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Latest COVID-19 updates: newest orders ban evictions for May, extend ski closures

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Posted at 5:22 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 18:15:43-04

COLORADO — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 16,635 cases as of Sunday afternoon, including 842 deaths. Since the pandemic started, 2,799 people have been hospitalized.

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

Watch News5 on a streaming device

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.
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Sunday, May 3

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

16,635 cases
2,799 hospitalized
56 counties
81,352 people tested
163 outbreaks
842 deaths

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

10:36 a.m. | More than 46K loans approved in Colo. in second round of PPP

More than $3 billion is heading to Colorado to shore up small businesses affected by the COVID-19 slow down as the second round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program gets underway. The Denver-based regional director of the Small Business Administration, Dan Nordberg, released a statement Sunday, touting the success of the loan program's reboot.

Saturday, May 2

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

16,225 cases
2,793 hospitalized
56 counties
78,179 people tested
163 outbreaks
832 deaths

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

2:42 p.m. | Colorado receives second decontamination unit

Colorado received a second decontamination unit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The state's second unit was set up in Montrose inside the Friendship Hall on the Montrose County Fairgrounds. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is a self-contained, mobile decontamination unit that uses vapor phase hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 filtering facepiece respirators from biological contaminants, including SARS-CoV-2.

11:38 a.m. | CDHS announces testing results from Veteran’s Community Living Center at Fitzsimons

Testing done Wednesday on all staff and residents of the Veteran’s Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora shows two additional staff members and 16 additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total positive cases at the center to nine staff members and 23 residents, three of whom have died from the virus, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services.

CDHS worked with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the State Emergency Operations Center to have the National Guard perform testing of all staff and residents to identify any additional COVID-19 cases and asymptomatic carriers.

The CDHS said they have taken extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus at the center, including:

  • Extra hand hygiene, disinfection of surfaces and increased infection control education specific to COVID-19
  • Extra hand hygiene, disinfection of surfaces and increased infection control education specific to COVID-19
  • Screening staff for symptoms at the start of every shift
  • Physical distancing measures, including stopping all group activities
  • Stopping all non-essential entry into the facility
  • Universal mask wearing of staff; Residents encouraged to wear masks
  • Frequent checking of symptoms and vital signs including oxygen levels for residents

Friday, May 1, 2020

7:00 p.m. | DOC Inmate from Sterling dies at hospital

An 86-year-old male inmate from the Colorado Department of Corrections passed away on Friday at the Sterling Regional Medical Center.

The inmate had been transported to the hospital on 4/27/2020 after experiencing symptoms of COVID. He was tested for COVID while at the hospital. There is no word if the inmate tested positive for the virus.

The department will not be releasing his name at this time. The inmate’s name and official cause of death will come from the coroner’s office.

The inmate has been residing on the east side of the Sterling Correctional Facility. The unit he lived in has been quarantined and inmates will continue to be monitored.

The facility has continued to undergo extensive cleaning multiple times a day and staff and inmates are all required to wear face coverings in the facility at all times

6:00 p.m. | Protesters again rally at Capitol, say Colorado reopening not happening fast enough

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Colorado state Capitol again Friday to demand the state reopen completely immediately even as orders have been relaxed to what the governor calls a “safer at home” phase and businesses have started to reopen outside the Denver metro area.

The noon rally lasted for hours as demonstrators held up signs and American flags and waved at cars as they drove by.

5:00 p.m. | 10 driver license offices accepting appointments on May 6

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles announced 10 driver license offices will be opened on May 6 to those with appointments only.

4:30 p.m. | El Paso County Parks and Facilities begin to reopen next week

The El Paso County Parks and Facilities has announced they will begin to reopen next week.

Beginning on May 4th, park headquarters will reopen from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the County Fairgrounds office also reopening on those same days just from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Park restrooms will also be reopened.

4:18 p.m. | Face masks will be mandatory starting May 6 in Denver

Denver, you'll be required to use a face mask in public starting Wednesday, May 6.

The city made the mandate official Friday afternoon, with a new public health order requiring people in Denver wear that is lasting "until further notice."

Residents and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside of, or waiting in line to enter, certain businesses, facilities or locations – such as any retail or commercial business, at a bus stop or facilities offering health care services, according to the language of the new public health order.

