Polis: "We feel very good" about Colorado hospital capacity as social distancing continues

Latest COVID-19 updates in the state
Posted at 5:16 AM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 23:00:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 7,691 as of Monday afternoon, including 308 deaths and 1,493 people hospitalized. Gov. Jared Polis announced the Colorado Mask Project last week 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.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

8:45 p.m. | Vice President Mike Pence to speak in person at Air Force Academy graduation

Vice President Mike Pence will be traveling to Colorado to speak at the Air Force Academy graduation.

The V.P.'s office issued a release Tuesday night stating that he will be coming to Colorado Springs Saturday, April 18 to deliver remarks at the ceremony.

Read more here.

6:15 p.m. | El Paso Co. deputy death due to COVI-19 determined to be line of duty death

"It is our medical opinion that the death of El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Hopkins was due to COVID-19 as a direct result of in the line of duty action," a statement from El Paso County Public Health said.

The Sheriff's Office said Deputy Hopkins will be provided a full police honors service once the all clear is given to do so.

Find more information here.

6 p.m. | COVID-19 recovery rate

UC Health says statewide they have treated and released over 370 COVID-19 patient, that includes a Colorado Springs husband and father who was admitted to Memorial North in late March and spent a week on a ventilator. He was able to go home last Friday. UC Health still says they still have around 250 COVID-19 patients in their care.

4:40 p.m. | Plans to reopen country

President Trump said Tuesday that plans to reopen the country economically are close to being done. He said hie will speak to all governors and then authorize each governor to implement their own re-opening plan in a time and manner that is appropriate.

4:25 p.m. | U.S. to stop sending funding to WHO

President Trump said during the daily briefing that U.S. will no longer send funding to the World Health Organization. Trump said the WHO failed it's duty and must be held accountable for failure to provide timely and accurate information about the transmission of COVID-19 globally. He added that a decision is pending on what to do with those funds.

4:15 p.m. | Daily White House Briefing

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

7,941 cases
1,556 hospitalized
56 counties
39,580 people tested**
329 deaths
78 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

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

3:00 p.m. | D70 says preliminary test results for food service worker are negative

Pueblo School District 70 announced Tuesday afternoon that the preliminary test results for their food service worker are negative.

The distirctis' emergency lunch program was immediately suspended Monday night due to a food service worker possibly being exposed to COVID-19.

Read more here.

2:00 p.m. | Kroger calls for grocery workers to be designated as first responders during pandemic

Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, is calling on elected officials to temporarily designate grocery workers as "extended first responders" or "emergency personnel" during the coronavirus pandemic.

More here.

1:40 p.m. | Advocates sue for release of ICE detainees

Immigrant advocates have sued for the release of 14 detainees being held at the Immigration Customs and Enforcement facility in Aurora, saying the spread of COVID-19 poses a serious risk to their health.

The suit argued that the 14 detainees have "serious medical vulnerabilities," including some with HIV, that make them susceptible to the effects of COVID-19.

ICE declined to comment on the suit since the case is ongoing litigation.

1:00 p.m. | Fountain Walmart employee who tested positive for COVID-19 also worked at Pizza Hut

A Walmart employee in Fountain who tested positive for COVID-19 also worked at a Pizza Hut in Fountain, The El Paso County Health Department told News 5 on Tuesday.

The man worked at the Walmart on Highway 85/87 in Fountain and the Pizza Hut on Mesa Ridge Parkway.

Find more information here.

9:38 a.m| Dr. Leon Kelly says controlling the virus is important to reopen

Dr. Leon Kelly said during a Board of County Commissioners meeting that it is important to continue controlling the virus when the time comes to reopen the economy and other things.

9:29 a.m.| El Paso County calculates possible recovered cases

The county health department says there are 171 non-confirmed recovery cases of COVID-19 as of April 13. They are getting this number, according to Dr. Leon Kelly, by those who were not hospitalized and adding 14 days since the case was recorded.

9:19 a.m.| "We are winning and we are in a good place," Dr. Leon Kelly says on COVID-19 in the county

Dr. Leon Kelly with the El Paso County Public Health Department announced there are 665 cases in the county and 39 deaths. He said the county's response is in a "good place," but it is not the time to think it's over.

9:05 a.m|El Paso County Public Health Department says about half of staff working on COVID-19 response

Director Susan Wheelan of the El Paso County Public Health Department said nearly half of the staff, 78 members, is working on COVID-19 response.

"There are folks working tirelessly on this response, 24/7," Wheelan said. She said the data analysis research team with the department has created a data dashboard that will launch this week for the county that will compare to the rest of the state and nationwide. It will have a breakdown of cases by zipcode in the county as well.

7:55 a.m.|Fountain Walmart employee tests positive for COVID-19

A Walmart employee in Fountain has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the El Paso County Public Health Department. A spokesperson said the state's stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines are important to "help protect both employees who work at Critical Businesses and the public alike."

7:45 a.m.| Polis: "We feel very good" about Colorado hospital capacity as social distancing continues

Gov. Jared Polis on Monday said officials feel "very good" about the available hospital capacity in Colorado as social distancing measures have helped slow both the spread of COVID-19 and the rate of hospitalizations not related to the virus.

