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What Coloradans need to know about Coronavirus: Nov 15-21

Posted at 11:52 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 16:29:49-05

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Colorado, leading several counties to shift to Safer at Home Level Orange, meaning communities are at high risk of transmission. News5 is keeping you up to date on restrictions and guidelines across the region, including updates on a statewide level.

Statewide

During a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis said we need to act to stop the exponential growth.

The governor announced that a new level is being added to the COVID-19 state dial, the purple extreme risk level. The updated dial will be effective on Friday, Nov. 20.

Updated Colorado COVID-19 dial

Gov. Polis announced 10-15 counties, including Denver, are moving into a “red phase.” Indoor dining is temporarily closed, though takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining are allowed. If you do go for outdoor dining, it should only be with family. Bars remain close and gyms can operate at 10% capacity. Last call for alcohol would be at 8 p.m

UPDATED Thursday, November 19:
The counties moving into the "red phase" are, Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Kiowa, La Plata, Logan, Mesa, Morgan, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Routt, Summit, Washington, and Weld.

The big things for the red dial are the number of cases per 100,000 people, the positivity rate, and hospital capacity. Purple is when hospitals are being overwhelmed. No counties are currently there. Gov. Polis said that Parkview Hospital in Pueblo reached 100% capacity

Gov. Polis said he is calling a special session to take up legislation for pandemic relief aid. He said this will include the following:

  • a small business relief package for places like restaurants and bars with direct aid and tax relief.
  • housing and rental assistance to avoid eviction and foreclosure.
  • expanding broadband access for online learning.
  • support of child care providers

Gov. Polis added they are sending another letter to the federal government urging Congress to take up a federal relief package.

The mandatory mask-wearing requirement for Colorado is extended for another 30 days until December 11. This order has remained in place since July on a continual basis, per executive orders from Governor Jared Polis.

Gov. Polis says he is hopeful some dosage of a vaccine may be available in 2020, potentially 100,000 to 200,000 doses available to Colorado to be distributed according to the state's vaccination plan. For most Coloradans, it likely wouldn't be more widely available until 2021.

UPDATED: Friday, Nov. 20:

Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19 Friday afternoon, announcing frontline workers will be able to receive a vaccine next month and addressing hospitalization concerns statewide.

Polis said the first Coloradans are set to receive a COVID-19 vaccine next month — those Coloradans being frontline and healthcare workers. He said statewide there is one in every 49 Coloradans who are contagious with the virus.

Read more:

Updated: If you are considering travel for Thanksgiving, click here for information on COVID-19 restrictions in every state.

El Paso County: Safer at Home: Level Orange: High Risk

Restrictions

  • Restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity. Jury trials are also being suspended until next year in El Paso and Teller counties as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

Schools (Updated Nov 17)

  • District 49, District 11, and Academy District 20 have all moved to e-learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Elementary students in D20 will transition to e-learning after the Thanksgiving break. Harrison School District 2 moves to e-learning after the Thanksgiving break.
  • Widefield D3 moves grades 3-12 to distance learning after the Thanksgiving break. Preschool to K2 will continue in-person learning. K-12 students with special services will continue in-person services and learning. Specific information will be sent out from your child's school.
  • Starting Wed., Nov. 18, Pikes Peak Library District locations will be open by reservation only. Curbside service will still be available. Visit ppld.org/COVID-19 to learn more.
  • El Paso County officials are launching an educational campaign as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. The county said #SmallActs, the campaign kicking off Monday, will encourage residents to perform small acts "that can make a big impact on stopping the spread of the coronavirus cases."

El Paso County COVID-19 testing sites, all free (Updated Nov 17)

  • Citadel Mall, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 6436 S. U.S. Highway 85-87 (Formerly known as the Beckett Event Center), Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • 7281 McLaughlin Road (Rock Island Regional Trailhead), Tuesday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • 25 Jefferson Street (parking lot on the corner of Lincoln and Jefferson), Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Find the latest from the El Paso County Public Health

PUEBLO COUNTY: Safer at Home: Level Red: Severe Risk (effective Sunday, Nov 22)

Restrictions (Current until Nov 22)

  • The City of Pueblo is currently under a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity.

Schools

  • District 60 high schools are conduction distance or remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Students in grades PreK-8 will also transition to distance learning following Thanksgiving break on November 30.
  • District 70 moved to remote learning on Nov 11. Meal services will continue with distribution at each school site from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two-days worth of food will be given on Tuesdays and three days worth will be given on Thursdays in a bundle. Those in Rye can pick up their meal bundles at Rye Elementary or Craver Middle School. On top of the meal pickups during the day, the district will also offer its Supper Program on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

What happens with the changeover to Level Red:

  • To be able to operate under this level, there must be more than 15% positivity rate. 350 or more cases per 100,000 people, and greater than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day.
  • Under this dial, indoor dining is closed. Take out, curbside, delivery, or to go, will be available. Outdoor dining is open with only groups of your own household. Bars are closed on this level.

For a break down of capacity on Level Red, click here.

Find the latest information from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment

TELLER COUNTY: Safer at Home: Level Orange: High Risk (Updated Nov 16)

Restrictions

  • Restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity.
  • Jury trials are also being suspended until next year in El Paso and Teller counties as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
  • Andrew Wommack Ministries is the subject of a preliminary injunction to require compliance with the state's COVID-19 public health orders.
  • Casinos in Cripple Creek will not be required to close their doors, as was previously indicated.

Schools

  • Woodland Park School District is under Phase 3 High Control. Read more on the district's Reintegration Plan
  • Cripple Creek-Victor schools are under remote learning for K-5 starting November 15 through the end of the fall semester. Junior High and High School classes transitioned to all remote last week. Read the superintendent's letter.

Find the latest information from the Teller County Health Department

FREMONT COUNTY: Safer at Home Level Yellow: Concern

Restrictions

  • Maximum attendees at indoor unseated worship services are reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at indoor seated worship services are reduced from 175 to 100 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at restaurants reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50% capacity, whichever is fewer.

Schools

  • Florence Jr/Sr High School is on remote learning until November 19 at least.
  • Recreational sports will be limited to players and spectators who reside in Fremont County and/or neighboring counties that are in Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern, Level Blue: Safer at Home Cautious, or Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors.
  • Organized recreational and league sports are limited to 2 spectators per player with no more than 50% of capacity, up to 50 spectators in indoor facilities, and 75 in outdoor facilities.
  • All teams and facilities participating in recreational and league sports must submit complete rosters, schedules, location of games/practices, and contact information (to include names, phone numbers, and email addresses) of all team members or parents of youth who participate prior to the teams playing in any league events, including practice. Failure of parents, facilities, coaches, and/or team organizers to cooperate with contact tracing may result in the league or season being suspended or canceled.

Find the latest from the Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment

News5 has compiled links to all the school districts in southeastern Colorado so parents can find out district plans amid concerns about COVID-19. We're covering this issue as part of The Rebound Colorado as our communities find safe ways to get life back to normal while keeping everyone's health in mind. Click here to learn more.