Colorado announces new COVID-19 numbers; 386 news cases, 17 deaths

Posted at 5:45 AM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 09:13:48-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 3,342 of Wednesday afternoon, including 80 deaths. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he may extend the statewide stay-at-home order, but a spokesperson for his office said that is not final and Polis is waiting to get a few more days' worth of information before making that decision. He has a press conference scheduled for 12:45 p.m. News5 will carry the event online and on-air.

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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, 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.

Latest updates:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

5:20 p.m. | Gov. Polis issues statement on passing of El Paso County deputy

Governor Jared Polis has released a statement on the passing of El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Hopkins due to complications related to COVID-19 Wednesday.

“My condolences go out to Deputy Hopkins’ family. Deputy Hopkins spent his life serving his community and working to make our state a better place,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This is an incredibly difficult time for our state, and even more so for those who have lost a loved one. Each tragic death from Coronavirus is a stark reminder of why we need to stay at home. We can’t thank our first responders and law enforcement enough for serving on the front lines, demonstrating in this crisis and every day their dedication and sacrifice."

Hopkins is survived by his wife, Wendy. He began serving in the sheriff's office in 2001.

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers from the State of Colorado

3,728 cases
710 hospitalized
51 counties
19,788 people tested
97 deaths
21 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

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

1 p.m.|El Paso County Sheriff's Office confirms deputy died from COVID-19

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a press conference Thursday that one of their deputies died due to COVID-19. Deputy Jeff Hopkins was 41 years old and has been with the sheriff's office since 2001.

Sheriff Bill Elder also confirmed eight deputies, including Hopkins, tested positive for the virus.

7:05 a.m.| More than 6 million unemployment claims were made last week

Unemployment claims have spiked to 6.65 million across the country, the Department of Labor said in a press release on Thursday. Unemployment claims have doubled since last week when the Labor Department reported that about 3 million people were seeking unemployment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

8:58 p.m. | Sen. Bennet among U.S. senators calling for release of $900 million in funds for low-income families

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, was among a group of 27 senators who sent a letter urging the Trump Administration to quickly release $900 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding that Congress included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The funding would help low-income families and seniors struggling to pay their utility bills. Colorado households will receive nearly $60.7 million in LIHEAP assistance in Fiscal Year 2020.

5:00 p.m. | CPW warns of false reports regarding outdoor recreation during COVID-19

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is warning residents to be aware of false information regarding COVID-19 and its effects on hunting, fishing, and recreation in Colorado.

Read more here.

4:30 p.m. | Latest numbers for Colorado

3,342 cases
620 hospitalized
50 counties
18,645 tests back
80 deaths
17 outbreaks residential/non-hospital health care facilities

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

4:00 p.m. | Additional cases in Pueblo

Public health officials from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced Wednesday seven additional positive COVID-19 cases for Pueblo County.

The cases are a 57-year-old male, 68-year-old female, 53-year-old female, 76-year-old female, 63-year-old female, 67-year-old female and a 34-year-old female. Pueblo County now has a total of 28 confirmed positive cases among Pueblo County residents. Six 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 County) but who were tested in Pueblo County.

3:35 p.m. | Counter narcotic operations

President Trump said intelligence shows terrorist, cartels, and criminals are trying to exploit the coronaviurs pandemic. In response, the Department of Defense is launching enhanced counter narcotic operations around the globe.

General Mark A. Milley, 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s highest-ranking military officer: "This is the United States Military. You will not penetrate this county. You will not get past Jump Street. You're not gonna come in here and kill additional Americans."

3:30 p.m. | Daily White House briefing

2:03 p.m.| City of Colorado Springs to open new isolation shelter at City Auditorium for homeless community

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers announced an isolation shelter will open at City Auditorium to help isolate homeless people who have tested positive or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The idea is to prevent spreading the disease in the traditional shelters.

This is not a walk-up facility, referrals from health care professional will be needed.

Dr. Robin Johnson, with El Paso County Public Health, said this isolation shelter will give time and space to homeless population to flatten curve.

As of Wednesday, there has been 286 positive cases of COVID-19 reported and 13 deaths in El Paso County.

1:53 p.m.| Polis points out El Paso County numbers

Polis said although it's a statewide order, he is emphasizing El Paso County residents should stay home too to prevent the spread.

1:48 p.m.| Polis comments on possible stay-at-home order extension

He said they will not be making a decision about an extension until there is data to determine if the order needs to be longer. He said we won't know where we will be in 10 days, the date originally set as the end of the order.

1:38 p.m.| Mountain communities still seeing high traffic

Mountain communities are still reporting high traffic into the towns and Polis is reminding everyone there is a higher risk if you visit. Stay in your residence area.

