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
- 14,758 cases, 2,621 hospitalized, 766 deaths Get the latest from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
- On Monday, April 27, Colorado transitioned to a "safer-at-home" order.
- Denver extended its stay-at-home order to at least May 8.
- Several counties have extended — or are considering extending — stay-at-home orders past April 26.
Wednesday, April 29
Mesa County receives variance from safer-at-home order
Mesa County has been granted a variance from the state's safer at home order.
Notably, this will allow businesses like restaurants, gyms and places of worship to reopen, albeit with stricter social distancing guidelines in place.
The county's health department has not released timelines for when that can happen, or exact guidance for those businesses.
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: 252 total confirmed cases
- JBS meatpacking plant, Greeley: 245 total confirmed cases
- Leprino Foods, Fort Morgan: 80 total confirmed cases
- Cherry Creek Nursing Center, Aurora: 79 total confirmed cases
- Juniper Village, Aurora: 65 total confirmed cases
- Orchard Park Health Care Center, Centennial: 61 total confirmed cases
- Forest Street Compassionate Care, Denver: 58 total confirmed cases
- Cargill Meat Solutions, Fort Morgan: 56 total confirmed cases
- Centennial Healthcare Center, Greeley, 52 total confirmed cases
- The Peaks Care Center, Boulder, 51 total confirmed cases
COVID-19 outbreak reported at City Market in Breckenridge
The Summit County Public Health Department and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 at City Market in Breckenridge.
The store has reported eight confirmed cases among employees, with one additional pending case, heath officials said on Wednesday.
"We are sorry to report this cluster of cases among these essential members of our local workforce," Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. "We are working closely with them and the management at City Market to ensure they receive the appropriate care and that we contain this outbreak to minimize further spread of the disease."
In response to the outbreak, City Market said it has taken the following steps to protect its customers and employees:
- Early closure on April 28 to complete full-store sanitation
- Communication with all employees to review, confirm and reinforce safety and social distancing best practices
- Reduced use of the employee break room to maintain social distancing
- Increased enforcement of face covering requirements for employees and customers
- Expanded COVID-19 testing for employees.
Five Points Jazz Festival moves to virtual-only event this May
The Five Points Jazz Festival, an all-day annual event in Denver's historic Five Points neighborhood, will transition to become a virtual event this May.
This year's event will showcase the past, present and future of the Five Points neighborhood, music performances from local jazz bands, comedy, poets, community members and other entertainment, according to organizers.
The event will be presented as a television broadcast on Rocky Mountain PBS on Saturday, May 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will also air on the radio and across multiple social media platforms, organizers said.
City of Boulder requiring face coverings inside businesses that provide public accommodations
Boulder City Council approved an order Tuesday night to require all individuals to wear a face covering inside businesses that operate any public accommodation. The order is effective immediately and applies to customers and employees within these buildings.
The order does not require medical-grade masks. Face coverings can include a scarf, bandanna or a homemade face covering that covers the nose and mouth.
Because there are many options for individuals to repurpose cloths or to make a personalized face covering, the City of Boulder is not distributing masks to community members.
Colorado state lab working with private partners to expand testing capacity throughout state
The Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC) announced that the state lab has sent COVID-19 testing supplies to 42 community sites throughout Colorado.
Those will be operated by local health agencies as well as private partners like hospitals and health clinics. According to the UCC, the state will provide the initial testing supplies, and local agencies will staff and manage the sites.
The state and its affiliate labs will then process the tests. The ultimate goal is to have a community-based testing site in each county, according to the UCC. Other aspects of the state’s testing plan include:
- Private sector hospitals and health care facilities test staff, inpatients and some outpatients
- The state works to secure testing supplies.
- The state helps coordinate specialized, targeted testing efforts to identify and control outbreaks.
- The state works with private partners for additional testing options.
2 residents die from COVID-19 at Veterans Community Living Center in Aurora
Two residents have died in a COVID-19 outbreak at the Veterans Community Living Center in Aurora, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Seven other residents and seven other staff members have also tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of this writing.
The Colorado National Guard has been asked to test all of the residents and facility staff on Wednesday.
Additional staff could be called in if more workers test positive.
According to the Colorado Department of Human Services website, the Veterans Community Living Center has 180 beds and provides care for veterans, their spouses, and gold star parents.
Campgrounds at Colorado state parks will stay closed through May 4
While the statewide stay-at-home order was lifted on Monday, that doesn’t mean camping suddenly became allowed at Colorado state parks.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said it will extend its closure of all campgrounds and camping facilities through May 4.
People with reservations on those dates should receive a full refund.
Gov. Jared Polis’ “safer at home” order asks that people recreate within 10 miles of their homes, although state parks have stayed open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival canceled due to COVID-19
This summer's Cherry Creek Arts Festival has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 30th annual event was slated to take place July 4, July 5, and July 6 at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
“It is with great sadness that we share the difficult decision made by the CherryArts board of directors to cancel the 2020 Cherry Creek Arts Festival. This decision was made after weeks of careful deliberation about the challenging and evolving impacts of COVID-19 and was informed by City of Denver and State of Colorado public health officials," said Tara Brickell, executive director and CEO of CherryArts.
"As an event that relies on the regional and national travel of artists and hosts over 330,000 people, we are confident this is the best decision to ensure the safety of artists and our community during this time of social distancing," Brickell said.
In addition to 265 national juried artists selling original artworks, each year the festival offers live performers, live music, interactive art experiences, food booths, drinks and a full block of family-friendly activities.
Organizers said artists who planned on participating in the the 2020 event will have the option to return for the 2021 event, or receive a full refund for booth fees.
Coronavirus cases in Colorado
In Colorado, 14,758 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 766 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 2,621 have been hospitalized.
As of this writing, 782 patients are hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 82 patients have been transferred or discharged.
According to CDPHE, 69,449 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 157 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.
- Denver: 2,890
- Arapahoe: 2,389
- Weld: 1,704
- Adams: 1,490
- Jefferson: 1,314
- El Paso: 907
- Eagle: 546
- Boulder: 565
- Douglas: 468
- Morgan: 358
- Larimer: 348
- Logan: 270
- Gunnison: 161
- Broomfield: 147
- Pueblo: 136
- Summit: 121
- Montrose: 96
- Garfield: 91
- Chaffee: 66
- Pitkin: 62
- La Plata: 62
- Routt: 54
- Mesa: 44
- Delta: 43
- Elbert: 28
- Teller: 28
- Fremont: 22
- Kit Carson: 20
- San Miguel: 19
- Lake: 17
- Montezuma: 16
- Clear Creek: 13
- Park: 11
- Baca: 10
- Alamosa: 10
- Archuleta: 8
- Otero: 8
- Yuma: 8
- Rio Grande: 7
- Washington: 7
- Moffat: 6
- Phillips: 6
- Ouray: 5
- Grand: 5
- Saguache: 4
- Costilla: 3
- Las Animas: 3
- Hinsdale: 3
- Lincoln: 3
- Mineral: 2
- Custer: 2
- Crowley: 2
- Huerfano: 2
- Rio Blanco: 1
- Gilpin: 1
- Prowers: 1
- Unknown or pending: 145
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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