive teams and learning cultures that foster innovation include curiosity for self and others, engagement of self and others, and, determination that combines tenacity and ability to be change when necessary.  If you are looking for personal challenge and professional commitment to advance nursing in Colorado, please consider these opportunities.

Key 2-year term positions we are seeking candidates for include: 

            Vice President

            Region 6 Director (DNA 5)

            Nominations Committee

Other positions available for your consideration include:

         President-Elect

         Treasurer

         Region 2 Director (DNA 3, 12, 16, 23)

         Region 4 Director (DNA 6)

        SIG Representative                     

Click Here to Review Bylaws for Board Responsibilities

Click Here to Submit Bio and Consent to Serve for Consideration by Nomination Committee

 

Governor Polis COVID-19 Updates July 27, 2020

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

 

Topline Update

The State currently has 44,336 cases, 1,794 total deaths (1,661 are deaths due to COVID), and 6,268 hospitalizations out of 494,626 completed tests. Every death is a tragedy. There are families mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.  

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily, and can be found here.

Colorado’s Testing Strategy 

Two weeks ago, the average test turnaround time was 1-2 days, over the last few weeks we have heard it taking up to 12 days due to a national testing backlog. The Polis Administration finds this unacceptable and will be taking matters into their own hands with expanding state lab capacity and bringing additional in-state private lab partners online rapidly.

As there is an uptick in new cases, Colorado’s ability to expand our testing infrastructure will alleviate the strain on our health system, giving peace of mind to Coloradans and furthermore, and is a critical component of a successful public health response. 

In the absence of a clear national testing strategy, Colorado has worked hard to secure our own sources for testing supplies and expanded our lab capacity -- both in the state lab and through partnerships with private labs. However, this is not a panacea and it’s important to remember that we are not immune to issues that face our national supply chain and national labs. 

Undoubtedly, we would all be better off if there were a national testing strategy and effective management of supplies across the country, but because Coloradans  are smart, hardworking, innovators, we have built and will continue to expand the best system a state can provide on its own.

State Goals & Indicators of Success 

When the state responds to prevent the spread of this virus across Colorado, that response is driven by the following goals: 

  • Acquiring more PPE -- masks, gloves, gowns, face shields -- and testing equipment

  • Expanding testing with prompt results, tracking, and tracing capacity

  • And ensuring hospitals and local public health agencies can meet the need if we do have another surge of cases.

The Four Pillars of Success 

And as we work toward meeting and surpassing these goals, we must continue to be in alignment with the four pillars that determine our success while in Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors, meaning: 

  1. Every Coloradan stays safer at home whenever possible. 

  2. Older Coloradans and those at higher risk of suffering from complications of COVID-19 are staying at home. 

  3. Coloradans must wear a mask: This is now required statewide in all public spaces, and everyone should do their best to wear masks outdoors to minimize their risk and protect others. 

  4. And as a state, we are continuing to scale up our testing and tracing: this is a pillar determinant of our response in tracking positivity rates and assessing our capability to treat those who have tested positive, which is currently just over 4% of people who get a test.

Update on Testing Capacity 

As a direct result of state lab expansion and partnerships with the private sector, Colorado has made the quantum leap from testing 160 Coloradans per day back in March to administering on average over 10,000 tests per day.  

In mid-April, when our daily average of new cases surpassed 500, we were able to test 2,000 per day, but we were missing critical resources like a sufficient amount of swabs to conduct reagent tests - more commonly known to the 450,000+ Coloradans who have been tested as the “brain tickle” test. Within that same month, we set a goal to test 5,000 individuals per day between state and private labs. 

Governor Polis announced that the state lab processed an all time high of 3,803 tests on July 19th. That day Colorado also hit our overall combined high between the state lab and private labs with 12,413 tests processed. And our average this past week was 10,317 tests per day total, and over 3,000 for the state lab. 

Our state lab team represents true excellence in public service. We recognize the tireless efforts of our lab director Dr. Emily Travanty and her whole team for their unprecedented scaling of the lab’s capacity. They have been able to go from 200 tests a day to 3000+.

