COLORADO, USA — 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.
WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
- 7,941 cases in Colorado, 1,556 hospitalized and 329 deaths. Get the latest from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will be in effect until at least April 26. (Some local orders remain in place and might be more restrictive).
- Polis said Coloradans need to wear a face covering when out in public and on Monday asked children to decorate face masks and enter into a contest.
Tuesday, April 14
At least 28,469 paycheck protection loans approved in Colorado
At least 28,469 paycheck protection loans have been approved for Colorado small businesses and nonprofits, according to a news release from the state U.S. Small Business Administration office.
Those loans total $5,830,781,842, the release says. These numbers are as of Monday.
Nationally, 1,035,086 loans have been approved for a total of $247,543,393,521.
3rd JBS employee dies of COVID-19
A third employee at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley has died of COVID-19, according to the union.
That employee died on Friday, UFCW Local 7 said, and was 69 years old.
A public health order was issued Monday telling JBS to close the facility for cleaning, as well as to allow for employees to be closed for screenings.
Lone Trees Feeds program helps restaurants stay afloat
A group of long-time Lone Tree residents, with an unrelenting desire to give back to the community during this difficult time, approached the City about launching a campaign to feed first responders in Lone Tree.
Within 72 hours, Lone Tree Feeds was born, and just hours after it was launched, hundreds of dollars were donated online.
Just less than two weeks since launch day, more than $20,000 in online donations have come through to help provide free meals for those on the frontline of this coronavirus pandemic.
A team, which consists of various residents, City staff and former mayors, works with local restaurants to coordinate the delivery of free meals to first responders of Lone Tree such as the staff at Sky Ridge Medical Center, South Metro Fire Rescue and the Lone Tree Police Department.
Pitkin County establishes mobile COVID-19 testing lab
Pitkin County said it will turn its Incident Command trailer into a mobile testing lab for COVID-19.
In a news release, Pitkin County said its lab might be the first of its kind in Colorado. Before testing can begin, the mountain community’s incident management team said it hopes to work out a few kinks before rolling out the program at the end of the week.
The tests were purchased from Aytu Bioscience, according to the release.
For updated information please visit: www.Pitkincounty.com/Corona.
City of Boulder to furlough 737 employees
The city of Boulder will furlough 737 employees “as a result of the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a news release distributed Tuesday afternoon.
Of those employees, 175 are full-time and 562 are seasonal and temporary. Their last day of work will be April 19, according to the release, and they will placed on unpaid administrative leave through June 28. During that time, the city said it will pay for all of the impacted employees’ health insurance.
According to the release, Boulder anticipates a loss of $28 million – or 10% of its annual revenue – since the statewide stay-at-home order went into effect last month.
In addition to the furloughs, Boulder is also canceling or delaying capital improvement projects.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said in a news release. “Unlike a natural disaster or past economic downturns, the duration of this crisis is unknown.”
CDPHE may scale back on construction for field hospitals
During a press availability Tuesday morning with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE), incident commander for the state's COVID-19 response Scott Bookman said the state may scale some construction back on overflow hospitals based on recent data.
"It's very important that we are prepared for any potential surge as we move forward in this," Bookman said. "But we also want to ensure that we're using our resources appropriately."
Safe2Tell tips down due to schools being closed
Safe2Tell tips decreased 13% in March, according to the monthly report released on Tuesday. The decrease in tips was anticipated due to schools being closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the month of March, the program received 1,768 tips, a 13% decrease in monthly tip volume compared to March 2019, the report says. To date for the 2019-20 school year, Safe2Tell has received 17,775 tips, a 16% increase over the 2018-19 school year.
Attorney General Phil Weiser and program Director Essi Ellis encourage students to continue utilizing the tip line from home.
"As we all do our part and take action to protect our friends and family during this public health crisis by maintaining social distancing, we want students to know they can still anonymously report safety concerns to Safe2Tell,” said Weiser. “The decrease in the number of tips we received in March was not unexpected, but the continued use of the program shows its value to our residents even while school buildings are not in use.”
