Coronavirus in Colorado – Latest News

As coronavirus spreads in Colorado, KGNU is committed to keeping you informed about the virus and connected to local resources.

Boulder County is currently at Level Yellow: Concern  

According to the CDPHE, 424,677 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Colorado with 5,925 deaths among cases (5,860 due to COVID-19)


De acuerdo al CDPHE, se han reportado 424,677 casos positivos de COVID-19 en Colorado con 5,925 muertes entre los casos (5,860 a causa de COVID-19)

*The CDPHE has changed the way it reports deaths from COVID-19. The state now includes a tally of total deaths among people who had COVID-19, but the disease was not listed as the cause of death on the death certificate. That is the higher number. The lower number reflects people who had COVID-19 listed as the cause of the death.

*El CDPHE ha cambiado la forma en que informa de las muertes por COVID-19. El estado ahora incluye un recuento de muertes totales entre las personas que tenían COVID-19, pero la enfermedad no figuraba como causa de la muerte en el certificado de defunción. Ese es un número mayor. El número menor refleja a personas que tenían COVID-19 como causa de la muerte.

Latest Colorado COVID-19 News:

Feb 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity Continues to Challenge Boulder County

Boulder County Public Health Emergency Management Planner Chris Campbell revealed that community ambassadors will help educate minority communities about the virus and vaccinations.

The Daily Camera reports that the community ambassadors will be trained in vaccine safety and effectiveness. They will also support the minority community to find mobile and vaccine clinics.

Campbell said the key issues about the vaccine in these communities is that mistrust is deep-seated in political influence, the rush in creating the vaccine, side effects, and long-term effects.

BCPH Executive Director Jeff Zayach said that the county reported 64 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths or hospitalizations and the county is trending down into the blue zones on the state dial.

The county also announced that the new mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics will provide less than 250 coronavirus inoculations a week for those with limited mobility, which includes those in independent living accommodations and mountain communities.

Information for residents with limited mobility in need of transportation to COVID-19 appointments can be found at the Boulder County website.

Feb 23, 2021
Vaccine Eligibility to Expand Next Week

Colorado state health officials announced today that starting late next week more Coloradans will become eligible to receive a vaccine.  The Colorado Department of Health and Environment says it is expecting to move into Phase 1B.3 of its COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan “on or around March 5.”

Currently, anyone who is 65 or older, as well as first responders, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those working with the public in health care, child care, or K-12 education are eligible for vaccines.

The new phase will open eligibility to “essential frontline workers” in the following industries:
Grocery stores
Food and agriculture
Manufacturing
U.S. Postal Service
Public transit
Public health
Human services (including services to homeless populations)
Faith communities
Journalism

Feb 17, 2021
Vaccine Deliveries to Colorado Delayed

The severe weather across the country has delayed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses that were expected to arrive in Colorado this week. The winter storm impacted a distribution hub in Tennessee, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Over 130,000 doses were expected to arrive between Tuesday and Thursday; but, the Denver Post reports that it’s unknown when they will get here.

The state health agency said it is working with vaccine providers and local public health departments to make sure appointments and clinics for the shots aren’t canceled this week.

Boulder County Cancels Wednesday COVID-19 Virtual Meeting

Boulder County Public Health canceled its weekly virtual COVID-19 community meeting scheduled for today. The agency cited a lack of new information to share.

The weekly virtual meeting is expected to return next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Boulder County yesterday reported two new COVID-19 deaths and 36 new cases. And officials said it’s uncertain if the weather could impact the next delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the county. The University of Colorado Boulder announced on its dashboard that during testing on Monday, there were 12 positive test results.


Feb 16, 2021
COVID Hospitalizations Continue to Drop

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to decline statewide. 462 people were in hospital Monday for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The Denver Post reports that the number is the lowest for hospitalizations since Oct 19. Overall case numbers are also at their lowest levels since October. Many counties loosened some of their virus restrictions around business capacity in early February…but health officials say it takes two to three weeks after a policy change to see what impact it’s had on the number of people sick…so it’s too early to tell if the more relaxed rules will translate to more cases. Boulder County on Monday reported 17 new COVID cases and one death.

And state health officials have confirmed 67 cases of more contagious COVID variants in Colorado.

Feb 10, 2021
More Vaccines to Arrive in Colorado

Colorado will receive more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in its weekly allocation starting next week. Gov. Jared Polis announced yesterday that the federal government will increase the amount by 9,000 over a three-week period.

The Denver Post reports that the state was receiving about 70,000 does a week but has received more than expected recently.

So far, about 660,000 people in Colorado have received their first dose of vaccine and more than a third of those have received their second shot.

