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Summit County Government COVID-19 Updates
- Updates and resources from Summit County Government
For current Summit County COVID testing site information visit: https://summitcountyco.gov/1324/Testing
Please call your provider if you need additional options.
Local Food Assistance Support
- Summit County is offering free food delivery for those who are ill or in a vulnerable population (older adults and people of any age with a serious underlying health condition).
- 970-668-2940 to get food or medications delivered to your home
We strongly encourage you to look into government programs like unemployment and Medicaid that can support you during these uncertain times. The following are ways you can apply for food, health insurance or financial assistance if you have lost your job or income.
FIRC is doing everything we can to support locals during these uncertain times, but we need you to advocate for the government services that you may now qualify for. Many of these services take a few weeks to kick in, so please apply as soon as possible. This will help you regain some stability. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during these times.
Financial Assistance for Medications
Due to COVID-19, many people are facing financial hardship. A generous grant by the Summit Foundation to the FIRC has increased their capacity to provide the community with a one time, payment for medications, medical supplies or to access needed care.
- Only people who live or work in Summit County will qualify
- Verification of financial hardship due to COVID-19 required
- Verification of expense (invoice) required
- Medical need must be part of emergency or necessary care
This assistance will be offered as a one-time assistance. The maximum request considered will be $1,000. This assistance will not pay medical bills already accrued. Applicants will connect with a Health Navigator to provide wrap around supports within 5 business days. Requests will be processed daily.
Will consider requests for:
- Needed medical supplies
- Oxygen Concentrator Rental
- Medical Appointment
- Other requests considered on a case by case basis
Referral Process for the FIRC:
Partners are welcome to refer a person/family by completing the following application. (Personal info required).
The link may be shared with individuals in need to complete on their own.
English Application: https://summitfirc.wufoo.com/forms/zsuddah10rw3eb/
Spanish Application: https://summitfirc.wufoo.com/forms/z1jr27jq1ch8j21/
In order to provide wrap around services, screening for supports such as unemployment, behavioral health, medical health, food resources, etc will be performed. Referrals are voluntary.
If questions, call: Kelly McGann cell: 970-316-5795/ office: 970-455-0239
FIRC is working hard to help people access basic needs, but for the greater good of Summit County we strongly encourage you to sign up for government programs like unemployment, Medicaid health insurance and SNAP food assistance, which can support you during these uncertain times. The following are ways you can apply assistance if you have lost your job or income.
FIRC is doing everything we can to support locals during these uncertain times, but we need you to advocate for the government services that you now qualify for. Many of these services take a few weeks to kick in, so please apply as soon as possible. This will help you regain some stability. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during these times.
- Lenders are working with homeowners who have lost their jobs or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that you contact your lender immediately if you are not able to make your mortgage payment. item
- Unemployment benefits may be available to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own. item
- In order to qualify for benefits, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own (for example
a layoff, reduction in hours, or reduction in pay not related to performance). The state contact your previous employer(s) to help determine whether or not you may qualify.
- The applicant is now working less than 32 hours per week and earning less than the weekly benefit amount on their claim.
- The applicant earned at least $2,500 (including tips) between October 2018 and September 2019.
- Guidebook to Colorado Unemployment
- You must prove that you are lawfully living in the country – and show proof: valid CO drivers license, ID card or military ID card or US Passport
- Claim will take 4-6 weeks to process.
- Video about qualifications
How to file an unemployment claim:
There are two ways to file in Colorado:
People whose last name begins with the letters A through M are asked only to file online on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or after noon on Saturdays. People with last names starting with N through Z are asked to file Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or before noon on Saturdays.
What you need to apply (according to Colorado unemployment):
- Social Security Number
- Legal name
- Information about your jobs over the last 18 months
- Name and address of each employer over the last 18 months
- Why you don’t work there anymore
- Gross amount and date received of any additional income you received like vacation pay or severance pay
- License or ID number or alien permit number if you are not a US citizen
Additional information from Colorado Unemployment:
The CARES ACT:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The CARES Act has been signed into law, but those benefits are not yet available until the state receives official guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- For those who are self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees, and gig-economy workers, or are requesting an extension of benefits please wait for updates the CARES act so you can receive coverage.
