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CORONAVIRUS BLOG: Denver to prohibit events with more than 50 people

COVID-19, a new form of coronavirus, is in Colorado. We'll post updates here as we get them.

DENVER — Cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in February. On March 5, the first case was announced in Colorado.

We'll track the daily changes in Denver and throughout Colorado here as we get them.

RELATED: FAQs: Answering your questions on the coronavirus in Colorado

RELATED: Advice from a doctor: Coronavirus do's and don'ts

RELATED: Colorado COVID-19 cases

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • 131 people have tested positive in Colorado and community spread was confirmed in Pitkin County and the Denver metro area. More than 800 people have been tested. 
  • EIght people are hospitalized due to the coronavirus, three of them are in critical condition. One person has died. 
  • Denver and Summit County are prohibiting events with more than 50 people.
  • The CDC recommends that for the next eight weeks, events with 50 people or more should be canceled.
  •  Several Colorado ski resorts have announced they are suspending operations beginning on Sunday, March 15 amid an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Several school districts announced closures and an extended spring break.
  • Multiple Colorado counties and communities have issued disaster declarations. Check your local county website for the latest.
  • Metro State University of Denver suspends in-person classes among other schools doing the same. 
  • Chief judges are starting to make decisions about trials and court closures

MONDAY, March 16

Park Meadows mall adjust hours

Effective Monday, March 16, the shopping center will operate between noon and 7 p.m. daily except Sunday when it will close at 6 p.m.  Individual retailer may change their hours or even close temporarily, so shoppers are urged to check online with each tenant for hours

SUNDAY, MARCH 15

Xcel energy suspends service disruptions

Xcel Energy announced Sunday that it would not disconnect residential customers' electric or natural gas service until further notice. In addition, for customers who have difficulty paying their electric or natural gas bill, the company will work with them to arrange payment plans that meet their circumstances. 

The company also said it has plans place to ensure power they have the staffing needed to respond to any potential power outages in the coming weeks.

Denver public health order

The City and County of Denver is planning to issue a public order requiring that gatherings of 50 people or more be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks. The order is set to be released on Monday, March 16. A press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday to expand on how the order will impact residents, businesses and events in the city.

CDC: No events bigger than 50 people

The CDC recommends that for the next eight weeks, events with 50 people or more should be canceled.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual, the CDC said.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is recommending that Coloradans follow the CDC's guidance.

Larimer County public health order

The Larimer County Public Health Director issued a public health order requiring the cancellation or postponement of events with more than 250 attendees and the closure of senior community centers in Larimer County.  

Summit County public health order

Summit County has prohibited events with more than 50 people, in effect until further notice.

An “event” is defined as a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities, the county said.

Places of employment are excluded as well as restaurants as long as they adhere to the requirements for social distancing.

Failure to comply with the order is subject to the penalties including a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment in the county jail for up to 18 months.

No drive-up testing on Monday

Colorado's health department announced there will be no drive-up testing on Monday. Drive-up testing will resume by appointment only on Tuesday. Locations will be posted on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's website.

Some courts closing

Chief judges in a few judicial districts are starting to make decisions about trials and court closures. See the updated list here

The 17th Judicial District (Adams, Broomfield)  has suspended jury trials (with the exception of People v. Dearing) for two weeks, through March 29.

Glenwood Hot Springs closed through March 22

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort has opted to temporarily close the pool, Spa of the Rockies and athletic club, as well as The Grill and The Shop through March 22. 

Boulder closes all city buildings and facilities 

The city of Boulder has closed all city buildings and facilities to the public effective March 15-29. The city previously announced the cancellation of all boards and commissions meetings and the closure of libraries, recreation centers and age well centers through March 29.

Residents of and visitors to four mountain resort communities urged to minimize social contact

CDPHE is strongly advising people who live in or have visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties to minimize social contact for 14 days in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The order applies to anyone who has been in any of those counties in the past week, whether or not they are experiencing symptoms. CDPHE said it is likely there is sustained community transmission of COVID-19 in those areas.

30 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 announced

CDPHE announced 30 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed based on overnight test results, raising to total number of presumptive positive cases in Colorado to 131.

The test results include 25 from the state lab and 5 from private facilities receiving samples from health care provides.

Officials said 758 people have been tested by the state lab since Feb. 28, but said they will not report total testing numbers in Colorado because private labs are not required to report negative test results.

