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Colorado coronavirus latest May 17: El Paso County Goodwill closes after 3 test positive

Three Goodwill employees at the Austin Bluffs store (4158 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.) tested positive for COVID-19 since the store’s re-opening on May 1,

COLORADO, USA — A Goodwill in El Paso County temporarily shut down after three employees tested positive for COVID-19. 

Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order allowing the reallocation of existing funds at local health departments to COVID-19 response activities.

Motorcyclists protesting the safer-at-home order rode to the Capitol in a motorcade that appeared to be miles long.

>Footage of the protest from Sky9 can be seen in the video player above.

A Colorado woman was arrested Saturday in Hawaii on suspicion of violating that state's quarantine order for travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Maui Police Department.

RELATED: Colorado woman arrested in Hawaii, suspected of violating quarantine order

A University of Denver soccer player who graduated in December has gone from the backline of the Pioneers defense to the front lines at UCHealth as a Certified Nurses Assistant.

RELATED: DU soccer grad helping fight COVID-19 as CNA

Colorado has changed the way it reports data on deaths from COVID-19 to differentiate those who have died from COVID-19 and those who have died from a possibly different cause but were diagnosed with COVID-19.

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

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

Click/tap here to read updates from May 16.

3 test positive at El Paso County Goodwill

Three Goodwill employees at the Austin Bluffs store (4158 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.) tested positive for COVID-19 since the store’s re-opening on May 1, 

Goodwill has temporarily closed the Austin Bluffs Store and Attended Donation Center, effective May 17. While closed, the store will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in preparation for re-opening to shoppers and donors under the guidance of the public health department.

Polis order allows reallocation of existing local health department funds to COVID-19 response actives

Gov. Jared Polis has signed an executive order allowing the reallocation of existing funds at local health departments to COVID-19 response activities.

The governor's office said the order will give health departments more flexibility to put certain funds provided by the state toward their COVID-19 response activities.

Polis also authorized CDPHE to redirect certain state funds to behavioral research that will inform COVID-19 recommendations and educational campaigns focused on minority and disadvantaged communities.

DU soccer grad helping fighting COVID-19 as CNA

In a matter of months, Mary DeWalt went from the backline of the Pioneers defense to the front lines at UCHealth.

"I definitely didn’t think that I’d be where I am right now. In this situation, after going through five years of college and soccer," the former DU soccer standout said. "It's been absolutely amazing. I’m super grateful that I’m able to help and go to work every day."

As a child, DeWalt dreamed of pursuing a career in health care. After graduating from the University of Denver in December, she went through an accelerated program to become a Certified Nurses Assistant. 

DeWalt isn’t working with patients in critical condition, but she knows her work is critical in their recovery. "You’re there for them. You’re there for them to get healthy, and back to their families," she said.

The next step for DeWalt is graduate school. Her goal is to become a licensed physicians assistant. As she continues to work on the front lines. 

RELATED: DU soccer grad helping fight COVID-19 as CNA

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 21,938 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 21,633 the day prior.

Fatalities

CDPHE reports:

  • 1,215 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 878 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,150 people had died, 878 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.

The median number of new deaths per day is 16 for the first 11 days of May. For the same time period in April, a median of 15 more people died each day.

This graph shows the number of people who died on a specific day.

Date of death may not be available for all deaths. As of Tuesday, CDPHE knew the date of death for 92% of COVID-19-related deaths. 

The numbers for each date may change. The totals will rise as we learn of new deaths. 

Hospitalizations

Of those who tested positive for the disease, 3,872 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 3,866 the day prior.

As of 12:22 p.m. on May 17, 486 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 34 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 67% of facilities reported data on May 17. 

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. 

Those currently hospitalized dropped 19% from last Monday.

Testing

According to CDPHE, 126,330 people have been tested, up from 123,442 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.

Colorado processed a median of 1,851.5 tests a day for the first 10 days of April. Now the median is 3,385 for the first 10 days of May.

Credit: CDPHE

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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