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.
WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
- 14,316 cases, 2,571 hospitalized, 736 deaths Get the latest from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
- On Monday, April 27, Colorado transitioned to a "safer-at-home" order.
- Denver extended its stay-at-home order to at least May 8.
- Several counties have extended — or are considering extending — stay-at-home orders past April 26.
Tuesday, April 28
City of Greeley furloughs 85 employees
The city of Greeley announced Tuesday it will furlough, with benefits, 85 employees as a result of the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in addition to the temporary layoff of 289 seasonal/temporary/hourly employees effective April 1.
Greeley officials anticipate a 10-20% budget reduction, $10.9 million to $22.3 million, in lost sales tax and other revenues brought on by the effects of the current public health crisis, the city said.
Kaiser Permanente and CDPHE expand testing capacity for healthcare workers and first responders
Kaiser Permanente has increased its COVID-19 testing capacity for symptomatic non-member healthcare workers, first responders, and those deemed essential by the CDPHE, according to a news release.
Kaiser, in partnership with the CDPHE, has been testing at the eight tent site locations across the Front Range for non-member healthcare workers since March 27.
Testing sites are located at: the Kaiser Permanente Loveland, Rock Creek (in Lafayette), Westminster, Lakewood, Aurora Centrepoint, Lone Tree, Parkside (in Colorado Springs), and Acero (in Pueblo).
All testing tents are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, with the exception of the Rock Creek, Westminster, and Acero locations, which are closed on the weekends.
To get tested, individuals must be symptomatic and schedule an appointment by first contacting the CDPHE at 303-692-2700 for an initial screening.
100 more COVID-19 cases at Sterling Correctional Facility
One hundred more inmates at the Sterling Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total at the prison to 238.
The Colorado Department of Corrections did not break down how many staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
Four inmates have been hospitalized due to the disease, a DOC spokesperson said. There have been 472 COVID-19 tests issued at this point; 216 were negative, 238 were positive.
14,316 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, 736 deaths
The CDPHE has released its daily update on the numbers related to COVID-19 in Colorado.
There have now been:
- 14,316 cases of the virus
- 2,571 people hospitalized
- 736 deaths
- 149 outbreaks
- 67,094 people tested
- Cases in 56 counties.
Colorado receives $10.3 million in federal funding
The state received $10.3M from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide additional funding for epidemiological work and lab testing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act, which provides assistance to state, large city health departments, and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 disaster.
It will help fund the following:
- Enhance case investigation, contact tracing, and outbreak response, especially in high-risk settings and among at-risk populations.
- Improve surveillance and reporting.
- Strengthen and enhance laboratory testing for response
- Improve laboratory coordination and outreach to improve efficiency.
- Enhance workforce capacity.
- Enhance coordination between epidemiologists and laboratorians.
- Advance electronic information exchange implementation.
- Sustain and/or enhance information systems, especially with healthcare systems and between state and local public health agencies.
State hopes to reach a testing capacity of 10,000 per day
CDHPE clarified confusion surrounding different restrictions around the state. The state ‘Safer at Home’ executive order that went into effect on April 27 is a baseline that every person and business in the state must follow. Anything less restrictive is illegal, however, local authorities have the ability to set more restrictive measures.
The state is currently completing 2 to 3,000 tests per day and has a goal of 10,000 tests when functioning at full capacity.
CDPHE is looking to hire 50 epidemiologists and is seeking volunteers to help with contact tracing. If you wish to volunteer, visit helpcoloradonow.org.
CDPHE estimates roughly $70 million has been spent on COVID-19.
A comprehensive list of testing facilities around the state will be coming soon, according to CDPHE. Until testing increases to a higher capacity, tests will continue to be administered in a tiered system, serving first responders and vulnerable people first.
Guidance for personal service businesses, including hair salons, opening May 1 can be found in the appendix of the 'Safer at Home' executive order. Some of the guidance includes mandating all people wear a mask. If a client does not have a mask, one must be provided. More industry-specific guidance will be sent in the coming days.
Citizens are being asked to report businesses that are not following the 'Safer at Home' order to the state and to the local health department. Businesses in violation may be subject to a penalty on their license depending on the nature of the complaint.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival cancels 2020 event
Organizers of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival have decided to cancel the 2020 event, originally planned for July 25 and July 26, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is critical that we prioritize the health, safety and welfare of our community during these unprecedented times," a release from the Colorado Dragon Boat Board of Directors said. "This decision was not made lightly."
The popular summer event at Sloan's Lake typically features boat races, food contests and performances on several different stages.
Event organizers said they hope to bring the annual celebration of Asian and Asian American heritage back in 2021.
King Soopers partners with Colorado State Operations Center for free COVID-10 testing
The free drive-thru testing will be at various locations and registration is required. The first testing site will be at the Auraria Campus in Denver on April 28 and 29.
It will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fifth Street Garage on the campus which is located at 650 Walnut Street.
To register visit krogerhealth.com/covidtesting or call 1-888-852-2567 (select option 1, then option 3).
People seeking a test will use a virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to see if they are eligible.
For the testing, patients remain in their cars throughout the process, which is completed in just a few minutes using self-administered test kits. The test uses self-administered nasal swabs, which are less painful and designed to increase safety.
Testing services are provided at no cost through various partnerships, including with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, eTrueNorth and Gravity Diagnostics. Test results are expected within approximately 48 hours. The Auraria testing site is estimated to have the capacity for 250 vehicles per day.
Colorado's 'safer at home' executive order went into effect on Monday
The "safer at home" executive order, released Sunday by Gov. Jared Polis, outlines a new level in Colorado's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It includes a more sustainable way of living for Coloradans while slowing the spread of the virus and allowing more Coloradans to return to work, the governor's office said.
It went into effect on April 27 and is tentatively set to expire 30 days from then.
Coronavirus cases in Colorado
In Colorado, 14,316 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 736 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 2,571 have been hospitalized.
As of this writing, 776 patients are hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 53 patients have been transferred or discharged.
According to CDPHE, 67,094 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 149 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.
- Denver: 2,791
- Arapahoe: 2,312
- Weld: 1,618
- Adams: 1,430
- Jefferson: 1,298
- El Paso: 884
- Eagle: 540
- Boulder: 543
- Douglas: 453
- Larimer: 334
- Morgan: 344
- Logan: 266
- Gunnison: 161
- Broomfield: 145
- Pueblo: 136
- Summit: 119
- Montrose: 94
- Garfield: 89
- Chaffee: 66
- La Plata: 59
- Routt: 55
- Mesa: 42
- Delta: 34
- Elbert: 27
- Teller: 28
- Fremont: 22
- Kit Carson: 20
- San Miguel: 19
- Lake: 17
- Montezuma: 15
- Clear Creek: 13
- Park: 11
- Baca: 10
- Alamosa: 10
- Archuleta: 8
- Rio Grande: 7
- Otero: 8
- Moffat: 6
- Washington: 7
- Phillips: 6
- Yuma: 7
- Ouray: 5
- Grand: 5
- Saguache: 3
- Costilla: 3
- Las Animas: 3
- Hinsdale: 3
- Lincoln: 3
- Mineral: 2
- Custer: 2
- Crowley: 2
- Huerfano: 2
- Rio Blanco: 1
- Gilpin: 1
- Prowers: 1
- Unknown or pending: 165
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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