1:37 p.m.| Schools will remain closed through April 30

Polis announced schools will remain closed through April 30. He said school districts should prepare for the school year to not return in person by the date.

1:34 p.m.| Polis reminds residents to self-isolate unless medical care is needed

Polis said people are inquiring on when they should be tested if they are showing flu-like symptoms, but he said the important thing to do is self-isolate unless you're having difficulty breathing or need medical intervention.

1:32 p.m.| | CDPHE's plan for increasing hospital capacity

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Scott Bookman presented the state's plan for dealing with the surge of coronavirus patients expected in coming weeks. The CDPHE formed a four-tiered system:

  • Tier 1 will be in-hospital care in the intensive care units. Bookman said the state needs to increase Tier 1 beds from 1,849 to 5,000 by April 18
  • Tier 2 facilities would include ambulatory surgical location and other freestanding sites
  • Tier 3 facilities would be for "sub-acute" patients who need daily monitoring and respiratory needs. The goal would be to have 2,000 beds by April 18
  • Tier 4 would be for patients who are asymptomatic but need supervision. The goal would be to have 10,000 beds by May 15

1:11 p.m.| Polis announces positive cases pass 3,000 mark

Polis announced there are 3,338 cases and 77 deaths in the state now. Right now, it is estimated one Coloradan spreads the virus to three to four people. He says the goal is to have the number of people infected by one positive case lowered to one and ultimately zero.

1:02 p.m.| 'This will touch all of us' Polis says on virus

"We know the trajectory of this virus and we're doing our best to contain it," Polis said. He said there are factors determining the best course of action for the state, such as when will the viral spread be under control and when will our medical surge capacity be available?

11:56 a.m. | Las Animas and Huerfano Counties Health Department orders self quarantine following travel

The Las Animas-Huerfano Counties District Health Department issued a public health order this week telling people who are non-essential to self-quarantine for 14 days if they've traveled to 23 counties considered "hot spots" for COVID-19 in Colorado.

The local order expands on the statewide information released by Governor Polis' office last week. Residents who have traveled to hot spots since March 25 and moving forward are being told they need to self-quarantine if they have traveled out of state for more than 24 hours, unless they are a resident and work in a neighboring state. All visitors to the counties are asked to return to their county or city of residence.

All locals who arrive via aircraft at Las Animas Airport, Perry Stokes Airport or Wasenburg-Spanish Peaks Airfield are ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days. Non-residents are told to go home.

9:34 a.m.| No visitors allowed at Parkview Medical Center

The hospital announced Wednesday they will no longer accept visitors at Parkview Medical Center due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The only exceptions are:

  • End of life
  • Labor and Delivery
  • Emergency room
  • Special Needs Patients

9:20 a.m.| Polis to hold press conference on COVID-19

Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to hold a press conference on COVID-19 in the state at 12:45 p.m. News5 will be airing the conference as well as streaming on our Facebook page and streaming devices, such as Roku or Apple TV. Learn how to watch KOAA News5 content on a streaming device by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 31

5:04 p.m. | DIA to close north TSA checkpoint due to COVID-19 impact

Denver International Airport will close its north TSA checkpoint "due to lower traffic volumes." The south checkpoint, located near the Westin hotel, will remain open 24 hours a day and the A Bridge Checkpoint will operate as normal from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, officials said.

A TSA screening officer who last worked at Denver International Airport on March 21 at the oversize baggage screening check point on Level 6 between 4 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. tested positive for COVID-19, TSA officials said Monday.

4:55 p.m. | Governor will wait for more data to decide if stay-at-home order will be extended statewide

While Governor Jared Polis said during a news conference Monday that "it is looking more and more like we will need an extension" of the state's stay-at-home order, Conor Cahill, a spokesperson for his office, said the governor wants to get a "few more days of data before we make that decision."

The statement comes after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he will likely extend the city and county's stay-at-home order until April 30.

4:25 p.m. | Polis requests extension of work permits for DACA recipients

Gov. Polis has urged the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to automatically extend work authorizations for all Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients whose grants expire in 2020.

“Coloradans face unprecedented challenges to their economic and social lives, and this extension would provide some needed stability to our businesses and residents who benefit from opportunities that DACA provides,” the Governor wrote to Acting Secretary Wolf.

The governor's office says Colorado is home for nearly 15,000 Dreamers.