7:35 a.m.|Meat sales boom, cattle prices drop hurting local ranchers

News5 has learned cattle ranches are facing some of the toughest times of their lives. Out on the eastern plains, ranchers say despite meat sales booming in grocery stores, cattle prices are tanking at a point in time when they can’t afford to come up short.

Monday, April 13, 2020

7 p.m. | D70 suspends emergency school lunch program for 2 weeks

Pueblo School District 70 announced Monday night that it will suspend its emergency school lunch program immediately due to possible COVID-19 exposure to a food service worker. Food service is scheduled to resume on Monday, April 27, pending results and recommendations from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the PDPHE.

4:40 p.m. | Secretary Mnuchin says 80 million Americans to receive checks by Wednesday

Secretary Mnuchin said during the White House briefing Monday that 80 million Americans will receive a stimulus check by Wednesday. Those who don't by receive it by Wednesday will have a website to enter bank information to get the check via direct deposit.

4:30 p.m. | First outbreak at long-term care facility in Pueblo County

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced Monday the first outbreak of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility in the county. The Department said that to date, Brookdale El Camino has four staff members and six residents who have tested positive for COVID-19.

4:15 p.m. | Fourth death in Pueblo

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced Monday the fourth death in the county due to COVID-19. The individual was a 97-year-old female who had previously been reported as positive. One additional case in the county was also announced.

Pueblo Pueblo County now has a total of 64 confirmed positive cases among Pueblo County residents. Seven additional positive cases are from individuals residing in other counties (one from Alamosa, one from Crowley County, one from Huerfano County, one from Douglas County, one from Fremont County, one from Rio Grande, one from Custer County). There have been 527 tests administered in Pueblo County. There have been 449* negative results with 2 tests results still pending, and three tests unable to be read and determined unsatisfactory.

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

7,691 cases
1,493 hospitalized
56 counties
38,742 people tested**
308 deaths
72 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

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

3 p.m. | Daily White House briefing

2:15 p.m. | Pueblo City Council to consider help for small businesses

The Pueblo City Council announced that during its Monday meeting, an emergency resolution that could bring financial relief to local small businesses will be considered.

The statement said that the City of Pueblo has partnered with the Pueblo Economic Development Corp (PEDCO) Board of Directors to find ways to help local businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 p.m. | Pikes Peak Community Foundation awards nearly $650,000 in grants to nonprofits

The Pikes Peak Community Relief Fund, in partnership with Pikes Peak Community Foundation, Pikes Peak United Way and the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management has granted nearly $650,000 to almost 40 nonprofits, but more help is need and you can help by donating. To donate, click here.

Donating Personal Protective Equipment
In additional to accepting donations for cloth masks, the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management is accepting unused personal protective equipment to distribute among our local hospitals, long-term care facilities, first responders, and hospice.

You can donate the following:
·Eye protection & goggles
·Face shields
·Surgical masks
·Sterile & non-sterile gloves
·Disposable gowns
·N95 Masks
·Sanitation Wipes
·Personal Wipes

Cloth masks and PPE will be accepted Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management.

1 p.m.| Harrison District 2 announces in-person learning is canceled for school year

Harrison School District Two announced they will not return to in-person learning for this school year. Remote learning will continue through May 21, 2020.

12:45 p.m. | Polis asks hotel, motel owners to provide rooms for homeless

In a release, Gov. Polis sent a letter encouraging hotel and motel owners and operators to rise to the challenge in addressing COVID-19 by entering agreements to temporarily house homeless Coloradans, along with some of the state’s most vulnerable.

12:39 p.m| Polis says due to stay-at-home order, there is a 'leveling off' on the virus

Polis said as long as people adhere to the stay-at-home order, the number of people with the virus will continue to level off and the more "ambitious" the state can be with getting the community back to where it was.

12:34 p.m.| Polis announces Colorado Mask Challenge to encourage masks

"We're calling on all Colorado kids to create your own design for a face mask:" Polis said this challenge is to encourage people to wear masks and keep it creative.

12:31 p.m.| Polis announces Greeley meatpacking facility will close

JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley had two people die due to COVID-19 and numerous others test positive for the virus. Polis said this will take as much time as it takes to test employees and make sure the plant is safe for workers to return.

11:50 a.m.| Gov. Jared Polis to give COVID-19 update

Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to give a COVID-19 update Monday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. News5 will be airing the conference and streaming it on our Facebook page as well as your favorite streaming device.

Watch News5 on a streaming device

5:15 a.m.|Help is out there for those struggling with suicidal ideations

An increase in call volume coming into Colorado Crisis Services reflects a large mental strain due to the Stay at Home order taking place in Colorado. It sparked a conversation about how the community can try to help those who may not feel like there is an end in sight.

A local man reached out to News5, speaking up about his journey with PTSD to try and help others who may be struggling with their own mental health right now.

5 a.m.| SNAP recipients receiving maximum benefits during COVID-19

With hundreds of people losing their jobs or being furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s putting many people in challenging times. The El Paso County Department of Human Services is busy processing hundreds of requests for benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

4:45 a.m.| Why staying home saves lives

Staying home, wearing masks, and cleaning constantly may feel excessive to some people, but for others, it's a matter of life or death. News5 spoke with two different people more at risk of complications from catching coronavirus, who reminded us all why we're staying home to stop the spread.

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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 for answers in English.