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

Posted at 7:46 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 08:49:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 591 as of Sunday afternoon, including six deaths. And more closures have been announced, too, including executive action by Gov. Jared Polis this week shutting down all dining at restaurants and bars.

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.

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

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Sunday, March 22

5:22 p.m. | Gov. Jared Polis orders non-critical workplaces in Colorado to reduce their in-person workforce

Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order Sunday that requires non-critical workplaces in Colorado to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. The directive will take effect Tuesday at 8 a.m. and will last through April 10.

Exemptions in the order include health care, critical infrastructure, manufacturing, retail, services, news media, financial institutes, construction, defense, public safety, vendors to public services.

Polis also encouraged employers to convert to a 100% telecommuting set up, and implement telework capabilities to the greatest extent possible. When not possible, stagger work scheduled to reduce proximity.

You can read the order here.

5:10 p.m. | Colorado Gov. Jared Polis provides an update on the latest on Colorado's response to COVID-19

3:10 p.m. | White House press conference on response to COVID-19

2:45 p.m. | El Paso County deputy tests positive for COVID-19

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced Sunday that a deputy has a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19. The Sheriff's Office said the individual is isolated at home, has been for nearly a week, and is getting better. The office also said all employees who have had contact with the deputy have been notified and are taking appropriate precautions.

In their release, the Sheriff's Office said staff has had plans and structures in place for some time and have continued to take steps to prevent further spread to other employees and inmates that are housed in the jail.

The lobby at the Office of the Sheriff, located at 27 E. Vermijo Avenue will continue to be closed to the public. The lobby at the El Paso County Jail remains open for bonding and use of the Kiosk only.

1:45 p.m. | Fort Carson announces second case on post

Sunday, Fort Carson announced that they have identified a second positive COVID-19 case on post.

The individual is a Department of the Army civilian who works at Evans Army Community Hospital. Fort Carson said this person is a female healthcare worker in her 60s and she is now in isolation at home. The post added that she had limited contact with select patients and staff who have been notified and are being monitored by Fort Carson Public Health.

12:15 p.m. | Colorado Attorney General calls for statewide pause on evictions

Sunday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser's office released a statement calling for a statewide pause on eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The full statement can be read below.

"In this emergency, evicting any Coloradan from their home would exacerbate the public health and economic crisis we are fighting together. I applaud Governor Polis in leading state agencies and local governments in an effort to stop evictions during this crisis. I commend the many state courts that have already suspended or postponed eviction proceedings and are not accepting new eviction applications during this crisis. I also applaud the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court for granting local judges the authority to make that determination. So far, courts in Denver, Mesa County, Weld County, and Boulder County, among others, have taken this important step. I urge all Colorado courts to join in recognizing the urgent need to pause all eviction orders during this emergency. Nobody should be without their home as we all grapple with this crisis.”

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Saturday, March 21

8:00 p.m. | CDPHE clarifies public health order

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment amended the public health order limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people Saturday night to clarify exemptions to the order.

Exemptions include:

  • The Colorado General Assembly, legislative bodies of municipal governments, and Colorado state and municipal courts.
  • Airports, bus, and train stations, health care facilities, and grocery or retail stores, pharmacies, or other spaces where 10 or more people may be moving around to get essential goods and services.
  • Delivery and take-out food services in accordance with Public Health Order 20-22.
  • Offices and state, county, and municipal government buildings where essential government services are offered.
  • Factories where more than 10 people are present, but social distancing measures of maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals is standard.
  • Newspaper, television, radio, and other media services.
  • Child care facilities, except for public preschools operated on public school campuses, which are addressed in Executive Order D 2020 007.
  • Homeless shelters.
  • Any emergency facility needed to respond to COVID-19 in Colorado.

More information on the executive orders and public health orders related to COVID-19 are available on the state response website.

If you suspect someone is violating these public orders you should first contact your local public health agency. If they do not respond to your concerns, you can also file a report with the Attorney General's office by emailing covid19@coag.gov.

4:20 p.m. | Fort Carson reports first case on post

Saturday afternoon, Fort Carson reported its first positive COVID-19 case on post. The individual is a Colorado National Guard Soldier who is now being housed at the Colorado National Guard's 168th Regional Training Institute on Fort Carson. The Mountain Post said the soldier will remain in isolation in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Fort Carson Public Health guidelines. Fort Carson said the soldier is in good spirits and does not require hospitilization at this time.

4:10 p.m. | More than 470 positive cases in Colorado

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Colorado jumped to 475 Saturday afternoon, 112 more from Friday, according to the latest data collected by the CDPHE.

