More than 610,100 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 35,400 have been hospitalized as of Sunday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
READ MORE: List of Colorado businesses that are open
Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Below, we're updating this blog with the latest information regarding COVID-19 in Colorado.
Thursday, Sept. 2
9:28 p.m. | Comedy Works locations to require full vaccination to attend shows
Beginning Sept. 30, Comedy Works will only allow fully vaccinated customers to attend shows at any of their locations.
For events taking place through Sept. 29, guests must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show.
On Sept. 30, the venues will only allow fully vaccinated guests to attend shows. They will no longer accept negative COVID-19 tests.
Physical or digital copies of a vaccine card will be accepted.
Face masks will also continue to be required upon entry and when visitors are moving around the building.
Comedy Works said they are working to balance "the safety of our customers, staff and artists with the issues of privacy and freedom," but they also acknowledged that their main goal is remain open and avoid future mandates and restrictions.
"We are a small, locally-owned business trying to allow our talent to earn a living, our staff to stay employed and the arts to have a place in our society again," Comedy Works said in a statement.
4:47 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here is Thursday's COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
620,268 cases (+2,196)
36,110 hospitalized (+63)
64 counties (+0)
3,484,583 people tested (+9,795)
10,243,913 test encounters (+37,050)
7,170 deaths among cases (+19)
7,469 deaths due to COVID-19 (+23)
5,817 outbreaks (+9)
The latest hospital data showed 893 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 46 more than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.08%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Thursday, 3,659,797 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,336,398 people have been fully vaccinated.
Colorado is putting federal COVID-19 funding toward a new grant program that aims to give primary care providers more ability to vaccinate their patients as the state tries to push the remaining group of vaccine-hesitant people to get the shot.
Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday announced the COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccination Program, which primary care practices will be able to utilize to apply for tens of thousands of dollars in grant money to either start providing vaccines or to boost their efforts.
The money will go out on a first-come, first-served basis, Polis said at a news conference. Applications opened Thursday and will close on Dec. 1. The program will run from Sept. 2 through February 28 of next year. The state says a total of approximately $60 million is available.
If applications are accepted, the funding would be handed out based on how many primary care providers (PCP) work at each clinical site within a practice. Sites with 1-3 PCPs are eligible for up to $60,000; those with 4-8 PCPs can get up to $90,000; and sites with more than 9 PCPs are eligible for up to $120,000.
The Colorado Health Institute will review the applications and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will disperse the funding, according to the state.
Practices will have to apply on behalf of their clinical sites – up to five per application – and will have needed to have started the process to be a COVID-19 vaccine provider if they are not already enrolled.
Practices that do want to apply can click here to find out more information on how to do so.
6:16 a.m. | Gov. Polis to announce new primary care grant program at 11 a.m.
Governor Jared Polis will provide an update on the state’s recovery efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and announce details of the COVID-19 Primary Care Vaccination Program during an 11 a.m. news conference. He will be joined by primary care providers.
Denver7 will stream that news conference live on our website, our streaming platforms and our social media channels.
Wednesday, Sept. 1
11:15 p.m. | Nonstop flight from Denver to London takes off for the first time in over 500 days
British Airways resumed nonstop service between Denver and London-Heathrow Wednesday, the first time in more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The last British Airways flight took off from Denver on March 16, 2020, leaving Denver without a nonstop flight to London for more than 500 days.
Service will initially operate three days per week onboard a 235-seat Boeing 777 aircraft.
“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our Denver flights and we are honored to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart,” said Marie Hilditch, Head of North America Sales for British Airways. “The safety of our customers and colleagues has always been at the heart of everything we do. We know some customers won’t have flown for a long time, we can assure them we have a range of COVID-19 measures in place to provide stress and hassle-free travel.”
Before the pandemic, London had the second largest international passenger demand in Denver, with Cancun, Mexico, taking the top spot. In 2019, nearly 250,000 passengers traveled between Denver and London.
