DENVER (KRDO) -- The city of Denver has shut down all dining rooms, and many other businesses across the state of Colorado have closed temporarily amid concerns surrounding COVID-19, but the state announced that assistance is available for workers affected by the closures.
According to the state Department of Labor and Employment, workers who have a reduction in hours or wages may file an unemployment claim at Coloradoui.gov. (Try this link if the previous link doesn't work.) People are urged to use the online tool instead of calling the office so that resources aren't strained.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, March 18, the state launched another website to provide aid for those affected by COVID-19. You can visit https://covrn.com/ to donate or volunteer. Gov. Jared Polis said the site will also provide information for those who need assistance.
The state is also looking into a system to flag claims that are specifically related to coronavirus to expedite them.
We spoke to a DoL spokesperson who said that if your employer has more than 500 employees, you should be eligible for state unemployment assistance. Congress is currently working on a bill that would provide aid for workers at businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
The spokesperson also told us that claims aren't limited to those who specifically lost their jobs due to coronavirus. People can file a claim for different circumstances like if you have to care for an individual with coronavirus or if you have to take time off work to care for your child in the wake of school closures across the state.
The department also said in a statement that it's taking steps to "reduce the impact of these claims on employers who have had to temporarily lay off staff due to closures or slowdowns." Employers are encouraged to utilize paid leave and telework options before resorting to layoffs.
As of Monday, Colorado has had 160 positive tests of COVID-19.