In total, 4,500 people have been tested and the virus has spread to 29 of Colorado's 64 counties. Five more people were hospitalized Saturday, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 49. The coronavirus has claimed six lives in the state.

Officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

4:00 p.m. | El Paso County Public Health announces third death in county from COVID-19

Saturday afternoon, the El Paso County Pubic Health Dept. reported the third death from COVID-19 in the county. The person who died was a male in his 70s. No further information was provided. This brings the total to six known deaths due to COVID-19 in Colorado.

3:30 p.m. | Eagle County man is Colorado’s 5th known COVID-19 death

Eagle County health officials confirmed Saturday the county’s first death from COVID-19. The patient was a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. He is Colorado’s fifth known COVID-19 death.

1:00 p.m. | King Soopers to provide $300, $150 bonuses to employees who've worked amid pandemic

King Soopers' parent company, Kroger, announced Saturday that it will provide a one-time bonus to every hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, and customer service associate who has worked amid the coronavirus pandemic.

12:20 p.m. | Businesses can donate/sell supplies to state to fight COVID-19

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management has a process established for businesses that would like to register with the state to sell or donate supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available here.

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Friday, March 20

8:11 p.m. | Rocky Mountain National Park closed

Earlier today, the Mayor of Estes Park requested the National Park Service close Rocky Mountain National Park as part of the effort to control the spread of COVID-19. As of this evening, the park is now closed until further notice.

Rocky Mountain National Park is now closed to all park visitors until further notice at the request of Larimer County Public Health Department, a spokesperson for the national park said in a statement.

"The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Rocky Mountain National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels," national park officials said in a statement.

7:00 p.m. | UCHealth changes visitor policy

UCHealth has implemented new rules for visitors at all of their health care facilities to better protect the health and safety of patients, their families, visitors and health care workers.

Effective Friday, March 20th, at 8 p.m., UCHealth is implementing a no-visitors policy at all of its hospitals and clinics, per a release.

The only exceptions are for maternity, NICU, pediatric and end-of-life care and one person is allowed to accompany outpatient clinic patients, if needed for support.

6:45 p.m. | Mountain Metro Modifying Weekend Bus Service

Due to a shortage of drivers, Mountain Metro is modifying their weekend bus service.

There will be not cut to the ADA Paratransit service. On Saturday, Mountain Metro is reducing frequency on routes 1, 3, 5, 7, 25, and 27 from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Routes 1, 3, 5, 7 will only depart the downtown terminal at :15 after the hour. Route 25 will depart from the Citadel at :40 after the hour. The 25 will depart Voyager at :13 after the hour. Route 25 will depart from the Citadel at :40 after the hour. The 25 will depart Voyager at :13 after the hour.

On Sunday, the only changes is Route 25 will depart the Citadel at :38 after the hour. The 25 will depart Voyager at :14 after the hour.

5:35 p.m. |Colorado Safeway and Albertsons stores installing Plexiglas at checkstands to help protect customers and employees

Albertsons Companies announced on Friday that Ablertsons and Safeway stores installing Plexiglas in its checkout lanes as a protective barrier between customers and checkers due to COVID-19.

5:10 p.m. | Parkview Medical Center updates visitor access and entrances

Effective Monday, March 23rd at 6:00 am, all visitors must enter through the main entrance of the Parkview hospital on Grand. Visitors are encouraged to continue to park in the parking garage but the sky bridge will be closed. Visitors will need to take the elevator down to the first floor and come across the street to the main entrance on Grand.

Visiting hours remain from 10:00am to 8:00pm.

In addition, the hospital will continue to prohibit visitors into the hospital under the age of 18. If visitors present symptoms of cold or flu, they will not be allowed in the hospital, regardless of age.

“We understand this might not be ideal for families and friends visiting loved ones but this measure of precaution is to keep everyone safe. The health and safety of our patients, their families and the Parkview team is our top priority,” stated Leslie Barnes, President and CEO

5:00 p.m. | United State Air Force Academy limits access and services to those conducting official business only

According to a release, the U.S. Air Force Academy is limiting access and services to those conducting official business only starting March 23 due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Base access will be limited to those who work or live on the installation, or those accessing medical services.

"We have instituted numerous measures to minimize the risk of exposure due to activities here on base, but there remains significant risk to the staff and cadets from our ongoing exposure to the off-base community," said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy's Superintendent. "While I know this is disappointing we all have to continue to work together and make sacrifices to protect the health of our personnel and the continued mission of the U.S. Air Force Academy."

