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Colorado coronavirus latest May 22: Weld County to offer free drive-thru testing

Colorado's unemployment rate increased to 11.3% in April, which is the highest since records began in 1976, according to the state labor department.

COLORADO, USA — The Weld County government will be hosting free drive-thu testing for COVID-19 in early June.

The Boulder County Public Health Order requiring face coverings for every person older than 12 years old whenever in public anywhere in Boulder County that social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained will remain in place through at least June 30.

Arapahoe County will begin the distribution of the approximately $114.5 million it received from the CARES Act, $51.5 million of which will be directly shared with its 13 communities.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) gave an update Friday morning on the state's unemployment situation and benefits.

Pikes Peak shuttle service and the Frisco Bay Marina begin summer operations this weekend, but with new safety procedures in place.

Those are among the coronavirus updates for the state on Friday. More details are below, and we'll continue to post information as it comes in throughout the day.

> Watch the video above for the latest headlines on COVID-19 for May 22. 

WHAT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • 23,487 cases, up from 23,191 the day prior. 
  • 4,082 hospitalized, up from 4,037 the day prior.
  • 1,324 deaths among those who tested positive for COVID-19, up from 1,310 the day prior.
  • 1,088 deaths due to COVID-19, up from 1,062 the day prior.
  • Get the latest data from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
  • On Monday, April 27, Colorado transitioned to a "safer-at-home" order.
  • Weld County will host free drive-thru COVID-19 testing
  • The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners unveiled their plan to distribute the $114.5 million he county received from the federal CARES Act.
  • Boulder County Public Health extended their facial covering order

Click/tap here to read updates from May 21.

Weld County hosting free COVID-19 drive-thru testing in early June

The Weld County government will host free drive-thru testing events in early June. 

Those who want to be tested can register online ahead of time. 

The first events will be:

  • June 1 in Fort Lupton at the Southeast County Services Complex, located at 2950 9th St.
    • Registration is open from May 25 - May 31.
  • June 3 in Briggsdale at Briggsdale School, located at 515 Leslie St.
    • Registration is open from May 27- June 2.
  • June 5 in Severance at Severance High School, located at 1200 Hidden Valley Pkwy.
    • Registration is open from May 29-June 4.
  • June 8 in Firestone at the Southwest County Services Complex, located at 4209 Weld County Road 24 ½. 
    • Registration is open from June 1- June 7.

More dates and times will follow.

Arapahoe County unveils CARES Act relief plan

The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution this week authorizing distribution of the approximately $114.5 million the county received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Arapahoe County will share $51.5 million directly with its 13 communities including Aurora, Bennett, Centennial, Englewood, Littleton, Greenwood Village, Cherry Hills Village, Deer Trail, Glendale, Foxfield, Sheridan, Bow Mar and Columbine Valley.

Funds from the CARES Act "will help advance the Arapahoe County Response and Recovery Plan, which is designed to facilitate a full recovery of the county from COVID-19 by balancing health, safety and economic considerations," according to the county.

The plan's objectives include: 

  • Supporting the economic recovery of Arapahoe County residents and businesses.
  • Protecting the health and well-being of Arapahoe County and municipal employees.
  • Increasing access to effective and efficient testing methods.
  • Supporting Arapahoe County’s most vulnerable residents.
  • Educating residents about personal responsibility, situational awareness, and preventive actions such as continued social distancing, avoidance of large gatherings, and support for high risk populations to remain in safe environments.
  • Establishing data-driven decision-making models to assess public health, hospital surge and capacity, and economic success.
  • Funding direct COVID-19 costs in a manner that minimizes Arapahoe County liability, and recognizes multiple grant streams and funding opportunities.

Arapahoe County has also launched the "Arapahoe County CARES Program," which will share stories and data about how county and municipal CARES funds are being used to support recovery efforts. Details will be shared at ArapahoeGov.com.

Boulder County Public Health extends facial covering order

The Boulder County Board of Health approved an extension of the Boulder County Public Health Order requiring face coverings for every person older than 12 years old whenever in public anywhere in Boulder County that social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.

The order will remain in place through Tuesday, June 30.

Colorado labor department gives update on employment situation

Colorado's unemployment rate increased to 11.3% in April, which is the highest rate for the state since records began in 1976, according to an update Friday from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

The prior record was 8.9% in late 2010, according to CDLE. The national unemployment rate increased to 14.7% in April, which is the highest rate for the U.S. since records began in 1948.

For the month of April, the number of unemployed in Colorado increased 183,800, according to CDLE. The number of people reporting themselves as employed decreased to 2,721,300.

Over the past nine weeks, CDLE says it has received 470,000 claims for regular unemployment benefits and about 70,000 claims for pandemic unemployment assistance. Of those claims, 86 percent have been paid.

Frisco Bay Marina to open this weekend

The Frisco Bay Marina will continue its tradition of being open for Memorial Day weekend. The Frisco Bay Marina boat ramp will open on Friday, May 22 at 9 a.m., and powerboat and paddle sport rentals will be available starting on Saturday, May 23.

