As coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreads in Colorado, KGNU is committed to keeping you informed about the virus and connected to local resources.
According to the CDPHE, there are currently 4,173 positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado and 111 deaths
De acuerdo al CDPHE, actualmente se han identificado 4,173 casos positivos de COVID-19 en Colorado y 111 muerte
Latest Colorado COVID-19 News:
Speaking Friday, April 3rd, Governor Jared Polis donned a cloth face mask as he urged Coloradoans to wear them when they go outdoors for essential activities like grocery shopping. “We’re asking all Coloradoans to wear non-medical cloth face masks.”
The Governor said that at this point a cloth face mask or scarf should be part of everybody’s personal hygiene practices. Governor Polis said that masks can be made from old t-shirts or other cloth that people have at home. He said masks must cover your mouth and cover your nose and must be washed frequently. Governor Polis that combining handwashing with wearing a face covering will help in reducing the spread of the virus. Governor Polis today reiterated that medical supply masks must be reserved for medical workers, but encouraged the widespread use of cloth face masks for the general public.
State public health officials say that even if you wear a mask, you should still practice social distancing. Information on how to make a home-made mask is available at www.coloradomaskproject.com
— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) April 3, 2020
Colorado will receive about $285 million from the Federal Transit Administration to support local transit in the COVID-19 crisis. Westword reports that the bulk of the money, $232 million, will go to Denver’s Regional Transportation District. RTD will cut service significantly on April 19 due to the drastic fall in ridership in recent weeks. The federal money can be used for any operations costs associated with COVID-19.
The current statewide stay at home order is in effect until April 11. On Tuesday, March 31st, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he will extend the city’s stay-at-home order through April 30.
Some Colorado businesses have received citations for remaining open in defiance of the order.The Denver Post reports that Hobby Lobby stores in Denver shut down this week after being cited by city inspectors for violating the order.On Wednesday, April 1st, the state’s attorney general’s office directed the founder and chief executive officer of Hobby Lobby to close all of its stores in the state. The Post reports that The Appliance Factory Mattress Kingdom store remains open despite repeated citations. Citations can result in a $999 fine or jail time.
COVID-19 is present in 4 Boulder County senior living facilities. The Daily Camera reports that three residents of The Bridge at Longmont have tested positive for COVID-19 and all are hospitalized – one is in intensive care, while two more are listed as stable.
Two residents of the Frasier senior residential facility in Boulder have tested positive for COVID-19, but they reportedly have recovered and are doing well.
One resident of Balfour Cherrywood Village in Louisville has also tested positive and three people who live or work at Boulder Manor have tested positive as well.
Tuesday, March 31st, the Denver City Council passed three bills to help the residents get through the pandemic. A release from the city says that 13.5 million dollars will be allocated – with 10 million going to fund for services and supplies like PPE, overtime pay for personnel, and the purchase of beds and medical equipment and 3.5 million dollars will go to help businesses support their employees. A third bill will allow the city to donate surplus computers to a group called PCs for People to be used by low-income families.
Also Tuesday, Governor Jared Polis sent a letter urging the federal government to automatically extend work authorizations for all Deferred Action Childhood Arrival recipients set to expire this year.
The policy started in the Obama administration, allows eligible immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year authorization to work and study. In his letter to the Department of Homeland Security, Polis said that the extension of DACA would provide some needed stability to the state’s businesses and residents who benefit from the program.
On Monday, March 30th the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) announced the Center is working with communities across the state to prepare for an expected major increase in the need for intensive care unit (ICU) beds as a result of COVID-19.
According to a press release, “The SEOC is partnering with local public health organizations, health care facilities, the Colorado Hospital Association, and federal and state agencies to prepare for a potential medical surge by:
Identifying all current hospital beds in the state by type of care.
Helping health care facilities with plans to free up ICU beds and transfer patients.
Identifying and preparing alternative care sites that could be repurposed to provide medical care.
Identifying and redeploying additional ventilators to areas of need with the goal of increasing ICU bed capacity.
Current estimates are that Colorado has 1,849 ICU beds across the state. The state’s goal is to add 1,000 beds by May, and to add another 5,000 by the summer.
In the meantime, each health care facility is working to move patients out of ICUs, when possible, into acute care beds and lower-needs beds in order to prepare for increased demand in ICU settings.”
More information on how local and state hospitals are preparing for a surge in cases of COVID-19 here.
This week the NAACP Boulder County Branch sent a letter to the Boulder City Manager voicing concern over lack of bathrooms and hand-washing stations near local homeless shelters, lack of capacity at shelters resulting in people being turned away, lack of day shelters and how the Severe Weather Shelter could increase capacity for housing but is not being used unless weather criteria is met. The NAACP letter encouraged the city of Boulder to keep shelters open everyday for the duration of the pandemic.
