Additional testing site coming to Pueblo

Latest headlines on COVID-19 in Colorado
Posted at 6:42 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 00:39:31-04

COLORADO — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 10,447 cases as of Monday afternoon, including 486 deaths and 2,003 people hospitalized.

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.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

4:20 p.m. | FEMA-sponsored testing site to be available in Pueblo County

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment and El Paso County Public Health announced Tuesday that the FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 testing site in El Paso County will expand to Pueblo County.

Beginning Wed., April 22, the Pueblo County site will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tues., Wed., and Thurs., of each week through May. Up to 250 tests will be provided each day.

The statement from the two health department said the following people are encouraged to get tested, if experiencing symptoms:

  • Health care workers
  • First responders
  • Individuals who are over 65 years
  • Critical business workforce

4:00 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado

10,447 cases
2,003 hospitalized
56 counties
48,704 people tested**
486 deaths
119 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

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

3:30 p.m. | White House briefing

3;00 p.m. | Coronavirus cancels 45th Annual Territory Days

The coronavirus has now caused the cancellation of the 45th Annual Territory Days outdoor street festival, which was scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.

Located in Old Colorado City, the community is brought together with 180 food and craft booths, live music, Native American entertainment, Wild West characters, and other educational displays. This year, due to COVID-19, the historic fair has been canceled and will not be rescheduled.

12:09 a.m. | Thousands sign up for health insurance during special enrollment period

More than 10,000 previously uninsured people have signed up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado as of Tuesday morning. Those individuals were able to sign up during an emergency special enrollment period that ends April 30. Uninsured residents who want to enroll for coverage have until then to sign up. The coverage begins May 1 for those who signed up after April 3.

11:45 a.m. | Colorado AG calls for immediate suspension to proposed SNAP rule change

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser called on the Trump administration to immediately suspend action on a proposed federal rule that could cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than 30,000 Coloradans a month amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rule also would make it harder for many Americans to qualify for food benefits and would impose significant new administrative burdens on states, Weiser claims in a press release.

Weiser joins 22 other attorneys general and the City of New York in demanding the administration halt rulemaking.

11:15 a.m. | CHSAA officially cancels Colorado high schools’ spring sports

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced Tuesday the cancelation of the spring 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to cancel the season came after some optimism earlier in the epidemic that the spring season could be salvaged. However, officials decided Monday evening that it “would be impractical and irresponsible for the Association to move forward with a spring season in the next weeks or even the summer months,” according to a press release.

The CHSAA guidelines will remain in place until June 1, even if federal and state guidelines are relaxed. After June 1, all decisions regarding student and coach contact, virtual workouts, virtual tryouts and eighth-grade contact will be made at the local level, according to the release.

“Our hats are off to the many seniors that have shown maturity and resolve as their culminating year of high school has been impacted beyond activities and athletics due to this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The Class of 2020 will not be forgotten,” the release stated.

The CHSAA said they are hopeful the fall season will not be impacted.

9 a.m.|Act by Wednesday to receive your stimulus check if you are a Social Security beneficiary

As the Internal Revenue Service deposits Economic Impact Payments into the bank accounts of qualifying Americans, those who receive Social Security benefits and dependent children need to enter their information on the IRS' website by Wednesday to receive their payments as soon as possible.

8:27 a.m. | Forest Service releases online tool to track recreation, fire restrictions and updates

The USDA Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Region released a new online tool this morning that will serve as a home for all updates and information regarding restrictions for recreation and fires. This is applicable to the 24 national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

As of now, all visitors to those areas are asked to engage in "dispersed recreation" and to take extra precautions, due to COVID-19. Multiple offices are currently closed and virtual services are available for some offices and visitor centers.

Click here to explore this new website.

5:45 a.m.| Workers and business leaders getting help to rebound

As our healthcare heroes push forward in the battle against the coronavirus, Colorado's small businesses and workers are hoping they'll soon see a rebound in an uncertain economy. The good news is leaders at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center say they are ready and willing to help.

Monday, April 20, 2020

4:30 p.m. | Governor Polis provides update, stay-at-home order to end Sunday

Governor Polis delivered some promising news Monday.

He said Monday that Colorado's hospitalization rate has stabilized and is trending downward. He also said the stay-at-home order is succeeding in slowing exponential growth in COVID-19 cases, but now we need to pace ourselves to return to some kind of normalcy. He added that modeling tells us that we need to maintain 60-65% social distancing to begin the slow roll out of reopening parts of the economy. We are currently at 75-80% social distancing.

Polis said he is expected to be in Eagle County on Friday to re-open the county for business. The county has seen no news cases for 14 plus days.

Later during the update, Gov. Polis said Colorado's stay-at-home order will end on Sunday, as scheduled. The state will transition into a "safer at home" phase, with social distancing and telecommuting still encouraged.

