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Colorado coronavirus latest, May 4: 851 deaths, 2,838 hospitalizations

COVID-19 is in Colorado — we'll continue to post updates and headlines on how Colorado is being affected by the coronavirus.

COLORADO, USA — Denver Public Schools said Monday it will use remote learning for summer programs and that camps have been canceled, even as a spokesperson for the city said Denver does not plan to extend its stay-at-home order beyond May 8.

Meanwhile, the number of cases in the state stands at 16,907 and 2,838 hospitalizations — 851 people have died, according to the latest data.

Those announcements are among several COVID-19-related updates for Monday, which also included that DIA will require face masks, and information for employees who don't feel safe returning to work that was discussed during a state labor department virtual town hall.

The information is included in the article below. We'll continue to post updates below as they come in throughout the day.

RELATED: FAQs: Answering your questions on the coronavirus in Colorado


  • 16,907 cases, 2,838 hospitalized, 851 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. A spokesperson said the city does not plan to extend the order beyond May 8.
  • Denver Public Schools said it has moved summer programming to a remote environment.
  • Denver will begin requiring face masks in public places on May 6.
  • The DMV is reopening some of its offices, by appointment only, on May 6.
  • The Department of Education issued guidance for schools and communities who want to host alternative graduation ceremonies.
  • The Colorado Department of Labor held a virtual town hall on Monday with topics including filing claims for gig workers and self-employed, returning to work and unemployment benefits and tips for filing a successful claim.
  • DIA will require all passengers and visitors to wear face coverings starting May 6.
  • Frontier Airlines is adding a "more room" seat assignment option for passengers who want a guaranteed open middle seat next to them.

Click/tap here to read updates from May 3.

Monday, May 4

Colorado Department of Education issues guidance on hosting alternate graduation ceremonies

With traditional graduation ceremonies canceled across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and schools are getting creative in their efforts to still celebrate their seniors this spring. 

Monday, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) issued guidance on safe ways to plan alternate events.

Communities and schools are encouraged by CDE to work with local public health agencies to plan creative graduation ceremonies that honor seniors while keeping everyone safe.

All celebrations must comply with Gov. Jared Polis' Safer at Home order, which means gatherings of 10 or more people are not permitted.

RELATED: Ideas, guidelines for hosting graduation celebrations during COVID-19 pandemic

DPS moves summer programming to remote environment

Denver Public Schools (DPS) announced Monday that summer programming will move to a remote environment. Additionally, all summer camps will be canceled and community use of DPS space will not be granted for June and July this year.

"This decision was made with the goal of protecting the safety, health and wellness of students, staff and families as the district works to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus," DPS said in a statement. "Amid the uncertainty this pandemic brings, DPS remains in close contact with public health officials, elected leaders and other school districts, and will continue sharing information as it’s available."

Below is a high-level summary of the impacted summer programs:

  • District camps will be canceled. 
  • Summer Academy will be held remotely. 
  • High school credit recovery will be held remotely. 
  • Sixth- and Ninth-Grade Academies will be held remotely. 
  • Extended Year Services for Special Education will be held remotely. 
  • All summer professional learning (including June and July Leadership Weeks, New Educator Welcome Week and Universal) will be held remotely.
  • Food services will continue grab-and-go distribution.

9Health Expert analyzes data on infection rates in children

Kids may be less affected by COVID-19 because they have a relative resistance to the infection for reasons researchers are still trying to determine or because they are relatively asymptomatic, according to 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli's review of the latest data.

"HEROES trial is a new National Institutes of Health study that started today to determine what infection rate with SARS-CoV2 in children is, and [it] will also assess whether there is a difference in those who have asthma or allergies," Kohli said.

The trial will include 6,000 children from 2,000 families.

Another study, from the Chinese New England Journal of Medicine, assessed 1,391 children who had known contact with SARS-CoV2 infection — 171, or 12.3%, tested positive for the infection.

Other study highlights:

  • Median age 6.7 years
  • Most common age group 6-10 years
  • 61% Males
  • 39% Female
  • ~50% cough and pharyngeal erythema (throat redness)
  • ~40% fever
  • 3/171 in ICU (1.75%) - all with coexisting medical conditions.
Credit: New England Journal of Medicine

Kohli said the study indicates that kids appear to have a lower rate of infection after high-risk exposure compared to adults.

"Once infected, the male/female split is similar to adults, and a similar rate of asymptomatic infection as adults," Kohli said.

Kohli said kids also appear to have similar symptoms to adults except for pharyngeal erythema, and that there's a much lower rate of ICU in children (1.75% compared to 5% in adults)."

