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Colorado coronavirus latest, April 22: 10,878 cases, 2,123 hospitalized, 508 deaths

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

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.

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


Click here to read updates from April 21.

Wednesday, April 22

Wheat Ridge to require everyone to wear face masks inside essential businesses  

People who fail to wear some sort of face covering inside of essential businesses like grocery stores in the city of Wheat Ridge could be charged with a misdemeanor.

That’s according to a new order approved by the city manager Wednesday afternoon. This is effective from April 27 to May 30, a news release said, and applies to all critical businesses as defined under Colorado’s stay-at-home order.

Employees and customers are required to wear medical or non-medical cloth facing coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We realize this is more restrictive than any state-issued stay at home order or other public health order, however, the intent is to continue to control the spread of COVID-19 as we begin to reopen businesses,” said Patrick Goff, Wheat Ridge’s city manager, in a news release. ”The Governor’s Safer At Home plan and measures like this new order requiring face coverings be worn within Wheat Ridge businesses, will help to protect our community from the further spread of the virus.”

Polis answers questions about reopening without widespread testing 

Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) held a news conference Wednesday and answered numerous questions from reporters about the state's testing strategy as it lifts its stay-at-home order. 

The governor said 150,000 tests should arrive in Colorado by the end of the week, along with 150,000 swabs. He said the state was taking a multi-pronged approach to slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus that includes people wearing masks in public, continued social distancing, and testing and contact tracing. 

"We cannot just test and trace our way out," Polis said.  

RELATED: Polis says 'testing alone' won't be enough to reopen Colorado, emphasizes multi-pronged approach

CDPHE released new outbreak data

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released new data concerning the outbreaks at nursing homes and medical facilities around the state. The locations with the most confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are:

  • Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Arapahoe County - 46
  • Juniper Village - Wellspring Memory Care at Aurora in Arapahoe County - 34
  • Columbine Manor Care Center in Chaffee County - 33
  • Orchard Park Health Care Center in Arapahoe County - 32
  • Centennial Healthcare Center in Weld County - 32
  • Jewell Care Center of Denver in Denver County - 22
  • Columbine Northshore in Larimer County - 22
  • Clear Creek Care Center in Adams County - 20
  • Manor Care Denver in Denver County - 20
  • Winslow Court in El Paso County - 19

> Visit CDPHE's website for the full data set here.

Polis to visit Eagle County virtually

The Colorado governor will virtually “visit” Eagle County at 3:30 p.m. Thursday for the formal approval of the county’s request for some exemptions from the state’s COVID-19 executive and public health orders. 

The Eagle County Board of Commissioners will also be joined by officials from Vail Health.

Polis said Monay that he expects to approve Eagle County's earlier request for authority to reopen parts of its economy ahead of the statewide stay-at-home order that runs through April 26.

Those exemptions, if granted, would allow the county to start implementing its own plans to slowly and incrementally reopen portions of the community.

Many of the requests in a county news release sent April 18 are similar to what Polis outlined, including:

  • Increasing the size of permissible gatherings from zero to 10.
  • Permitting conditional opening of noncritical, nonessential, nongovernmental businesses that meet social distancing requirements.
  • Opening recreational facilities where adequate controls can be implemented to ensure social distancing.

Eagle County was one of the first hard-hit counties in the state to be affected by COVID-19 and one of the first to implement public health orders. The latest data shows it has 486 cases and seven deaths.

National Jewish to begin COVID-19 antibody testing 

National Jewish Health announced that it will begin offering COVID-19 antibody testing on Friday.

Antibody tests detect antibodies in the blood, and can indicate that a person has had COVID-19 and mounted an immune response to the virus that causes it. Antibody testing is meant for people without symptoms of COVID-19.  

Self-referral scheduling

An individual requesting the antibody test on their own can do so online and choose a drive-through testing appointment either the same day or within the next few days. The cost for a self-referred antibody test is $94, which is paid at the time the appointment is made through the online form.

Click/tap here to schedule a test.

The test involves a blood draw, which is then sent on to the lab. Results will be sent to the individual within 24 to 48 hours.

Physician scheduling

An individual working through their doctor to obtain the antibody tests and/or the virus test can have their physician send a referral order in advance (form available here). Once the order form has been received, the National Jewish Health scheduling team will contact the patient and offer a two-hour time period for drive-through testing. Results will be sent to the physician within 24-to-48-hours.  

