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New Executive Order will require face coverings for essential workers

coronavirus
Posted at 8:14 AM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 20:03:00-04

COLORADO — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 9,433 cases as of Saturday afternoon, including 411 deaths and 1,797 people hospitalized.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a new site offering details on COVID-19 outbreaks in the state.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the Colorado Mask Project in March to urge anyone who leaves home for essential needs to cover their face with a mask. The recommendation is to create your own with cloth.

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Check here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Colorado Springs and Pueblo have both set up hotlines for people to call with questions about COVID-19. In Colorado Springs, call 719-575-8888 or the United Way 2-1-1 hotline. In Pueblo, call 719-583-4444.

Below, we're updating this blog with the latest information regarding COVID-19 in Colorado.
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Sunday, April 19

5:05 p.m. | Defense Production Act

During a briefing at the White House on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he would use the Defense Production Act to force medical manufacturers to create more swabs that can be used in COVID-19 tests.

On Sunday, Trump reported that the U.S. had tested 4 million people for the coronavirus, the most in the world. However, U.S. tests represent about 1 percent of the population, and currently only has the capacity to test those who are most at risk for the disease. Health experts agree that more testing needs to be conducted in order to more fully understand how the virus behaves.

5:00 p.m. | U.S. death count

President Trump said during the briefing Sunday that he expects the US death count for the coronavirus to be at about 60,000.

Johns Hopkins reported Sunday that the death toll crossed the 40,000 mark.

4:30 p.m. | White House briefing

4:15 p.m. | 7th death of Pueblo County resident

Public health officials from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced the seventh death of a Pueblo County resident related to COVID-19 on Sunday. The individual was a 92-year-old man who had previously been reported as a positive case in Pueblo County.

4:00 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado

9,730 cases
1,813 hospitalized
56 counties
46,195 people tested**
422 deaths
107 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

Find the latest information from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment here.

2:00 p.m. | Online marketplace created for Pueblo businesses

An online marketplace has been created to help Pueblo businesses offer goods and services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners can sign up for the service now and the site will launch for customers later this week.

11:28 p.m. | Protests against Colorado’s stay-at-home order planned for today

Multiple groups plan to descend on Colorado’s State Capitol today to protest what they argue is overreach and unconstitutional restrictions in the face of governmental efforts to stop the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The protests — one a planned “Operation Gridlock” event around the Capitol building in people’s cars at 1 p.m., the other calling for people to bring signs and stand outside from 2 to 4 p.m. — have been organized by various groups, including Libertarian parties around the metro area.

11:00 a.m. | CSP dealing with crowded mountain roads

The Colorado State Patrol continues to battle with crowds clogging mountain highways amid the state’s stay-at-home order. @CSP_Golden shared a photo showing several skiers and snowboarders unloading their parked cars on Loveland Pass this weekend. Troopers tweeted that the activity is blocking semis from using the pass, which is a HazMat route across the divide.

8:55 a.m. | Vail pioneer Bob Lazier dies from COVID-19

Vail pioneer and founder of the Tivoli Lodge in Vail, Bob Lazier, died from COVID-19, the town of Vail announced Sunday. Lazier, 81, was a Minneapolis native and came to Vail in the 1960s to open the Tivoli Lodge. He was also a race car driver, finishing 19th in the 1981 Indianapolis 500. He leaves behind two sons, one of whom won the 1996 Indianapolis 500.

Lazier's death is the seventh known COVID-19-related death in Eagle County, which is currently seeking exemptions from some portions of the state's COVID-19 executive and public health orders in an effort to boost morale and the county's economy.

Saturday, April 18

4:54 p.m. | Eagle County seeks authority to reopen ahead of April 26

Eagle County, one of the state's hardest-hit counties in the COVID-19 fight, is seeking authority to reopen ahead of April 26. County health officials sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Thursday, asking the agency to grant the county authority to lift restrictions on social gatherings and the conditional reopening of non-essentials businesses and outdoor recreation facilities.

4:00 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado

9,433 cases
1,797 hospitalized
56 counties
44,606 people tested**
411 deaths
107 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

Find the latest information from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment here.

3:45 p.m. Extension of state tax deadline

Governor Polis signed an Executive Order Saturday extending the state tax deadline.

