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Latest on COVID-19 in Colorado: More outbreaks in Colorado Springs reported by health officials

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Posted at 5:21 AM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 20:19:34-04

The statewide total of COVID-19 cases stands at 22,482 as of Tuesday afternoon, with 1,257 deaths among people who had the virus. Of those, 968 are directly due to COVID-19. To date, 3,955 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 19

4:30 p.m. | Outbreak reported at assisted living facility in Pueblo West

Tuesday, the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) reported a COVID-19 outbreak at an assisted living facility in Pueblo West.

The Columbine Chateau has three residents and one staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, an outbreak in a healthcare facility is defined as two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a facility or non-household group with onset in a 14-day period.

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

22,482 cases
3,955 hospitalized
60 counties
131,837 people tested
240 outbreaks
1,257 deaths among cases
968 deaths due to COVID-19

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

2:30 p.m. | Water World cancels 2020 season

Water World, the popular water park just north of Denver, announced Tuesday that it has canceled its 2020 season.

In a statement, the park said preparations each year take months of work. Preparations include training new team members. Under current restrictions that is not possible, the park said.

The statement went on to say that at this time, there is no indication that an aquatic park the size of Water World, which operates with a large number of guests, will be permitted to open within the short summer opearting season that is available in Colorado.

1:30 p.m.| El Paso County Health reports 3 more COVID-19 outbreaks

The El Paso County Health Department is reporting three more outbreaks of COVID-19, bringing the total number of outbreaks reported in the county this week to five. Earlier this week, county health officials announced outbreaks at a Goodwill off Austin Bluffs Parkway and a Walmart off Space Center Drive.

12 p.m.| Can a personal loan help during a crisis? 5 questions to ask

Many Americans will soon receive government-issued stimulus checks, providing relief from the economic hit of the COVID-19 crisis. The money is welcome assistance for some, but it may not stretch far enough for others. A personal loan may help fill the gap. Available from some banks, credit unions and online lenders, unsecured personal loans come in amounts starting around $1,000, and some lenders fund loans the same or next day.

9 a.m.| Trump threatens to make funding freeze to World Health Organization permanent

In a letter sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding to the organization permanently over what Trump said was an insufficient response to the pandemic.

In Trump's letter, which he shared on his Twitter page, he threatened to stop all future payments to the WHO if the organization did not make "substantive improvements in the next 30 days." Trump has been critical of the WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the organization of "always on the side of China."

8:13 a.m.| Latest coronavirus figures in US.: 1.5 million confirmed cases, 90,000 deaths

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States now total more than 1.5 million, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins. As of Tuesday morning, the database reports 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. More than 90,000 people have died in connection with the disease. Health experts agree that due to limited testing capabilities, both of those figures are likely under-reported.

6 a.m.| What to know and consider before taking out a payday loan

As many struggle to pay bills, fast cash from a payday loan might seem tempting, but thousands of consumers have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the last year saying the experience wasn't what they were expecting and in some cases it left them worse off. Payday loans can be helpful and put much needed cash in your hands, but the experts tell us you've got to read the fine print.

5:45 a.m.| Stauch defense team asks to delay preliminary hearings due to COVID-19

According to court documents, the defense team for Letecia Stauch filed a motion on Monday to try and delay her upcoming hearings due to COVID-19. Right now, Stauch's preliminary hearing and proof-evident presumption great hearing are scheduled for June 5 and 8.

Another motion filed on Monday requests video visitations with Stauch be granted, or that she is released on bond.

Monday, May 18

4:30 p.m. | Arapahoe, Roosevelt National Forests, Pawnee National Grassland continue temporary restrictions

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland said Monday that developed recreation site closures and fire restrictions will stay in place through the end of the month so employees can prepare facilities and get more cleaning supplies and PPE.

Trails and general forest areas will continue to be open for public use.

