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Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates across the state

Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 23:39:40-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 2,307 as of Sunday afternoon, including 47 deaths.

Gov. Jared Polis issued a stay-at-home order for the state that is already in effect through April 11.

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, call 719-555-8888, 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, March 29

4:21 p.m. | Trump adds 30 days to distancing guidelines as virus spreads

President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown for a month as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic rise in the U.S. The initial 15 days of social distancing urged by the federal government is expiring and Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. But instead he decided to extend them. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings. The federal guidelines recommend against against large group gatherings, promote social distancing, and urge older people and anyone with existing health problems to stay home.

4:04 p.m. | Number of positive cases in Colorado continues to grow

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado increased by 246 on Sunday, with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) announcing 2,307 people had tested positive as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

A total of 52 more people were hospitalized, bringing the total of hospitalizations to 326. The new virus is also now present in 46 of Colorado's 64 counties, two more than reported a day prior. The CDPHE said 1,194 more tests had been received by the state, bringing the total number of people who have been tested for COVID-19 to 14,470. State health officials said 47 people have now died from the disease, an increase of three people from Saturday’s numbers.

State health and government officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

3:30 p.m. | White House briefing

1:48 p.m. | 10 nursing homes in Colorado have coronavirus outbreaks

The Colorado Department of Health has released the names and locations of nine of the 10 nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are facing outbreaks of COVID-19.

More here.

11:30 a.m. | Four additional cases in Pueblo

The Pueblo Department of Public Health announced four additional positive cases on Sunday. This brings the county's total of confirmed cases to 14.

To date in Pueblo County:

  • 275 tests have been administered in Pueblo County. Currently it is taking seven or more days for test results to be reported to Pueblo’s Public Health.
  • 149 tests previously sent from Pueblo County have been returned with negative results.
  • 107 tests are pending
  • 18* tests previously sent have been returned with positive results, fourteen (14) from Pueblo County, one Crowley County, one Huerfano County, one Douglas County, and one Rio Grande County.

Saturday, March 28

10:15 p.m. | CDOT suspends Bustang and Outrider service

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said it is suspending its Bustang and Outrider service between cities throughout the state. The suspension is effective March 29 and is planned to last through at least April 11. At that it will be reevaluated as based on guidance and gubernatorial orders, CDOT said.

The departmnet also said that the suspension of these intercity services is different than the local transit services that will continue to provide essential trips in communities throughout the state.

6:40 p.m. | Colorado Major Disaster request approved

President Trump and the administration have approved Gov. Polis’ request for a Major Disaster declaration, which was made by the governor Wednesday and backed up by most members of the state’s congressional delegation – save for Rep. Ken Buck – in a letter Thursday.

“Colorado is now eligible to receive additional federal resources to help address the global epidemic impacting our state, the nation, and the world. This declaration ensures that Colorado can be on a level playing field with other states that already have this status like New York and Washington when it comes to federal disaster funding and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance,” Polis said in a statement. “Now more than ever, it’s important that Coloradans stay home whenever possible. I thank the members of Colorado’s federal delegation who advocated for this funding to recognize the seriousness of this public health crisis unfolding hour by hour in our state. We are forging new and innovating partnerships daily with the federal government and the private sector to minimize the health threat and the economic threat of the virus.”

The White House’s announcement of the approval said the following:

“Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, for all areas in the State of Colorado impacted by COVID-19.”

4:00 p.m. | Death toll, hospitalizations continue to climb as COVID-19 cases surpass 2,000 in Colorado

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado surpassed 2,000 on Saturday, with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) announcing 2,061 people had tested positive as of 4 p.m. Saturday.

A total of 35 more people were hospitalized, bringing the total of hospitalizations to 274. The new virus is also now present in 44 of Colorado's 64 counties, two more than reported a day prior. The CDPHE said 1,600 more tests had been received by the state, bringing the total number of people who have been tested for COVID-19 to 13,276. State health officials said 44 people have now died from the disease, more than a dozen more from Friday’s numbers.

State health and government officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

2:40 p.m. | Survey results show majority of Coloradans are taking COVID-19 pandemic seriously

Most Colorado residents are very concerned about COVID-19 in the state and are taking steps to prevent the spread of the disease, according to results from a survey released Saturday by the Colorado Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

1:45 p.m. | Additional cases in Pueblo

Pueblo Health announced Saturday three additional positive cases of COVID-19. The department said the cases are unrelated and the people are a male age 26 and females age 19 and 71. No further information was released.

1:15 p.m. | Governor Polis signs Executive Order

Governor Polis signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending the person appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations. The order also authorizes the Secretary of State to promulgate and issue temporary emergency rules in order to facilitate remote notarization. Read the order here.

Friday, March 27

5:24 p.m. | Pueblo Transit makes changes for bus riders

The City of Pueblo transit system is making changes for their bus riders due to COVID-19.

· Fares to ride the bus are waived

· No more than 10 people at a time will be allowed on a bus

· Entry and Exit will be through the rear door

· Persons with mobility impairments or devices will still be able to board at the front bus door and will be given priority service if demand exceeds the 10-person limit.

