A Message from Mayor Coffman - Oct. 22, 2020

A Message from Mayor Coffman - Oct. 22, 2020
Posted on 10/22/2020

Aurora Outlines "A New Way" Forward in Restoring Community Trust in Police Department
This week, Chief of Police Vanessa Wilson presented to me and the City Council her and City Manager Jim Twombly’s plan of action for restoring trust in the Aurora Police Department. They are calling it “A New Way.”

The plan has five points that specifically address reforms and changes to organization, policies and practices, both in response to recent high-profile incidents that have raised community concern, and to implement the priorities of Chief Wilson, who was named chief in August. The points are: A New Way of Operating, A New Way of Leadership, A New Way of Service, A New Level of Accountability, and A New Way of Engagement.

There remain several ongoing internal and external reviews and investigations into the operations of the Aurora Police Department, including a city-commissioned comprehensive independent review of the department by 21CP Solutions, a global firm of national experts in the areas of civil rights and public safety. Every aspect of this review will inform and influence changes that are made in the Aurora Police Department and be incorporated as part of “A New Way.”

Elements of the “A New Way” plan remain under development and will continue to evolve. You may take a look at the key components of the plan and provide feedback at AuroraGov.org/ANewWay.

I also hope you will tune into “Mayor Mike Live” this Friday, Oct. 23, on Facebook and AuroraTV.org when Chief Wilson will join me live at 3 p.m. to talk about “A New Way” and answer your questions.

New COVID-19 Testing Opportunities Coming to Aurora
With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases statewide, additional COVID-19 testing options are opening this month in Aurora as part of a continued effort to make free testing widely available and accessible.

Community Testing Site Reopening
The COVID-19 community testing site previously operating at the Aurora Sports Park, 19300 E. Colfax Ave., is reopening Oct. 26. The drive-through site will operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays and adjusted hours Oct. 30 only from 8 a.m. to noon) through Nov. 5.

On Nov. 9, the site will move to the Aurora Center for Active Adults parking lot, 30 Del Mar Circle, at Del Mar Park, and will continue to operate until further notice from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays and holidays).

Free testing for COVID-19 will be provided to anyone who wants to be tested, especially those who have symptoms. No appointment is necessary. No doctor referral, no health insurance and no proof of identification are required, but voluntary demographic information will be asked at the time of testing for data collection purposes. Online registration in advance at TinyUrl.com/Aurora-co-12594 is preferred to speed up the process but is not required. Test results from MAKO Medical will be available in four days or less, but the testing itself on site moves more quickly than at the Aurora rapid testing site.

Arapahoe County CARES dollars are funding these testing sites, with logistical support from Arapahoe County and the city of Aurora and in partnership with Tri-County Health Department and the state of Colorado.

Rapid Testing Site Expansion
Starting Oct. 30, the rapid testing at Restoration Community Fellowship, 15660 E. Sixth Ave., currently offered Mondays also will be available Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until further notice.

Free drive-up or walk-up testing from Advanced Urgent Care will be provided primarily to those who do not have insurance or are experiencing homelessness. A limited number of tests are available each testing day and wait times can be long. No preregistration is available for rapid testing.

Arapahoe County CARES dollars is funding this testing site, with logistical support from the city of Aurora and in partnership with Adams County, Tri-County Health Department and the state of Colorado.

COVID-19 testing is essential for identifying and tracking cases and outbreaks quickly while also providing treatment options and isolation to prevent spread. Because testing is so critical during this public health crisis, the city of Aurora and Arapahoe and Adams counties are supporting the state’s efforts to make free testing widely available and accessible as part of a broader approach to prevent spread while allowing for a continued increase in economic activity and ensuring ample capacity at local hospitals.

Additional information, answers to frequently asked questions and a complete list of testing sites in the Tri-County area are available at TCHD.org/COVID-19Testing.

New COVID-19 Public Health Orders Issued
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Arapahoe and Adams counties, which is extremely concerning. A week ago, Tri-County Health Department issued new public health orders for Arapahoe and Adams counties to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The measures differ depending on the county but include earlier restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages, limits on the size of personal gatherings and other measures.

View information on the Arapahoe County public health order.

View information on the Adams County public health order.

Tri-County Health Department also announced this week that it will extend its public health order requiring face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoor public spaces whenever a six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. This extension will last for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until amended or rescinded.

Please do your part by complying with the public orders so that we can keep everyone safe and our economy moving forward.

Free Food Distribution This Saturday at Aurora Day of Giving
During the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve been so impressed by the collaborative efforts that have come together to help serve those in our community who need a little extra help during this time. This Saturday (Oct. 24) is another great example of this with the Aurora Day of Giving. Starting at 10 a.m. at Overland High School, 12400 E. Jewell Ave., free food, baby supplies and pet supplies will be available for 1,500 Aurora households on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s part of the city’s Commitment to Care initiative and made possible in part by CARES Act funding from Arapahoe County. All Aurora households are eligible. Aurora Interfaith Community Services and SECORCares, in partnership with Food Bank of the Rockies, will provide food, while Aurora Animal Services will distribute pet supplies and WeeCycle will supply baby items. Learn more at AuroraGov.org/CommitmentToCare or call 303.739.7281.

Take Our Strategic Plan Survey by Nov. 2
If you weren't able to attend our recent public meeting on the city's first-ever strategic plan, you may still provide feedback now until Nov. 2 through our survey. Visit AuroraGov.org/StrategicPlan to find out more and take the survey.

Aurora News
In Aurora, Colorado, we welcome immigrants. This is why your city should, too – The Hill (I wrote this article extolling the benefits of being a city that is welcoming to immigrants, and I hope you’ll take time to read it.)
Aurora Police Department, city outline reform priorities amid community concern – Denver 7
Fighting for survival, Colorado restaurants jump on new ways to keep customers warm this winter – Fox 21 News

City Updates on COVID-19
Stay connected with the city during this pandemic about local efforts, city response and other updates. Visit AuroraGov.org/COVID-19 and on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) at @AuroraGov. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook at @AuroraMayorMike.

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