As a reminder --  if you get a test, you should self-isolate and quarantine until you receive your test results to confirm that it’s negative. Conduct yourself as if you are contagious with the virus, so you do not become a spreader and risk the health of others. 

The state lab has also added a third, overnight shift to process more tests and keep turn around time low. We know that these extra hours working to serve our communities are not easy on our state healthcare workers, and we thank them for their courageous work every day. 

Increasing Lab Capacity 

Since this virus reached our state, we knew, in the absence of federal leadership, we would have to act aggressively to partner with private supply channels, to scale up to respond swiftly and boldly in order to keep people safe and address this crisis head-on. We appreciate any federal resources and partnerships we have received to date and would welcome more.

Colorado’s testing team’s goal has been to build a diverse portfolio of testing supplies and lab capacity to build resilience into our testing program and to be less subject to the national supply chain issues. Our Administration is doing everything possible to ensure we have the testing capacity that Colorado needs. A key strategy of our Administration is to build our own state capacity while building partnerships with the private sector.

By building both public and private partnerships, Colorado has been able to increase our testing capacity to meet the demand. The state partnered with local public health and healthcare providers including hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and others to support over 50 local community-based testing sites. We are also working with Children’s Hospital and National Jewish to run 800 tests per day. Other local private labs Biodesix and Unipath are adding capacity for another 1200 tests/day. We have agreements in place with additional private labs like Mako Labs (2,000/day), Curative (3,000/day) and ATCG (1,200/day) to help us process thousands more tests each day and better meet increased need, as well as test at residential facilities across the state and increase community based testing. The state has teamed up with Korean manufacturers to secure critical testing supplies to Colorado. 

Unique Supply Contracts 

Our state is unique, in that we are developing an important set of relationships directly with suppliers at home and abroad has helped Colorado be in a better position than other states. 

In April, the Governor said our biggest barrier was supplies but we have made a huge effort to increase our supplies. We have purchased 300,000 tests and 450,000 swab kits through our international suppliers, and we are expecting 300,000 more tests plus 800,000 swab kits over the next 8 weeks by September 30th -- or 100,000 swab kits per week. Another 300,000 swabs have been purchased and delivered from within U.S. borders, and 500,000 kits are expected by the end of September. 

Saliva Tests

To cover all of our bases, we want to expand and diversify our testing capacity as much as possible through innovation. The state lab has invoked the authority from the FDA to approve novel tests for use in Colorado. Over the next few weeks, we will be evaluating an innovative saliva test developed at University of Colorado that has the potential to significantly expand our surveillance testing capabilities. 

Over time, university and private lab partners will be expanding the types of samples that we can collect for testing, including working with a company called Curative Inc. to introduce a cheek swab test in Colorado, in settings where repeated testing is appropriate.

Studies will be conducted, and we are excited to be able to introduce new, more efficient testing methods. When we detect the virus early in individuals, they can undergo treatment sooner, and our foremost goal is achieved: saving lives.

Residential Care Strike Force

In Colorado, more than half of the COVID-19 related deaths have been among older adults and people with disabilities who resided in high-density, group-living settings. This includes nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and group homes. In order to reduce the spread of illness and number of deaths in these settings, the state launched a Residential Care Strike Team  in late April. Our Administration thanks Randy Kuykendall and Bonnie Silva for their work leading this team. They have been focused on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in all high-density environments serving older adults and people with disabilities and have made significant progress. 

The Strike Team has set a goal to conduct proactive widespread asymptomatic testing for both residents and staff. This proactive testing aims to identify asymptomatic cases early to minimize the potential for an outbreak. The team has prioritized facilities serving the most residents, as they are at the highest risk for an outbreak. To maximize capacity and to provide individualized support, facilities have been provided three options for testing support. To date, 110,690 testing kits have been distributed to 176 facilities who have indicated they just need support with supplies. 

When requested, the National Guard was also deployed to complete 11,384 tests in 75 facilities. The National Guard has been key to our capacity for testing the most vulnerable whether that is at senior facilities or rapid deployment to outbreaks when they happen. Governor Polis has asked the federal government to extend the national guard past the current authorization in August. 

