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Colorado coronavirus latest, May 30: Denver Zoo asks state health department for permission to reopen

City officials have approved the zoo's variance request, which has been sent to state officials for final approval.

COLORADO, USA — The Denver Zoo's variance request to reopen with safety measures has been sent to state officials for final approval.

Governor Polis extended several executive orders addressing a number of things impacted by the pandemic. The orders cover things including evictions, foreclosures, unemployment claims, funding for nursing homes, and petition signature gathering.

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

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • 26,098 cases, up from 25,613 the day prior. 
  •  4,333 hospitalized, up from 4,307 the day prior.
  • 1,443 deaths among those who tested positive for COVID-19, up from 1,436 the day prior.
  • 1,181 deaths due to COVID-19, the same as 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.
  • Denver, Jefferson County Public Health and Tri-County Public Health confirmed they will follow Polis' statewide guidelines.
  • Polis extended the state's safer-at-home order to June 1.

Click/tap here to read updates from May 29.

Denver Zoo taking steps to reopen with safety measures

Denver city officials on Friday approved the Denver Zoo's variance request to reopen and the variance has been sent to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for final approval, according to the zoo.

The zoo's request received approval from City of Denver staff, local hospitals and the Denver Department of Health and Environment, according to a press release. 

The zoo's reopening plan includes measures to keep safe their guests, staff and animals, with enhanced sanitation procedures, limited lines and crowd sizes, social distancing guidance, and capped daily attendance with timed entry. 

Polis extends several executive orders in response to pandemic

Gov. Jared Polis extended several executive orders in response to the pandemic on Friday, according to a press release.

The release said Polis extended an executive order limiting evictions, foreclosures and public utility disconnections and expediting unemployment insurance claim processing for 15 days.

He also signed an extension directing the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities that care for vulnerable older and disabled populations, according to the release. That executive order is intended to ensure that Coloradans have access to a safe environment and adequate health care facilities and that facilities serving the elderly and disabled have the resources necessary to protect their residents from COVID-19, the release said.

Polis also extended and amended an executive order temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes, the release said, and extended executive orders concerning petition collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates, temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement for notarizations, suspending certain statutes preventing the issuance of marriage licenses when county clerk and recorder offices are closed and expanding telehealth services.

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:

  • 1,443 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 1,181 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,436 people had died, 1,181 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 4,333 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 4,307 the day prior.

As of 12:08 p.m. on May 30, 308 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 21 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 93% of facilities reported data on May 26.

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, 178,196 people have been tested, up from 173,300 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.

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