"We can't lose sight of the fact that our job isn't finished," Polis said. "Your job isn't finished. This hinges on individual responsibility."

Polis said retail stores will be able to re-open for curbside delivery, though bars and restaurants will stay closed. Polis said the state hopes to begin a phased re-opening of restaurants over the month of May.

Non-essential offices will be allowed to be 50% open, though telecommuting should continue to be maximized, when possible. Elective surgeries will resume with strict precautions.

Public gatherings will still be limited to 10 people under the "safer at home" phase. The goal in the new phase will be 60%-65% social distancing.

3:45 p.m | Gov. Polis update on state's response to COVID-19

Governor Polis update on state's response to COVID-19: 4/20/20

3:40 p.m. | Daily White House briefing

3 p.m. | Bands in the Backyard to Cancel 2020 festival

On Monday, owner Tommy Giodone announced that this year’s Bands In The Backyard festival, scheduled for June 19-20, 2020 is canceled. Giodone stated that the decision was made after discussions with local officials including County Commissioners, the Sheriff’s department, Health Department and artists.

“It’s incredibly disappointing to postpone this festival that we worked so hard to bring to the people of southern Colorado. This decision is in the best interest for all involved. It is impossible to predict the scale of this pandemic, coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and safety of our community, our fans, our staff, our artists, and all involved with Bands In The Backyard is our number one priority. We will do everything in our power to come back in 2021, as long as it is safe,” said Giodone.

All 2020 ticket holders will automatically receive a full refund within 7-10 days. Requests for refunds are not necessary and is already beginning to process refund.

2:15 p.m. | State officials: Social distancing alone will not work

State data modelers on Monday said social distancing alone will not work to contain the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the surge of patients in Colorado hospitals. Sustainable social distancing will be needed as the state begins to re-open but several other factors will be necessary, too, including the wearing of face masks, aggressive case detection and isolation, and having older adults continue high levels of social distancing.

1:40 p.m. | Colorado to test up to 900 at three Front Range long term care facilities this week

Colorado will test up to 900 residents and staffers at three long-term care facilities along the Front Range for COVID-19 this week as the number of cases and deaths at those facilities continues to grow.

In total, around 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have come at long-term care facilities.

Testing started at the Pikes Peak Center in El Paso County on Sunday. Testing will take place at the Elms Haven Center in Adams County on Tuesday, and at the Broomfield Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Broomfield on Thursday.

11:30 a.m. | Denver restaurant order to be extended, Hancock says

Mayor Michael Hancock said Denver's city order shutting down dining at restaurants will be extended beyond May 11, "you can bet on that," though the city is still exploring options for restaurants to re-open. Some restaurants may need to wait to re-open longer than others, depending on re-opening protocols. The city is still talking with restaurants about those possible protocols, Hancock said.

9:35 a.m.| Manitou Springs School District to continue e-learning through end of school year

Manitou Springs School District 14 announced it will continue e-learning through the end of the school year. The district said its decision was based off "guidance from public health officials and information shared in the Governor's regular updates."

9:15 a.m.| Cañon City Schools Fremont Re-1 announces e-learning for rest of school year

Cañon City Schools Fremont Re-1 has announced Monday it will continue e-learning through the end of the school year.

6:40 a.m.| Colorado's system for unemployment benefits for self-employed, gig workers to launch Monday

Coloradans who are eligible for extended federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act can start applying for those benefits starting Monday, the state Department of Labor and Employment announced Friday.

The long-awaited system will allow self-employed workers, independent contractors and so-called “gig workers” to apply for unemployment benefits. It will also extend an additional 13 weeks of federal benefits to workers who exhaust their 26 weeks or regular benefits and $600 a week to anyone receiving benefits of any kind.

6:30 a.m.|Pueblo community organizes birthday celebration for teen with cancer

Family, friends, and members of the community organized a drive-by celebration to let a Pueblo teen know they are rooting for her. Serenity Nailor-Lewis was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018, which makes it even more important for her to maintain social distancing right now to keep her safe healthy.

6 a.m.|Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms

A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than originally feared. While that’s clearly good news, it also means it’s impossible to know who around you may be contagious. That complicates decisions about returning to work, school and normal life.

5:45 a.m.|EPC Coroner's annual report delayed due to COVID-19

The El Paso County Coroner is working with El Paso County Public Health to help protect the community against COVID-19, because the virus is the top priority at the moment. However, around this time of year is when the coroner's office would typically publish their annual report, which contains important information related to public health.

5:30 a.m.|Nursing school grads ready to help fight against COVID-19

Health care workers put their lives on the line when they go to work every day, but if they get sick, someone may need to step in and help. Nursing school students from CSU Pueblo will finish their semester on time, and right now, can start working before they take a test to become a registered nurse, to help as quickly as they can.

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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.
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.