Everyone will be required to follow physical distancing and health protocols, which includes individuals staying at least six feet from people not in their immediate household, always wearing face coverings while inside of marina public buildings, wearing face coverings outside when not able to maintain a six-foot distance from others, staying home if they are sick and washing or sanitizing hands frequently.

Pikes Peak begins updated summer shuttle operations

Friday, May 22, marks the return of mandatory shuttle service for guests seeking to reach the summit of Pikes Peak. Parking at the summit is extremely limited due to construction of the Pikes Peak Summit Complex.

Modifications are being applied to shuttle service, including physical distancing for all waiting lines, less than 50% capacity in each shuttle and increased cleaning and disinfection of shuttles throughout the day.

Face coverings are required for all guests riding the shuttle, drivers and parking attendants. Guests who do not have a face covering to use in the shuttle will only be allowed to drive to the 16-mile parking area. Face coverings are available for purchase at the gift shops.

Tickets should be bought in advance at pikespeakcolorado.com.

Burlington reopens all Colorado stores

All Burlington Stores in Colorado will be re-opened on Friday, May 22.

Safety measures include, but are not limited to social distancing measures, wider check-out lanes and one way entrances and exits throughout the store, cart wipes, and masks for all associates.

Colorado Black Arts Festival goes virtual in 2020

The 2020 Colorado Black Arts Festival is going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of the 2020 virtual festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

The festival will return to a live event the second weekend of July 2021 bringing the best in African Diaspora visual and performing arts plus engaging art and cultural experiences.

Colorado Ballet Academy’s summer classes go virtual

The Raydean Acevedo Colorado Ballet Academy (CBA) announced it will offer all of its typical summer programming in a virtual setting.

Programs include Summer Intensive, Young Dancer Workshop, Summer Classes and Camps. Staff will engage with students online with interactive programs, creative choreography and exemplary training for students ages 3 – 20.

Pizza Hut donates to Food Bank of the Rockies

NPC International, the owner of Denver area Pizza Huts and largest Pizza Hut franchisee, donated product amounting to more than 1,800 pizzas to Food Bank of the Rockies.

“We are happy to be able to help out in a time of need. While Pizza Hut is a national brand, NPC Pizza Hut restaurants are active members of our local communities,” said Richard Wykes, Region Manager for NPC International.

Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival canceled

The Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival scheduled for July 25, 2020 at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs has been canceled.

All ticket holders will be issued a full refund. Organizers said the festival will return in 2021.

Jimmy Buffett postpones to 2021

Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band are rescheduling their sold-out September shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Buffett and his band will now play the storied Red Rocks venue on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 and Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

RELATED: Jimmy Buffett shifts Red Rocks concerts to 2021

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

CDPHE on May 15 changed the way it was reporting data in two ways:

  • The number of deaths among people with COVID-19. This represents the total number of deaths reported among people who have COVID-19, but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate. This information is required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is crucial for public health surveillance, as it provides more information about disease transmission and can help identify risk factors among all deaths across populations.
  • The number of deaths among people who died from COVID-19: This represents the total number of people whose death was attributed to COVID-19 as indicated on a death certificate. This number is determined by the CDC and is updated daily for dates through the previous Saturday.

In Colorado, CDPHE reports 23,487 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 23,191 the day prior.

Fatalities

CDPHE reports:

  • 1,324 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 1,088 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,301 people had died, 1,062 from COVID-19

The majority of deaths — 55% — are among people over age 80; 23% of deaths occurred in people between ages 70-79 and 13% were in people ages 60-69.

The graph below shows the total number of people in Colorado who have died after a COVID-19 diagnosis, since the first death happened on March 13.

Hospitalizations

Of those who tested positive for the disease, 4,082 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 4,037 the day prior.

As of 4:15 p.m. on May 22, 444 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 48 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 90% of facilities reported data on May 22.

This graph below shows the number of people currently hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis and the number of people who have been discharged within 24 hours. This is a key metric because it can be an indicator of whether or not Colorado’s hospital system is being overwhelmed by the virus.

Testing

According to CDPHE, 142,667 people have been tested, up from 139,937 the day prior, and 60 counties are reporting cases, the same number as the day before.

This graph below shows the number of tests the state processed in a day. This is another key metric because the state’s ability to reopen will depend on the number of tests Colorado can run each day. As testing improves, the number of cases will rise because the more tests that are conducted, the more cases will be found.

Positivity is the number of tests that come back with a COVID-19 result. Above 10% could be an indicator that not enough testing is being done and that only people likely to have COVID are getting tested.

Please note that there may be a lull or spike in reported case data due to how it's reported. CDPHE data changes as labs, hospitals, facilities and local agencies report their own data. For example, a spike in the number of deaths does not necessarily mean that many more people died within 24 hours, but rather is indicative of when the data is entered into the system. New data is released daily at 4 p.m.

> See the latest numbers from the state health department.

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: The specifics of each Colorado county's safer-at-home orders

RELATED: FAQ: Dr. Kohli answers your questions about the coronavirus

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