4:22 p.m. | Gardner requests coronavirus testing for Colorado tribes

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-CO, is requesting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide additional COVID-19 testing kits to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Southern Ute Indian Tribes in Colorado to ensure they have the testing capabilities necessary to resond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There have already been two confirmed positive cases on the Southern Ute Indian reservation, and the Indian Health Service expects an increase in positive cases amongst all tribes in the coming weeks. The federal government needs to fulfill its trust responsibility to tribal governments and ensure they have access to the resources they need,” wrote Senator Gardner. “It is crucial that FEMA provides a sufficient amount of testing kits both to the state of Colorado and to our tribal communities in order to ensure that they are able to respond to the grave threat that COVID-19 poses.”

To read the full letter, click here.

4:15 p.m. | Latest numbers for Colorado

2,966 cases
509 hospitalized
50 counties
16,849 tests back
69 deaths
16 outbreaks residential/non-hospital health care facilities

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

3:50 p.m. | Modeling shows mitigation works

During the daily White House briefing, Dr. Birx said modeling from other countries shows that mitigation works. If we all follow these social guidelines, deaths can be significantly reduced.

During his turn at the podium, Dr. Fauci also reiterated that mitigation will and is working.

"We are a strong and resilient nation, this is tough, people are suffering, people are dying, but mitigation is going to be the answer to our problems," Fauci said.

3:40 p.m. | US has 10,000 ventilators ready to go

President Trump said the US has 10,000 ventilators ready to go, but they will be held onto until a determination is made as to which states need them the most. New York, Michigan, California, and New Jersey have received more already.

Following this statement, the president said the next two weeks will be very rough. A surge of deaths and cases related to COVID-19 is expected.

3:30 p.m. | Daily White House briefing

1:25 p.m.| Teller County officials add surge hospital in Woodland Park in response to COVID-19

Health and city official in Teller County announced Monday that a surge hospital has been built in Woodland Park to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teller COVID-19 Surge Hospital will be located at 703 Gold Hill Place South in Woodland Park, that is behind the Loaf 'N Jug has station near HWY 24/HWY 67.

The auxiliary medical site, if it is needed to be used, will have 50 beds to start but it could expand to 150 beds.

Eight people in Teller County have tested positive for COVID-19, while one person died.

County leaders say they are concerned about misinformation circulating in the county and they urge everyone to go to the Teller County COVID-19 website for the most up to date and accurate information.

10:14 a.m.| El Paso County addresses Monday's spike

Dr. Leon Kelly said it's important to remember to be consistent, measured and fight with the plan. Monday's spike was due to a backlog of testing that was released. "Fight the plan and we'll get through this thing," Kelly said.

10:06 a.m.| Homeless isolation shelter in the works

Dr. Leon Kelly said there are discussions to put in place a homeless isolation shelter in the county. He also mentioned there are no positive cases of inmates in El Paso County.

10 a.m.| 'We're always playing this game where we're a couple weeks behind'

Dr. Leon Kelly said it's not necessarily how many people get it, it's who gets it. The group that's going to end up in hospitals are the at-risk group and Kelly said that is why everyone needs to be vigilant. Those who end up in the hospitals were infected numerous days before they show up, so he said "we're always playing this game where we're a couple weeks behind."

9:45 a.m.| The process El Paso County health department goes through to identify cases

The El Paso County Public Health department said on average for one positive case there could be 10 people they were in contact with. If the case becomes known, the department investigates to identify possible contacts.

"We are continuing to do this. We are continuing to do outreach," Kelly said. "...It's critical that we have accurate information before we take action." He said there may be a point in the future that they may not be able to do this, but for right now they are working to investigate these cases.

He referenced El Paso County's first death due to COVID-19, who was at a bridge tournament, and having track those who attended to see if they were symptomatic or who they were in contact with . He said the individual contracted it from another person because of the lack of travel history.

Kelly said the result of the one case at the tournament led to 300 contacts.

9:37 a.m.| El Paso County coronavirus cases

"This is not the seasonal flu, this is not H1N1," Dr. Leon Kelly said. He said El Paso County is the largest in the state and we are having success locally because we are below the state average of cases.

9:25 a.m.| Benefits to the U.S. for COVID-19

Dr. Leon Kelly, whowho is acting as the county’s deputy medical director during the outbreak, presented to the Board of County Commissioners and said there was a benefit for the U.S. seeing the COVID-19 outbreak later than other countries around the world. Because of this, health experts in the U.S. are able to analyze other countries' response and the spread of the virus.

9:05 a.m.| The El Paso County Health Department gives update to county commissioners

At an El Paso County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the health department said that right now they are working to slow the spread of the virus. There are 245 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday afternoon. Susan Wheelan, director of El Paso County Public Health, said there are phases of the pandemic and that the county is in its first phase.

Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management Director Jim Reed said the communication within the county is better coordinated with one "team fighting this fight."

6:45 a.m.| Teller County to give details on surge hospital in Woodland Park

Teller County officials will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the surge hospital that was built in Woodland Park.

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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.