The governor also said he has rejected a request from the city of Denver to speed up vaccinations for people experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Michael Hancock and the city’s joint task force sent a letter to state officials last week presenting a vaccine strategy that would target people living and working in shelters, motels, managed campsites or unsanctioned encampments, no matter their age. The letter cited a hospitalization rate for people experiencing homelessness at three times that of the general population.

But the Governor did not approve:
Polis: “It would cost lives to divert the vaccine from people that are in their seventies to younger healthier people just because they happen to be homeless. We give the same prioritization for homeless as we do for any Coloradan who has a home. That is everybody who is 70 and up who’s homeless is already eligible. [They] should have been vaccinated. If they are 65 and up they are now eligible whether you have a home or don’t have a home.”

9News reports that homeless advocates in Denver are upset with what they believe is a lack of consideration for an especially vulnerable population.

Feb 9, 2021

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Decline Statewide

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline in Colorado. State health department data released on Monday showed 535 people hospitalized for the virus in the state. That’s about a quarter of the people who were in the hospital for COVID-19 in December. But it’s still considerably higher than last summer’s low hospitalization rate.

There were also about 8400 reported cases of the virus statewide as of Sunday…the lowest weekly total since October. Health officials attribute the decline to people observing the recommendations on wearing masks, washing hands, and limiting face-to-face interactions. The reduction in hospitalizations and overall cases led to easing of some restrictions in Boulder, Denver, and other metro area counties. But officials warn that continued caution is required, particularly as new more contagious variants of the virus spread.


Feb 8, 2021

Metro Area Moves to Level Yellow

On Saturday businesses, including bars and restaurants around the metro area started operating at the less restrictive Yellow Level on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Establishments in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, and Jefferson counties are now allowed to operate at 50% capacity up to a maximum of 150 people.

Eligibility for Vaccine Increases Today But Availability Limited

As of today, more than 400,000 people have become eligible for a coronavirus vaccination in Colorado.

People aged 65 to 69, workers in K through 12 education and child care, and a small number of government officials are included in what the state is calling Phase 1b.2 of its vaccination plan.

The Colorado Sun reports that these new groups add to the more than 800,000 people who are already eligible for a vaccination. This means that more than a quarter of Colorado’s adult population is able to get the shot.

But being eligible to get the vaccine does not mean one can get it – people need to have an appointment, and the supply of vaccines in the state is still limited. Colorado is expecting 90,000 doses to arrive this week. And, while the state is roughly two-thirds of the way to the goal of vaccinating 70% of those 70-and-older by the end of the month, that still leaves more than 100,000 people in that high-risk group looking for their shots.

The state has a list of vaccine providers by county, but people can also cross county lines to get vaccinated. Health officials have been encouraging everyone to sign up online instead of using the telephone, if able to do so.

Vaccination Event Overrun on Saturday

A COVID-19 vaccination event in Denver was overrun Saturday. It was focused on giving shots to people of color and low-income seniors in the neighborhoods around the National Western Complex.

Then Jefferson County Public Schools alerted 14,000 of its employees that 200 extra doses of vaccine were available to those who could get to the complex within an hour.

The Denver Post reports that hundreds of people rushed there. Traffic backed up at exits and into Interstate 70. Some people leaped from their cars and ran the final stretch to the building.
About an hour after the first notification, the Jeffco district sent another message, telling anyone who was not already in the building to go home. As many as 500 district employees may have received the vaccine.


Coors Field Vaccination Event Draws Thousands

Nearly 10,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 over the weekend in a parking lot at Denver’s Coors Field.
The drive-through clinic was open by appointment only to people 70 and older along with some remaining health-care workers.

UC Health spokesperson Richard Zane told 9News the shots were administered over 6 hours each of the two days, and he hopes the playbook that they and their partners created over the weekend could help future mass vaccination sites.

Governor Polis Announces Those 65 and Older and Teachers To Be Vaccinated Starting Next Week

On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis said that Coloradans 65 and older, as well as teachers and child care workers, will have access to the coronavirus vaccine starting a week from today.

Polis, said it was an “easy call” to move the age group up in line to receive the inoculation.

The Colorado Sun reports that people ages 65 to 69 were initially in Phase 2 of Colorado’s vaccine distribution plan, set to begin in the spring; however, they are now in a newly formed Phase “1B.2”.

The governor estimated it will take about two or three weeks to administer first doses to all K-12 educators who want to be vaccinated. School support staff, like bus drivers, will also have access to the vaccine starting next week.

Scott Bookman, Colorado’s coronavirus incident commander, said educators and child care workers will sign up to receive the vaccine through their employers.

Polis said 90% of health care workers and first responders have been vaccinated.

