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Colorado coronavirus latest, May 13: Colorado hospitals to begin trials of experimental anti-viral drug remdesivir

Gov. Polis and President Trump met Wednesday to discuss Colorado's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COLORADO, USA — Another county in Colorado is applying for a variance from the state's safer-at-home order. 

Montrose County, in southwest Colorado, announced Wednesday that it is requesting permission to allow limited-capacity operations for in-person dining, churches and gyms. 

Also on Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) met with President Donald Trump in the nation's capital. During the meeting, Polis said Colorado is working to reopen in a safe way. He said residents are being responsible and that it’s that individual responsibility that will make this work.

Eight hospital systems in Colorado will begin trials of an experimental anti-viral drug to see if it helps COVID-19 patients in their recovery from the disease. 

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources will open its campgrounds to new reservations beginning Monday, May 18. However, restrooms and picnic areas will remain closed and tents will not be allowed.

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

> Above video: Headlines from 9NEWS at 4 p.m.

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

Click/tap here to read updates from May 12.

CDPHE releases weekly outbreak data

CDPHE released data on outbreaks at health care facilities and nursing homes across the state. The facilities with the highest number of cases include:

  • Sterling Correctional Facility: 456 total confirmed cases, 2 deaths
  • JBS meatpacking plant, Greeley: 316 total confirmed cases, 6 deaths
  • Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center, Denver: 184 total confirmed cases
  • Cherry Creek Nursing Center, Aurora: 103 total confirmed cases, 26 deaths
  • Orchard Park Health Care Center, Centennial: 103 total confirmed cases, 4 deaths
  • Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center, Brush: 92 total confirmed cases, 19 deaths
  • Leprino Foods, Fort Morgan: 87 total confirmed cases
  • The Peaks Care Center, Boulder, 72 total confirmed cases, 12 deaths
  • Cargill Meat Solutions, Fort Morgan: 68 total confirmed cases, 3 deaths
  • Juniper Village, Aurora: 65 total confirmed cases, 7 deaths

Visit the CDPHE website to view the full outbreak data set.  

Denver furloughs city employees

Some city of Denver employees will be required to take an 8-day furlough, according to Mike Strott with the mayor's office. 

Strott was not able to provide any detail about what employees will be furloughed. 

There a total of 13,000 people who work for the city, according to Strott. He did know how many of them will be required to take the furlough.

Experimental anti-viral drug distributed to Colorado hospitals

Colorado hospitals will soon begin tests of an experimental anti-viral drug to see if it helps COVID-19 patients recover faster. 

The Colorado State Unified Command Group (UCG) received enough doses of remdesivir to treat 100 patients. Those doses were then distributed to eight hospital systems in the state. 

Preliminary clinical trials have shown that the drug may help hospitalized patients recover faster, according to a release from the Colorado State Joint Information Center. It has received emergency use authorization from the FDA. 

The release says health care providers will be able to decide which patients should receive the remdesivir doses, based on guidance from the FDA. 

RELATED: VERIFY: What is remdesivir?

Montrose County applies for variance from safer-at-home order

The Montrose Board of County Commissioners has submitted an application for a variance from Colorado's safer-at-home order to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Polis' office. 

The variance asks that restaurants in the county be allowed to open for limited in-person dining and that churches and gyms also be allowed to reopen in a limited capacity. 

Garfield, Eagle, Mesa, Rio Blanco, Sedgwick, Fremont, Teller and Douglas counties have all also either applied for or been granted variances from the order. 

RELATED: Douglas County wants to gradually reopen Park Meadows

RELATED: Garfield County to seek state waiver to allow restaurants, other businesses to reopen

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

RELATED: Colorado Gov. Polis 'virtually visits' Eagle County, says he expects it will be the first in the state to reopen

Arapahoe County to begin reopening county facilities May 18

Arapahoe County said it will begin to reopen its facilities, with strict guidelines, starting on May 18. All county buildings have been closed since late March. 

The county is encouraging residents to continue utilizing online services whenever possible and to make appointments before showing up at facilities.