· Buses will continue to be disinfected daily and in-between runs

· Require the use of social distancing while on the bus

· Passengers should only use the bus when necessary, and cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze

· All routes are currently running. However, there are changes to the following routes: The Pueblo Mall, the Bessemer, The Berkley Beulah, the Irving, the Eastside, and the Highland Park will be operating with 60-minute headways as one bus has been eliminated to these routes. A full list of changes can be found posted at the Transit Center, and on the Pueblo Transit webpage

· Our service hours will stay the same for the time being

The Pueblo transit system encourages riders to plan their trips during off peak times to eliminate longer than average wait times

3:30 p.m. | Polis: I'd rather people complain than have full-scale public health disaster

Gov. Jared Polis said that if the state "get this right," (meaning, that the state's measures put in place to fight COVID-19 are successful), some might say that "we did too much too soon."

"I would rather receive that complaint than have a full-scale public health disaster with tens of thousands of Coloradans paying the price," he said.

The governor said the data that's he's presented to the public, including worst-case scenario projections of deaths in the state due to COVID-19, were the factors that informed his stay-at-home order.

3:21 p.m. | Pueblo Riverwalk to remain open

The Pueblo Riverwalk will remain open for walking and running, but it is important that we practice “social/physical distancing” at all times, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between individuals, per Development Manager Michelle Francis. The exercise equipment is CLOSED to the public. Restrooms at the Welcome Center are open at this time.

3:20 p.m. | Polis provides scientific data on social distancing measures to fight COVID-19 in the state

Gov. Polis says Colorado has 1,849 ICU beds and CU estimates half of them are needed for non-COVID-19 patients. The goal is to add 1,000 ICU beds by May, 5,000 by summer.

Based on data models provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, assuming that the state's R0 (R-naught) is 4 (meaning, that one infected Coloradan could spread the disease to 4 other people), the state's number of deaths due to COVID-19 could be as follows:

-- No social distancing — 33,200 (estimated deaths by June 1)
-- 40% distancing — 26,000
-- 50% distancing — 19,900
-- 60% distancing — 11,500

Based on data models provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, assuming that the state's R0 (R-naught) is 3 (meaning, that one infected Coloradan could spread the disease to 3 other people), the state's number of ICU beds (currently, Colorado has 1,849) needed would be as follows:

-- No social distancing — 11,600 in June
-- 40% — 5,600 in July
-- 50% — 3,300 in September
-- 60% — 900 in December

3:15 p.m. | Polis: One infected Coloradan could spread COVID-19 to 3 or 4 more people

During a news conference on the state's response to COVID-19, Gov. Jared Polis said health officials have calculated the contagion of COVID-19 in the state to be 3 to 4 people, meaning that for every infected Coloradan, the disease could spread to 3 or 4 other people. That mathematical value is called "R0" (R-naught), and indicates how contagious an infectious disease is.

3:10 p.m. | Polis: Positive cases of COVID-19 in the state now over 1,734, with thousands more undiagnosed

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado is now 1,734, a jump of 304 cases from Thursday with a total of 239 people hospitalized due to the disease. During a news conference, Gov. Jared Polis said 31 people in the state had died from COVID-19, adding that around 11,000 people had been tested in the state - around 1,000 more tests that were received on Thursday.

Polis made it a point to reiterate that the number of cases in Colorado is in the thousands due to the number of people that have not yet been tested.

1:09 p.m. | News conferences scheduled for today

Governor Jared Polis is scheduled to provide a 2:30 p.m. update on COVID-19 prevention efforts amid a statewide stay-at-home order in effect until April 11.

President Donald Trump's White House Coronavirus Task Force will have a 3:00 p.m. event to update the public on national efforts and likely comment on the stimulus package.

News5 will carry both of these events on-air, within the News5 App and you can watch on any streaming device.

Learn more here: How to watch News5 on your favorite streaming device

10:35 a.m. | New test results in from Pueblo

Pueblo Health reports 10 additional tests for COVID-19 have come back as positive. The patients are from Pueblo County (7), Crowley County (1), Huerfano County (1) and Douglas County (1). A total of 241 tests have been administered by the department. 86 of those have come back negative.

Among those cases is an 81-year-old woman who died, as reported on Thursday. The other patients are a 36-year-old male, an 80-year-old male, an 82-year-old female, an 80-year-old female and a 47-year-old female.

Other numbers from Pueblo Health:

  • 90 tests administered at Pueblo State Fair Grounds
  • 31 negative
  • 1 positive (Douglas County patient)
  • 1 not able to be processed
  • 57 pending

8 a.m.| House to vote on $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill

The House is set to pass the sprawling, $2.2 trillion measure on Friday morning after an extraordinary 96-0 Senate vote late Wednesday.

Thursday, March 26

6:10 p.m. | First confirmed COVID-19 death in Pueblo County

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment said Thursday it confirmed the first death in Pueblo County due to COVID-19.

A release from the department said the patient was an 81-year-old woman. No further details are currently available.

“This is a tragic loss of life and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family," said Randy Evetts, public health director at PDPHE . “This unfortunate loss highlights the seriousness of this virus. Now more than ever, we want to remind our residents to protect yourself, your family, and the community.”