State Legislators Vaccinated

Colorado state lawmakers, their staffers and the journalists who cover them at the Capitol received early access to COVID-19 vaccines in January.

The Denver Post reports that the state sent 240 doses of the vaccine to UCHealth to vaccinate legislators and their staff, however the governor’s office does not know how many actually received the shots. A governor’s spokesperson said that the legislature’s ability to conduct its session safely as soon as possible is necessary to the state’s successful response and recovery.

Sluggish COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Colorado

As of Thursday, 410-thousand Coloradans had received one vaccine for COVID-19. Another 109,000 have had two vaccines. That leaves a couple million of eligible state residents without a jab, as new strains of the virus believed to more infectious are discovered. Colorado’s vaccination plan has three phases. Frontline healthcare workers were the first to receive vaccines, followed by Coloradans over the age of 70. Essential workers, including teachers and grocery store employees, are next in line, followed by Coloradans over age 60 and those with preexisting conditions. The general public isn’t expected to begin receiving vaccines until the summer.

Hospitalizations Dropping in Colorado

The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment reported Monday that 706 people are hospitalized for the virus. That is about one-third the number who were hospitalized in early December.

New cases of COVID are also at about one-third the number reported back in late November. Although the declining numbers are good news, health officials cautioned that those numbers are still three times higher than they were last summer when cases were at their lowest. State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihey told the Denver Post that Coloradans need to continue with precautions while the push to vaccinate continues.

Boulder County Will Receive Less Vaccines This Week

Boulder County will receive fewer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine this week and the state reports that teachers and child care workers will be the first to be vaccinated among essential workers.

Boulder County Public Health reported Monday local COVID-19 vaccine providers will only receive 800 vaccine dosages from the state instead of the typical 3,000 weekly doses. Meanwhile, the county reported six new deaths, 56 new cases, and 10 new hospitalizations. The deaths were residents in their 70s and 90s.

The Daily Camera reports that no explanation was given for the vaccine shortage but that 800 doses will be enough for residents who need their second dose this week.

The same allocation of 800 doses is expected for the next three weeks but is supposed to increase by mid-February.

The Denver Post reports that the state has prioritized vaccinating people 70 and older but that the first essential workers to be vaccinated will be teachers and childcare workers.

The consensus about prioritizing teachers and child care workers in the essential worker groups was based on the importance of reopening child care, preschools, and K-12 schools.

If the state meets its goal of vaccinating 70% of the Coloradans who are 70 or older by Feb. 28, essential workers could begin getting their shots in late February or early March.


Vaccinations at Coors Field on Sunday

In a parking lot outside Coors Field in downtown Denver on January 24, about 1,000 people over the age of 70 received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19.

The effort was part of a UCHealth drive-thru event that served as a practice run before a much bigger effort planned for next weekend when they hope to vaccinate as many as 10,000 in two days.

The Denver Post reports the vaccine is given to those with appointments, and others who show up are turned away.

The trial run went smoothly with traffic flowing steadily to 18 individual tents where drivers were vaccinated.

White Coloradans More Likely to Have Been Vaccinated

Meanwhile, state health officials released new data on Friday that shows Coloradans who are white are more likely to have received a coronavirus vaccine than those who are Black or Hispanic.

White Coloradans have accounted for close to 70 percent of those receiving at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine so far. That’s roughly equal to white representation in the state’s overall population.
But the Colorado Sun reports that Black and Hispanic Coloradans have been under-represented in vaccinations so far. Nearly 4% of Colorado’s population is Black, but they account for less than 2 percent of those vaccinated. The state’s Hispanic population represents nearly 22% of residents, but just over 4 percent have received the vaccine.

The numbers are incomplete because some vaccine providers had not been recording pertinent data. About 1 in 5 vaccinations have been recorded as having “unknown” race or ethnicity — meaning it’s possible the state’s racial and ethnic disparities could be even wider than the new data show. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has now begun asking providers to collect racial and ethnic information.

Governor Jared Polis said Friday that it’s clearly unacceptable to have this kind of disparity here in Colorado.

Local health officials have begun expressing concerns that communities of color are being left behind in the state’s vaccination drive.

The Metro Denver Partnership for Health is calling for the identification of under-vaccinated neighborhoods and expanding vaccination sites to target those areas. It also called for more tailored communication approaches to reach often-overlooked populations.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the CDPHE, said her agency is working to do exactly those kinds of things. She said they are working to identify neighborhoods that could be “vaccine deserts” because they have no medical facilities or pharmacies where vaccines would traditionally be dispensed.

Boulder County reported 64 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, but no new deaths. CU Boulder reported there were 12 positive results found during Friday testing.

Resources: 

  • 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

COVID-19 Información En Español:

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