In addition, starting immediately, the North gate will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily

4:15 p.m. | New case numbers in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released the latest numbers as of Thursday at 4:00 p.m.:
363 cases
44 hospitalized
24 counties
3,680 people tested
4 deaths

This includes the deaths reported Thursday in from El Paso County and Crowley County. El Paso County now has 27 cases of COVID-19, Pueblo has 2 cases.

4:00 p.m. | How to help Children's Colorado, Colorado Springs during COVID-19

With the spread of COVID-19, Children's Colorado hospital in Colorado Springs is letting community know how they can help the hospital at this time. Children's Colorado is asking community members to donate to the Children’s Colorado Foundation, donate blood, donate to their playground fund or support Children's Colorado partners.

“Even in periods of uncertainty, it is empowering and heartwarming to know just how much southern Colorado families and residents care for the pediatric population who are in the hospital during this time,” said Margaret Sabin, president of Children’s Colorado’s Southern Region. “Our Association of Volunteers and Foundation offices have received calls from people asking how they can step up, and we just want to say thank you. Providing resources to reduce the anxiety and worry in our families is important for ensuring positive mental health and care when families are not only in the hospital, but experiencing additional social challenges due to COVID-19.”

3:11 p.m. | Mayor of Estes Park asks federal government to close Rocky Mountain National Park

The Mayor of Estes Park is asking the federal government to close Rocky Mountain National Park. In a letter sent Friday to the Secretary of Interior, Mayor Todd A. Jirsa says he's requesting the closure of the national park, "to assist our community, our country and our state in addressing the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic."

The mayor argues that having the national park open "presents a grave public health concern to Estes Park" and surrounding communities, as people are recreating there due to a lack of park fees, spring break travel and the shuttering of ski resorts in the state.

Jirsa says the town's first confirmed case of COVID-19 was confirmed Friday and that the Larimer County Public Health Director has formally advised the mayor's office to discourage visitors from traveling through Larimer County to Estes Park.

"Estes Park is not in a position to support the potential needs of extra guests at this time," the letter reads. "Furthermore, adequate social distancing is not possible in many of the crowded areas of Rocky Mountain National Park this time of year."

Read the full letter here.

1:30 p.m. | Pueblo Health Department confirms third case of COVID-19

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment confirms a third case of COVID-19 in Pueblo County. The woman is 48-years-old.

“We are working closely with medical providers in light of the three positive COVID-19 cases in our public health investigation to reduce the spread and protect the people in our Pueblo community," Public Health Director Randy Evetts said in a release.

11:48 a.m. | Polis comments on test results

Polis said there is testing done for: clinical testing for those showing symptoms, testing in various counties to gather data, testing for screening for those near vulnerable communities, and mass testing. There are more testing opportunities available by private sectors. Polis said just because results show a negative at one point in time, it doesn't mean you will be negative in the days to come.

If you're sick, stay home from work if you are showing symptoms. If you need medical treatment, call your healthcare provider and explain to them your symptoms. Polis said 80 to 85% of those with the virus will not need medical attention.

11:37 a.m. | Responding to shelter-in-place question

Polis said that as long as Coloradans are doing their part and working to limit the spread of COVID-19, it will help limit the additional steps the state will take. Polis said the actions made in the last 24 hours — particularly places where large gatherings take place — are all taking place to help limit the amount of people who are together.

11:34 a.m. | Remote-learning for students

Polis reassured that students will not be cut short on learning during this school year with remote-learning. Food distribution will also not be interrupted for the students who need it.

11:21 a.m. | Emergency council of economic advisors formed

Polis announced an emergency council of economic advisors has been created to assist in the economic recovery of COVID-19 in the state.

11:18 a.m. | State tax deadline extended

Polis said he is extending the state tax deadline from April 15 to July 15 with no penalties to anyone filing. He also said he is granting an extension for tax payers who are required to make estimated income tax payments for the 2020 tax year. He said estimated payments due on or after April 15 but on or before June 20 can be paid at any time on or before July 15 without penalty.

11:15 a.m.| Executive order underway

Polis said an executive order is in the works to ensure temporary income reductions and job loss is not impacting their residential situations. He said there will be no state law enforcement resources carrying out evictions during this time unless it is related to public safety.