On Friday, March 27th the Boulder Director of Housing and Human Services announced the Boulder’s COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC), an operation that offers COVID-19 testing, along with limited shelter and care for unhoused individuals showing sign of COVID-19 illness, is expanding the CRC service. The expansion includes additional transportation from shelters, where symptomatic persons are first screened, to the CRC in East Boulder. The Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Bridge House are also working in conjunction with the city to ensure bed space is optimized.
In addition, the city is announcing, “The Severe Weather Shelter facility on 30th Street in Boulder will be open every day from April 1st, 10:00am to 2:00pm, for facility access that will include hand washing, bathroom facilities and limited shower availability. Bridge House will also be conducting an additional thorough cleaning each day in order to support this service. To address the concern of sheltering generally during this public health emergency, SWS shelter will be open every night through the end of April.”
Official CDPHE Press Release on the Colorado Stay-at-Home Order:
In accordance with Governor Jared Polis’ executive order and because the transmission of COVID-19 is widespread throughout the state, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) enacted a public health order requiring Coloradans to stay at home, except to do limited necessary activities as outlined in the order. The order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19, saving people in Colorado from severe illness and death. The order minimizes contact between people, limiting exposure to the virus.
Colorado must act now to “flatten the curve” of increased cases, which will help hospitals to prepare for the expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Based on global COVID-19 rates of hospitalization and death, public health experts predict that without measures like the stay-home order, Colorado hospitals will be unable to handle the surge of sick people, and many in the state could die. Even with these extreme measures, hospitals likely will reach their maximum capacity to care for people with severe symptoms. The stay-at-home order aims to slow the rate of spread of the virus, giving our health care and emergency management systems additional time to grow capacity. Each and every person in Colorado plays a part in slowing the spread of the virus.
The public health order requires people in Colorado to stay at home, except when doing necessary activities including:
- Obtaining food, medicine, other household supplies.
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee (Please see list of critical businesses below).
- Seeking medical care.
- Caring for family, household members, and animals.
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location.
- Participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other people and by your home.
The order went into effect at 6 a.m. on March 26, 2020, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 11, 2020. The order may be changed or extended.
“The sacrifices that Coloradans are making will pay off in the long run,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “It will take everyone acting together to slow the spread of the illness to a level that our health care systems can absorb, but countless lives will be saved through these measures.”
The critical workplaces that are exempt include:
- Health care operations.
- Critical infrastructure, including utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide for disadvantaged people, and food supply chain.
- Critical manufacturing, including food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, agriculture.
- Critical retail, including grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout/delivery, marijuana dispensaries (only for medical or curbside delivery), hardware stores.
- Critical services, including trash and recycling, mail, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses/distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries, animal shelters and rescues.
- News media.
- Financial institutions.
- Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations.
- Public safety services like law enforcement, fire prevention and response, EMTs, security, disinfection, cleaning, building code enforcement, snow removal, auto repair.
- Vendors that provide critical services or products including logistics, child care, tech support, or contractors with critical government services.
- K-12 public and private schools for the purpose of providing meals, housing, facilitating or providing materials for distance learning and providing other essential services to students.
- Postsecondary institutions including private and public colleges and universities for the purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions.
- Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in-need of end-of-life services.
- Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing or use electronic platforms.
- Professional services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.
All services included in the public health order are subject to social distancing requirements and are still encouraged to implement telework options and staggered schedules when possible. Businesses that have temporarily closed under the order can continue Minimum Basic Operations to protect assets.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.
On Thursday, March 26th, in partnership with Mile High United Way, the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center activated 2-1-1 Colorado to connect Coloradans with human service resources statewide. Coloradans can reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org, by dialing 2-1-1 or texting your Zip Code to 898-211.
2-1-1 Colorado is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people across the State of Colorado to vital resources in their local community. 2-1-1 serves as one central location where people can access over 7,500 health and human service resources.
2-1-1 provides navigation services to resources such as:
- Housing, including shelters and transitional services.
- Rent and utility assistance.
- Applying for SNAP benefits by phone.
- Clothing/personal/household needs.
- Mental health and substance use disorders.
- Medical clinics.
- Dental clinic.
- Other government/economic services.