British Airways is currently the only airline providing nonstop flights between Denver and London. U.S. citizens are permitted to enter the U.K. for nonessential travel, but restrictions apply, and travelers are advised to consult government regulations prior to travel.
10:10 p.m. | 2021 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival canceled
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival organizers announced Wednesday this year's event was canceled due to COVID-19 and the ongoing issue of blue-green algae.
The event is usually held in July at Sloan's Lake, but it was rescheduled for Sept. 25-26. Now, they will not host the event until 2022.
Event leaders said the "decision was not made lightly," but after careful consideration of the increasing spread of the delta variant and the health risks posed by the blue-green algae, which has led to closure at Sloan's Lake.
The festival, which is the largest dragon boat festival in the United States, has been celebrating Asian and Asian American Pacific Islander heritage for 21 years.
Anyone who wishes to support the nonprofit can find ways to help here.
8:44 p.m. | Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required for Brandi Carlile show
Red Rocks Amphitheatre announced Wednesday fans attending Brandi Carlile's upcoming show must be fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19.
Fans will have to provide proof full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the show.
The shows are scheduled for Sept. 11 and 12.
The iconic music venue said the decision was at the request of the promoter.
Find more information here.
4:54 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here is Wednesday's COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
618,072 cases (+2,194)
36,047 hospitalized (+124)
64 counties (+0)
3,474,788 people tested (+10,999)
10,206,863 test encounters (+40,533)
7,151 deaths among cases (+9)
7,446 deaths due to COVID-19 (+16)
5,808 outbreaks (+38)
The latest hospital data showed 847 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.08%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Tuesday, 3,654,230 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,330,669 people have been fully vaccinated.
Tuesday, Aug. 31
10:42 p.m. | Oakland Elementary moving to remote learning, school canceled for some students due to COVID-19
Oakland Elementary students in grades K-5 are moving to remote learning and ECE and Pre-K students will not have school due to COVID-19.
In a letter to families, Assistant Principal Daniel Barks said that “students and/or staff members were diagnosed with COVID-19,” but did not go into further specifics. Denver Public Schools leaders approved a school closure due to staffing shortages and safety concerns.
The closure will end on Sept. 13.
ECE families will not be charged tuition while Oakland is closed.
Barks said it was considered an operational closure and was not required by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
10:25 p.m. | State extends COVID-19 public health order
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment extended a state public health order to Oct. 1 and made some revisions regarding masking, school and hospital data reporting and more.
The summary of changes include:
- Community corrections programs and facilities are added to the list of entities that must require masking for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals.
- Reiterates that schools must report cases and outbreaks and comply with local and/or state public health requirements, as applicable, for case investigation and disease mitigation, including isolation and quarantine as clarified in accordance with existing law.
- CDPHE may require counties whose resident hospitalizations threaten to exceed 85% of hospital or hospital system capacity to report additional data and consult with CDPHE regarding disease mitigation strategies.
- Patient age and vaccination status is included as elements of hospital data reporting.
- Modified hospital ICU bed reporting requirements to differentiate between adult and pediatric beds.
- Added vaccination requirements for state contractors who enter state facilities.
The order goes into effect on Sept. 1 and expires on Oct. 1 unless amended, extended, rescinded or superseded in writing.
“We continue to monitor hospital capacity closely. Between the unvaccinated and those under 12 years of age, adding additional measures and data help us further evaluate. We continue to stress the importance of getting the safe and effective vaccine to help protect Coloradans from serious infection. We’ve also added vaccination requirements for state contractors who enter state facilities,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander. “We support and fully expect local communities to take additional steps to protect their communities given the variability of disease transmission and vaccination across the state.”
4:20 a.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here is Tuesday's COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
615,878 cases (+2,148)
35,923 hospitalized (+320)
64 counties (+0)
3,463,789 people tested (+10,429)
10,166,330 test encounters (+49,364)
7,142 deaths among cases (+13)
7,430 deaths due to COVID-19 (+8)
5,770 outbreaks (+13)
The latest hospital data showed 902 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 55 more than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.22%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Tuesday, 3,648,682 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,324,620 people have been fully vaccinated.