The following County facilities will open May 18:

  • Administration Building
    • Appointment-only services for Assessor, Clerk & Recorder, and Treasurer Offices. Note: Driver’s license and passport services will not be available.
  • CentrePoint Plaza – Department of Human Services
    • Walk-up services for community and child support services, and for use of the TouchPay kiosk for child support payments, benefit repayments and more.
    • Child and adult protection services, and legal and financial services by appointment only.
    • Drop-box available just outside the main entrance for document drop-off only.
  • Lima Plaza
    • Appointment-only services for Public Works and Development, Open Spaces, and Community Resources.
  • Sheriff’s Office
    • Open by appointment only for Concealed Handgun Program (CHP) permits and fingerprinting. CHP permit renewals can be completed online.
  • County courthouses

Most Colorado DMV locations open

All state Driver License Offices, except for Trinidad, have now reopened for appointments only. Customers can schedule appointments online or by calling 720-295-2965; or 303-205-2335 for services. The DMV will only be able to serve customers with appointments and will not be able to accommodate walk-in customers.

In addition, all customers are required to wear masks and will be screened with a laser thermometer for fevers before entering.

Only those who cannot complete their transaction online should schedule appoints and those who have appointments should not bring any guests with them because they will not be allowed inside while social distancing orders are in place.

If a guest is essential for the visit ( translators or caregivers) customers should specify that when booking their appointment.

> Click/tap here for more on the DMV reopening

Colorado governor meets with President Trump

Polis met with Trump Wednesday afternoon in the nation's capital.

During the meeting, Polis said Colorado is working to reopen in a safe way. He said residents are being responsible and that it’s that individual responsibility that will make this work. 

Polis' meeting with the president is just about two weeks after the state transitioned to the less restrictive safer-at-home public health order. On Monday, Polis said the state should have data related to the new order on or around May 25. He said that data would allow officials to begin conversations about how restaurants can open for indoor seating. 

RELATED: Gov. Polis met with Trump Wednesday about COVID-19

Larimer County campgrounds to open May 18

Larimer County Department of Natural Resources will open Visitor Centers and camping to new reservations beginning Monday, May 18 at 9 a.m.

All campgrounds will open including Hermit Park, Carter Lake Area and Horsetooth.

Campers must have self-contained “hard-side” units with operational restrooms interior to the unit and tent camping is not allowed. Cabins, restrooms, picnic sites and swim beaches will remain closed.

Reservations can be made at Larimer.org/NaturalResources.

City of Centennial buildings and Centennial Center Park stay closed

The city of Centennial said Wednesday that its municipal court, passport services, senior commission events and Centennial Center Park reservation system will remain closed under Colorado's safer-at-home order.

Centennial Center Park remains closed until further notice and the splash pad is will not be open Memorial Day. 

Eagle County Fair & Rodeo canceled

The Eagle County Board of Commissioners has canceled the 81st annual Eagle County Fair & Rodeo that was scheduled for July 22-25, 2020. 

Although the public aspects are canceled, the CSU Extension 4H Youth Development program is developing plans for exhibitor-only competition and the Junior Livestock Sales Commission is anticipating online auction.

RELATED: Eagle County Fair & Rodeo canceled in 2020

Nearly 89% of Coloradans paid May rent on time

The Colorado Apartment Association reports that 88.8% of renters paid May rent in full by May 5. This is an improvement over April, when 83.6% of residents had paid by April 6 (a 5.2 percentage point increase in rent payment).

The trend that May’s rent collections will outperform April is consistent with national numbers compiled by National Multifamily Housing Council, which reported 80.2% rent collections for May 6 compared to 78% rent collection for April 6, according to the Colorado Apartment Association.

Lakewood creates $375,000 grant program for nonprofits

The City of Lakewood will be awarding $375,000 from the federal coronavirus rescue package to nonprofits through a grant program that City Council approved this week.