Medicaid Health Insurance
- If you have lost your job or had a decrease in income, you probably qualify for Medicaid. This provides you with health insurance and no monthly premiums. During these uncertain times, it is strongly recommended people have health insurance. item
- You can apply online or FIRC’s Health Team Navigators can also assist you in signing up. You can make an appointment with FIRC at 970-262-3888.
Benefit Information - PEAK
- The fast and easy way to access benefit information – anytime and anywhere. PEAK is an online service for Coloradans to screen and apply for medical, food, cash, and early childhood assistance programs. item
Food Assistance - SNAP
- The Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income households in Summit County to assist with the cost of food. These benefits are deposited monthly onto an EBT card. item
- Food Assistance Eligibility: You may be eligible for food assistance if you:
- Are unemployed, work part time or work for low wages
- Only households who are or have children that are U.S. citizens and/or legal permanent residents are eligible for Food Assistance.
- Questions? Call 970-668-9160
Food Assistance - TANF
- Colorado Works is Colorado’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. It provides public assistance to families who qualify.
- Under Colorado Works, applicants who are either pregnant or have at least one dependent child under the age of 18, and who meet other eligibility requirements, can receive monthly cash assistance payments, help with emergency household expenses, and/or services such as counseling and job training. All aspects of the Colorado Works Program are designed to assist families in becoming self-sufficient and terminating their dependence on government benefits.
Food Assistance - WIC
- Enrollment: call Public Health English 970-668-9199. Summit County WIC participants must reside in Colorado, and be within income guidelines.
- This program is available to:
- Pregnant women
- New mom who had a baby or was pregnant in the past 6 months
- Mom breastfeeding a baby under 1 year of age
- Child younger than 5 years
- Typically, a family of four can earn up to $3,970 a month before taxes (gross monthly income) and still qualify for WIC.
Federal Student Loans
Do you have Health Insurance?
Did you just lose your job or have a loss of income? – You qualify for lower or no health insurance monthly payments (premiums).
- If you have a plan on Connect for Health Colorado, you need to go to your online account and adjust your income.
- If you just lost your insurance from your employer, we encourage you to shop your options. Don’t just take the COBRA plans without shopping. FIRC’s Health Navigators can answer questions or help you shop plans.
- If you are no longer earning any income, you will typically be able to qualify for Medicaid. Please call and talk with a FIRC Health Navigator.
- Call 970-262-3888 for questions or to make a phone appointment with a FIRC Health Navigator.
Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period – November 1, 2020 through January 15, 2021
To ensure that Coloradans have the health coverage they need, FIRC’s Health Navigators can assist you in finding plans that work for you and your family during open enrollment.
Ways Coloradans can enroll:
Ways to deal with stress
- Right now, stress is HIGH. You’ve likely felt a little short-temper, yelled or not been your best-self at moments. Everyone needs to practice self-care right now, especially parents. Take care of yourself, to take care of your kids.
- Breathe. Take a moment to stop and build your self-compassion. Recharge your depleted inner parent, and take 10 deep breaths. Breathe in and receive breathe by saying to yourself, “I am doing my best. It’s ok to not be perfect.” Then exhale out your positive intentions as you give your breathe by saying to yourself, “My children are safe, my children are loved.” Repeat this self-dialogue as you breathe in and out slowly for 10 cycles. After this pause to regulate and refocus on what is most important, you will feel better equipped to handle whatever parenting challenge comes your way.
2. Social Connections
- Right now, while everyone is encouraged to physically distance ourselves from each other, that doesn’t mean we need to socially isolate from one another. In fact, we need to connect more with one another to share support, tips, advice or just talk. Share your REAL experiences, advice, a laugh or cry with one another. There are many ways to connect online, pick up the phone and talk to each other, or get outside to sing, dance or share a long-distance conversation.
- Connect with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers. Connect not just about a task at hand but take time to really check-in with your people to ask how they are and then listen without judgement. Hopefully, they will do the same for you. Human beings are social creatures, and with all of us being isolated in our homes, it is important to find new ways to authentically connect with others, both for them and for you!
3. Concrete Supports in Times of Need
- Right now, we need to ensure that we all have what we need to be well – regardless of how we earn a living or how much we make. People already pushed to the brink by low wages and high housing costs will be most affected by this virus and an economic slowdown. This is the time to live up to our ideal of justice for all.