Here are some guidelines for wearing face masks:

-- Masks must be made of cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
-- May be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.
-- Should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
-- Need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.
-- Should be replaced when it becomes dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

"Residents need to take this face covering order seriously, as they did with the stay at home order. Multiple agencies will be involved in enforcement, with the goal of compliance and keeping everyone safe through education," the city said in a statement.

Anyone that fails to comply with the new mandate will face a $999 fine per violation.

4 p.m. | Colorado sees nearly 16,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state has grown to 15,768 cases, an uptick of 484 cases from Thursday, according to the latest numbers provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A total of 2,747 people have been hospitalized, 50 more than reported a day prior, and 75,259 people have been tested (an additional 2,869 more than reported Thursday). The state also reported 820 deaths Friday, 43 more than reported a day prior. A total of 161 outbreaks have been reported at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities — 2 more outbreaks than reported on Tuesday by the CDPHE.

New epidemiological modeling predicts that between 65,000 to 75,000 people have COVID-19 throughout the state, but state and health officials are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

The number of hospital beds in use due to COVID-19 now stands at 959 - 7 fewer than reported on Thursday, according to hospital data from the CDPHE.

3:49 p.m. | Colorado officials remind people to stay within 10 miles of home for recreation

Colorado officials are reminding people not to go to the mountains if they live along the Front Range and to keep their recreation within 10 miles of home as much of the state enters the safer at home phase and the weather begins to warm.

Gov. Jared Polis said Friday afternoon that mountain communities, which were among the hardest-hit early on in Colorado’s COVID-19 outbreak, were still working to recover and needed more time before people from other parts of the state can come back.

“Colorado has made great progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19 but we all must continue to do our part,” said DNR Executive Director Dan Gibbs in a statement Friday. “Our favorite trail or mountain crag will be there for us when this pandemic is over. For the next few weeks, Coloradans need to stay close to home and look for recreation opportunities within 10 miles of where they live. Taking a brisk walk, bike ride or run to a different part of your community are all good activities to do in lieu of heading to our mountains or other further destinations.”

3:02 p.m. | Vail Health releases results of COVID-19 survey

Vail Health recently partnered with Intercept Insight, a local data research company, to conduct an online survey gauging community sentiment regarding COVID-19. The results of the survey are providing insight into the community’s feelings on resuming activities like going to restaurants, attending events, how well are locals adhering to social distancing guidelines, and what measures will make locals more comfortable to resume a myriad of activities and spending behaviors. Here are some highlights

-- 88% of locals feel they have been social distancing ‘Very’ or ‘Extremely Well.’
-- 75% of locals wear a mask in public.
-- The community is MOST comfortable with opening golf courses, visiting grocery stores and gas stations, and opening participatory events (e.g. bike and trail running races).
-- The community is LEAST comfortable with open-aired events (e.g. concerts, food & beer festivals), opening performance arts venues, and social gatherings of more than 10 people.
-- Lines of businesses that will be utilized MOST within the next few weeks: parks & recreation, dental offices, barber shops/salons, and healthcare facilities.
-- Lines of businesses that will be utilized LEAST within the next few weeks: daycare, lodging/hotels, movie theaters, and spas.
-- Top measures to ease comfort level when dining out: adequate space between seating and availability of hand sanitizer.
-- Top measures to ease comfort level for visiting local retail stores: limit the number of patrons at one time and availability of hand sanitizer.

1:20 p.m. |No evictions in April, Polis says

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday said no evictions happened in Colorado due to non-payment of rent in April and that his latest executive order will prevent any evictions in May.

Polis' order issued Thursday night limits residential and commercial evictions, foreclosures and public utility disconnections for 30 days, which Polis wrote "will help protect the economic well-being of Colorado's communities and businesses during the next month."

The order directs several state departments to work with landlords to identify lawful measures to avoid removing or evicting tenants or mobile home owners without cause or “as a result of late or nonpayment of rent or minor tenancy violations” and to exempt them from fees or penalties for late rent payments or a lack of payment.

It directs the DPS to work with local law enforcement officials to suspend eviction activities “unless such actions are necessary to protect public health and safety.”

That would mean if a tenant “poses an imminent and serious threat to another individual or causes significant damage to property” that they could be evicted, according to the order.