And the state has contracted with Colorado State University to provide support with testing for facilities that are able to complete their own testing with additional technical assistance. CSU has completed 12,246 tests in 31 facilities. In total, 134,320 tests have been completed or delivered to long term care facilities, and we are thankful for The Strike Team’s hard work in caring for our most vulnerable.  

Contact Tracing

We are working hard -- in partnership with our Local Public Health Agency (LPHA) partners -- to expand our contact tracing capacity. This is why we prioritized contact tracing as a Protect Our Neighbors phase metric, and are working to make over $75 million available to LPHAs to grow their programs.

The State is continually working to do our part. Thanks to the 115 full-time COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado has been able to reach out to 96% of positive cases within a 48 hour window, where the vast majority -- 72% -- have responded. 

This increased contact tracing and disease investigation capacity will help us keep the virus from spreading.It’s extremely important to know who has recently been in close contact with a person infected with coronavirus, so that we can take swift action to notify others that they may have been exposed and guide them to self-isolate or take other measures to prevent a full blown outbreak.

In June, Governor Polis announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) would be mobilizing more than 800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to support the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 response through contact tracing and other associated work.

To date, 423 contact tracers have started working, and an additional 300 AmeriCorps NCCC members, 350 VISTA Summer Associates, and 100-200 Senior Corps volunteers will be joining them over the course of the next year.

Energize Colorado Gives a Helping Hand

In addition to robust testing, another way to keep Colorado’s communities safe is having access to adequate protection against this virus. Energize Colorado’s PPE marketplace serves to re-engage the economy while keeping our most vulnerable populations safe and healthy by connecting Colorado businesses with Personal Protective Equipment. More and readily available PPE will help build our economic resiliency and help our businesses bounce back.  

Some supplies that are available in the marketplace right now are: 

  • KN-95 respirator masks

  • Surgical mask

  • Face Shields

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Surgical and general purpose gloves

  • Face Coverings

  • Disinfectant 

  • Thermometers 

  • Surgical Gowns

  • Face masks

Our Administration would like to thank Noel Ginsburg, the Founder and Chairman of Intertech Plastics and founder and CEO of CareerWise Colorado who helped establish a team dedicated to ensuring Coloradans have access to PPE. 

Finding PPE equipment is tough, but this group made sure through its partnership with the Colorado State University testing labs that the PPE meets quality standards and negotiated prices so that Colorado businesses get the compensation that they deserve. All can visit www.EnergizeColorado.com to learn more about the PPE Marketplace and a whole host of other services and supports to help get Colorado safely moving again. 

Because of our success in acquiring PPE, we will be supplying all K-12 schools in Colorado with one mask per week per teacher for the next ten weeks and we are working on the logistics and process around that. We will be supplying masks to all district public schools, private schools, Catholic schools, charter schools, and boarding schools.

A Team Effort

The fate of our state in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in the hands of Coloradans. It’s important to reduce social interactions, remain six feet from others whenever possible, and wear facial masks when in public. Testing won’t improve your outcome if you get it, so please stay safe at home, wear a mask to avoid getting this nasty and deadly bug.

Since we have seen a 4-week increase in cases and as a result -- demand for testing -- administration is now taking an active role in test processing and our state lab workers are working around the clock to expedite the timeline for receiving results.Testing needs to be done right, and developing more public-private partnerships is one way we lead by example in Colorado.

We extend a thank you for the state lab workers for fearlessly facing each challenge head on and implementing leading strategies that prevent the spread of this virus. If we actively work to scale up our lab capacity,  testing capabilities, and logistical support systems, we’ll be prepared to face the challenges that lay ahead. 

 

PPE Status Update ANA Survey on PPE 

In May, ANA heard from over 14,000 nurses that PPE remained in short supply and that nurses had concerns with the practices of reuse and decontamination. These survey results were broadly shared with legislative and regulatory agencies and gained significant media presence to give voice to the conditions that nurses are dealing with. 