Denver motor vehicle branch employee tests positive

The City and County of Denver says one of their employees has tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities advise that anyone who visited the Tremont DMV branch, at 2855 Tremont Place, on March 11 or 12 should pay attention to whether they feel ill and speak to their doctor if they show symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The City and County of Denver announced Saturday that all of Denver's motor vehicle branches would be closed indefinitely to the public beginning Monday, March 16.

Ameristar Black Hawk casino taking "precautionary protocols"

Penn National Gaming issued a statement Saturday on its 19 casinos, which includes the Ameristar Black Hawk casino, which has not closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The statement says they've been "carefully monitoring the progress of the COVID-19 virus and consulting guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)." They're taking precautionary measures including: increasing daily cleaning regimens, canceling or postponing concerts and live events, and closing buffets.

King Soopers says one Colorado employee has tested positive

A King Soopers employee at the store on 1950 Chestnut Place location in downtown Denver has tested positive for COVID-19, and last worked a the store on March 6, according to a statement from the company.

King Soopers' parent company of Kroger is enacting emergency leave guidelines that allow for paid time off for up to 14 days for employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who are placed under mandatory quarantine because of COVID-19.

The statement also says that King Soopers has openings immediately for positions in their stores and distribution centers, and anyone who is interested can apply at jobs.kingsoopers.com.

SATURDAY, MARCH 14

24 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 announced

CDPHE announced 24 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed based on overnight test results, raising to total number of presumptive positive cases in Colorado to 101.

CPDHE said it will shift reporting of aggregate data for new cases, instead of providing details for each case, due to the large number of presumptive positive cases that continue to be reported.

Colorado ski areas ordered to close temporarily

Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado) issued an executive order suspending downhill ski area operations for one week.

The order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and conserve medical resources in Colorado's mountain communities, according to a release.

Boulder and Grand counties, City of Brighton declare local disaster emergency

The Boulder County government declared a formal local disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the declaration, according to a release, Boulder County can actively build capacity to add to the response resources and systems already committed to the local pandemic response. The release said the declaration further allows the county to access emergency funds if needed, create policies to remove obstacles and activate additional capabilities and resources to address needs and ensure the continuity of government and its healthcare infrastructure.

The Grand County Board of County Commissioners approved an emergency resolution declaring a local disaster emergency. The move allows the county to activate the response and recovery aspects of its emergency plans and helps authorize aid and assistance, according to a release.

The Brighton City Council approved a resolution Saturday declaring a local disaster for the City of Brighton. According to the city officials, the declaration will remain in effect through April 21 or until it is determined to be no longer necessary.  

"The local disaster declaration allows for the city to activate response and recovery plans and to effectively acquire and deploy federal, state, and county resources to support the Brighton community," according to a release.

Starting Monday, March 16, all city buildings in Brighton will be temporarily closed to the public at least through Sunday, March 22

Colorado General Assembly adjourns until March 30

The Colorado General Assembly voted to temporarily adjourn the second regular session of the 72nd General Assembly.

Lawmakers also voted to ask the Supreme Court asking for an opinion on if the end date for the legislative session should remain May 6.

Drive-up testing at the Denver Coliseum ends after 200 cars

The line for drive-up testing at the Denver Coliseum scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. was cut off after 200 cars, according to CPDHE. 

CDPHE said it will release a schedule and locations for testing next week on it's website. 

Health officials said private labs now have the capacity to conduct testing, and are encouraging anyone who has symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19 to contact their physician first for guidance, a doctor's note for testing and information about private providers offering testing.

RELATED: Colorado ski resorts closing amid coronavirus outbreak

Public health alert issued for Colorado Springs Bridge Center

A public health alert has been issued after an El Paso County woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions who died from COVID-19, Colorado's first death, was traced to a bridge center in Colorado Springs. 

CDPHE released the alert after learning the woman attended games at the Colorado Springs Bridge Center between Feb. 27 and March 3. If you or a close contact attended the center during those dates and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, officials recommend calling your health provider immediately.

“We’re extremely concerned about possible transmission both at the tournament and in communities after they went home,” said Kimberly Pattison, EPCPH Communicable Disease Program Manager. “Many attendees were older people who might be especially vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19.”

Kroenke venues including Pepsi Center closing for next 30 days

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment canceled all events for the next 30 days at the Pepsi Center, Paramount Theatre, Dick's Sporting Goods Park and 1stBank Center.