11:12 a.m.| Job opportunities available

Polis reiterated that current job availabilities are important to fill in the coming months. There are job employment opportunities are available at big companies, such as Amazon, Walmart and Safeway.
11:07 a.m.| Help Colorado Now update
11:07 a.m.| Help Colorado Now update
$3.8 million has been donated to Help Colorado Now and this money will go back to Coloradans. Polis said 4,342 people have signed up for volunteer opportunities during this time.
$3.8 million has been donated to Help Colorado Now and this money will go back to Coloradans. Polis said 4,342 people have signed up for volunteer opportunities during this time.
11:05 a.m. | Polis allowing alcohol sales in restaurants
11:05 a.m. | Polis allowing alcohol sales in restaurants
Gov. Polis said licensure allowing alcohol sales will be waived to allow local businesses to bring in more revenue and sell alcohol along with their take-out or curbside deliveries.
Gov. Polis said licensure allowing alcohol sales will be waived to allow local businesses to bring in more revenue and sell alcohol along with their take-out or curbside deliveries.
10 a.m. | Gov. Polis to give update
10 a.m. | Gov. Polis to give update
Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to make an announcement on the state's response to COVID-19. Yesterday, he extended the public health order that shut down restaurants, bars and casinos statewide earlier this week. It now covers hair and nail salons and massage parlors to be closed through April 30.
Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to make an announcement on the state's response to COVID-19. Yesterday, he extended the public health order that shut down restaurants, bars and casinos statewide earlier this week. It now covers hair and nail salons and massage parlors to be closed through April 30.
Thursday, March 19
7:57 p.m. | UCHealth suspends drive-up sample collections

UCHealth is suspending the drive-thru testing sites for COVID-19 at the South Parkside Drive and KidsKare Point locations in Colorado Springs. A release states, "testing supplies must be reserved for patients who are seriously ill and hospitalized. It is also essential to have enough tests for health care workers, should they require testing."

7:33 p.m. | Colorado opens special health insurance enrollment period for uninsured people through April 3

Colorado will open up a special enrollment period from March 20 through April 3 in which Coloradans who are currently uninsured can enroll for a state insurance plan that would kick in starting April 1.

Only people who are currently uninsured are eligible to enroll during the special period – people with already-existing plans through Connect for Health Colorado will not be able to change their plans.

People’s spouses and children who are also uninsured can enroll as well, even if one spouse or a child’s parent is already insured.

People’s spouses and children who are also uninsured can enroll as well, even if one spouse or a child’s parent is already insured.
6:39 p.m. | 6 positive COVID-19 cases identified at El Paso County long-term care facility

Six positive cases of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, were identified Thursday evening at the Laurel Manor Care Center in El Paso County, health officials said in a news release.

County health officials say they're working with the ill patients to make sure they're receiving proper care while limiting the further spread of the disease. Efforts on identifying, isolating and testing all of those who may at risk of contracting COVID-19 are being taken.

Officials reiterated practicing social distancing and good hygiene to further mitigate the spread of the new virus.

6:38 p.m. | Pueblo jail to release some inmates amid virus precautions

The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is calling on Governor Jared Polis and the state court system to release some inmates from prisons and jails in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Denise Maes, the public policy director for civil rights group explained that jails, prisons, community corrections facilities can be become "somewhat of a Petri dish" given the large numbers of people sharing the same space.

Chief Judge Deborah Eyler met with the District Attorney and Public Defender earlier in the week. The parties agreed to a list of inmates currently being held pretrial who could have their bonds lowered and be released.

6:30 p.m. | Colorado orders hair and nail salons, spas, tattoo and massage parlors to close

Colorado hair and nail salons, along with spas, tattoo and massage parlors were ordered Thursday to be closed through April 30 by Gov. Jared Polis as he expanded his public health order that shut down restaurants, bars and casinos statewide earlier this week.

Effective Thursday , those “non-essential personal services facilities,” as well as horse tracks and off-track betting facilities were added to the order closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos that was issued on March 16. The updated order extends all the closures through April 30.

4:57 p.m. | New cases reported in Fremont County

Fremont County has confirmed two probable COVID-19 cases. The Department of Public Health and Environment says personnel are now working with the two patients to gather information on potential exposure to others in the community.

Everyone is reminded to please stay home if they develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

3:30 p.m. | Crowley County COVID-19 related death

An “elderly” resident of Crowley County who had several chronic medical conditions is the fourth known death from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) , county health officials said Thursday afternoon. The Otero County Health Department issued the notice about the resident who had died and tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The county only said the patient lived in Crowley County, was elderly and “had other multiple, chronic medical conditions, was in the high risk group.”

11:15 a.m. | El Paso County reports third COVID-19 death in Colorado

A second person in El Paso County has died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) , 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.

According to Kelly, the person, a man in his mid-60s, had direct contact with the first person who died in the county, a woman in her 80s whose death spurred a public health alert because she had played cards at the Colorado Springs Bridge Center

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RELATED:

Complete coronavirus coverage
Coronavirus related closures
Complete coronavirus coverage
Coronavirus related closures

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.

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.