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Colorado coronavirus latest, April 18: 20 more deaths, 386 new cases reported on Saturday

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

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: FAQs: Answering your questions on the coronavirus in Colorado

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

> Click here to read updates from April 17.

Saturday, April 18

COVID-19 cases in Colorado

In Colorado, 9,433 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 411 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 1,797 have been hospitalized.

20 deaths, 384 new COVID-19 cases and 42 additional hospitalizations were reported by CDPHE on Sunday.

According to CDPHE, 44,606 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 107 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

Eagle County seeks exemptions from statewide stay-at-home order

The Eagle County government is seeking exemptions from portions of the state's stay-at-home order, according to a release. 

The release said if granted, the exemptions would provide Eagle County Public Health and Environment limited flexibility to start implementing plans that could slowly and incrementally reopen portions of the community in an approach that still aims to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Specifically, the release said the county is looking to increase the size of permissible gatherings from zero to 10, allow the conditional opening of non-critical, non-essential, non-governmental businesses that can meet social distancing requirements, and open outdoor recreation facilities where adequate controls can be implemented to ensure social distancing while preventing gatherings of more than 10 people. 

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, released this statement in response to Eagle County's request:

"We all want to start getting back to the new normal and support our communities’ physical, mental, and economic health. I want to praise Eagle County residents for successfully remaining at home and the Eagle County government for taking decisive action early to slow the spread within the community. We are considering this request in the context of both the local conditions and our statewide disease control response and we will share our decision soon."  

Boulder County to increase enforcement at Flagstaff Mountain

Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) tweeted Friday that rangers would be increasing enforcement in the Flagstaff Mountain area to address illegal parking and crowding. OSMP said if it's essential to recreate, people should stay as close to home as possible and avoid unnecessary travel. It said if you see a full or crowded area, move on.

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

In Colorado, 9,433 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 411 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 1,797 have been hospitalized.

According to CDPHE, 44,606 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 107 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

See the latest numbers from the state health department.

  • Denver: 1,723
  • Arapahoe: 1,498
  • Weld: 1,029
  • Jefferson: 930
  • Adams: 894
  • El Paso: 721
  • Eagle: 483
  • Douglas: 360
  • Boulder: 342
  • Larimer: 231
  • Morgan: 147
  • Gunnison: 114
  • Broomfield: 101
  • Summit: 86
  • Pueblo: 84
  • Montrose: 72
  • Garfield: 70
  • Pitkin: 57
  • La Plata: 52
  • Routt: 49
  • Chaffee: 37
  • Mesa: 34
  • Elbert: 23
  • Delta: 19
  • Teller: 18
  • Logan: 17
  • Kit Carson: 14
  • San Miguel: 13
  • Montezuma: 13
  • Clear Creek: 11
  • Baca: 10
  • Fremont: 9
  • Lake: 8
  • Alamosa: 7
  • Rio Grande: 7
  • Park: 6
  • Archuleta: 6
  • Otero: 6
  • Ouray: 5
  • Phillips: 5
  • Washington: 5
  • Grand: 4
  • Moffat: 3
  • Saguache: 3
  • Costilla: 3
  • Las Animas: 3
  • Hinsdale: 3
  • Lincoln: 3
  • Yuma: 2
  • Mineral: 2
  • Custer: 2
  • Crowley: 2
  • Rio Blanco: 1
  • Huerfano: 1
  • Unknown or pending:30

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: What you can and can't do under Colorado's stay-at-home order

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

To help prevent the spread, people should:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when they are sick.
  • Cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19 the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) recommends the following:

  • Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. To the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
  • If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Only contact 911 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care — only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

RELATED: Data show which communities COVID-19 is impacting most in Colorado

CDC's testing guidance includes three types of people:

  1. Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had "close contact" with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.
  2. Those who have fever AND/OR lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.
  3. Patients with fever and severe, acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization, and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.

DDPHE said it's working with city leadership to ensure that public health and safety measures are ready to be implemented in the event of a local outbreak with community transmission.

Those measures could include limiting large gatherings and encouraging employers to allow employees to work from home whenever possible.  

Members of the public with general questions can call CO HELP at 1-877-462-2911 to be connected with a local public health representative. They can also visit denvergov.org/dphe.

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