Visitors restricted from skilled nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities

Visitors are now restricted at skilled nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities to protect the health of residents and health-care workers, per the direction of Gov. Jared Polis, according to the state Department of Public Health and Environment.

Denver motor vehicle branches to close

The City and County of Denver announced that all of Denver's motor vehicle branches would be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16 and lasting until further notice. A release said staff would continue to process phone calls, mail and online transactions and that the City and County would provide a grace period for expired vehicle registrations and for newly purchased vehicles that have not yet been registered through April 9. Residents are urged to use online motor vehicle services.

King Soopers adjusts service hours

King Soopers announced it would be temporarily adjusting service hours from 5 a.m. to midnight to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all locations, effective Sunday, March 15. The chain said in a release that the move is intended to better serve customers and balance the needs of associates. The change will allow King Soopers employees to focus on stocking the food and essentials customers are looking for, according to the release.

FRIDAY, MARCH 13

One person has died as the result of COVID-19. CDPHE said the victim was an El Paso County woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions.

Gov. Jared Polis announced several steps Friday that the state is taking to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Colorado.

They included the cancellation of events with 250 people or more unless organizers have a detailed plan about effective social distancing. Polis said outdoor activities such as hiking or biking are generally considered safe and said ski resorts were taking steps to ensure the safety of guests.

He also outlined ways the state is working to support the health care system as it prepares for an influx of patients. 

"Part of the problem is again as healthcare workers are diagnosed, they will be out of the workforce for 14 days, so we need to backfill those positions," Polis said.

RELATED: 'This will be an enormous strain': How the state is working to slow the spread of the coronavirus

Testing at the drive-up site has been postponed Friday due to weather-related concerns, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced.  Testing will NOT take place and is now set for Saturday, weather permitted. It will take place then from noon and until 2 p.m. and the testing center will only be able to handle the first 100 to 150 people in line.

Providers such as UCHealth, Kaiser Permanente, and Stride Community Health Center have the ability to do testing.

Any medical provider with a relationship with LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics can test, but be sure to contact your provider ahead of time because many providers have centralized sites for testing due to safety precautions.

CDPHE encourages anyone who is symptomatic or who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to call or email their physician first for guidance, obtain a doctor’s order for testing, and request information about private providers where you can get tested. Always call first before reporting to a health care facility for testing.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12 

CHSAA cancels remaining state basketball games

The 2020 high school basketball tournament has come to an abrupt halt.

In a statement released late Thursday night, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced that the remainder of state playoff games have been canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Everything we've done up to this point was to try and keep the experience of a state basketball tournament for our student participants and high school communities," CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in the statement.

"In the face of this unprecedented public health emergency, we are compelled to discontinue play in all tournaments."

Limit on gatherings

Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties issued a public health order prohibiting large gatherings and events of more than 50 people unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk. The order is effective immediately and will be revisited on April 8.

  • An event is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.
  • An event does not include activities that are primarily individual or occur in small groups or in non-congregate settings, such as places of employment or primarily small-group sports like skiing, as long as social distancing occurs, particularly in areas where congregating in groups is unavoidable, such as lift lines.
  • An event does not include restaurants, as long as restaurants adhere to the requirements for social distancing.

Summit County and the towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne will cancel all events sponsored by local government agencies that have anticipated attendance of 50 or more people, through at least May 1.

Local governments encouraged private-sector organizations in Summit County to immediately seriously consider similar measures. The organizations should also prepare for the possibility that if Summit County does experience community spread of COVID-19, Summit County Public Health may mandate the cancellation of events and gatherings that exceed a certain threshold number of attendees.

Schools close

Denver, Aurora, Cherry Creek and Brighton 27J schools announced closures and extended springs breaks to combat the virus. Denver Public Schools (DPS) will be on spring break from March 16 through April 6; Aurora Public schools March 16-27; Cherry Creek Schools March 13- 27; and 27J schools are now closed through March 27.

> See the full list of schools.

State of emergency for Denver

Hancock declared a state of emergency for the City and County of Denver in response to COVID-19. The declaration allows for additional emergency resources and gives the city greater flexibility to procure needed resources. The seven-day emergency order will be in effect through March 19. 

Hancock is discouraging large gatherings from taking place within the city and county of Denver to protect public health and safety and mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19.