2-1-1 will work in conjunction with The Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP), a toll-free hotline for the latest public health information. If Coloradans are looking for general information about COVID-19, such as the number of cases in Colorado, the list of symptoms, or how you can protect yourself, they can call CO HELP by dialing 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
On Wednesday evening, March 25th, Governor Jared Polis issued a stay at home order for the entire state that goes into effect Thursday March 26th at 6am. Polis said that the order comes because despite previous orders on social isolation, people in the state are not taking enough measures to limit the spread of the virus.
On Wednesday, March 25th, Boulder County Public Health (in coordination with public health departments for Adams, Arapaho, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties) instituted Stay at Home Order, effective March 26 at 8 a.m. The order requires all individuals anywhere in Boulder County to stay at home (also known as shelter in place) except for certain defined essential activities, work, and services. The order is in place until April 17, 2020, although it’s possible it may be extended.
A full and updated description of the Boulder County Stay at Home Order can be found here.
Tuesday, March 24th officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) urged Coloradans not to engage in open burning activities during the current COVID-19 response.
According to the CDPHE press release, “The COVID-19 virus poses a particular threat to individuals with a history of heart or respiratory illness. Smoke from open burns could put a strain on already vulnerable populations. “Open burning” is any fire outdoors where smoke is released directly into the open air without first passing through a chimney or smokestack.”
On Monday evening, March 23rd, The City of Boulder announced a new public health order for the City of Boulder directing individuals to stay at home. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The order is in effect through April 10 and may be extended as needed.
The order, which will be discussed at the March 24 virtual City Council meeting, requires that all people in the City of Boulder stay home and for businesses to implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. All individuals are encouraged to conduct only essential activities necessary to promote health and safety, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies, and getting outdoors only if strict social distancing is observed. Businesses that cannot implement work from home policies and which provide essential services, should continue to implement social distancing for all workers, and personal protection equipment is recommended for those employees.
On Monday, March 23rd, the City and County of Denver issued a new Public Health Order with an explicit stay at home directive for the City and County of Denver that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and continue until April 10. “The order requires that all people in the City & County of Denver stay home and businesses implement work from home policies and delivery of goods to the greatest extent possible. The order also calls for Denver Metro regional municipalities to follow the broad consensus among public health professionals that every effort should be made, by all persons, to conduct only those essential activities necessary to promote health and well-being, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies or medication, and/or engaging in outdoor activities like walking, hiking or running, continuing the strict observance of physical distancing practices.”
Watch the press conference:
On Monday, March 23rd the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) began shipping supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile across Colorado to help communities respond to COVID-19. The Strategic National Stockpile is “the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.” Colorado will receive the following materials:
49,200 N95 masks
115,000 surgical masks
21,420 surgical gowns
21,800 face shields
CDPHE estimates that these supplies are sufficient for approximately one full day of statewide operations.
On Friday, March 20, a COVID-19 Recovery Center (CRC) for unhoused individuals will open at the East Boulder Community Center to serve homeless individuals from Boulder and Longmont. Individuals who appear to show symptoms of COVID-19 and who will require further testing will be transported from homeless shelters to the CRC. At CRC, symptomatic or positive COVID-19 tested individuals can be in isolation for 10 to 14 days. Homeless shelters have begun daily screenings for clients and will be identifying individuals who require further care. (More information on the KGNU COVID-19 Resources page)
Thursday, March 19th, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced measures to help businesses hurt by social distancing. At a press conference Thursday afternoon, the mayor said the city will create a $4 million grant program and waive late penalties for business taxes this year.
Colorado will open up a special enrollment period beginning today March 20th, lasting through April 3 during which Coloradans who are currently uninsured can enroll for a state insurance plan that would kick in starting April 1st. Individuals with already-existing plans through Connect for Health Colorado will not be able to change their plans but spouses and children who are also uninsured can enroll, even if one spouse or a child’s parent is already insured.
Thursday, March 19th, Governor Jarod Polis suspended elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures because to limit strain on medical personnel and supplies.
Governor Polis also extended the public health order closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos to the end of April, and included nonessential personal service facilities, horse track and off-track betting facilities statewide. Nonessential personal services also include hair or nail salons, spas, and tattoo or massage parlors, according to the order.
In addition, the Governor updated an executive order for in-person contact during the state’s elections.
Also Thursday, Gov. Polis’ office announced the state’s application for federal disaster area designation has been approved so Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek up to $2 million in low-interest federal loans from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
On March 18th, Governor Jarod Polis announced the launch of a Colorado COVID-19 relief fund, Help Colorado Now, that supports coronavirus prevention, impact and recovery efforts through financial donations and volunteer opportunities. Polis also announced a system of emergency childcare for essential workers like hospital workers, public safety workers and those who support the critically at-risk population (More information at covidchildcarecolorado.com). The Governor is also ramping up unemployment insurance and small business relief measures. Colorado’s second coronavirus fatality (in Weld County) was also made official.