1 p.m.| Gov. Polis gives update on safer-at-home as state lifts some restrictions

Gov. Jared Polis said will extend the halt on evictions this month. The state said evictions would not be conducted by law enforcement during this time and it is extending into May. In regards to Dr. Leon Kelly's comment on being able to open El Paso County with the support of health department data, the governor said his hope is that counties in the state are able to open up and recover from this virus.

12:40 p.m.| 10 driver license offices accepting appointments on May 6

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles announced 10 driver license offices will be opened on May 6 to those with appointments only. The DMV said this is part of its second phase in reopening and offer services to Coloradans, according to a release.

12:15 p.m.| Medical studies and clinical trials, like this one for Alzheimer's, on hold amid COVID-19 pandemic

The race to defeat COVID-19 has disrupted other scientific research around the world. Labs have changed course, and some scientists have had to put promising clinical trials on hold.

10:15 a.m.| Walmart delivers groceries in less than 2 hours with new service
Walmart stores in Colorado Springs will now be offering a new grocery delivery service that will get customers their orders in less than 2 hours, according to a press release. Walmart has been testing this service with 100 stores since mid-April and has now expanded it to 1,000 stores, including those in the Colorado Springs area.
Walmart stores in Colorado Springs will now be offering a new grocery delivery service that will get customers their orders in less than 2 hours, according to a press release. Walmart has been testing this service with 100 stores since mid-April and has now expanded it to 1,000 stores, including those in the Colorado Springs area.

10 a.m.| Gov. Polis to give COVID-19 update at 1 p.m.
Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to give an update on COVID-19 in the state this afternoon. News5 will be streaming it on air and online.
Gov. Jared Polis is scheduled to give an update on COVID-19 in the state this afternoon. News5 will be streaming it on air and online.

Watch News5 on a streaming device

5:20 a.m.| We're Open Colorado: Glassical Designs works to create face shields

Glassical Designs, a Springs-based company that works to create glass and crystal awards and trophies, is now working to create and distribute face shields and sneeze guards. Due to the cancellation of many, if not all, award ceremonies and major gatherings, the business lost a large portion of their 2020 sales.

However, instead of sitting on their hands, Glassical Designs is working to create sneeze guards and face shields that are able to be sanitized and reused.

Colorado expects to significantly ramp up its testing capabilities to be able to perform around 8,500 COVID-19 tests per day by the end of May as more testing supplies are received and as community-based testing increases at the county level statewide, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday.

Colorado expects to significantly ramp up its testing capabilities to be able to perform around 8,500 COVID-19 tests per day by the end of May as more testing supplies are received and as community-based testing increases at the county level statewide, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday.

5:10 a.m.|Cañon City cruise drives divide in community
News5 documented a drive in Cañon City on April 24, where dozens cruised down Main Street to show their support for small businesses. Since then, both the city and Fremont County report they have gotten several complaints about the event, while those behind it are defending the drive.
News5 documented a drive in Cañon City on April 24, where dozens cruised down Main Street to show their support for small businesses. Since then, both the city and Fremont County report they have gotten several complaints about the event, while those behind it are defending the drive.
These drives down Main Street have happened on the two last Fridays in April, and are meant to revive a tradition while also demonstrating to local businesses that the community supports them.
These drives down Main Street have happened on the two last Fridays in April, and are meant to revive a tradition while also demonstrating to local businesses that the community supports them.
5:10 a.m.| Your questions answered: Unemployment benefits, mask requirements, Colorado COVID Relief Fund
5:10 a.m.| Your questions answered: Unemployment benefits, mask requirements, Colorado COVID Relief Fund
This week, Gov. Jared Polis participated in his second one-on-one interview with KOAA News 5 to answer your questions during this coronavirus pandemic. We've put together a list of frequently asked questions and its answers. We hope this information will help you navigate through these difficult times. For the list, click the headline above.
This week, Gov. Jared Polis participated in his second one-on-one interview with KOAA News 5 to answer your questions during this coronavirus pandemic. We've put together a list of frequently asked questions and its answers. We hope this information will help you navigate through these difficult times. For the list, click the headline above.
Download the News5 App | Watch News5 on a streaming device
Download the News5 App | Watch News5 on a streaming device
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Get the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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.
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.
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.