“We are working diligently to open the trails for full access and ask that visitors be patient during this transition period. Be prepared for other options if your trail is closed, and whenever possible, recreate locally. Local county restrictions may also limit access to National Forest System lands, so check with local jurisdictions for any county road closures,” U.S. Forest Service spokesperson said.

If people are visiting national forests, they’re advised to practice proper social distancing, take CDC precautions and prepare to pack out trash and waste because restrooms and garbage collection services are limited or nonexistent. Burning of any sort and smoking are also prohibited unless a person has an exemption.

4:18 p.m. | Colorado needs storage space for PPE

Colorado is asking if anyone can help facilitate allowing the state to use its storage space to store personal protective equipment as it continues to receive more shipments.

People or businesses that may wish to help can fill out a “Storage Space for State of Colorado” form and can contact the state’s distribution coordinator via email by clicking here if you need more information.

4:04 p.m. | Three employees at El Paso County Walmart test positive

Three employees at a Walmart store in Colorado Springs have tested positive for COVID-19. The El Paso County health department on Monday alerted anyone who may have been at the Walmart on Space Center Drive, off North Powers Boulevard, between May 8 and May 13.

Officials were working with Walmart to investigate who may have been exposed to the three positive cases. The store will be cleaned and disinfected on Monday evening, officials said.

Walmart has taken temperatures of employees when they report to work and provided plexiglass barriers at checkout lanes. Walmart is also limiting the number of customers who can be in a store at the same time.

3:15 p.m. | Colorado's unemployment filing system potentially exposed private data of some people

The state’s computer system for unemployment filings last week potentially exposed the private data of some Coloradans who had filed for federal unemployment benefits.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said that the unauthorized access was fixed within an hour of it being identified on Saturday by a vendor the state is working with, Deloitte, on its computer system for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

CDLE Deputy Executive Director Cher Haavind said that the department was aware of six people out of around 72,000 who had access to the screens that showed the data in a single-user session.

“Our data shows they either exited out of the system once they saw the screens or reported it to us once they discovered it,” she said.

The CDLE said it is now offering free credit monitoring for the next year to the 72,000 people who have filed initial PUA claims.

1:30 p.m. | Colorado restaurant reopening to include increased outdoor seating

Colorado is expected to release draft guidance for how restaurants can begin to safely reopen Monday or Tuesday, and cities are being advised to start looking at opening up sidewalks and streets to allow people to eat at restaurants this summer in a socially-distanced manner, Gov. Jared Polis said Monday.

The initial draft guidance will be released so restaurant owners, cities and municipalities can provide feedback to the state over the next few days before the governor releases final guidance on May 25 so long as the infection data shows it is safe for them to reopen in some capacity.
Polis said Monday that having the draft guidance out early will give cities and municipalities time to decide what will work best for restaurants there, but he urged them to start looking at and discussing plans to use city streets and sidewalks, and the patios and parking lots of restaurants, to allow for spaced-out seating outside of an indoor environment.
Polis said Monday that having the draft guidance out early will give cities and municipalities time to decide what will work best for restaurants there, but he urged them to start looking at and discussing plans to use city streets and sidewalks, and the patios and parking lots of restaurants, to allow for spaced-out seating outside of an indoor environment.
The Colorado Restaurant Association has also been calling for similar measures and praised the city of Denver’s move Monday to launch a website at which eligible businesses can submit a proposal for expanded outdoor seating.
The Colorado Restaurant Association has also been calling for similar measures and praised the city of Denver’s move Monday to launch a website at which eligible businesses can submit a proposal for expanded outdoor seating.
The city said that the eligible business’s plans should include accommodations for safety, mobility and emergency access. Restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and other places that offer food or alcohol consumption would be eligible.
The city said that the eligible business’s plans should include accommodations for safety, mobility and emergency access. Restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms and other places that offer food or alcohol consumption would be eligible.
The city said it is opening its application process now in order to begin the review of expansion requests before the state’s rules are finalized. Once a proposal is approved, the city says the outdoor seating program would be available through Sept. 7 – when the city might evaluate a “potential extension of the program,” the city said in a news release.
The city said it is opening its application process now in order to begin the review of expansion requests before the state’s rules are finalized. Once a proposal is approved, the city says the outdoor seating program would be available through Sept. 7 – when the city might evaluate a “potential extension of the program,” the city said in a news release.
10:40 a.m. | If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can get tested, Gov. Jared Polis says
10:40 a.m. | If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can get tested, Gov. Jared Polis says
Gov. Jared Polis on Monday, speaking from the Stride testing center in Wheat Ridge, said the state has reached the goal of allowing anyone with symptoms to get tested, for free.
Gov. Jared Polis on Monday, speaking from the Stride testing center in Wheat Ridge, said the state has reached the goal of allowing anyone with symptoms to get tested, for free.
"If you have symptoms of COVID-19, consult your medical provider and get tested," Polis said.
"If you have symptoms of COVID-19, consult your medical provider and get tested," Polis said.
If a Coloradan does not have a medical provider or can't reach their doctor, they can get tested at one of the 32 community testing centers in the state, including the Stride center, where Polis held his news conference Monday. The state can process up to 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day, Polis said.
If a Coloradan does not have a medical provider or can't reach their doctor, they can get tested at one of the 32 community testing centers in the state, including the Stride center, where Polis held his news conference Monday. The state can process up to 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day, Polis said.