Colorado will start offering free, voluntary testing to all K-12 schools across the state to avoid disruptions to in-person learning as pediatric cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase due to the highly transmissible delta variant.
During a virtual news conference late Tuesday morning, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said Colorado was seeing a “pretty rapid rise” in pediatric case rates, particularly among kids aged 6-17, as well as a “clear increase” in hospitalizations among children, though those numbers remain small when compared to the overwhelming number of hospitalizations among the adult population.
The goal of the new program, spearheaded by Sarah Hamma, the branch chief of the CDPHE’s COVID Community Testing and Vendor Partnerships division, will be to decrease spread within Colorado schools by identifying symptomatic and asymptomatic spread and minimize disruptions to in-person learning caused by transmission of the virus.
It will utilize weekly rapid antigen testing to proactively monitor COVID-19 cases and better prevent exposures and outbreaks across schools, and will be available to all students and staff regardless of vaccination status or presence of symptoms, Hamma said.
The program will allow school districts to test students and staff by either partnering with a state contractor to provide all services from registration to reporting, or by giving schools everything they need to conduct testing and reporting themselves.
A state official said the program will need to be approved by the superintendent of each school district or non-CSI charter schools and require parental consent before it is implemented on a weekly basis for the duration of the school year.
11:17 a.m. | Colorado COVID-19 data from Monday
Here is Monday's COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
613,730 cases (+3,603)
35,603 hospitalized (+150)
64 counties (+0)
3,453,360 people tested (+16,782)
10,116,966 test encounters (+49,559)
7,129 deaths among cases (+18)
7,422 deaths due to COVID-19 (+26)
5,757 outbreaks (+8)
The latest hospital data showed 874 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 6.69%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Monday, 3,643,338 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,318,965 people have been fully vaccinated.
Seventy-five percent of adults in Colorado have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, marking another pivotal moment in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Governor Jared Polis announced Tuesday.
Despite the milestone, Gov. Polis continued to urge hesitant Coloradans who haven’t been inoculated to do so, as the highly transmissible delta variant continues to drive up cases and hospitalizations statewide.
“This is a pivotal moment for our community,” Polis said in a prepared statement. “But we need more Coloradans to safeguard their health and the health of their loved ones against this deadly virus. Get vaccinated today to protect our progress, safeguard in-person learning for our students, and to help our economy build back better.”
As of Tuesday, 67.4% of all Coloradans were fully vaccinated, according to the latest statewide vaccine data, and more than 55% of kids between 12-17 years of age have received at least one dose. The state has averaged around 4,300 vaccinations per day for those aged 12 and up, according to the governor’s office. Kids 12 and under are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite having a high vaccination rate, Colorado continues to see an increase in both hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 due to the highly transmissible delta variant.
Monday, Aug. 30
Members of the State Board of Health voted to require the COVID-19 vaccine for workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities in Colorado.
The board adopted the emergency rule in a 6-1 vote during a virtual meeting Monday. The vote came after public testimony from health care providers, doctors and members of the community.
All employees, direct contractors, and support staff at 3,800 licensed health care facilities in Colorado must have received their first dose of the vaccine no later than Sept. 30. They must be fully vaccinated no later than Oct. 31, according to the newly-passed measure.
The vaccine mandate comes after a request from Gov. Jared Polis, who pushed the board to pass rules requiring vaccines for health care workers as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, largely due to the highly contagious delta variant.
In a letter to the board sent Aug. 17, Polis urged board members to immediately consider a vaccine mandate for all individuals “involved in health care and support staff who regularly come into contact and share spaces with vulnerable populations including patients seeking medical care in essential medical settings and in congregate senior living facilities.”