John H. Ammesse Elementary school closed

DPS announced that John H. Ammesse Elementary school will be closed for the rest of the day after two family members of students tested presumptive positive. The child who attends the school is also being tested, according to DPS.

The district notified the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and said they're working to determine who the individuals have been in contact with.

Out of an abundance of caution, the district closed the school Thursday and will thoroughly disinfect the school, including common areas and classrooms.

Drive-up lab experienced an extremely high volume

Due to an extremely high volume of people seeking COVID-19 tests at the drive-up testing site in Lowry, the CDPHE decided cut-off off the line for the day.

CDPHE said those already in line behind that cut off-point will receive a note that makes them a priority for testing in line tomorrow.  

As of 11 a.m., there was an approximate 3-hour wait in the drive-thru car line. No more vehicles will be accommodated in the line at this time. If you are ill or suspect that you were exposed, please stay home, self-isolate, and contact your physician.

Stan Hilkey, the head of Colorado's Dept. of Public Safety, told Kyle Clark that the National Guard, extra medics and nurses will be there on Friday to assist.

Colorado now has the capacity for private labs to complete testing. In order to minimize wait times, anyone who is symptomatic or who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call or email their physician first for guidance, a doctor’s order for testing, and information about private providers where they can get tested.

Always call first before reporting to a healthcare facility for testing.

On Wednesday, 160 people were tested at the site and the wait time was about 84 minutes, according to CDPHE.

Pitkin County testing location now open

The Pitkin County Incident Management Team (PCIMT) announced a COVID-19 testing location is now operational at the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department's Aspen Village Location.

Officials say the testing location is only for vulnerable members of the population who have been screened by the Pitkin County COVID-19 Hotline.

PCIMT said that anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 should call the hotline at 970-429-6186. Callers will be screened to determine if they meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing.

The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to PCIMT.

“Please respect the privacy of our neighbors and friends who are not feeling well,” said Incident Commander Gabe Muething. “We want to give them privacy and compassion during this testing process.”

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11

Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday announced guidance for K-12 schools in the state, advising schools should close for 72 hours for a single positive COVID-19 case and 14 days for multiple cases within a school.

Pitkin County a "hotspot"

Polis said officials have identified a "hotspot" in Pitkin County where an additional nine cases were announced Wednesday. 

"It appears (the virus) will be disproportionately hitting our mountain communities first," Polis said, advising vulnerable people to avoid mountain communities because of the high elevation and lack of health care capacity in these areas, 

All nine of the Pitkin County cases had contact with an Australian woman who had visited Aspen and tested positive for the virus after returning to Australia, according to county health officials. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, test results from one additional person were pending.

County health officials said Monday that they identified 18 people she had contact with in Aspen. All of them are Australian and were in the same travel group as the woman who tested positive. Officials said 13 people in that group were showing symptoms of the virus and were in self-isolation while they waited for test results. Three of those people who were symptomatic refused to be tested but remain in isolation.

Pitkin County Incident Management Team is in contact with those who tested presumptively positive as well as the local properties impacted. The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of the virus, according to health officials.

Employee at DIA tests positive

Also on Wednesday, Denver announced that an employee of Denver International Airport (DIA) received a presumptive positive test result for COVID-19. The employee is symptomatic and is isolated from others. The man lives in Jefferson County and is a city and county employee and not an airline employee, according to health officials.

Health officials said they were tracing all contacts the employee may have had and identifying individuals who may have been exposed.

JeffCO cases

Jefferson County health officials said two JeffCo residents in their 70s who had recently been on a cruise tested presumptive positive. The man and woman were exposed through international travel as part of their cruise, according to health officials, and are now in isolation at home.

Cory Elementary School

Cory Elementary School in Denver was closed on Wednesday after DPS were alerted that a parent there has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. The school will remain closed Thursday, March 12. 

Colorado's health department has been notified and is working to determine who the parent has been in contact with. 

"We will take this time to thoroughly disinfect the school, including common areas and classrooms," the school wrote in a letter sent to families. "We will also confer with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. We will be in daily contact with our Cory families share up-to-date information."

Firefighters self-quarantining

Firefighters from Denver Fire Department Station 15 are self-quarantining but have not been issued a quarantine order, the Denver Office of Emergency Management (DOEM) confirmed.

The firefighters responded to a 911 call involving a presumptive positive COVID-19 case, according to DOEM spokesperson Loa Esquilin.