9:15 a.m.| Gov. Jared Polis to give COVID-19 update this morning

Gov. Jared Polis spoke Monday from the Stride testing center in Wheat Ridge stating that the state has reached the goal of being able to test anyone for free.

"If you have symptoms of COVID-19, consult your medical provider and get tested. Isolate yourself to stop the spread," Polis said.

If a Coloradan does not have a medical provider or can't reach their doctor, they can get tested at one of the 32 community testing centers in the state, including the Stride center, where Polis was tested this morning.

The state can process up to 10,000 COVID-19 tests per day, Polis said. To find a testing center near you, visit the link here.
Polis has implemented a draft guide on restaurants reopening plan that will be available either later today or tomorrow. He is encouraging the state and counties to look into options for outdoor dining, such as sidewalks and shutting down streets to accommodate more people.
Polis has implemented a draft guide on restaurants reopening plan that will be available either later today or tomorrow. He is encouraging the state and counties to look into options for outdoor dining, such as sidewalks and shutting down streets to accommodate more people.
Polis said the state would "waive every rule and regulation we can" to allow restaurants to serve beer and wine on streets. Polis is currently in the process of finalizing these guidelines by end of week and will announce official guidelines May 25.
Polis said the state would "waive every rule and regulation we can" to allow restaurants to serve beer and wine on streets. Polis is currently in the process of finalizing these guidelines by end of week and will announce official guidelines May 25.
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7:25 a.m.| Moderna reports encouraging results from Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccine trial

7:25 a.m.| Moderna reports encouraging results from Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccine trial
A company that is partnering with the National Institutes of Health to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus reported encouraging results Monday from its Phase 1 human trial. In a press release, Moderna says that after testing the vaccine in eight subjects at both low and medium dosage, all test subjects have antibodies in their bloodstream that could fight off the coronavirus.
6:07 a.m.| Thousands defer plans to leave the military during crisis

Across the military, uncertainty about future jobs or college opportunities is driving more service members to re-enlist or at least postpone their scheduled departures. As unemployment, layoffs and a historic economic downturn grip the nation, the military — with its job security, steady paycheck and benefits — is looking much more appealing.

5:20 a.m.| Getting the training you need to land in-demand trade jobs

Trade jobs haven't slowed down because of this pandemic. They've really just adapted. For instance, manufacturing companies are now re-purposing their equipment to produce medical supplies. If you want to get involved in this industry, it's not too late to do so, regardless of how many years it's been since you were in school.

Community colleges are there to help get you land that trade job you've been dreaming of in as little as two semesters, depending on your prior experience. Industry leaders also work closely with colleges to hire their students as soon as they graduate.

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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 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.