- Educate yourself and your friends and neighbors about all of the community resources and government aid programs that are available currently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
- Right now, many parents are trying to make sure online learning is happening at home or just navigating the normal journey through parenthood from early childhood developmental milestones to survival strategies for raising teens, and everything in between.
- Parents are feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of teaching their children and being the sole support for their questions around learning. Establishing some routines that meet all family members needs and schedules will be a huge help in finding your groove in this uncharted territory. Try calling a family meeting and invite everyone to share their needs and desires for a daily routine. Encourage your family to consider how each of them can contribute to daily tasks that have to get done, or create a rotating responsibility schedule. Include school responsibilities, work obligations, and household tasks. Make a plan for each item and ask each family member if they need support in accomplishing each item. Schedule in support as needed with a specific family member. This will create a sense of teamwork to all contribute to get all daily task done. For parents of young children, making visual charts is a great strategy to help teach your child their daily routine and promote independence for the child in completing some task without help. Make sure to schedule in time each day for each family member to do some self-care time, or maybe choose to do this “fun” time together as a family a few days a week. With more time than ever at home together as a family, it is a perfect time to get your family into a routine that promotes your positive values you hope to teach and share with your children.
5. Social & Emotional Competence of Children
- Right now, children of all ages are feeling a lot of emotions. A strong social and emotional foundation in early childhood powerfully impacts children’s later positive attitudes and behaviors, academic performance, career path, and adult health outcomes. Many kids are grieving over the loss of their regular routine and missing their friends or even major milestones like graduation or prom for the Class of 2020.
- Children mirror the behaviors of the adults around them. Children learn social emotional competencies largely from what they see their parents modeling. If you are feeling anxious or depressed due to the COVID-19 life changes that we are all experiencing, that is normal. It’s how you deal with those emotions that can be very impactful for your children. Model positive coping strategies by prioritizing self-care and setting up time each day for your children to do the same. During this designated “fun” activity each day, like a walk, a bike ride, a dance party, or an art project- take time to include age appropriate conversations about how you are feeling and ask your child how they are feeling as well. It could be as simple as taking a moment to be fully present as you are practicing this activity that makes you or your child feel good and stating how you feel in that moment out loud. “I really feel relaxed when we are able to get outside together. How are you feeling right now?” If your child sees you in a higher anxiety state of mind outside of your daily self-care time together, and asks you about how you are doing, acknowledge that you are feeling stressed out and a little fresh air can help you to feel more calm. This is sending the message that it is ok to feel various emotions, it is safe to talk about positive and negative emotions, and there are ways you have created together to manage those emotions.
Keeping Kids Healthy
How to talk to your kid about COVID-19
Activities to Support your Child’s Learning at Home
Supporting Parents with Teens
Guides for parents working from home
Mental Health and Recovery Resources
Local Mental Health Supports
- Mental Health Crisis 844-493-TALK
- Colorado Crisis Services, 1-844-493-8255 or text at 38255. If you or a loved one is in a mental health crisis, call. They provide confidential, professional support 24/7.
- Building Hope: go to buildinghopesummit.org or call for English 970-389-1151 and Spanish 970-485-6271
- FIRC Mental Health Navigators: English or Español, 970-262-3888
- Recovery Support and Alcoholics Anonymous: Call Agape at 970-453-1247 or go to: https://www.intherooms.com/home/ or www.aa-intergroup.org
A Message from FIRC’s Mental Health Navigators:
Now, more than ever, we have an important responsibility to be proactive about our own mental health as well as reach out to support each other when feelings of isolation, despair, or grief arise. We wanted to take a quick moment to let you know that although we have changed settings a bit, we are committed to continue offering mental health support to the community in ways that adhere to recommendations for social distancing but are accessible and timely:
Mental Health Navigation – Our navigators are still available to provide support and guidance to the Summit County community. If folks are needing help finding a therapist, connecting with crisis resources, discussing substance use treatment, or figuring out how to afford services, we are here to help. Navigation appointments are available via video or phone. To make a referral for navigation, please complete the following referral: https://www.summitfirc.org/assistance/mental-health-navigation/
Spanish-speaking Peer Support (ALMA) – We are excited to welcome Patty Garcia to the FIRC family as our new ALMA coordinator. With her help, we are continuing to accept new referrals for the ALMA program. To refer someone to ALMA, please complete the following referral form.https://www.summitfirc.org/healthy-living/espanol-alma/. Additionally, we feel that it is critical to continue to provide emotional support to our community of Spanish-speaking women. For this reason, companeras will continue to see their clients and provide skills for coping with stress and managing anxiety. These sessions will be offered via video or phone.