Order D 2020 010 suspended statute to extend the income tax payment deadlines for all Colorado taxpayers to quickly provide relief from payment and penalties. Since signing Executive Order D 2020 010, the IRS has issued an extension for filers with income tax returns due between April 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020, and has moved those deadlines to July 15, 2020. The Executive Order signed Saturday extends Executive Order D 2020 010 for another thirty (30) days and aligns with the IRS extension.

Read the full order here.

3:30 p.m. | Paycheck Protection Program

President Trump said during the briefing Saturday that the Paycheck Protection Program has been depleted of funds. He called for Congress to appropriate funds to replenish it.

3:00 p.m | White House Coronaviurs Task Force briefing

10:18 a.m. | There are currently more than 700,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US

There are now more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Friday, April 17, 2020

5:00 p.m. | Pikes Peak Community Foundation's (PPCF) Emergency Relief Fund hits a big milestone

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation's (PPCF) Emergency Relief Fund hit a big milestone this week - after just 30 days, the fund raised more than $1 million and has granted 40 nonprofits with checks.

4:15 p.m. | Gov. Polis issues new executive order regarding masks

Governor Polis has issued a new Executive Order regarding masks.

Under the new order, all people working in critical or essential fields are now required to wear masks.

Click here to read the order.

The governor also said he is putting a renewed focus on the safety and care of senior living facilities, which are seeing rising death tolls in Colorado and across the country.

Governor Polis says he will require a detailed isolation plan for every facility for the state. Those must be submitted to CDPHE by May 1.

Polis says compliance and enforcement is job one to ensure the safety of the msot vulnerable members of our population.

He is also calling out the Colorado National Guard to help with testing at these facilities, and requiring that each facility add more isolation beds.

He said the state is moving out of the Urgent phase of the virus and into Recovery.

Gov. Polis says he will provide more details on plans to begin reopening the state on Monday.

1:52 p.m. | Governor Polis and President Trump scheduled to speak separately at 4 p.m.

News5 will carry two briefings this afternoon to provide the latest on COVID-19 response in Colorado and the United States. The timings of these events are based on their schedules and may start later than expected.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis will host a briefing from the Governor's Mansion at 4:00 p.m. We will carry the event on KOAA-TV, Facebook, and our live streaming platforms.

President Donald Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force will provide an update from the White House at 4:00 p.m. as well. New 5 will carry that event on our 5.2 News 5 Now channel (listings), on Facebook, and on our live streaming platforms.

11:57 a.m. | Colorado's system for unemployment benefits for self-employed, gig workers to launch Monday

Coloradans who are eligible for extended federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act can start applying for those benefits starting Monday, the state Department of Labor and Employment announced Friday.

The long-awaited system will allow self-employed workers, independent contractors and so-called “gig workers” to apply for unemployment benefits. It will also extend an additional 13 weeks of federal benefits to workers who exhaust their 26 weeks or regular benefits and $600 a week to anyone receiving benefits of any kind.

8:10 a.m.| Pueblo transit requiring passengers to wear masks on buses

The Pueblo Transit is making a new modification for its riders, requiring them to wear a mask on the bus. If a rider does not a have a mask, one will be provided according to PT.

"Public health is and safety is our number one concern," explained Operation Supervisor Nick Hinrichesen. "We are making sure we are able to social distance and get the ride that you need and trying to keep everybody as safe as we possibly can."

8 a.m.| UCHealth, El Paso County Public Health expands drive-through COVID-19 testing

A COVID-19 testing site in Colorado Springs is extending its drive-through testing. COVID-19 testing will now be provided to any individual experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath within the last three to five days.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

9:26 p.m. | Colorado Supreme Court suspends jury trials until June

In a letter from Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats, the Colorado Supreme Court will be suspending all jury trials until June 1, 2020 due to COVID-19.

Judges in local courts have been given the authority to manage how other court hearings proceed in their jurisdictions.

7:45 p.m. | President Trump outlines steps to reopening the economy

Trump says state economies can reopen in three phases. The first phase calls for telework to continue as much as possible, minimizing non-essential travel, keeping schools closed, prohibiting visits to senior living facilities and hospitals. Large venues, restaurants and gyms can operate under strict social distancing guidelines. The first phase also encourages those who are vulnerable to remain isolated.

