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Latest COVID-19 in Colorado: millions of masks coming for frontline workers

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Posted at 9:06 AM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:14:55-04

COLORADO — The statewide total of COVID-19 cases stands at 24,269 as of Monday afternoon, with 1,333 deaths among people who had the virus. Of those, 1,088 are directly due to COVID-19. To date, 4,128 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.
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Tuesday, May 26

3:00 p.m.| NHL deems regular season concluded, will resume play with 24-team playoff

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the 2019-20 regular season is over, and the NHL plans on resuming with a 24-team straight-to-playoffs format with the league's other seven teams having their seasons ended.

1:30 p.m.| Gov. Polis to give COVID-19 update

Shortly into the press conference, Gov. Polis offered a moment of silence for veterans lost to COVID-19.

Polis then spoke about the latest numbers for the state. He said there are now 24,500 confirmed cases, 1,088 deaths, but for the first time since the peak of the virus, just under 400 people are currently hospitalized.

Polis then said the state now has the capacity and supplies to test 8,500 people a day, a goal that was set forth earlier this month. The Gov. said despite this ability, the state is currently testing 4,000 to 5,000 people a day. “We’re not coming to you to stick a swab up your nose,” Polis said.

The Gov. then said that Colorado has signed a 17-month contract with Honeywell to provide 6 million N95 masks to frontline health care workers.

Polis then spoke on restaurants in the state. He said 10% of Colorado’s workforce is connected to restaurants. Reopening guidelines, released yesterday, allow restaurants across the state to reopen tomorrow, given they follow the guidelines. Capacity is limited to 50% or 50 people, whichever is fewer. Parties should be limited to eight or fewer. All employees must wear face coverings. All surfaces should be disinfected between parties.

Polis said if restaurants want to expand above 50% capacity, they should do it with outdoor seating. He encouraged cities and counties to open up sidewalks and municipal parking. He also suggested private property owners could charge restaurants a small fee to utilize unused space, like an empty lot. He added, eating at a restaurant is “reasonably safe” right now

The Gov. also spoke about summer camps reopening. The guidelines released Monday also allow for summer camps to reopen on June 1. These are day camps and youth sports camps. Overnight camps will be closed in June. Decisions for July and August overnight camps will be made in mid-June.

Polis also said on June 1, he will talk about what the month of June will look like in Colorado and provide an update on the next steps for Safer-at-Home.

12:30 p.m.| CU Boulder implements in-school plan for 2020 fall semester

On May 26, Chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano of the University of Colorado Boulder announced that students will be welcomed back to campus for the 2020 fall semester, prioritizing health and safety considerations to minimize risk.

9:30 a.m.| Board of County Commissioners Meeting

The Board of County Commissioners were excited to see their variance approved in just over a week's time. They are excited the Gov. Polis also wants to see restaurants, summer camps, and private camping opening up.

However, the Commissioners are frustrated that Gov. Polis will not comment on churches reopening. The Board urges Gov. Polis to discuss this matter and address best practices for safe return. The Commissioners suggested that if Gov. Polis does not address plans for reopening churches, the Board will push to open churches without his approval.

The Board also addressed school re-openings, saying they do not believe they should be involved in school politics. They believe the reopening of schools should be left to the school districts and school officials.

The Committee discussed Gov. Polis spending $1.4 billion given to Colorado and believe he is moving through decree. The Commissioners begged that Dave Williams and Senator Hill sue to get executive authority back, stating legislature demands authority in check and balances back.

8:50 a.m. |Local medical clinic provides healthcare services for the uninsured

The Colorado State Department of Labor says in early May, over 420,000 jobless claims were filed in the state. In many situations, losing your job means losing your healthcare coverage. The Set Family Medical Clinic, a nonprofit, steps in when people lose their jobs and their healthcare coverage. The clinic provides primary care, dental hygiene, behavioral health services and more.

5:25 a.m.| Restaurants, certain bars deemed ready to reopen

Gov. Jared Polis issued guidelines for restaurants and food services to start reopening on Monday, May 25. Starting on May 27, restaurants across the state can open at 50% of their capacity, without exceeding 50 people. Outdoor seating is encouraged. Bars will remain closed, and establishments that do not serve food will wait until June for an answer.

Monday, May 25

1:30 p.m.| Gov. Polis releases updated policies for restaurants, summer camps, and private camping

On Monday, Governor Polis announced updates to the safer-at-home order for restaurants, summer camps, and private camping.

12:00 p.m.|WHO to temporarily stop study of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

The World Health Organization said that it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drug U.S. President Trump said he is taking — from its global study into experimental COVID-19 treatments, saying that its experts need to review all available evidence to date.

11:15 a.m.| NHL will allow players to train in small groups in Phase 2 of return to play plan

The National Hockey League has announced its Phase 2 framework that will govern how players and clubs return to playing. In the second phase of its plan, the NHL announced in a memo on Monday that it will allow clubs to reopen their training facilities.

10:30 a.m.| Colorado churches make the move back into their buildings

While Colorado has already allowed for very limited capacities at places of worship for a couple of weeks, Douglas County was granted a variance to allow more in-person services this weekend, which was a welcome change for many parishioners.

9:00 a.m.|Meatpacking problems drive down cattle prices

Shoppers have likely noticed higher meat prices and less selection at the grocery store. It's a result of supply chain disruptions caused by the outbreaks of COVID-19 at meat processing plants. The higher retail prices may seem like good news for ranchers, but just the opposite is true.

7:30 a.m.| Pueblo gym trying to survive pandemic

The owner of Eagleridge Fitness Center in Pueblo is worried about the future, but he is doing what he can to get by. Trainer Sean MacIndoe bought the gym off Eagleridge and I-25 less than a year ago and starting his own business was a huge deal.

6:00 a.m.| El Paso Co. Sheriff's Office investigating "use of force" incident involving CSPD

A man died Sunday while in custody of Colorado Springs Police. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is now investigating what authorities called a "use of force" incident.

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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.