Mental Health Resources in the Community – Mental health providers around the county and the world are rising to the occasion to continue to provide services and support especially as folks feel the effects of social isolation, anxiety, and grief.
We are proud of all of our partners around the county who have mobilized quickly to ensure continuity of services for existing and new clients. Summit Community Care Clinic, School Based Health, and Mind Springs Health have successfully moved all of their behavioral health support to a telehealth model. New clients can be routed through their front desk for scheduled intakes. Additionally, private providers are collaborating for best practices on telehealth and most can now continue seeing their clients while also practicing safe social distancing through secure video platforms. Mind Springs is even getting creative after having to close the Safe Haven Detox to support clients who need to detox or need support staying sober through phone call check ins and debriefs. Pasted below, Building Hope has compiled an excellent list of resources, both local and national, of mental health and substance use resources for all ages.
Tips for Taking Care of your Mental Health – By now, we are all aware of the importance of washing hands, social distancing, and attention good nutrition and sleep for keeping COVID-19 at bay in our families, community, and country. But we know that fear, shame, and despair can be just as contagious as a virus and can often feel just as concerning. Take a quick moment to catch up on hopeful and positive news like this article. Additionally, here are some helpful tips from the CDC for caring for your mental health during this time:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Anxiety and uncertainty
Our mental health team (including navigation and peer support for Spanish-speakers) are continuing to serve existing and new clients. As we face this unprecedented challenge, remember that proactively caring for your mental health and stress levels is important for your family and your own physical health.
Feel free to reference this anxiety workbook for helpful info on understanding stress and anxiety and some strategic ways to build resilience during this time Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook
Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you during this time of unknowns and new rhythms. We are here to support you.
Dealing with Trauma and Grief during this time
People that are feeling emotional distress related to COVID-19 can take actions to help support themselves and others.
- Set a limit on media consumption, including social media, local or national news.
- Stay active. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. Eat healthy foods when possible.
- Connect with loved ones and others who may be experiencing stress about the outbreak. Talk about your feelings and enjoy conversation unrelated to the outbreak.
- Get accurate health information from reputable sources. For health information about COVID-19, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov, your local healthcare provider, or your local 211 and 311 services, if available.
- The national Disaster Distress Helplineis available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a caring counselor.
- If you’re experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or your local crisis line.
- For coping tools and resources, visit the Lifeline website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org or Vibrant Emotional Health’s Safe Space at vibrant.org/safespace.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline has highly trained advocates available 24/7 to ensure services and continue to support survivors.
Support for students – From Summit School District
These are uncertain and devastating times, and our hearts are with our students, families and staff as we grieve the loss of our students.
Summit School District is committed to working with our community partners, including Building Hope, Mind Springs, Summit Community Care Clinic, and FIRC to establish further mental health support for students and families during this difficult time.
The District Crisis Team is also working with our counselors and staff to help our school community deal with their feelings of shock and loss. School Counselors are available to support you and your child, not only this week but throughout the following weeks to help those in need, as questions and a need to talk about this incident may arise. We are doing everything we can to help you and your child through this difficult experience.
We are expanding our support resources with increased targeted supports for students, including scheduled, virtual meetings with licensed professional counselors, both in our District and outside our District. We are working with community partners to establish peer group support and additional meetings with licensed professionals, in accordance with public health guidelines. Community partners are also contacting clients directly and facilitating trainings and informational sessions. We will continue to communicate with families the details of these additional supports.
- Building Hope is offering Grief Support on Friday, May 1st from 11am – 5pm at the Building Hope Office located at 701 Granite St in Frisco. This service is completely free and available to all. You may call the Grief Support Line at 970-455-8390 or stop by in-person to speak with someone.
- Mind Springs Health has launched a new mental health support line. Anyone who is struggling can reach out at 1-877-519-7505 from 8am to 5pm.