A second phase would allow for non-essential travel, schools and daycares can reopen, but still imposes social distancing guidelines for mass gatherings, prohibiting visits to senior living facilities and hospitals, and recommends vulnerable people to shelter in place.

A third phase would then allow unrestricted staffing at work sites, vulnerable individuals can resume public interaction with caution, visits to hospitals and senior facilities can resume, and large venues can operate under limited physical distancing.

Presently, stay at home orders are in place in 43 states.

5:00 p.m. | Gold's Gym closes Colorado Springs locations

According to a statement on their Facebook page, Gold's Gym is closing their locations in Colorado Springs due to COVID-19.

Those three locations include gyms in the Cimarron Hills, Briargate and Security-Widefield.

4:45 p.m. | New Parkview Medical numbers for COVID-19

Currently hospitalized: 13

COVID PT that were hospitalized and discharged: 20

COVID PT that were seen in ED then recovered from home: 23

COVID deaths: 5

4:30 p.m. | Hanover School District 28 announces e-learning for the rest of the school year

The Hanover School District 28 Board of Education announced on Wednesday that they have passed a resolution to not hold in-person education for the remainder of this school year due to COVID-19.

The remainder of the school year will all be at-home e-learning education.

4:10 p.m. | Pueblo library district extends closure to May

According to a release, the Pueblo City-County Library District is extending its closure of library locations to the public through to May 3.

4:00 p.m. | Broncos star Von Miller tests positive for COVID-19, source confirms

Broncos star Von Miller has tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple reports.

2:50 p.m. | Vitalant, Centura collect "convalescent plasma" from recovered COVID-19 patient

Vitalant has partnered with Centura Health to collect the first "convalescent plasma" donation in Colorado.

There are vaccine trials currently underway, but none are expected to be approved for several months.

2:45 p.m. | Colorado health officials say mass testing, containment strategy needed before stay-at-home can lift

Colorado public health officials said Thursday that getting better testing capacity and materials in place, and a robust COVID-19 identification and containment strategy, would be the “foundational element” of when the state can start to lift the stay-at-home order and other social distancing measures.

2:35 p.m. | Daily data now available from Colorado hospitals, including discharge rates

The latest data can be found on the state's website here .

2:30 P.M. | Another 104K Coloradans filed for unemployment last week; federal benefit system expected soon

Another 104,217 Coloradans filed initial unemployment claims last week – more than the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment processed in all of 2019 – and the state says it expects to roll out the additional unemployment filling system for self-employed and gig workers in the next couple of days.

Over the past four weeks, a total of 231,610 initial claims were filed. Last week’s number was more than 55,000 more initial claims than were filed the week before.

10:40 a.m.|District 49 announces e-learning through end of school year

District 49 officials announced Thursday that e-learning would continue through the end of the school year.

The district said this decision came after "reviewing guidance and projections from health and government agencies."

10 a.m.| Amazon plans to hire 1,000 people in Colorado

Amazon announced it is planning to hire 1,000 people in Colorado as part of its initiative to hire an additional 75,000 jobs, according to a release.

The company said it has fulfilled its pledge to hire 100,000 people in various job types nationwide. Of these 100,000 positions, Amazon said they hired 3,600 Coloradans.

6:15 a.m.|Impacts of alcohol consumption, isolation during COVID-19: health experts weigh in
Grocery stores are selling out of food and toilet paper. Alcohol is also selling fast with many stocking up on beer, liquor, and wine during this pandemic. While it's been a boost for some businesses it's also a health concern for some.
Grocery stores are selling out of food and toilet paper. Alcohol is also selling fast with many stocking up on beer, liquor, and wine during this pandemic. While it's been a boost for some businesses it's also a health concern for some.
6 a.m.|DHS workers make modifications during pandemic
6 a.m.|DHS workers make modifications during pandemic
Telehealth is becoming the standard during COVID-19. For the Department of Human Services caseworkers in El Paso County, technology isn't always available when responding to abuse reports. Leading some workers to hold interviews through windows, or send technology to clients.
Telehealth is becoming the standard during COVID-19. For the Department of Human Services caseworkers in El Paso County, technology isn't always available when responding to abuse reports. Leading some workers to hold interviews through windows, or send technology to clients.
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Complete coronavirus coverage
Coronavirus related closures
Complete coronavirus coverage
Coronavirus related closures

Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in many languages. Email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.

People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in many languages. Email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.