Latest COVID-19 updates: Polis: numbers are "steady and encouraging"

Posted at 5:20 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 18:03:19-04

COLORADO — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 18,371 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, including 944 deaths. Since the pandemic started, 3,557 people have been hospitalized since the start of the outbreak.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a new site offering details on COVID-19 outbreaks in the state.

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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.
Thursday, May 7

3:00 p.m. | Colorado Springs Municipal Court closed through end of May

According to a release, Colorado Springs Municipal Court will remained closed through the month of May due to COVID-19.

The court plans to open on June 1st, at 8 a.m.

2:15 p.m | County health department moves forward with cease and desist order

The El Paso County Health Department said Thursday it is proceeding forward with a "cease and desist" order against Karen's Kafe And Stephanie's Bar and Grill in Calhan.

2:00 p.m. | USDA approves Colorado's request to accept SNAP benefits online

Coloradans will soon be able to use their SNAP benefits to order groceries online.

The request was approved Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and will ensure that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants who are affected by the novel coronavirus can continue to access food by purchasing it online.

The approval means that Colorado can expedite the implementation of online purchasing with SNAP online retailers who are currently authorized, according to the USDA. The start date has not yet been announced.

1:30 p.m. | Almost 420K Coloradans have filed initial unemployment claims over past 7 weeks

Nearly 420,000 Coloradans have filed initial unemployment claims over the past seven weeks, and the state paid out about $315 million in regular unemployment benefits last month – triple the previous monthly record, which was set at the height of the Great Recession in May 2009.

12:20 p.m.| Secretary of Defense talks to media following NORAD, USNORTHCOM visit

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is speaking to media following a visit to NORAD and USNORTHCOM. They are the command leading the Department of Defense's COVID-19 operations.

10 a.m.|COVID-19 impacting Memorial Day ceremonies

Memorial Day ceremonies in Southern Colorado are going to look a lot different this year due to COVID-19. News 5 spoke with local cemeteries and organizations on what to expect.

8:30 a.m.| Relief from student loan payments during COVID-19 challenges
When you're trying to make ends meet during the economic challenges of COVID-19, the last thing you want to have to pay is for your student loan debt. While federal legislation has given some leeway to some loan borrowers, private loan borrowers were left to fend for themselves. In Colorado work is being done to bring relief to more people who have student loan debt.

Wednesday, May 6

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

17,830 cases
2,986 hospitalized
57 counties
89,529 people tested
921 deaths

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

1:45 p.m. | Gov. Polis updates

Gov. Polis began the press conference by saying Colorado's first case of COVID-19 was likely in January or February, long before the first case was diagnosed.

He said that if we can reduce our in person contacts by two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels then the number of cases should stay at a manageable level. He said, "If we slack off, you know, it means more unnecessary deaths of our friends and loved ones, and maybe even yours."

He went on to say that Colorado has recorded 921 deaths but looking at the case-rate totals, the numbers are "steady and encouraging."

Gov. Polis then invited Laura Rosenthal, a longtime nurse in Colorado, to the podium. She said this is not an old person disease or a sick person's disease, adding that it's unlike anything she's seen in 20 years of working as a nurse. She urged Coloradans to take the risks seriously and stay home.

Polis then spoke about the state's medical supplies, saying Colorado has secured more than 2.4 million surgical masks, 116k face shields, 195k gowns, 1.6 million gloves, and 534k N95 masks.

He then showed a graph illustrating the distribution of the PPE supplies. The graph showed 39.2% to first responders, 23.3.% to hospitals, 11.5% to senior facilities, and then rest divided between "other," clinics, EM/PH, and SEOC.

Prior to moving on to the public comment portion of the press conference, the Governor said the "vast majority of people" understand the public health guidelines and are taking them seriously. He said the numbers wouldn't be where they are if people were violating guidelines en-masse.

1:35 p.m. | Gov. Polis press conference

Gov. Polis provides update on latest with COVID-19 in Colorado: 5/6/20

11:10 a.m.| Multiple flyovers taking place to salute Colorado heroes, healthcare workers

Coloradans will be able to see the Colorado National Guard and the U.S. Air Force conduct flyovers for Colorado heroes and healthcare workers Wednesday.

9:10 a.m.| Gov. Jared Polis to give COVID-19 update

Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to give a COVID-19 update today at 1:30 p.m. News5 will be streaming this on air, online and on your streaming device.

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8:30 a.m.|Colorado Parks and Wildlife keeps campgrounds closed until further notice

As of May 5, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife has extended the closure of campgrounds until further notice. The CPW has decided to keep campgrounds and camping facilities (including yurts and cabins) closed. The staff is working on a safe reopening plan that is compliant with the safer-at-home order and follows the guidance of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

7 a.m.| Colorado counties that extended stay-at-home orders will move to 'safer at home' on Saturday

The counties of Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Pitkin and Jefferson have all so far announced they will move to safer at home starting Saturday. The counties extended their stay-at-home orders through May 8 in order to further flatten the curve of COVID-19 in their areas and to take more time to prepare for businesses to reopen in the heavily-populated counties. But much of the rest of the state moved to the safer at home phase starting April 27, when retailers were allowed to open to curbside delivery.

6:30 a.m.|As cities increase mask regulations, what drives people not to wear them?

Wearing a mask in Colorado has become a new normal to help contain the spread of COVID-19, but not everyone has been wearing masks and, depending on the person, their reasons for not doing so can vary. It’s become America’s new fault line: To wear or not wear a mask. For some, the answer's easy. For others, however, it’s deeper than just wrapping a cloth mask around their face.

6:15 a.m.|New House bill would forgive student loans for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients

A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives proposes that the federal government forgive the student debt loans of healthcare workers treating COVID-19 — some of which can total hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bill, introduced by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), would allow any healthcare worker helping to treat those with COVID-19 to apply for total student loan forgiveness.

5:15 a.m.| El Paso County to distribute CARES Act money countywide

El Paso County received $125 million from the federal CARES Act. County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to distribute the money countywide. The County will keep $83 million, Colorado Springs will get $38 million, and the remainder will be distributed to smaller communities.

5:10 a.m.|El Paso County sends request to Gov. for approval of in-person graduation ceremonies

El Paso County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to forward a variance request to the Governor's Office for approval of in-person graduation ceremonies for individual high schools. School districts have been working with El Paso County Health to create guidelines for in-person ceremonies.

5 a.m.| You could avoid deferring bill payments by asking these questions

News5 is here to help you every step of the way, finding the information you need to keep going. Right now, we are offering solutions to make ends meet. There are small steps you can take right now that are big steps. So here is what you can do to make sure you don't fall behind on bills, like your credit card payments or loan payments.

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

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.