Frontier Airlines adding 'more room' option

Frontier Airlines announced in a news release Monday that they will be adding a "more room" seat assignment option for passengers, guaranteeing an empty middle seat next to them.

“While we believe the best measure to keep everyone healthy is to require face coverings, for those who want an empty seat next to them for extra peace of mind or simply additional comfort, we are now offering ‘More Room,’” said Frontier CEO Barry Biffle.

Starting May 8 and lasting until Aug. 31, 18 "more room" seats will be available for passengers to select. Denver-based Frontier will also require passengers to wear a face covering, according to the release sent out by the airline on Monday.

In April, Frontier required all passengers to accept a health acknowledgement prior to check in, and to certify the following:

  • Neither they nor anyone in their household has exhibited COVID-19 related symptoms in the last 14 days.
  • They will check their temperature before heading to the airport and not travel if they have a fever.
  • They will wash their hands/sanitize before boarding the flight.
  • Information on the airline’s face covering policy will be added to the health acknowledgement.

CDLE explains what to do if you don't feel safe returning to work

At a virtual town hall Monday morning, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) explained how it handles claims by those who have been asked by their employers to return to work but said they don't feel safe doing so.

Those situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, CDLE says. A traditional employee who's getting unemployment benefits can request that they continue receiving benefits rather than return to work. CDLE then analyzes those requests by looking at workplace conditions and whether the employer adheres to safer-at-home protocols like requiring social distancing and masks.

CDLE also considers whether the claimant is part of a vulnerable population or is caring for someone who is vulnerable. If that's the case, there might be no condition under which it's safe for them to return to work.

In the town hall, CDLE also said it has processed more than 350,000 unemployment claims since March 15, with more than $500 million in benefits paid.

To file a claim for unemployment benefits, go to coloradoui.gov.

CDLE will hold a virtual town hall in Spanish at 11:30 a.m. You can register for the town hall, but registration isn't required. Topics include claims filing for gig workers and self-employed, returning to work and unemployment benefits, and tips for filing a successful claim.

RELATED: Nearly 41,000 gig workers file for unemployment in Colorado, state sets up form for questions about claims

DIA to require face coverings

Denver International Airport (DIA) will require all visitors and passengers to wear face coverings while at the airport beginning Wednesday, May 6.

All employees at DIA are currently required to also wear face masks.

The airport joins a growing list of travel companies that are requiring passengers to wear masks including Frontier Airlines, Southwest and Alaska Airlines. Passengers should wear their face coverings throughout the airport including during the TSA screening process.

FULL STORY: DIA will require passengers to wear face masks

Coronavirus cases in Colorado

In Colorado, 16,907 people have tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and 851 people have died. Of those who tested positive for the disease, 2,838 have been hospitalized.

As of 4 p.m. on May 4, 689 patients are currently hospitalized with the disease, according to the most recent data from the Colorado Hospital Association. Within the last 24 hours, 43 patients have been transferred or discharged.

According to CDPHE, 83,266 people have been tested and 56 counties are reporting cases. There have been 163 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

See the latest numbers from the state health department.

  • Denver: 3,428
  • Arapahoe: 2,758
  • Weld: 1,897
  • Adams: 1,815
  • Jefferson: 1,431
  • El Paso: 1,005
  • Boulder: 679
  • Eagle: 552
  • Douglas: 531
  • Morgan: 413
  • Larimer: 393
  • Logan: 290
  • Gunnison: 168
  • Broomfield: 167
  • Pueblo: 157
  • Summit: 144
  • Montrose: 106
  • Garfield: 95
  • Chaffee: 67
  • La Plata: 63
  • Routt: 56
  • Pitkin: 51
  • Mesa: 46
  • Delta: 51
  • Elbert: 32
  • Teller: 28
  • Fremont: 22
  • Kit Carson: 21
  • San Miguel: 20
  • Lake: 21
  • Montezuma: 18
  • Clear Creek: 13
  • Park: 14
  • Baca: 12
  • Alamosa: 14
  • Otero: 10
  • Yuma: 9
  • Archuleta: 8
  • Rio Grande: 7
  • Washington: 8
  • Moffat: 6
  • Phillips: 5
  • Ouray: 5
  • Grand: 5
  • Saguache: 3
  • Costilla: 3
  • Las Animas: 3
  • Hinsdale: 3
  • Lincoln: 3
  • Crowley: 4
  • Mineral: 2
  • Custer: 2
  • Huerfano: 2
  • Rio Blanco: 1
  • Gilpin: 1
  • Prowers: 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: Here are counties extending stay-at-home orders (or considering it)

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