Support is available for all Summit School District students, families and staff. If you would like support from a mental health provider please email SSDsupport@summitk12.org with your best contact information. A school district or community mental health provider will reach out to you within one business day. The initial session will be free of charge, and Summit School District is committed to helping individuals remove the financial barriers associated with accessing mental health services. We are working with community partners on scholarships and other ways to alleviate costs.
Please contact your school counselor if you feel your child is in need of additional assistance. If you or your child needs help right away, contact:
- Safe2Tell (https://safe2tell.org) Call 1-877-542-7233 or download the app to make a report
- Call 911
- Mind Springs Health (mindspringshealth.org) Call 970-668-3478 or contact their crisis line at 1-888-207-4004
- Colorado Crisis Line (coloradocrisisservices.org) Call 1-844-493-8255, or you can Text “TALK” to 38255
- National Suicide Prevention Life Line Call 1-800-273-825
Over the following days and weeks, we will continue to share information regularly about parenting tips, informational sessions and support resources.
- Grief & Loss Resource List
- Care Clinic Support Resource List
- Parenting Tips for talking about Suicide
- Tips for Talking about Suicide
- After a Loved One Dies by New York Life
- Helping Children Cope With Grief And Loss by NASP
As this tragedy has affected all of us in different ways, we want you to know that our staff are here for you and your child. We encourage you to reach out to someone on our team by contacting your school’s professional counselor. Counselors are available to support students, families and staff as we work through this together. We will do whatever we can to help you and your child get through this difficult time.
Building Hope Resources
Building Hope Resources: Our website and social media are full of pertinent mental health resources and COVID-19 tips.
Community Connectedness Events: If you’ve come to rely on – or are new to — our free monthly in-person events for mindful activities and community connections, give our virtual alternative a try. Join our Building Hope Summit County Facebook Group for activities like yoga, sound healing and workshops we can all participate in together. Bring friends, join in!
Telehealth Therapy: Receiving counseling over a telehealth platform (right in your own home!) is a successful system of support and a great way to protect yourself and your therapist from possible exposure. Your employer or insurance provider likely has telehealth resources or an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) that can be used to get care. Check out the Eagle/Summit Counties Telehealth Therapists database or the Building Hope’s provider network or to find a teletherapist that could be a good fit for you. Heart Centered Counseling is a large telehealth provider with several therapists to choose from.
Building Hope Scholarships: If you’d like the support of a mental health therapist and either can’t afford one or can’t navigate your health insurance, we can help. Our program provides multiple sessions with the therapist of your choice. To see if you qualify, contact Ravi Jaishankar at 970-389-1151.
Send an E-card: Friends, co-workers and family members might really appreciate receiving one of our colorful E-cards from you, with messages like “It’s okay to not be okay.” Choose from among many soothing messages in the E-card section of our website.
Support for Spanish Speakers: Join our Facebook page for Spanish speakers, updated regularly with info you can use to keep yourself and your families safe. If you need support finding a Spanish-speaking telehealth therapist, contact Milena Quiros, 970-485-6271. Also see below under “Additional helpful articles/links” in Spanish.
Recovery Support: Local groups may have their own online platforms, but here are a few additional resources that may help while meetings are suspended: www.aa-intergroup.org, a directory of virtual meetings in different time zones, which are conducted by phone, email, video conference and 24-hour-a-day chat rooms. https://www.intherooms.com/home/ a free online recovery tool that offers 130 weekly online meetings for those recovering from addiction and related issues. All Recovery Meetings are open to anyone who is dealing with substance use, mental health concerns, disordered eating, as well as any other quality of life concerns. (Note: You will need the Zoom application to participate)
Additional helpful articles and links:
An opinion piece in Vail Daily by Dr. Casey Wolfington, behavioral health director of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, about how to respond to and manage the daily updates on COVID-19
Managing Anxiety and Stress amid COVID-19
Spanish: Not available yet (internal translation available here)
Resources for Parents/Kids:
Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids about Coronavirus:
The Family Lockdown Guide: How to Emotionally Prepare for Coronavirus Quarantine: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/the-family-lockdown-guide-how-to-emotionally-prepare-for-coronavirus-quarantine
Caring for children in a disaster – Helping children cope: