DENVER (CBS4)– Coronavirus has resulted in many people working remotely these days, including reporters like CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd and even one of Colorado’s U.S. senators. Boyd interviewed Sen. Cory Gardner via Skype Wednesday as he sat in his studio apartment in Washington and she sat in her kitchen at home.
Gardner, a Republican, was in his first day of quarantine after getting a call from Tri-County Health Department.
“And had said that on March 11 I had come into contact with a Coloradan — significant contact — for a meeting in my office, with a Coloradan who had tested positive for coronavirus.”
Gardner says he has no symptoms and has not been tested, but the health department and Congress’s own physician recommended going into quarantine. He is one of at least 16 members of Congress who have begun avoiding contact with others since COVID-19 began to spread in the United States.
“We know what we have to do, we do our part, right?” he said.
He’s also doing his part to educate Coloradans. His website gardner.senate.gov is filled with information about COVID-19. He also passed time in quarantine by holding a telephone town hall with 12,000 Coloradans and UCHealth’s head of Emergency Services, Dr. Richard Zane, who answered questions for about a half hour.
Gardner’s office says he hopes to hold town halls each week to reach as many Coloradans as possible, “We’ve gotten a lot of questions, just like, ‘Where do we go for help?’ ‘How does testing work?’ ‘Where can I go?’ ‘Can I go to grocery store?'”
As he works to slow the spread of the virus, Gardner says, he is also working to speed financial relief. He supports the Senate’s passage of an aid package but says it’s not enough, “How can we in the most efficient, quickest way get aid into the hands of the consumers? We can get into a debate but there’s no reason to slow it down or delay it.”
Gardner says he will be in quarantine until March 25. He told me he’s not stir-crazy yet, but “It’s coming. I can tell.”
Gardner also is pushing for help for the state’s ski areas, which had to end their seasons early because of COVID-19. He’s asking the USDA to waive the U.S. Forest service fees that ski areas typically pay to lease the land.