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What Coloradans need to know about Coronavirus: Nov 22-28

Coronavirus Live Updates
Posted at 1:17 PM, Nov 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 14:53:55-05

Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Colorado, leading several counties to shift to Safer at Home Level Red, meaning communities are at severe risk of transmission. News5 is keeping you up to date on restrictions and guidelines across the region, including updates on a statewide level.

More than 194,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Colorado since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest data 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.

Below, we're updating this blog with the latest information regarding COVID-19 in Colorado.

Statewide
The State of Colorado rolled out an update to the COVID-19 dial used to gauge Safer at Home versus Stay at Home. There's a new level beyond Red which now represents severe risk. The purple status is now considered the extreme risk category. The changes to note the red status are the number of cases per 100,000 people, the positivity rate, and hospital capacity. Purple is when hospitals are being overwhelmed.

Updated Colorado COVID-19 dial
On Tuesday, November 18, 2020 Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced the addition of Purple - Extreme Risk to our COVID-19 dial.

The following counties are under Level Orange (High Risk), meaning restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity.

  • Baca
  • Bent
  • Kiowa

The following counties now fall under Severe Risk. In these counties, indoor dining is temporarily closed, though takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining are allowed. If you do go for outdoor dining, it should only be with family. Bars remain close and gyms can operate at 10% capacity. Last call for alcohol would be at 8 p.m.

  • Adams
  • Alamosa
  • Arapahoe
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Clear Creek
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • El Paso
  • Jefferson
  • La Plata
  • Larimer
  • Logan
  • Mesa
  • Morgan
  • Otero
  • Prowers
  • Pueblo
  • Routt
  • Summit
  • Washington
  • Weld

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Monday:

  • 202,892 cases
  • 12,526 hospitalized
  • 1,597 patients currently hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19
  • 65 counties
  • 1,630,871 people tested
  • 2,901,740 test encounters
  • 2,810 deaths among cases
  • 2,456 deaths due to COVID-19
  • 1,925 outbreaks

Hospitals will not have to receive a patient's consent for a transfer, if directed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, according to Polis' order. The order also applies to freestanding emergency room facilities.

Colorado projects the state's 2,800 deaths from COVID-19 so far will double by the end of 2020 at current virus transmission rates.

The mandatory mask-wearing requirement for Colorado is in effect until December 11. This order has remained in place since July on a continual basis, per executive orders from Gov. Jared Polis. An estimated one in 41 Coloradans are contagious with coronavirus, up from one in 49 last week and a large increase from an estimated one in 110 in recent weeks.

Gov. Jared Polis signed four executive orders Saturday that deal with the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four executive orders include authorizing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to make a one-time direct cash stimulus payment of $375 to Coloradans who have faced particular hardship due to COVID-19.

Anyone who has received at least one dollar of unemployment insurance compensation from March 15 to Oct. 24 is eligible to receive the payment.

The CDLE estimates those who receive the stimulus payment will include around 435,000 Coloradans making less than $52,000 per year and reach about 65% of all the people who filed for unemployment benefits.

Polis also signed an executive order extending the state’s disaster declaration, an extension of an earlier order concerning changes to 2020 election activity and an order regarding directives for the COVID-19 Dial Framework so that it reflects amendments made to public health order, including the addition of Level Purple.

Read more:

If you are considering travel for Thanksgiving, click here for information on COVID-19 restrictions in every state.

EL PASO COUNTY: Safer at Home: Level Red (Severe Risk)

The following community-based test sites will be closed and then reopen for normal days and times after the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Citadel Mall Testing Site, 750 Citadel Mall, in the parking lot just south of JCPenney

Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • North Colorado Springs Testing Site, 2070 Interquest Pkwy (PPCC Rampart Campus, southeast of the campus) Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Fountain Testing Site, 6436 US Highway 85-87

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Falcon/Peyton Testing Site, 12072 Royal County Down Road (Behind Falcon Fire Station 1)

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that El Paso County will be moving to Level Red on the state's COVID-19 dial scale on Friday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m.

Under Level Red the guidelines are as follows:

  • Personal gatherings involving members from multiple households aren't allowed.
  • Restaurants are limited to outdoor dining online,
  • Gyms are limited to 10% capacity, bars are closed. Last call at other establishments serving alcohol is 8 p.m.,
  • Personal services will be at 25% capacity
  • Retail is limited to 50% capacity,
  • Places of worship are limited to 25% capacity indoors. Outdoors parties must maintain 6 feet of social distancing
  • Schools can remain open, but they're encouraged to go to hybrid or remote learning as appropriate.

Schools

  • District 49, District 11, and Academy District 20 have all moved to e-learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Elementary students in D20 will transition to e-learning after the Thanksgiving break. Harrison School District 2 moves to e-learning after the Thanksgiving break.
  • Widefield D3 moves grades 3-12 to distance learning after the Thanksgiving break. Preschool to K2 will continue in-person learning. K-12 students with special services will continue in-person services and learning. Specific information will be sent out from your child's school.
  • Starting Wed., Nov. 18, Pikes Peak Library District locations will be open by reservation only. Curbside service will still be available. Visit ppld.org/COVID-19 to learn more.
  • El Paso County officials are launching an educational campaign as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. The county said #SmallActs, the campaign kicking off Monday, will encourage residents to perform small acts "that can make a big impact on stopping the spread of the coronavirus cases."

