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
- 15,284 cases, 2,697 hospitalized, 777 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.
Thursday, April 30
DIA food service contractor lays off more than 80 percent of workforce
Sodexo, a food service contractor in the United Airlines terminal at DIA, has announced it laid off 87% of its workforce, or 85 workers on Thursday.
CDPHE released its daily look at COVID-19 data in Colorado at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
As of this writing, there have been:
- 15,284 cases
- 777 deaths
- 2,697 people hospitalized
- 72,390 people tested
- 159 outbreaks
The department also released the below graphic, which shows trends per region:
City of Boulder cancels event, programs – including July fireworks
The city of Boulder has canceled and delayed several annual events including the Fourth of July fireworks at Folsom Field.
The city's news release stated the cancelations are part of the city's priority to protect the health and safety of the community by following social distancing guidelines to slow community spread of COVID-19.
The city's canceled events and programs include:
- What’s Up Boulder, a citywide open house where updates on major city projects are shared has been canceled. This event may be rescheduled later in the year.
- The Boulder Public Library Concert Series is currently canceled through July 1.
- Boulder Parks & Recreation Department canceled spring programming and classes through May. Visit the department’s website for the latest information.
- In-person Boulder Farmers Markets are currently canceled, but the organization is offering a virtual market for online orders.
- The Boulder Creek Fest, originally scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, has been rescheduled for July 31 – Aug. 2. They will host a virtual marketplace on Memorial Day weekend.
- Downtown Boulder Partnership hosts several events each year and many have been impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for the latest information.
- Historic Preservation Month, traditionally held in May, is tentatively rescheduled for September. Historic Preservation month celebrates Boulder’s unique heritage and culture.
- Community Cleanup Month, originally scheduled for May, has been tentatively rescheduled for September.
- Walk & Bike Month, originally scheduled for June, has been rescheduled for September.
- Bike to Work Day is currently slated for Sept. 22, which is also “World Car-Free Day."
Aurora Public Schools providing free mental health care for staff
The roughly 6,000 employees at Aurora Public Schools (APS) will have a new resource starting on May 1: free mental health care.
According to a news release from APS, the program – which is a partnership with Meru Health – was supposed to be rolled out in July. It will now be available to all employees beginning on Friday.
“Worries and anxiety about COVID-19 and its impact can be overwhelming right now, and our almost 6,000 employees are also navigating how to work and teach remotely,” said Damon Smith, APS chief personnel officer in a news release. “We are thankful to our staff for all they are doing in support of our students and community, and we hope that we can help give some peace of mind by offering an innovative tool for them to get superior mental health care during these challenging times.”
The 12-week Meru Health program includes an app and daily or bi-daily conversations with a therapist.
Adams, Jefferson counties receive millions in CARES Act funding
Adams and Jefferson counties announced they had both received millions of dollars in federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act funding Thursday.
In a release, Adams County said it had received $90 million from the federal government. The funding will help cover the costs necessary to respond to the ongoing public health emergency related to COVID-19, the release said. 45% of the funds will be distributed to cities that were ineligible to receive funding directly under the COVID-19 Act. The Board of County Commissioners will decide how the funds will be allocated on May 5.
Jefferson County announced it had received $101.7 million in Cares Act funding. A release said the Board of County Commissioners is working to share the funds as quickly as possible with cities in the county and is scheduled to make a decision on how the funds will be distributed on May 4.
Mask mandate likely coming to Denver next week, stay-at-home order won't be extended
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock plans to announce a mandate sometime next week to require face-coverings, according to a spokesperson for the Joint Information Command. Details about that plan and exactly when it would take effect are not yet known.
The mandate would not need to go through city council, but instead would be part of a public health order.
That spokesperson also confirmed that the mayor does not plan to extend the city's stay-at-home order past May 8. The state-wide order expired but the city of Denver and many metro area counties extended theirs through May 8.
6th JBS employee dies of COVID-19
A sixth employee at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley has died of COVID-19, according to the Union Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 union.
At least 245 workers at JBS have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a closure of the facility for a deep cleaning. It has since reopened with additional social distancing measures and temperature checks in place.
