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KUNC is here to keep you up-to-date on the news about COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — Colorado's response to its spread in our state and its impact on Coloradans.

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

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
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.

Scott Franz is an Investigative Reporter with KUNC.
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