Approximately 30% of the health care workforce in these facilities and agencies remain unvaccinated, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Many of the speakers who participated in the public comment portion of Monday's meeting expressed concerns about the possibility of additional staff shortages if a vaccine mandate were to be imposed. The health care system is already experiencing staffing challenges amid the COVID-19 crisis. But board members who voted for the measure said they have a duty to protect the most vulnerable patients.
During a special meeting Monday afternoon, the Tri-County Health Department board voted to require masks for everyone 2 and up in indoor school and child care settings and rescinded the ability for individual counties to opt out of the public health order.
The board of health voted 5-3 on two motions, first to rescind the opt-out order and then to put in place the new mask order.
The new order will go into effect on Sept. 1 and stay in effect until Dec. 31 unless it is amended, extended or rescinded. Health data and community conditions will be monitored daily while the order is in effect.
Dr. John Douglas, the executive director of TCHD, provided a presentation prior to the votes addressing concerns about the delta variant and the growing COVID-19 case numbers among kids. Data based on Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties show kids in the age group of 6-11 are seeing the biggest jump in COVID-19 cases compared to any other age group.
Douglas also shared data that showed outbreaks have increased since school started this year. Over the first 26 days of August, there were 39 outbreaks reported in the three counties, and five more were confirmed Monday.
Douglas and several board members voiced concerns about keeping kids in schools and said masks would help limit the amount of disruptions to in-person learning.
Kevin Bracken, who was appointed as an interim member Monday by Douglas County commissioners, voted against the motion, saying kids are the least at risk but are the ones being punished. Dr. Linda Fielding expressed concerns about bureaucratic overreach and the board choosing to go against the will of the people. Dr. Thomas Fawell said while he believes in masking, he didn’t believe the data was to the point where universal masking was necessary.
2:10 p.m. | More Denver clubs requiring vaccine proof or negative test
Another set of popular nightclubs in Denver will start requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test starting Oct. 1.
CoClubs, which owns The Church Nightclub, Club Vinyl, Bar Standard and Milk Bar, announced the new requirements Monday.
The clubs will require all guests, staff and artists to show they received their second mRNA shot or lone Johnson & Johnson shot at least 14 days prior, or to show a negative COVID-19 test from a lab within 72 hours of the event.
“We appreciate your understanding and continued support,” CoClubs wrote in a Facebook post. “As an independent company with a small team we are dedicated to safely continuing hosting & dancing with you all.”
Click here to read the full policy.
12:38 p.m. | State Board of Health to consider vaccine requirements for staff at health care facilities and hospitals
The State Board of Health will meet at 4 p.m. today for a special session to consider rules requiring vaccination for staff in health care settings with high-risk patients.
The Board will consider rules requiring licensed health care facilities to mandate their personnel -- including employees, direct contractors, and support staff -- who interact with individuals seeking medical care to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Board’s ability to mandate vaccines is limited to only those health care facilities that are listed in Colorado Revised Statute 25-1.5-103(1)(a)(1). The department does not have authority over individual health care practitioners or staff, nor does it oversee other settings where patients seek medical care including primary care offices and urgent care locations.
On Aug. 17, Polis sent a letter to the State Board of Health asking it to quickly make emergency rules “to require all personnel working in facilities with our vulnerable populations in Colorado to be vaccinated against COVID-19."
“These rules should apply to anyone directly involved in health care and support staff who regularly come into contact and share spaces with vulnerable populations including patients seeking medical care in essential medical settings and in congregate senior living facilities,” the letter went on to say. “Anyone subject to the rules should receive a first shot no later than September 30, 2021.”
Although the COVID-19 vaccine is now widely available, approximately 30% of the healthcare workforce in these facilities and agencies remain unvaccinated, state officials said Monday.
"With the rise in the delta variant, ensuring that all workers in licensed healthcare facilities are vaccinated is one of the most effective means the state can take to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of all Coloradans and end this ongoing pandemic," officials said.
Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for Aug. 23-Aug. 29, 2021.