UFCW 7 issued the following statement about the employee's death:
The uptick in cases in a matter of days shows how serious this crisis is and the dangers that workers are facing every day just trying to do their jobs. That is why we have issued the following list of demands of specific health and safety actions needed to protect essential workers and the national food supply chain:
1. Mandate meatpacking companies to provide the highest level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through access to the federal stockpile.
2. Ensure daily testing of workers and their communities.
3. Provide paid sick and family leave.
4. Ensure workers have access to quality and affordable health care, that includes long-term hospital coverage.
5. Mandate enforceable federal safety standards.
6. Mandate enforceable strong health CDC guidelines.
7. Ensure constant monitoring by federal inspectors to enforce safety standards.
8. Strengthen whistleblower laws for workers.
9. Protect workers’ health and safety by ensuring they have access to union representation.
10. All workers receive a death benefit.
Frontier Airlines will require passengers to wear face masks
Frontier Airlines will begin to require that passengers wear a face covering over their nose and mouth effective Friday, May 8.
Passengers must wear their masks at the airline’s ticket counters, gate areas and onboard Frontier aircraft. Very young children, for whom a face covering is inadvisable, will be exempt from the policy, according to Frontier.
Frontier says face coverings have been required for their flight crews since April 13.
Frontier also said that passengers must accept a health acknowledgement prior to completing check-in.
38,384 filed for unemployment in Colorado last week
More than 38,000 people filed for unemployment between April 19 and April 25 the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced.
That number is a significant reduction from the previous week ending on April 18, when 67,334 filed for unemployment, the CDLE said.
In addition, there were 40,906 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistant (PUA) claims filed for workers who are self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, like Uber and Lyft.
CDLE said it also began paying Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) over the last week, which provides an additional $600/week of unemployment those eligible.
More than 317,500 claims have been filed in the past five weeks, and CDLE said more than 75% of all employment claims filed since March 15 have been paid.
Here are the top five industries with the highest claims:
- The top five industries with the highest claims are:
- Accommodation and Food Services: 8,174
- Retail Trade: 7,220
- Healthcare and Social Service: 5,527
- Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation: 2,670
- Other Services:*** 2,367
Free COVID-19 testing at CU Boulder
Through a continued partnership with the Colorado Emergency Operations Center, King Soopers announced an additional free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at CU Boulder on April 30 and May 1.
Testing will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CU Space Sciences building located at 3665 Discovery Drive. Registration is required and can be done at krogerhealth.com/covidtesting or call 1-888-852- 2567 (select option 1, then option 3)
An appointment is not necessary after 2 p.m., according to a spokesperson for King Soopers.
When a person arrives for their test, they should have their photo ID ready and should leave their window rolled up for check-in, until a health care practitioner comes to the car to administer the test. Results are expected within approximately 48 hours.
Coronavirus cases in Colorado
In Colorado, 15,284 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 777 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 2,697 have been hospitalized.
As of 4 p.m. on April 30, 756 patients were currently hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 56 patients have been transferred or discharged.
According to CDPHE, 72,390 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 159 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.
- Denver: 3,001
- Arapahoe: 2,472
- Weld: 1,776
- Adams: 1,585
- Jefferson: 1,338
- El Paso: 923
- Eagle: 550
- Boulder: 580
- Douglas: 478
- Morgan: 372
- Logan: 282
- Larimer: 263
- Gunnison: 166
- Broomfield: 150
- Pueblo: 139
- Summit: 128
- Montrose: 96
- Garfield: 93
- Chaffee: 66
- Pitkin: 65
- La Plata: 62
- Routt: 56
- Mesa: 46
- Delta: 44
- Elbert: 29
- Teller: 28
- Fremont: 22
- Kit Carson: 21
- San Miguel: 19
- Lake: 18
- Montezuma: 16
- Clear Creek: 13
- Park: 11
- Baca: 10
- Alamosa: 10
- Otero: 10
- Archuleta: 8
- Yuma: 8
- Rio Grande: 7
- Washington: 7
- Moffat: 6
- Phillips: 5
- Ouray: 5
- Grand: 5
- Saguache: 3
- 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: 158
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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