Much has changed since May, but it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on nursing. The American Nurses Association (ANA) once again wants to understand nurses' access to and usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) right now.  It is critical that we hear from you on the PPE situation you are experiencing in July. 

This survey is open to all nurses – ANA member and non-members. Please take a few minutes to complete this PPE survey.  Answer the questions describing the situation you faced in the last two weeks.  

To take the survey, click on this link.  And feel free to forward to any colleague who would like to participate!

Thank you.

Debbie Dawson Hatmaker, PhD, RN, FAAN 

Chief Nursing Officer | EVP

 
 

Governor Polis COVID-19 Updates July 22, 2020

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

We currently have 41,059 cases, 1,763 total deaths (1,643 are deaths due to COVID), and 6,110 hospitalizations out of 454,290 completed tests. Every death is a tragedy. There are families mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.  

 In terms of new cases, 2 of the last 14 days have had a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of newly reported cases. And in terms of hospitalizations, 5 of the last 14 days have a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of new hospitalizations. 

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily, and can be found here.

CDPHE Model 

We are seeing distressing upward trends across the nation, and last week the Governor took action to enact a statewide mask mandate because he is concerned about our upward trend in cases. The Governor reiterated that he will do everything possible to avoid broad statewide closures of businesses, but data will always determine the decisions  made to keep Coloradans safe. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s early warning system of metrics is showing us that the spread of the COVID is increasing in Colorado, and this rate of increase has been speeding up.  

Last week, 15 counties were notified that these metrics had been exceeded. When this happens, the counties have two weeks to reverse their disease trend in order to keep their variance. If they are not able to reverse the trend, the variance will be revoked and the county will follow the Stay at Home order.  The department requested that counties either submit a mitigation plan or revert to the Safer at Home order.  

CDPHE is also tracking counties that don’t have a variance.  Any county that has a two-week incidence of over 100 per 100,000 population is considered high risk.  We want to work with these counties during this critical window of time.

CDPHE's early warning system takes four things into account: 

  • The CU predictive model - The University of Colorado’s predictive model tells us where we are heading and the window we have for course correction. Our objective is to stay above 55% social distancing, but all Coloradans will be safer if our rate of distancing is 65%. 

  • Hospital capacity - Our objective is to ensure that care is available for people who need it, so CDPHE looks at how many beds we have and how quickly we are filling them. 

  • Growth in cases - We need to keep growth at a level that our public health systems can handle, so it is concerning when there is a  trend of more than 500 new cases per day on an ongoing basis.

  • Testing results - CDPHE has set the threshold at 5% positivity to ensure that an accelerated increase in new cases do not overwhelm our state’s health system, so it is concerning to see a trend of greater than 5% positivity for test results.

If we continue to practice keeping a safe distance of 6-feet from others, mask up when we leave the house, and connect with each other virtually when possible, we’ll start to see less tests coming back positive for COVID-19 and create more opportunities to gain control over the virus. 

We are at a critical juncture and continued success will take all of our efforts.

Back to Basics: Social Distancing

The Governor stressed that the biggest driver of the uptick in cases has been young people between the ages of 20 to 29 socializing. Many young people in Colorado are doing their part to wear masks, but without following the recommended social distancing guidelines, we risk elevating transmission rates and jeopardize our ability to control this virus. 

There are many things that all of us can do to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy: 

  • If you can, telework and continue to work from home.

  • If you go camping, go with just your household. 

  • If you socialize with friends, stay 6 feet apart and keep your mask on.

  • Stay outside when you have friends over. 

  • Limit groups to under 10 people.

  • Take fewer trips to the grocery store or order your groceries online, especially if you are in a high risk category.

  • If you work in an essential business and your employer has not implemented proper measures to ensure social distancing, call your local public health agency. 

We are in a precarious moment and need to take personal responsibility for our actions regardless of where we live, our age, or how we make a living.

Announcement: Last Call for Alcohol

It’s understandable that people want to see their friends and socialize. However, due to Colorado’s current case burden, we cannot go back to doing things the same way we did last summer. That is why the Governor is taking additional steps to limit high risk behavior. 