Brighton police to start delivering prescriptions to seniors
The Brighton Police Department on Wednesday will start delivering prescriptions to residents 65 and older who are not able to pick up or have their medications delivered to them.
Qualifying residents are asked to do the following:
- Contact the pharmacy to order your prescription.
- Pre-pay for your prescription over the phone or online.
- Advise the pharmacy that a Brighton Police representative will pick up your prescription
After that, residents must contact the Brighton Police Department at 303- 655-2300 to schedule the prescription pick up, which will then be delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Officers will wear personal protective gear and adhere to the 6-foot distance rule when making deliveries.
The prescription delivery service is offered for pick up at Brighton pharmacies only during Colorado's stay-at-home order.
CDPHE: Black, Hispanic people in Colorado disproportionately impacted by COVID-19
For the first time, the Colorado Department of Public Health Environment (CDPHE) released race and ethnicity data on 75% of reported COVID-19 cases in the state.
Excluding the other quarter of cases in which that data was not collected -- likely at the beginning of the outbreak -- the statistics show that COVID-19 is disproportionally impacting Hispanic and black Coloradans.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
Total: 5,188 cases with race and ethnicity data
- American Indian or Alaskan Natives (non-Hispanic): 24 cases, 0.46%
- Asian (non-Hispanic): 116 cases, 2.24% (statistically lower)
- Black or African American (non-Hispanic): 363 cases, 7.00% (statistically higher)
- Hispanic: 1,458 cases, 28.10% (statistically higher)
- Multiple racial categories (non-Hispanic): 96 cases, 1.85% (statistically lower)
- Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (non-Hispanic): 29 cases, 0.56% (statistically higher)
- Other: 38 cases, 0.73% (no test performed as population data do not include ‘other’)
- White (non-Hispanic): 3,064 cases, 59.06% (statistically lower)
Total: 249 deaths among cases with race and ethnicity data
- American Indian or Alaskan Natives (non-Hispanic): 2 deaths, 0.80%
- Asian (non-Hispanic): 7 deaths, 2.81%
- Black or African American (non-Hispanic): 17 deaths, 6.83%
- Hispanic: 44 deaths, 17.67%
- Multiple racial categories (non-Hispanic): 3 deaths, 1.20%
- Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (non-Hispanic): 4 deaths, 1.61%
- Other: 0 deaths (no test performed as population data do not include ‘other’)
- White (non-Hispanic): 172 deaths, 69.08%
The department plans to include race and ethnicity information in the daily case data from now on, the state said.
Coronavirus cases in Colorado
In Colorado, 7,941 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 329 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 1,556 have been hospitalized.
According to CDPHE, 38,742 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 78 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.
- Denver: 1,402
- Arapahoe: 1,183
- Jefferson: 809
- Weld: 858
- Adams: 726
- El Paso: 652
- Eagle: 468
- Douglas: 311
- Boulder: 293
- Larimer: 198
- Gunnison: 99
- Broomfield: 88
- Summit: 74
- Morgan: 89
- Pueblo: 64
- Garfield: 59
- Pitkin: 49
- La Plata: 44
- Routt: 41
- Mesa: 35
- Chaffee: 28
- Teller: 16
- Elbert: 17
- Logan: 13
- San Miguel: 12
- Montezuma: 12
- Clear Creek: 11
- Baca: 10
- Kit Carson: 8
- Alamosa: 7
- Fremont: 17
- Park: 6
- Archuleta: 6
- Delta: 12
- Rio Grande: 5
- Otero: 5
- Lake: 5
- Grand: 4
- Ouray: 4
- Phillips: 4
- Moffat: 3
- Saguache: 3
- Costilla: 3
- Washington: 5
- Las Animas: 2
- Yuma: 2
- Mineral: 2
- Custer: 2
- Rio Blanco: 1
- Hinsdale: 2
- Huerfano: 1
- Crowley: 2
- Lincoln: 2
- Out of state: 39
- Unknown or pending:110
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.
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.
CDC's testing guidance includes three types of people:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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