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Colorado coronavirus latest, June 2: State to deploy 800 contact tracers

Gov. Polis signed an executive order on Monday that transitioned the state to "Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors."

COLORADO, USA — Colorado is bringing in 800 contact tracers from Americorps and Senior Corps in an effect to track potential exposures to COVID-19. 

Denver is expanding its drive-up testing site to anyone who believes they've been exposed to COVID-19, as well as asymptomatic employees who are returning to work. 

The City of Boulder is converting some existing loading zones and parking spaces to general curbside pick-up areas.

The City of Aurora said their mobile food pantry has provided 22,000 meals since launching in May.

Gov. Jared Polis on Monday signed an executive order which transitions the state from the safer-at-home order to what he is calling "Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors."

Those are among the coronavirus updates for the state on Tuesday. More details are below, and we'll continue to post information as it comes in throughout the day.

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • 26,788 cases, up from 26,577 the day prior. 
  • 4,419 hospitalized, up from 4,372 the day prior.
  • 1,474 deaths among those who tested positive for COVID-19, up from 1,458 the day prior.
  • 1,228 deaths due to COVID-19, up from 1,185 the day prior.
  • Get the latest data from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
  • Polis said restaurants can reopen to in-person dining on Wednesday, with strict regulations in place. Day camps and youth sports camps can reopen June 1.
  • Polis extended the state's safer-at-home order to July 1.

Click/tap here to read updates from June 1

Colorado bringing in 800 contact tracers

The state of Colorado is bringing in 800 contact tracers from Americorps and Senior Corps to help track potential exposures to COVID-19, according to Polis.

This announcement came during a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. Polis said those contact tracers will be based out of Denver and Durango, and 300 will arrive today. 

Their goal to help quarantine people who could unknowingly have been infected with the novel coronavirus. 

Polis has said contact tracing and testing will be keys to allowing Colorado's economy to reopen while preventing COVID-19 from overwhelming hospital capacity. 

The state is now processing 7,000 to 8,000 tests per day, Polis said. That's below his initial goal of 10,000, but much higher than totals in April. 

Denver offering free COVID-19 testing for anyone potentially exposed to virus

The City and County of Denver is expanding its free, drive-up testing site at the Pepsi Center to anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who is returning back to work, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms.

Previously, the testing was limited to those with symptoms and asymptomatic frontline workers.

You must register online before getting a test, and bring an ID to verify your identity.

In a news release, Denver said it is testing 400 people a day. Positive cases are connected with the city’s contact tracers. Results are otherwise confidential.

The test site is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and patients administer the nasal swab themselves.

Those who attended the large demonstrations in the city over the weekend are also encouraged to get tested.

City of Aurora's Mobile Food Pantry

The Aurora Mobile Food Pantry has provided food to 2,500 community members, serving 22,000 meals, since launching on May 20.

The pantry continues every week through Aug. 26 at various locations throughout the city. June events will be held every Wednesday at Gateway High School. Distribution will begin at 10 a.m. each day until all food has been distributed.

All Aurora households are eligible, and emergency food kits are also available for those experiencing homelessness.

Boulder to create curbside pick-up zone program

The City of Boulder is creating a curbside pick-up zone program which will operate through Sept. 30.

The program will convert some existing loading zones and other parking spaces in downtown Boulder and on University Hill for general curbside pick-up use.

These curbside pick-up zones will be free of charge for 10 minutes to provide patrons and services enough time to pick-up orders. The application is posted on the city’s COVID-19 Business Resources webpage.

Colorado's safer-at-home order amended, extended

Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order which transitions the state from the safer-at-home order to what he is calling "Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors."

The order, which is in place until July 1, eases some restrictions put into place to slow the spread of COVID-19, and it also encourages Coloradans to get outside – as long as they can maintain proper social distancing.

RELATED: Safer-at-home order extended to July 1

Black Hawk postpones firework show

The City of Black Hawk's 4th of July Boom Town Firework Show has been postponed until later in 2020.

Denver parking meters are back on

The City and County of Denver has turned its parking meters back on.

Those parking in Denver must pay the meters from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and follow posted time limits to support the turnover of parking spaces and businesses nearby.

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

CDPHE on May 15 changed the way it was reporting data in two ways:

  • The number of deaths among people with COVID-19. This represents the total number of deaths reported among people who have COVID-19, but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate. This information is required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is crucial for public health surveillance, as it provides more information about disease transmission and can help identify risk factors among all deaths across populations.
  • The number of deaths among people who died from COVID-19: This represents the total number of people whose death was attributed to COVID-19 as indicated on a death certificate. This number is determined by the CDC and is updated daily for dates through the previous Saturday.

In Colorado, CDPHE reports 26,098 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 25,613 the day prior.

Fatalities

CDPHE reports:

  • 1,474 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 1,228 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,458 people had died, 1,185 from COVID-19.

The majority of deaths — 54% — are among people over age 80; 23% of deaths occurred in people between ages 70-79 and 13% were in people ages 60-69.

The graph below shows the total number of people in Colorado who have died after a COVID-19 diagnosis, since the first death happened on March 13.

Hospitalizations

Of those who tested positive for the disease, a total of 4,419 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 4,333 the day prior.

As of 1:41 p.m. on June 2, 308 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 23 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 92% of facilities reported data on June 2. 

This graph below shows the number of people currently hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis and the number of people who have been discharged within 24 hours. This is a key metric because it can be an indicator of whether or not Colorado’s hospital system is being overwhelmed by the virus.

Testing

According to CDPHE, 190,700 people have been tested, up from 178,196 the day prior, and 60 counties are reporting cases, the same number as the day before.

This graph below shows the number of tests the state processed in a day. This is another key metric because the state’s ability to reopen will depend on the number of tests Colorado can run each day. As testing improves, the number of cases will rise because the more tests that are conducted, the more cases will be found.

Positivity is the number of tests that come back with a COVID-19 result. Above 10% could be an indicator that not enough testing is being done and that only people likely to have COVID are getting tested.

Please note that there may be a lull or spike in reported case data due to how it's reported. CDPHE data changes as labs, hospitals, facilities and local agencies report their own data. For example, a spike in the number of deaths does not necessarily mean that many more people died within 24 hours, but rather is indicative of when the data is entered into the system. New data is released daily at 4 p.m.

> See the latest numbers from the state health department.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most patients develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

RELATED: The specifics of each Colorado county's safer-at-home orders

RELATED: FAQ: Dr. Kohli answers your questions about the coronavirus

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