Latest on COVID-19 in Colorado: More data on deaths directly related to COVID-19 and other causes

Posted at 7:04 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 18:20:52-04

The statewide total of COVID-19 cases stands at 21,938 as of Sunday afternoon, with 1,215 deaths among people who had the virus. Of those, 878 are directly due to COVID-19. To date, 3,872 people have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic.

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.

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

Sunday, May 17

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

21,938 cases
3,872 hospitalized
60 counties
126, 330 people tested
223 outbreaks
1,215 deaths among cases
878 deaths due to COVID-19

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

1:06 p.m. | Hundreds of motorcyclists rally at State Capitol to reopen Colorado

Hundreds of motorcyclists rallied in Denver to demand Colorado reopen. Protesters chanted "open up" during the rally at the Colorado State Capitol Sunday. Motorcyclists joined from different parts of the state. Sunday's protest is one of many that have been occurring around the state in the past month as Colorado begins to allow some businesses to reopen slowly.

12:00 p.m. | Gov. Polis signs 4 Executive Orders

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order Sunday authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to reallocate existing funds from contracts with local public health agencies to COVID-19 response activities. This will provide local public health agencies more flexibility to use certain funds provided by the State to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Polis also authorized CDPHE to redirect certain State funds to behavioral research designed to inform COVID-19 recommendations and educational campaigns focused on minority and traditionally disadvantaged communities. Read the full order here.

Polis also extended an Executive Order to help protect workers and residents in long-term care facilities and many other critical industries. The Executive Order requires workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical face coverings while at work and to wear gloves (if gloves are provided by an employer) when in contact with customers or goods.
Read the full order here.

He also signed an Executive Order suspending certain statutes that will allow Coloradans to remain eligible for critical programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan. This Executive Order ensures that Colorado complies with Federal requirements, the Governor's Office said. Read the full order here.

The Governor also signed and Executive Order Sunday extending certain state income tax payment deadlines until July 15, 2020 for all Colorado taxpayers to quickly provide relief from payment and penalties. Read the full order here.

Saturday, May 16

4:30 p.m. COVID-19 changes military recruiting processes

As the pandemic continues to sweep across the world, military recruiting for our nation's service branches is looking a little different.

Like many sectors, most recruiting events have moved to a virtual platform.

Read more here.

1:30 p.m. FDA approves at-home sample collection kit for coronavirus

The Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday that it has authorized an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Specifically, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Everlywell, Inc. for the Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit.

Everlywell’s kit is authorized to be used by individuals at home who have been screened using an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a health care provider. This allows an individual to self-collect a nasal sample at home using Everlywell’s authorized kit.

10:00 a.m. | Gov. Polis signs orders to protect ballot signature collection amid COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Jared Polis signed two executive orders Saturday, which are targeted at signature collection for ballot issues. The orders authorize the secretary of state to create temporary rules for registered electors to receive and return issue petitions over mail and email and temporarily suspend rules requiring registered electors to sign petitions for unaffiliated and independent candidates in the presence of a petition circulator.

“This is a challenging time for Colorado, but we must not sacrifice our democracy and the right of citizens to petition due to the pandemic. Protecting our democracy, access to the ballot and making sure citizens can qualify ballot measures and can qualify as candidates to run for office during this time is critical,” said Gov. Polis in a statement. “I appreciate the work of Sec. Griswold and the thoughtful input we have received throughout this process.”

The Governor also extended an executive order limiting in-person contact for the 2020 elections.

7:15 a.m. Colorado now breaking down deaths due to COVID-19 versus people who died with COVID-19

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on is now breaking down its publicly-released COVID-19 death data differently – by the number of people who died directly due to COVID-19 and the number of people who died and had COVID-19.

The officials – among them the state epidemiologist, the department’s chief medical officer and representatives from the Vital Statistics program – acknowledged that the difference was confusing but tried to explain to reporters and others through a presentation how the process works and why the numbers are different.

According to the data, 878 people died in Colorado due to COVID-19, while a total of 1,150 people – including the 878 – have died and had COVID-19.

The distinction, according to the CDPHE officials, comes as a result of the way death certificates are put together by physicians, coroners and medical examiners for state epidemiologists and how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) measures deaths on a national scale.

Friday, May 15

4:03 p.m. | CDPHE briefing on how the state counts COVID-19 deaths

1:20 p.m.| Gov. Polis gives update on COVID-19 in Colorado

Governor Jared Polis said Friday the state reached a point of reflection, as it passed 1,000 deaths related to COVID-19.

He said along with remembering those lost it’s important to remember their families who were not able to hold typical funerals, and who could not visit them in the hospital.

“It’s also important to remember every number has a name. It’s easy to say 1,000 people, but every one of them is a person,” Polis said.

He said at 7 p.m. Friday there will be a statewide moment of silence or moment of prayer for those victims in Colorado, as well as those around the nation and the world.

The state capitol will be lit up in red, and Polis encouraged others to also light up their buildings or homes in red.

Governor Polis also said Coloradans are by and large “being smart” by wearing masks and avoiding large social gatherings in order to minimize COVID-19 transmission.

He also spoke of work with governors of other states with ski resorts, both Republican and Democratic, to keep that industry viable for next season. Polis also said if numbers continue to trend as they currently are resorts that still have snow might be able to reopen in June.

11:45 a.m.| Gov. Jared Polis scheduled to give COVID-19 update this afternoon

Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to give an update on the state's response to COVID-19 this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. News5 will be carrying this on air and online on our Facebook page and your streaming device.

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10:45 a.m.| President Donald Trump to give update on US effort in developing COVID-19 vaccine

President Donald Trump will provide an update on the U.S. effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus on Friday at an event in the White House Rose Garden.

9:45 a.m.| El Paso County variance request for in-person graduation approved

A variance request from El Paso County to the state has been approved Thursday by the Colorado Department of Public Health. Earlier this month, El Paso County commissioners voted unanimously on the request to allow in-person graduation ceremonies. School districts have been working with El Paso County Health to create guidelines for in-person ceremonies.

9 a.m.| Colorado health experts detail COVID-19 impact on mental health, young people

Mental health has become a major focus for Colorado health experts as the novel coronavirus continues to impact everyday life.

8 a.m.| House votes Friday on more virus aid, despite GOP skeptics

The Democratic-controlled House is pressing ahead with votes on another massive rescue bill that would pump almost $1 trillion to states and local governments, renew $1,200 cash payments for individuals, and extend a $600 weekly supplemental federal unemployment benefit.

7 a.m.| Local school districts create plans to get school supplies back to students

When 'Stay at Home' orders were first put in place school was shutdown abruptly, causing many school supplies to get left behind. School districts are working to safely bring students back to the school to get their belongings.

6 a.m.| Pediatric inflammatory illness linked to coronavirus

A health alert was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to doctors about multisystem inflammatory syndrome* in children, or MIS-C. The rare inflammatory illness has been linked to coronavirus, and has been reported in more than a dozen states across the country. As of Thursday night, there were no reported cases in Colorado, but our local Children's Hospital said they are ready to treat patients if it does hit home.

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Complete coronavirus coverage
The Rebound Colorado: Relieve. Respond. Revive.
Complete coronavirus coverage
The Rebound Colorado: Relieve. Respond. Revive.

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.

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.