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Colorado coronavirus latest, April 8: 5,655 confirmed cases, 193 COVID-19-related 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

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

Wednesday, April 8

Colorado Department of Corrections inmate tests positive for COVID-19 

An inmate who was transferred to the Buena Vista Correctional Complex from the Denver City Jail on March 26 has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC).

That inmate has been in quarantine since arriving at the prison and did not enter the general population, the release says. The inmate was not identified, but officials did say the case was a community corrections regression.

Under an order from the governor’s office, the CDOC suspended new transfers from county jails on March 26, but there are still limited circumstances when a transfer might occur – including court returns and community regressions cases.

The CDOC Clinical Services Staff is now working with the Buena Vista Correctional Complex on the next course of action, which includes cleaning and disinfecting.

CDPHE offers details about alternative care sites in event of medical surge 

State and local governments have leased two large-scale facilities to serve as alternative-care sites for COVID-19 patients. These are the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, and The Ranch in Loveland.

Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers will begin construction to retrofit these large facilities this week, as the state attempts to finalize leases with three other sites to provide similar services.

These sites will only serve people who are transported from hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  Critically ill patients will still be treated in ICUs, and those who are recovering will be sent to an ambulatory surgical center, free-standing emergency department or critical access hospital for treatment.  

Healing patients could then be transferred to what are called “tier three sites” – which could be the alternative care facilities the state has leased. Essentially, these sites take care of patients who may not be critically ill, but still need some form of hospitalization.

Patients who can return home, but due to extenuating circumstances are unable to, can be transferred to a hotel that’s been converted to a medical shelter, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

Here are details about the two alternative-care facilities the state has already secured: 

Colorado Convention Center

  • Bed Capacity: 2,000
  • Lease Signed: April 5, 2020
  • Construction Start Date: April 7, 2020
  • Construction Finish Date: April 27, 2020

The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex

  • Bed Capacity: 1,060
  • Lease Signed: April 7, 2020
  • Construction Start Date: April 9, 2020

Centura Health offering COVID-19 testing to Colorado first responders

Centura Health announced it is offering COVID-19 testing for symptomatic Colorado first responders, according to a news release.

This is for emergency medical service workers, firefighters and law enforcement. Centura says teams should email centuralovesfirstresponders@centura.org for the necessary forms to complete a test.

It is available at the following locations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Breckenridge

555 S. Park Ave. Breckenridge

Denver

711 E. Yale Ave. Denver

Durango 

810 3rd St. Basement Level, Durango

Longmont

1380 Tulip St., Longmont

Pueblo 

555 S. Park Ave. Breckenridge

Westminster

7233 Church Ranch Blvd., Westminster

Colorado Springs 

3027 N. Circle Dr., Colorado Springs

Gov. Polis provides COVID-19 update

Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) held an hour-long news conference Wednesday emphasizing the importance of social distancing during the Passover and Easter holidays. 

He demonstrated ways that churches are holding services remotely, and said continuing to avoid gatherings would open up the state sooner rather than later. 

RELATED: Where to watch online Easter services across Colorado

Notably, the governor also said he wouldn't do "political analysis" after President Donald Trump tweeted he was giving 100 ventilators to Colorado at the request of Republican Senator Cory Gardner.

Polis has previously said that FEMA blocked the state's request for 500 ventilators. 

The rest of the news conference focused on the need for social distancing for the state to return to some semblance of economic normalcy. Polis said he would show a presentation down the line explaining what measures his office will take. 

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National Lacrosse League cancels remainder of season

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announced Wednesday morning it will cancel the remainder of its regular season.

The NLL had suspended play since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic and had three weeks left on its regular-season slate.

In a tweet, the Colorado Mammoth said that "All ticket holders for the remaining regular-season games will receive an email with credit or refund options specific to their purchase." 

Full Story here: NLL cancels the remainder of regular season

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

In Colorado, 5,655 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 193 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 1,162 have been hospitalized.

According to CDPHE, 29,199 people have been tested and 54 counties are reporting cases. There have been 44 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

See the latest numbers from the state health department.

  • Denver: 927
  • Arapahoe: 764
  • Jefferson: 610
  • Weld: 573
  • El Paso: 472
  • Adams: 417
  • Eagle: 374
  • Douglas: 244
  • Boulder: 207
  • Larimer: 167
  • Gunnison: 98
  • Summit: 56
  • Broomfield: 52
  • Garfield: 49
  • Pueblo: 45
  • Pitkin: 39
  • Montrose: 35
  • La Plata: 34
  • Routt: 32
  • Mesa: 32
  • Chaffee: 23
  • Morgan: 23
  • Logan: 13
  • Teller: 12
  • San Miguel: 10
  • Elbert: 10
  • Baca: 9
  • Montezuma: 8
  • Clear Creek: 7
  • Archuleta: 6
  • Delta: 5
  • Rio Grande: 5
  • Park: 5
  • Kit Carson: 5
  • Alamosa: 5
  • Grand: 4
  • Otero: 4
  • Phillips: 4
  • Fremont: 4
  • Moffat: 3
  • Saguache: 3
  • Costilla: 3
  • Lake: 3
  • Ouray: 3
  • Yuma: 2
  • Mineral: 2
  • Custer: 2
  • Rio Blanco: 1
  • Las Animas: 1
  • Hinsdale: 1
  • Huerfano: 1
  • Crowley: 1
  • Washington: 1
  • Lincoln: 1
  • Unknown or pending: 238

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

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.

RELATED: Data show which communities COVID-19 is impacting most in Colorado

CDC's testing guidance includes three types of people:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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