The COVID-19 Nonprofit Impact Grant program in Lakewood opens for online applications on May 13 at Lakewood.org/COVIDNonprofitGrant and will accept applications through May 27. Funds will be awarded in early June.

Nonprofits serving Lakewood residents are eligible to apply, and funds must be spent on goods or services that offer relief to Lakewood residents from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State suspends license for C&C Cafe and Kitchen

The state, late on Tuesday, suspended the license for C&C Coffee and Kitchen after it welcomed customers for indoor dining on Sunday which is currently not allowed under the safer-at-home public health order.

On Monday, the Tri-County Health Department ordered the restaurant to close for defying the order and a day later on Tuesday, the state officially suspended their business license.

In announcing the suspension, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) said the cafe "purposefully and flagrantly defied public health orders" over the weekend.

“While the residents and businesses of Colorado made tremendous sacrifices through physical distancing in order to flatten the curve, we are still not out of the woods. This virus will continue to take the lives of our families, neighbors, and friends if we don’t act responsibly,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director, CDPHE. 

“Irresponsible behavior like this only serves to defeat all of the progress made during the Stay at Home Order in slowing the spread.” 

The suspension remains in place indefinitely.

RELATED: Money, notes taped to window of Castle Rock restaurant that defied public health order

Rialto Theater cancels 2020 summer season

The Rialto Theater and the City of Loveland have canceled several of their upcoming events throughout the summer of 2020.

Canceled events include the 2020 Loveland Summer Concerts at the Foote Lagoon, Trailhead Sessions, Kids Summer Movie Club and Missoula Children’s Theatre. 

The Rialto Theater says it is currently working on alternative ways to continue bringing the community entertainment through live streaming and drive-in movies and concerts.

RELATED: Loveland's Rialto Theater cancels 2020 summer season

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

In Colorado, CDPHE reports 20,475 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 20,157 the day prior. 

Fatalities

CDPHE reports that 1,062 people have died, up from 1,009 the day before. The majority of deaths — 35% — are among people over age 80; 15.31% of deaths occurred in people between ages 70-79 and 5.7% 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, 3,735 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 3,695 the day prior.

As of 1:30 p.m. on May 12, 522 patients are currently hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 57 patients have been transferred or discharged.

This graphic 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, 112,505 people have been tested, up from 109,304 the day prior, and 60 counties are reporting cases, the same number as the day before. 

This graphic 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.

Cases by county

  • Denver: 4,254
  • Arapahoe: 3,464
  • Adams: 2,374
  • Weld: 2,211
  • Jefferson: 1,716
  • El Paso: 1,175
  • Boulder: 797
  • Douglas: 612
  • Eagle: 562
  • Morgan: 527
  • Larimer: 456
  • Logan: 480
  • Broomfield: 203
  • Pueblo: 188
  • Gunnison: 180
  • Summit: 174
  • Montrose: 128
  • Garfield: 112
  • Chaffee: 69
  • La Plata: 66
  • Routt: 59
  • Delta: 54
  • Pitkin: 54
  • Mesa: 51
  • Elbert: 41
  • Crowley: 39
  • Alamosa: 33
  • Teller: 31
  • Kit Carson: 25
  • Montezuma: 25
  • Fremont: 23
  • Lake: 23
  • San Miguel: 22
  • Park: 16
  • Clear Creek: 15
  • Baca: 12
  • Yuma: 11
  • Otero: 10
  • Washington: 9
  • Prowers: 9
  • Philips: 9
  • Archuleta: 8
  • Saguache: 8
  • Rio Grande: 7
  • Moffat: 6
  • Ouray: 6
  • Grand: 5
  • Cheyenne: 5
  • Las Animas: 4
  • Costilla: 3
  • Hinsdale: 3
  • Lincoln: 3
  • Huerfano: 3
  • Mineral: 2
  • Custer: 2
  • Rio Blanco: 1
  • Conejos: 1
  • Gilpin: 1
  • San Juan: 1
  • Bent: 1
  • Unknown or pending: 101

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.

RELATED: The specifics of each Colorado county's safer-at-home orders

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