People getting inebriated and socializing with others from outside of their household is very risky behavior, so the Governor announced that for the next 30 days Colorado will be suspending all alcohol sales past 10 PM statewide instead of 2 AM.The 10 PM last call will only apply to licensed facilities. The Governor is instituting this alcohol sales cut off to reduce the risk of COVID transmission in bars. His hope is that through smaller changes like this, we can avoid major setbacks. 

While the state cannot stop anyone from throwing large parties or gatherings that occur outside of licensed facilities, this type of behavior threatens to dismantle our fragile economic recovery. We need to all do our part by not engaging in risky, irresponsible, and thoughtless behavior.

Doing Your Part 

What is acceptable is everything in moderation, so that your level of socializing is properly adjusted for the sake of safeguarding yourselves and others.  It’s okay to have a few drinks over dinner, but it is not acceptable to attend gatherings indoors with lots of friends. Instead, organize a virtual happy hour with friends and family. 

If we continue to practice keeping a safe distance of 6 feet from others, mask up when we leave the house, and connect with each other virtually when possible, we’ll start to see less tests coming back positive for COVID-19 and begin to create more opportunities to get our economy back on track. 

Empowering Local Control

The state will continue to make decisions in the best interest of local economies, local county health departments, and local constituencies. As a first line of defense, the Governor is working to ensure that local public health agencies are provided with the support and technical assistance they need to be successful in flattening the curve in their communities and gaining control over the number of cases emerging, testing capacity, hospital bed capacity, and sufficient PPE supplies. The administration is committed to building support systems for these communities to create a way to live with this virus with minimal disruptions to our Colorado way of life. 

COVID Relief Fund Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente 

Many Coloradans are stepping up to support our state’s COVID response, which includes companies funding our vital support systems like Colorado's COVID Relief Fund.  

The Governor announced that Kaiser Permanente is generously contributing $500,000  to our COVID response efforts and $300,000 of this will be set aside for organizations applying to do contact tracing with a focus on cultural competency within our communities. The remaining $200,000 will come through Kaiser’s employee donation matching program, which will run through September 30th. 

To complement best practices like wearing our masks and hand washing, it’s also critical that we build the infrastructure for widespread contact tracing and that we continue to serve underserved and populations who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We thank companies like Kaiser Permanente who recognize this need and are helping to support the more than 765 organizations who have benefited from the COVID Relief Fund.

Eligible organizations can apply  for COVID relief right now by going to www.helpcoloradonow.org.  

 

Governor Polis Signs Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Rights and Paid Family Leave Act

July 15, 2020

Governor Polis has just signed the following two bills into law, both with immediate effective dates.

(1) S.B. 20-205 - Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”)

(2) H.B. 20-1415 - Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law (“PHEW”)


The Division has just published guidance regarding both laws in the form of three new INFOs (Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinions) available on the Division's webpage. The INFOs summarize each law; explain how each affects employers, employees, and other stakeholders; and answer frequently asked questions the Division has received about these laws and about similar laws and rules.

Each of the two laws has a requirement of posting a notice to workers, which the INFOs summarize, and the Division has just published a compliant poster (which covers both laws), including a poster in English and a poster in Spanish. The poster must be replaced by January 1, 2021, with a new one that the Division will post, due to the substantial changes in HFWA as of that date; those changes are summarized in INFO #6B.

Finally, due to the substantial overlap between the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay (“Colorado HELP”) Rules and the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (“HFWA”), the Division is terminating the requirements of the Colorado HELP Rules after July 14th, because July 15th is the first full day in which HFWA is in effect.

Rulemaking under each law will proceed in the coming weeks and months, likely to take effect by the end of the calendar year. All who received this email will be notified of proposed rules to allow participation in hearing and comment processes. If you have any questions about the rulemaking process, contact Division Operations Director and Rulemaking Coordinator Michael Primo ([email protected]); for questions about the substance of these laws or other outreach matters, contact Division Outreach Manager Eric Yohe ([email protected]). 

 
 
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