El Paso County COVID-19 testing sites, all free

  • Citadel Mall, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 6436 S. U.S. Highway 85-87 (Formerly known as the Beckett Event Center), Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • 7281 McLaughlin Road (Rock Island Regional Trailhead), Tuesday - Thursday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • 25 Jefferson Street (parking lot on the corner of Lincoln and Jefferson), Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Find the latest from the El Paso County Public Health

PUEBLO COUNTY: Safer at Home: Level Red (Severe Risk)

Restrictions

  • The City of Pueblo is currently under a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Friday, Nov. 27.
  • Under this dial, indoor dining is closed. Take out, curbside, delivery, or to go, will be available. Outdoor dining is open with only groups of your own household. Bars are closed on this level.
  • Restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity.
  • For a break down of capacity on Level Red, click here.

Schools

  • District 60 high schools are conducting distance or remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester. Students in grades PreK-8 will also transition to distance learning following Thanksgiving break on November 30.
  • District 70 moved to remote learning on Nov 11. Meal services will continue with distribution at each school site from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Two-days worth of food will be given on Tuesdays and three days worth will be given on Thursdays in a bundle. Those in Rye can pick up their meal bundles at Rye Elementary or Craver Middle School. On top of the meal pickups during the day, the district will also offer its Supper Program on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Find the latest information from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment

TELLER COUNTY: Safer at Home: Level Orange (High Risk)

Restrictions

  • Restaurants can only be at 25% capacity (or up to 50 people) inside. The office workforce will be reduced to 25% capacity. Gyms must sit at 25% capacity or up to 25 people. Retail stores must also be at 25% capacity.
  • Jury trials are suspended until next year in El Paso and Teller counties as COVID-19 cases continue to increase.
  • Andrew Wommack Ministries is the subject of a preliminary injunction to require compliance with the state's COVID-19 public health orders.
  • Casinos in Cripple Creek will not be required to close their doors.

Schools

  • Woodland Park School District is under Phase 3 High Control. Read more on the district's Reintegration Plan
  • Cripple Creek-Victor schools are under remote learning for K-5 starting November 15 through the end of the fall semester. Junior High and High School classes transitioned to all remote last week. Read the superintendent's letter.

Find the latest information from the Teller County Health Department

FREMONT COUNTY: Safer at Home Level Yellow (Concern)

Restrictions

  • Maximum attendees at indoor unseated worship services are reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at indoor seated worship services are reduced from 175 to 100 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is fewer.
  • Maximum attendees at restaurants reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50% capacity, whichever is fewer.

Schools

  • Florence Jr/Sr High School is on remote learning until November 19 at least.
  • Recreational sports will be limited to players and spectators who reside in Fremont County and/or neighboring counties that are in Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern, Level Blue: Safer at Home Cautious, or Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors.
  • Organized recreational and league sports are limited to 2 spectators per player with no more than 50% of capacity, up to 50 spectators in indoor facilities, and 75 in outdoor facilities.
  • All teams and facilities participating in recreational and league sports must submit complete rosters, schedules, location of games/practices, and contact information (to include names, phone numbers, and email addresses) of all team members or parents of youth who participate prior to the teams playing in any league events, including practice. Failure of parents, facilities, coaches, and/or team organizers to cooperate with contact tracing may result in the league or season being suspended or canceled.

Find the latest from the Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment

Colorado guidance for residential care visitation

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an updated public health order and guidance for indoor visitation at residential care facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities. The state says the new guidance allows for indoor visitation with enhanced safety precautions.

Facilities should continue outdoor visits if weather permits and the resident is able to participate. Indoor visitation for family and friends is now permitted at facilities that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be located in a county that has less than 10% average two-week positivity rate as determined by utilizing the COVID-19 dial dashboard.
  • Must implement ongoing weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing as required for all staff and residents. Surveillance testing is done to identify the presence of COVID-19 in people before they have symptoms of illness. Surveillance testing is an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in facility settings.
  • Must not be experiencing a current COVID-19 outbreak nor have any other ongoing infectious disease outbreak, such as flu or norovirus.
  • Must maintain a 14-day supply of all necessary personal protective equipment.
  • Must maintain adequate staffing levels and provide ongoing training in the latest COVID-19 prevention protocols.

The public health order also stated reinforced that the following groups must be permitted to enter facilities with safety precautions:

  • Essential health care service providers (physicians, hospice, and home health staff of all disciplines, along with other types of medical and nonmedical health care and services).
  • Religious exercise.
  • Adult Protective Services.
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman.
  • Designated support persons (must be screened and may be offered testing).
  • Compassionate Care Visitation.
  • Emergency medical and service personnel (neither screening nor testing required and no delays from response or access in carrying out duties).

“The updated guidance balances the need to be as safe as possible in facilities that continue to be at highest risk-- with the need for visitations. We know that visitations are critical to the health and wellbeing of those served by the facilities, so we are proceeding cautiously, and we will continue to closely monitor and respond to the situation,” said Randy Kuykendall, Director, Heath Facilities and EMS Division, CDPHE.
News5 has compiled links to all the school districts in southeastern Colorado so parents can find out district plans amid concerns about COVID-19. We're covering this issue as part of The Rebound Colorado as our communities find safe ways to get life back to normal while keeping everyone's health in mind. Click here to learn more.