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Colorado coronavirus latest: March 30: Denver firefighters test positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 is in Colorado - we'll continue to post updates and headlines on how Colorado is being affected by the virus.

COLORADO, USA — Cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. On March 5, the first case was announced in Colorado.

Each day, we will post a new blog that will track the daily changes in Denver and throughout Colorado as we get them.

RELATED: Colorado coronavirus latest for March 31

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • 2,627 cases in Colorado, 414 hospitalized and 51 deaths. Get the latest from CDPHE.
  • Colorado issued a statewide stay-at-home order that began Thursday morning and will be in effect until at least April 11. (Some local orders remain in place and might be more restrictive.)
  • 10 Denver firefighters have tested positive from the disease.
  • Two Coloradans in their 40s are among those who have died of COVID-19, according to the governor's office.
  • In a news conference, Gov. Jared Polis said the state is starting to see the impact of social distancing measures such as closing bars and restaurants, and there are 60 percent fewer vehicles on the state's roads.

Read updates from March 29 here.

Monday, March 30

Ten Denver firefighters test positive for COVID-19

Denver Fire Department spokesman, Greg Pixley, confirmed to 9NEWS that ten Denver city firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Pixley said he doesn't know where the firefighters were or how they were exposed to the virus. 

"There are a lot of unknowns about how people are affected by this – it could be they visited King Soopers recenlty, or interacted with a person a couple of weeks ago," he said.
 
All ten firefighters who tested positive are under quarantine. Pixley added that firefighters have been faced with the danger of contracting the virus throughout the country, including Denver's firefighters.

Inmate in Denver tests positive

An inmate has tested positive for COVID-19 at the downtown Detention Center the city said. 

Per COVID-19 protocols, the inmate has been isolated in the medical unit of the jail and is being monitored by Denver Health medical staff. The housing unit the inmate was being held in has been decontaminated, the city said. 

Employees that develop symptoms have been instructed to report to their supervisor and will follow the city’s COVID-19 employee protocol.

Colorado seeing the impact from social distancing, Polis says

At a news conference Monday, Gov. Jared Polis said the state is starting to see the impact of social distancing measures such as closing restaurants, bars and schools, and limiting gatherings of large groups.

The average time in which the number of cases double statewide is now approaching five days, instead of every other day, as it was toward the beginning of the pandemic, Polis said.

The governor urged Coloradans not to panic, saying that 80% to 85% of people who get COVID-19 will not require medical attention.

RELATED: 2 Colorado patients in their 40s die from COVID-19

RTD offers grocery delivery service to Access-a-Ride customers

On Monday, RTD started grocery delivery service for its Access-a-Ride customers, to help people with disabilities to get food without having to leave their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. No fare is required for those customers to use the service.

RELATED: RTD offering grocery delivery to Access-a-Ride customers

The grocery pickup is available from King Soopers, Safeway, Community Ministry Southwest food bank, Senior Hub Senior Solutions, and Adams County Food Bank. Additional options could be added later would be posted to RTD's website.

Normal Access-a-Ride services will still be available for essential purposes.

Clarification from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) regarding filing for unemployment

CDLE Deputy Executive Director Cher Roybal Haavind said, "No one needs to cancel their claim or file a new one if they already filed. The biggest worker group we are trying to communicate with is self employed/independent contractors and we are asking them to NOT file claims yet as we are not able to process them yet."

For more information, go to: https://www.colorado.gov/cdle/unemployment 

Colorado Springs King Soopers employee tests positive for COVID-19

An employee, who worked at the King Soopers at Academy and Woodmen (6930 N. Academy) tested positive, according to El Paso County Public Health. That person last worked at the store on March 28. 

Out of an abundance of caution, Public Health is alerting anyone who may have been at this King Soopers location on the following dates:

  • March 19
  • March 21-25
  • March 28

“Based on our assessment of the situation, and the fact that this individual worked several days while experiencing symptoms, we felt it was important to make people aware,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, El Paso County Public Health Medical Director. “While there is no need to panic, we encourage people to monitor for symptoms, and to follow the steps outlined below should they begin to feel ill.”

Public Health learned of the situation late Sunday evening and began working with the store immediately to discuss sanitation and cleaning procedures. 

King Soopers has been diligently following all disinfecting guidelines from local, state and federal public health agencies, and has been regularly disinfecting and cleaning.

Childcare tuition credit for essential workers

The state on Monday announced that it would provide a full tuition credit for all essential workers for childcare services. Workers exempt from the stay-at-home order include health care workers, public safety, sanitation, grocery workers, child care providers, educators and more. 

The 100% tuition credit will provide child care to all essential workers until May 17. The list of essential workers who will be covered by this care, as outlined in the order, includes:

  • Health Care Operations 
  • Critical Infrastructure 
  • Critical Manufacturing 
  • Critical Retail 
  • Critical Services 
  • News Media 
  • Financial Institutions 
  • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations 
  • Construction 
  • Defense
  • Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Critical Operations of Residences or Other Critical Businesses 
  • Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services

The program is aimed at serving families in need of child care in order to continue to perform their critical duties. Parents who have options to keep their children at home with a family member or have other arrangements are encouraged to use those. Emergency child care provided through the Collaborative is for when all other non-group care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options.

Click/tap here for more information

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