DOEM said it is working to determine how many firefighters made contact with the presumptive positive COVID-19 case.

Drive-through testing

More than 160 people were tested at a drive-through lab in Lowry. The testing is not open to the public but is accessible if people have a doctor's note saying they need a test. Polis said he's looking to open another drive-through testing area in the high county. 

Corrections facilities

The Department of Corrections (DOC) said it is suspending all visiting in facilities – legal will be non-contact visits. All volunteer services at facilities have been suspended, and all public tours and family reunification events will be postponed.

The CDC said parolees who are sick, immune-compromised, over 60 or considered to be at higher risk of infection will not be required to come into the parole office, but will still be required to maintain contact with their parole officer. Those parolees will be directly contacted by their parole officer. If a parolee is ill, they should immediately notify their parole officer via phone/CWISE or email and stay home until they contact their healthcare provider.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10

Mayor Michael Hancock's office announced all non-essential work travel is banned for city employees. The city will also expand work-from-home options.

Gov. Jared Polis and the state health department announced five new cases. 

Polis also declared a state of emergency and directed the Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment to engage in emergency rule-making to ensure workers in food handling, hospitality, childcare, healthcare and education, get paid sick leave to miss work if they exhibit flu-like symptoms and have to miss work.  

He also asked the Dept. of Revenue to make temporary changes that allow people over age 65 to renew driver's licenses online, rather than requiring them to do so in-person.

The city of Denver announced that it was canceling this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The Tri-County Health Department said it was working with Buckley Air Force Base on an investigation into people who have come in contact with the Centennial woman who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 8, including family members who were on the base. All members of this family are isolated at home.

RELATED: Polis declares state of emergency in response to coronavirus cases

RELATED: Denver cancels St. Patrick's Day parade

MONDAY, MARCH 9

CDPHE announced four new cases Monday. The agency said the patients are from Larimer, Eagle, Arapahoe and Denver counties. 

CDPHE also said there is one COVID-19 test that did not provide conclusive results. The test will now be sent to the CDC for additional testing.

The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) said a patient who has tested positive for the virus visited the Castle Rock Department of Motor Vehicles on March 3 between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. before she was tested. TCHD said they don't believe there was a risk of exposure to others at the DMV that day. The DMV said they also "thoroughly cleaned" the areas of the building that person was in.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced that he ordered a partial activation of the city's Emergency Operations Center to help deal with the response to COVID-19. The activation brings together all of the agencies involved in responding to a potential crisis, as well as allows for planning for the potential economic impacts of the outbreak of a disease. City officials also said as of Monday morning, there were no plans to cancel any upcoming large events, such as the annual St. Patrick's Day parade which is set to take place Saturday. 

Polis on Monday ordered health insurers regulated by the state to waive fees associated with COVID-19 testing.

The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer are closing access to locker rooms and clubhouses to all nonessential personnel in response to the coronavirus crisis. The leagues made the announcement in a joint statement Monday night.

Littleton Public Schools, Douglas County Schools and the Boulder Valley School District are canceling all school-sponsored travel both out of state and out of the country for middle and high school students.

Pitkin County

On Monday, health officials in Pitkin County said they identified 18 people who had been in contact with a 21-year-old woman from Australia who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 in Australia after visiting Aspen.

All 18 of those people are Australian and were in the same travel group as the woman who tested positive, according to local health officials.

Thirteen of the 18 people are showing symptoms of the virus and are in self-isolation in Aspen as they're in the process of being tested. The other five people are not in isolation and are not being tested, health officials said.

They're working to learn the travel history of the 21-year-old woman who tested positive to learn where she might have contracted the virus. They're also working to identify other people she might have come in contact with while in Aspen.

As of Monday afternoon, health officials said no one other than people within this specific group are suspected of having COVID-19.

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

CDPHE announced Sunday evening that there were no new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. CDPHE said it conducted 39 tests Sunday bringing the total to 255 tests.

CDPHE said it was aware of a confirmed COVID-19 case in Australia with ties to the Aspen community. One woman in her 20s who was visiting Aspen returned home to Australia earlier this week, where she tested positive. The woman had contact with Aspen residents and visitors at social gatherings, CDPHE said. 

A Toronto woman in her 40s tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Colorado on March 2, the Ontario government confirmed. Officials said the patient was sent home the same day she went to a hospital in Toronto, where she remains in self-isolation. Toronto Public Health is actively engaged in contact tracing and case management, according to the release. 

