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Colorado coronavirus latest May 18: 22,202 cases, 3,899 hospitalizations

Larimer County is the latest to apply for a variance from the statewide safer-at-home orders.

COLORADO, USA — Data released Monday show there are now just over 22,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Colorado. Among those with confirmed cases, 1,224 have died and 3,899 have been hospitalized.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union confirmed to 9NEWS that an eighth employee of the JBS plant in Greeley has died due to COVID-19.

The union also said that an employee at a Denver King Soopers died from the disease.

In addition, the City of Aurora announced Monday they will distribute 1,000 free boxes of food — enough for about 9,000 meals — every week through Aug. 26 at various locations throughout the city.

Denver has unveiled a temporary program to expand options for restaurants, bars and other similar businesses to operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses.    

The U.S. Census Bureau resumed 2020 Census field operations in Colorado on Monday.

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

> Video: COVID-19 updates for March 18.

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

Click/tap here to read updates from May 17.

Monday, May 18

Larimer County applies for variance from safer-at-home orders

Larimer County is the latest to apply for a variance from the safer-at-home order. 

The county is seeking approval to slowly reopen more businesses than are allowed under the statewide order. 

Counties are allowed to submit for a variance to the statewide safer at home orders certifying that the county can document the following criteria:

  • Prevalence of COVID-19 within the county; such as demonstration of consecutive days of decline in COVID-19 cases reported in the county.
  • Community-wide testing; COVID-19 testing needs to be readily available for all symptomatic individuals.
  • Hospital capacity is well-managed; the number of ICU beds and ventilators are adequate, and enough PPE is available to handle the current COVID-19 cases.
  • Local containment measures; such as how the county will detect new cases and contain the threat of an outbreak.

RELATED: Douglas County wants to gradually reopen Park Meadows

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RELATED: Mesa County gets variance from safer-at-home order; restaurants, churches and gyms could reopen

Denver King Soopers employee dies due to COVID-19

An employee at a King Soopers in Denver has died due to complications from COVID-19, according to United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7.

The union said Randy Narvaez worked at the King Soopers at 1155 E 9th Ave in Denver in the Capitol Hill neighborhood for more than 30 years. 

“Mr. Narvaez’s store, King Sooper #29 has approximately 12 cases of COVID amongst employees, the highest number of any King Sooper in the Denver metro area," the union said in its statement. "Local 7 is demanding that Kroger close King Sooper #29 to properly clean and disinfect the entire store to ensure worker and customer safety, and to test every worker for COVID-19 prior to reopening.”

Eighth JBS employee dies due to COVID-19

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has confirmed that an eighth JBS plant employee has died due to COVID-19. According to Jennifer Lee, spokesperson for the union, the employee has been identified as Tin Aye.

JBS is a meatpacking plant in Greeley. 

According to the release, Aye had been an employee at the Greeley plant for over a decade.

Denver considers outdoor seating for reopening restaurants

Denver is taking action to help bars and restaurants during the pandemic. The city has unveiled a program to help expand options for those businesses as they prepare plans for a safe reopening. 

As a way to gauge interest in Denver's expansion program, the city created this website where eligible businesses can submit a proposal for the city to review. Every proposal will include plans and accommodations for safety, mobility and local and emergency access.  

While final rules and regulations are still in development, Denver city officials said proposals could include expansion into designated outdoor areas, such as adjacent parking lots, streets and sidewalks.  

RELATED: Denver considers proposals for social distancing at restaurants, bars

City of Aurora to distribute free meals

The City of Aurora will be distributing 1,000 free boxes of food — enough for about 9,000 meals — every week May 20 through Aug. 26 at various locations throughout the city.

The first event will be Wednesday, May 20, at Aurora Central High School, with the next occurring Wednesday, May 27, at Hinkley High School.

Additional dates for the mobile food pantry will continue through the summer. Location details will be announced soon at AuroraGov.org/MobileFoodPantry.

Photo ID or other proof of Aurora residency is required. All Aurora households are eligible and emergency food kits are also available for those experiencing homelessness.

City of Wheat Ridge extends closure of city facilities

City of Wheat Ridge facilities and playgrounds will remain closed until June 1.

This closure includes public business and activities at Wheat Ridge City Hall including municipal court. All other public City facilities, including the Recreation Center, the Anderson Building, the Active Adult Center, historic park buildings, and playgrounds also remain closed.

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.

Kohl's reopens in Colorado

Kohl's will reopen its stores in Colorado on Monday, May 18 with new safety procedures in place.

Procedures include limited store hours, social distancing measures and numerous cleaning and sanitation measures, as well as wellness and temperature checks, safety training and the use of masks and gloves for our associates.

Macy's reopens in Denver area

Macy's will reopen to customers in the Denver area on Monday, May 18 for in-person shopping.

Several Colorado Macy's reopened last week, today the Northfield Stapleton and Cherry Creek stores will also open.

The select Macy’s stores will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store will also be continuing to offer contact-free curbside pick-up as well.

Great Sand Dunes to reopen June 3

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve will increase recreational access through a phased approach beginning June 3.

Phase 1 opening will include the main park road, parking area and dune field, trails, picnic areas, entrance station and more. 

The park's visitor's center, South Ramada group picnic site, Pinon Flats campground and overnight backcountry assess will remain closed.

Census field operations resume in Colorado

The U.S. Census Bureau is resuming 2020 Census field operations in Colorado.

U.S. Census Bureau field employees will begin dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at front doors of households in areas that do not receive mail at their homes. Census field staff will observe social distancing protocols and will wear personal protective equipment.

DCPA's Bobby G High School Musical Theatre program going virtual

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) announced Monday that its annual Bobby G High School Musical Theatre program is going online.

DCPA will celebrate the best of Colorado’s high school musical with the online celebration on Thursday, May 21 at 5 p.m.

Modeled after the Tony Awards, the Bobby G award ceremony is normally held each May, and features performances from Outstanding Overall Production nominees and a medley featuring the nominees for Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Leading Role.

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

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 22,202 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 21,938 the day prior.

Fatalities

CDPHE reports:

  • 1,224 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 921 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,215 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.

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

Date of death may not be available for all 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, 3,899 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 3,872 the day prior.

As of 2:15 p.m. on May 18, 460 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 42 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 85% of facilities reported data on May 18. 

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, 129,159 people have been tested, up from 126,330 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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