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Colorado coronavirus latest, May 26: 24,565 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 4,160 hospitalizations

The latest COVID-19 models from CDPHE show Coloradans will likely be social distancing ‘for the long haul.’

COLORADO, USA — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) gave an update on the latest modeling data, which indicates social distancing will likely need to be in place for months to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The latest data from CDPHE shows there are 24,565 confirmed cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Colorado. Of those with the disease, 4,160 have been hospitalized and 1,352 have died. 

Beginning Tuesday, Aurora Public Library is offering curbside contact-less pick up at its branches. 

Gov. Jared Polis has extended the state's safer-at-home order to June 1, but said restaurants that follow a strict set of regulations can open Wednesday.

Polis also said day camps and youth activity camps can reopen June 1, while overnight camps will remain closed in June.

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


  • 24,565 cases, up from 24,269 the day prior. 
  • 4,160 hospitalized, up from 4,128 the day prior.
  • 1,352 deaths among those who tested positive for COVID-19, up from 1,333 the day prior.
  • 1,114 deaths due to COVID-19, up from 1,088 the day prior.
  • Get the latest data from the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
  • Polis said restaurants can reopen to in-person dining on Wednesday, with strict regulations in place. Day camps and youth sports camps can reopen June 1.
  • Denver, Jefferson County Public Health and Tri-County Public Health confirmed they will follow Polis' statewide guidelines.
  • Polis extended the state's safer-at-home order to June 1.

Click/tap here to read updates from May 25.

Aurora Public Library offering curbside pick up

Beginning Tuesday, Aurora Public Library is offering curbside contact-less pick up at its branches.

The city said people can browse the online catalog, put a hold on their desired items and select which branch they would like to pick up at. Branches offering the service are Central, Hoffman Heights, Martin Luther King Jr, Mission Viejo and Tallyn’s Reach. 

The city said if people need personal assistance, library staff can place holds for them over the phone during business hours. Once the items are ready for pickup, people will be contacted by library staff. 

For the actual contact-free pick up, people are asked to call the library when they arrive and remain in their vehicle with their library card ready while they wait for further direction. Staff will place the items on a table near the front of the building where the person can pick the books up after library staff re-enters the building.

CDPHE officials show latest COVID-19 modeling for Colorado 

Modeling from the Colorado School of Public Health shows that older Coloradans will likely have to limit nearly all of their social interactions for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment during a phone call with the media on Tuesday.

In the latest models, Coloradans over the age of 60 would need to limit their social interactions to below 80% to keep the number of COVID-19 cases in the state below hospital capacity. A vast majority of novel coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations have been in this age group.

Younger Coloradans will still need to keep their social interactions at 55% less than they were before the pandemic to continue to "flatten the curve" and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

“There are a lot of things about this virus we still don’t know,” Hunsaker Ryan said. “It’s novel, it’s unpredictable.”

An estimated 170,000 Coloradans – or 2.9% of the state’s population – have contracted COVID-19, according to the data presented on Tuesday.

The models presented on Tuesday guide state policy about reopening and allowing certain large gatherings.

Polis gives restaurants, day camps green light to reopen

Polis said that restaurants can reopen to in-person dining at 50% capacity inside the restaurant, but cannot exceed 50 people (whichever is less) on Wednesday.

He also said that private campsites are now open and that children's day camps and youth sports camps may resume June 1. Overnight camps will remain closed in June.

FULL STORY: Polis gives go-ahead for restaurants to reopen on Wednesday

Polis' executive order for restaurants follows those outlined by CDPHE, which still encourages curbside pickup and delivery, it said any establishment that can adhere to the guidelines can open.

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 24,565 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, up from 24,269 the day prior.


CDPHE reports:

  • 1,352 deaths among people with COVID-19
  • 1,114 deaths due to COVID-19

The day prior, 1,333 people had died, 1,088 from COVID-19.

The majority of deaths — 54% — are among people over age 80; 24% 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.


Of those who tested positive for the disease, a total of 4,160 hospitalizations have been reported, up from 4,128 the day prior.

As of 2:45 p.m. on May 26, 367 patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 36 patients have been transferred or discharged.

Note: 93% of facilities reported data on May 26.

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.


According to CDPHE, 157,036 people have been tested, up from 153,683 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.

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