St. Anne's Episcopal School announced that it will be closed on Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 for continued cleaning and more faculty and staff testing. The Denver school announced an early dismissal on Friday because a student's father tested as presumptive positive for COVID-19.

The school will prepare contingency plans including distance learning on Tuesday, if necessary. The school plans to reopen on Wednesday, March 11, spokesperson Lucy Murphy said.

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) said a potential exposure to COVID-19 at Ranch View Middle School (RVMS) is no longer a concern, due to a negative test result for the virus.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7

CDPHE announced Saturday evening that there were no new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. CDPHE said it conducted 44 tests that day, for a total of 216.

The Eagle County government announced in a news release that it had filed a local disaster emergency declaration with the State of Colorado in response to the arrival of COVID-19 in the county. The declaration is an administrative tool that can help facilitate access to funding and other resources, according to the release.

“While there will likely be more cases of COVID-19 in Eagle County, the declaration does not mean we think our community is less safe than anywhere else affected by the virus,” Kathy Chandler-Henry, chair of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners, said in the release. “This is just one more tool to aid in our response.”

Victoria State Government in Australia announced that a doctor diagnosed with COVID-19 recently traveled through Los Angeles to Denver and Vail over 12 days prior to the illness onset.

Officials said he most likely acquired his infection in the United States. The doctor became unwell with a runny nose on a flight from Denver to San Francisco on Feb. 27 and then flew direct from San Francisco to Melbourne on Feb. 29, according to the statement.

The doctor consulted approximately 70 patients between March 2 and March 6 at a medical clinic in Toorak, Australia, and attended to two patients at a nursing home in Malvern, Australia.

All patients that were seen by the doctor and the clinic staff are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, officials said.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced six new presumptive positive COVID-19 patients, bringing the total to eight in Colorado. They're spread out across five different counties.

Denver announced its first cases of the novel coronavirus; one person was in Vancouver, the other had been on a cruise. Neither patient needs hospitalization. The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment said seven other people are also under quarantine in Denver to be monitored for symptoms.

St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver announced an early dismissal. It ended up being because one of the Denver patients is the parent of a student, but that person had not recently been at the school. The entire family is under quarantine.

Summit County announced the patient who was Colorado's first presumptive positive case stayed at the Slopeside Condominiums in Keystone. No one has stayed there since this man, and the unit will be cleaned.

The Coloradoan reported that two Fort Collins residents are stuck on the Grand Princess cruise ship, off the coast of San Francisco. Vice President Mike Pence said 21 people onboard tested positive for COVID-19.

We visited Colorado State University, where a lab is working on a vaccine for COVID-19. Researchers are growing the virus there to study it. They hope to be ready for human trials by the end of the year.

THURSDAY, MARCH 5

Colorado announced the first presumptive positive cases of the novel coronavirus. One patient is a man in his 30s, from California, who traveled to Italy before flying into Denver International Airport and going to Summit County. Health officials couldn't immediately tell us where he stayed. The other patient was a woman who went on a cruise.

DIA tells us that since the air is under federal jurisdiction, they are limited in what information they might know about patients' flights. That's also why the CDC is responsible for alerting other passengers if necessary.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment said the male patient skied at Vail and Keystone, but we don't know which days. Vail Resorts said they don't expect any interruptions in service.

The University of Colorado Boulder decided to pause international trips for undergraduate students.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4

Health officials confirm two people, a teacher in the Boulder Valley School District and an employee at the Federal Center in Lakewood, may have been exposed to COVID-19. They haven't shown symptoms.

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R) is one of two Congressmen to vote against a coronavirus emergency funding plan.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced state agencies will coordinate to ramp up efforts to prepare for COVID-19. We couldn't get a clear answer on whether Polis will order insurance companies to waive some coronavirus treatment fees like New York.

Denver City Council member Candi CdeBaca cheered a tweet suggesting that coronavirus be spread at President Trump’s rallies, leading the Colorado Republican Party to call for her resignation.

MONDAY, MARCH 2

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other city officials announced a new task force and said Denver International Airport will up the cleaning frequency for bathrooms and the train that runs between gates. Hancock said he has talked to Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado's Congressional delegation about resources.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it can now test for the coronavirus at its state laboratory, which previously had only been done by the Centers for Disease and Control in Atlanta.

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