Watch Governor Polis’ March 18th press conference below:
I’m here, with proper social spacing, to provide an update on COVID-19 relief efforts and how you can help our fellow Coloradans. #DoingMyPartCO
Posted by Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
On Tuesday, March 17th Boulder County officials announced four additional Boulder area residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 11 people in Boulder County. While the disease investigations are still being conducted, two of the recently tested people had not left the county, confirming that there is community spread of COVID-19 in Boulder County.
Late Monday afternoon on March 16th, Governor Jared Polis announced that all restaurants and bars in the state must close except for take-out and delivery. He also ordered all gyms, theaters, and casinos to close.
Also on Monday, the Longmont City Manager Harold Dominguez declared a local disaster emergency and announced that the city was closing three more buildings to public access.
Effective this morning the Civic Center, the city’s main administrative office building at 350 Kimbark St., as well as the Development Services Center at 385 Kimbark St. and the Longmont Service Center at 1100 South Sherman Street are all closed to the public.
In addition, Denver mayor Michael Hancock announced that all restaurants and bars in the city would close for in house dining for 8 weeks. Take out and food delivery services will continue.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says they will resume testing on Tuesday, March 17th with a testing site outside Telluride. According to a press release from the agency, the state is prioritizing testing in mountain resort communities because of the documented transmission of the disease in these areas with a high number of tourists. Telluride is just the first location for these efforts.
On Monday, March 16th the Boulder City Manager signed an order effective immediately that no person shall organize, promote, or stage an event or gathering intended, or which can reasonably be expected to draw an attendance of 20 or more participants and any spectators in any park, parkway, recreation area, street, sidewalk, the Pearl Street Mall, or any other publicly owned space. (This does not include any public transportation waiting area).
Sunday, March 15th in Boulder County, officials announced four more residents tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total in the county to seven. One of the confirmed cases is a student at CU Boulder.
Boulder County Public Health announced Sunday morning two new positive cases of Corona Virus in the county. These are the second and third cases confirmed. The first county resident was confirmed positive Saturday night.
On Sunday afternoon Boulder mayor Sam Weaver announced a special meeting of city council on Monday, March 16 at 5:00 pm. The meeting will be held in council chambers and will be televised. Among the items at the meeting will be the consideration of an emergency ordinance to allow council to hold virtual meetings and if that passes, council members may participate remotely if they wish.
On Saturday evening the city of Boulder declared a state of emergency. Erie also issued an emergency declaration. That means that the cities can access emergency resources including state and federal funding, as well as staff and equipment. It also allows the city more flexibility to change town procedures and/or implement facility closures if deemed necessary
As the state’s positive cases reached 101 on Saturday, Governor Jared Polis announced restrictions on visiting nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in order to protect the state’s most vulnerable population.
On Saturday Governor Polis issued an executive order suspending all of Colorado’s downhill ski area operations for one week due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. A number of Colorado ski resorts had already announced they would be suspending operations beginning on Sunday, March 15.
The political parties are scheduled to hold their County and State Assemblies over the coming weeks in order to nominate candidates for the June Primary ballot. Since this includes thousands of people convening all over the state, often in schools, state lawmakers have been working on a bill to allow the parties flexibility for remote participation and deadline extensions. That bill, HB1359, was passed on Saturday, March 15th.
The measure includes various provisions including:
- The extension of various deadlines related to ballot access requirements in 2020 due to public health concerns.
- Allowing parties to amend their bylaws as needed during 2020 to allow remote participation in assemblies and conventions and to fill vacancies.
- Delegates to assemblies may participate remotely if allowed by the party, and parties may reduce or waive any quorum requirements to allow assemblies to proceed.
Public health officials are urging calm and caution and are asking that people not “panic buy” groceries and supplies. They are encouraging people to practice social isolation, to stay 6 feet away from other people, avoid large gatherings and above all stay home if sick.
Local school districts are formulating plans to distribute food to students who are food insecure while schools are closed. Check the websites for local school districts for more information. Foodbanks are also asking for donations of non-perishable goods and hygiene products.
On Friday, leaders at the Colorado Legislature announced the closure of the General Assembly for at least two weeks beginning Monday.
- Call the Colorado Health Emergency Line (toll-free hotline) for the latest public health information with reliable, consistent, and accurate information in many languages. The CO HELP numbers are 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
- Coloradans can also visit the CDC and CDPHE websites for more information on best practices
- If you have upcoming travel plans, visit the CDC’s website for the latest travel information
- MORE RESOURCES HERE