Pueblo health officials are working to identify close contacts of the woman.

Evetts said the best way to protect yourself and others follow social distancing guidelines, practice good hygiene, stay home if you're sick, and adhere to public health orders.

4:45 p.m. | Department of Corrections parole officer tests positive

The Department of Corrections said Thursday a parole officer from the Sterling region tested positive for COVID-19.

That officer did not work inside a prison. CDOC said it will contact anyone who needs to be notified about potential contact with that person.

The department is working to track where that person has been and who they have been in contact with.

CDOC said the parole officer was already operating on a reduced staffing play to support social distancing recommendations.

Other Department of Corrections staff members have been tested and the department is waiting for confirmation on some of those results. Staff members who test positive, have pending results, or shows possible symptoms has been placed on administrative leave.

The department says so far no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

4:15 p.m. |More than 1,400 coronavirus cases statewide

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says there are 1,430 cases of COVID-19 statewide, in 39 counties.

The health department says 184 people are hospitalized, and 24 have died.

Statewide 10,122 people have been tested.

There are now 9 reported outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

3:35 p.m. | Colorado Avalanche announce a player has tested positive

The Colorado Avalanche released a statement Thursday afternoon saying the team was advised that a player tested positive for COVID-19.

The Avalanche did not release the name of the player, but said he has been at home in isolation since the first symptoms appeared, and has recovered.

The team has notified anyone known to have had close contact with the player.

3:10 p.m. | Two women test positive in Pueblo County

Two women, aged 80 and 82, have tested positive for COVID-19 according to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Public Health says the two cases are not related.

The department said one of the cases announced today was linked to the bridge games at Colorado Springs Bridge Center. An El Paso County woman who passed away earlier this month had also played in those games.

“As the number of positive COVID-19 cases increase, it is evident COVID-19 is in our community,” stated Randy Evetts public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Evetts added, “It is important to follow social distancing of six feet or more from each other to protect our family, friends, and neighbors.”

Public Health said investigations are being conducted into the two new cases.

To date in Pueblo County:

  • 217 tests administered in Pueblo County (including 90 taken at State Fairgrounds on March 19)
  • 73 tests have returned with negative results
  • 137 pending
  • 7 have returned positive results, including 5 from Pueblo county, one from Crowley County, and one from Huerfano County

It currently takes a minimum of 7 days for results to be reported to Pueblo Health.

3:00 p.m. | Pueblo announces park facilities closures; trails and open spaces to remain open

Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar and Parks and Recreation Director Steven Meier announced the closure of several park facilities and areas to comply with Governor Polis' Stay at Home Order.

These facilities are closed effective immediately:

  • Ice Arena
  • El Centro Rec. Center
  • Golf Courses
  • Auto Racetracks
  • Dog Parks
  • Tennis Courts
  • Softball Fields
  • Basketball Courts
  • Skate (wheel) Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Disc Golf Course
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Horseshoe Pits
  • Bocce Ball
  • Picnic Shelters

They say while parks and trails are open for walking, hiking, running, and biking, it's important to practice social distancing at all times.
Parks will remain open during normal hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Restrooms at Mineral Palace Park and City Park will remain open.

2:00 p.m. | El Paso Co and Colorado Springs representatives discuss stay at home order

Representatives from El Paso County and Colorado Springs are expected are making comments about the order. Watch in the stream below.

Mayor John Suthers reminds people the order from the Governor is a legal order that officials are asking everyone to voluntarily comply with. Using law enforcement is a last resort. He says people seen violating the order will be educated and warned at first. "Do your part", Suthers says.

During this morning's Board of County Commissioner's meeting, Commissioner Mark Waller said, "When this stay-at-home order came out yesterday I was hearing it for the very first time as the governor was talking about it. And then let my phone blew up, and I have all sorts of constituents, business leaders texting me saying 'what does this mean for me?' 'what is this mean for us?' and I couldn't give them any information."

He closed out the meeting by imploring Governor Polis to communicate with county leaders on actions before announcing them to the public, or at least discussing options beforehand.

Read more about what the order means for you, here.

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10 a.m.| 7 deaths due to COVID-19 in El Paso County

Another two deaths are reported in El Paso County due to COVID-19, bringing the total to seven deaths. Dr. Leon Kelly, who is acting as the county’s deputy medical director during the outbreak, told the county’s board of commissioners Thursday morning. These numbers will be included in today's update from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment around 4 p.m.

9:17 a.m.| El Paso County Board of County Commissioners holds meeting discussing executive order

The Board of County Commissioners is holding an "emergency meeting" discussing the executive order issued by Gov. Jared Polis. The stay-at-home order is now in place statewide.

8:35 a.m.| Colorado State Patrol on statewide accident alert

Colorado State Patrol is now on statewide accident alert, meaning if you are involved in an accident with no injuries, no drugs or alcohol involved, and everyone has insurance, troopers will not respond.

6 a.m.| Stay-at-home order now in effect

This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities. The order states "local authorities are encouraged to determine the best course of action" when it comes to enforcement. If you do not comply with the order, you could be fined up to $1,000 or face jail time for up to one year.

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Get the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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.