Click/tap here to get a doctor's referral.

Drive-through testing is done at the National Jewish Health COVID-19 testing tent, located in the Harrison Street parking lot between 13th and 14th Avenues.

RELATED: National Jewish to begin COVID-19 antibody testing this week

National Guard to conduct proactive COVID-19 testing at Broomfield nursing home

Members of the Colorado National Guard will help conduct proactive COVID-19 testing at a Broomfield nursing home Thursday, something that’s part of a broader state initiative to prevent widespread outbreaks at similar facilities by catching cases early.

Thursday’s tests at the Leroy Baker Broomfield Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center come after the National Guard conducted testing operations at Elms Haven Center in Adams County on Tuesday and at the Pikes Peak Center in El Paso County on Sunday.

The Colorado National Guard announced the tests in a news release that was distributed on Monday.

RELATED: National Guard to conduct proactive COVID-19 testing at Broomfield nursing home

DIA to close shuttle parking lots, traffic still down 95% 

Denver International Airport will close its shuttle parking lots – including Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert – beginning on May 11. Those will stay closed until further notice, although shuttles will still run there to take passengers back to their cars.

Traffic at DIA continues to be down. According to a news release distributed by the airport Wednesday morning, there are 95% fewer passengers going through the security checkpoints compared to the same time last year.

To put that into context: DIA averaged more than 1,600 flights per day in April 2019. The week of April 13, that was down to 625.

And with that being said, perhaps it’s no surprise there are now dozens of planes parked at the airport’s deicing pad.

DIA’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are now wearing masks per Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado’s) executive order. The administration has also set up plexiglass barriers to protect both those agents and the public.

Denver-operated golf courses to reopen on Wednesday

After being closed for several weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eight city-operated golf courses will reopen on Wednesday. 

Anyone wanting to golf must make a reservation over the phone ahead of time for instructions on how to proceed through the course. All golfers must keep a minimum of six feet of social distancing at all times and are required to use all of their own equipment. 

RELATED: Denver-operated golf courses to reopen on Wednesday

Bent County Correctional Facility employee tests positive

An employee at the Bent County Correctional Facility in Las Animas has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesperson for CoreCivic which operates numerous facilities in Colorado and across the country.

The employee last worked at the facility on April 15 and CoreCivic learned about the positive test on April 20. He or she is currently isolated at home. Other employees or contractors who may have been in contact with the individual who tested positive have been notified.

Employees who are known to have had direct contact with the infected individual have been directed to self-quarantine at home for 14 days, as recommended by the CDC. 

CoreCivic said it has procedures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 which includes the screening of all employees.

Click/tap here to read their full response plan

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

In Colorado, 10,878 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 508 people have died. Of the 50,645 who tested positive for the disease, 2,123 have been hospitalized.

Currently, 866 people are in the hospital with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Colorado Hospital Association. In the last 24 hours, 74 patients have either been discharged or transferred.

According to CDPHE, 48,704 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 119 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

See the latest numbers from the state health department.

  • Denver: 2,071
  • Arapahoe: 1,717
  • Weld: 1,237
  • Jefferson: 1,064
  • Adams: 1,033
  • El Paso: 774
  • Eagle: 488
  • Douglas: 392
  • Boulder: 417
  • Larimer: 266
  • Morgan: 202
  • Gunnison: 121
  • Broomfield: 110
  • Pueblo: 107
  • Summit: 88
  • Montrose: 82
  • Garfield: 71
  • Pitkin:57
  • La Plata: 53
  • Routt: 52
  • Chaffee: 55
  • Mesa: 37
  • Delta: 25
  • Teller: 25
  • Elbert: 24
  • Logan: 24
  • Kit Carson: 18
  • San Miguel: 17
  • Montezuma: 13
  • Clear Creek: 11
  • Fremont: 19
  • Baca: 10
  • Alamosa: 9
  • Lake: 9
  • Archuleta: 9
  • Rio Grande: 7
  • Otero: 7
  • Park: 6
  • Moffat: 6
  • Washington: 6
  • Ouray: 5
  • Phillips: 5
  • Grand: 5
  • Saguache: 3
  • Costilla: 3
  • Las Animas: 3
  • Hinsdale: 3
  • Lincoln: 3
  • Yuma: 4
  • Mineral: 2
  • Custer: 2
  • Crowley: 2
  • Rio Blanco: 1
  • Huerfano: 1
  • Unknown or pending: 95

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


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