More than 584,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 33,200 have been hospitalized as of Monday afternoon, 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.
Sunday, Aug. 15
4 p.m. | Sunday vaccine numbers
As of Sunday, 3,244,485 Coloradans are fully vaccinated and 3,563,496 have received at least one dose.
Deputies will be at Eagle County schools for the first day of classes Monday because of what the sheriff’s office called “tensions in the community” over the school mask requirements announced Friday.
“Our goal is the same as yours, getting our children back to school safely,” Amber Barrett, a spokesperson for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in a news release. “Law Enforcement is requesting that persons who are wishing to express their opinions not interfere or interrupt the freedom of movement and the functions of schools.”
Eagle County Public Health issued a public health order Friday afternoon requiring masks indoors for students, staff and visitors in grades Pre-K through 8. In grades 9-12, masks are recommended.
The public health department said the order would be relaxed if the seven-day incidence rate for the county goes below 50 per 100,000 or if a school reaches an 80% vaccination rate.
As of Friday, the seven-day incidence rate was 270, according to the county. Nearly 86% of eligible people in Eagle County are currently vaccinated with at least one dose, according to the county. As of Aug. 12, 70% of kids ages 12-15, 84% of kids ages 16-17, and 84% of kids ages 18-19 received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“The community goal of keeping our youth in school is still high on our priority list,” said Heath Harmon, the director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment, in a news release Friday. “With COVID-19 spread as high as it is currently, there will be significant numbers of youth that are testing positive or quarantined as a result of an exposure. If we want to keep our youth in school on a five-day-a-week schedule, masks should be worn while incidence is as high as it is. Reaching a lower incidence or assurance of high vaccination rates at the school level will mean mask usage will become optional.”
Matt Miano, the spokesperson for Eagle County Schools, said the district is hopeful “this is a temporary situation.” He said the district was declining interviews and the intent was “to try and keep this issue apolitical and support the safety of our students and our staff.”
“We want to ensure smooth and stress free openings at all of our schools and for all of our students. We support parents who want to exercise their right to free speech and protest but would prefer that they direct these protests towards the school district office and/or public health offices,” Miano said in an email. “Our students and staff don’t need any more distractions or interference as they begin their school year.”
Saturday, Aug. 14
4 p.m. | Saturday vaccine numbers
As of Saturday, 3,240,306 Coloradans are fully vaccinated and 3,558,108 have received at least one dose. The state says 65.8% of eligible Coloradans are fully vaccinated.
Friday, Aug. 13
Colorado is telling vaccine providers to go ahead and give COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people with compromised immune systems after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation to proceed on Friday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the state has enough doses of the two mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – to start giving third shots to moderately to severely immunocompromised people in Colorado immediately.
That includes people receiving treatment for cancers, who have received an organ transplant, those who have received a stem cell transplant in the past two years, people with advanced or untreated HIV, and people with moderate-to-severe immunodeficiencies.
The CDPHE said for the moment, people who received either the Pfizer or Moderna shot series are the ones recommended for a booster shot. People should only get a third dose if it’s been at least four weeks since they finished their two-dose sequence. Studies involving booster shots for people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are still underway.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is recommending people get the same brand of vaccine that they received the first time but says people can get a different brand if that is the only option.
The state says it is working with local public health agencies to get people eligible their third shots. Walgreens said it is among the providers already prepared to deliver third shots to people who want them.
The state’s news release does not say any proof a person is immunocompromised would be required.
6:35 p.m. | Boulder County Public Health 'strongly recommends' anyone 2 and up wear masks in indoor public settings
Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) strongly recommends that all individuals 2+ wear masks in all indoor settings regardless of vaccination status due to a surge in delta variant cases.
County health officials say just 16 days after moving into substantial transmission on July 26, Boulder County moved into high transmission on Aug. 11.
"Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Boulder County due to the Delta variant. We are continuing to follow a variety of metrics, including the CDC’s guidance, data and recommendations that will help us protect the health of all people, keep our businesses open and preserve our hospital and healthcare resources,” said Camille Rodriguez, BCPH Executive Director. "In line with CDC recommendations, Boulder County Public Health strongly recommends that all individuals wear masks indoors in public due to prevalence of the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible and might cause more severe illness than prior strains in unvaccinated persons, including in younger populations."
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) first detected the Delta variant in Colorado in April of this year. On July 18, CDPHE variant tracking indicated that the delta variant is responsible for more than 95% of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado.
As Public Health Order 2021-4 sunsets on Aug. 15 at 11:59 p.m., the county will no longer look only at hospital admissions to dictate levels on the prior state dial. BCPH is actively working to define a robust set of metrics that will have indicators that match the transmission landscape set by delta, officials say.
Students in kindergarten through 8th grade at Aurora Public Schools will be required to wear masks indoors starting Monday, Superintendent Rico Munn said in a letter to parents, teachers and staff late Friday afternoon.
Effective Monday, Aug. 16, all students in Aurora Public Schools (APS) child development centers, elementary and K/P-8 schools as well as unvaccinated staff will be required to wear masks at school. Masks will continue to be strongly encouraged for all students in middle and high school.
Superintendent Rico Munn said he opted for stricter mask mandates as “there would be significant and negative impacts if large groups of students were required to quarantine for 10 days” which would disrupt the district’s goal to keep in-person learning as much as possible.
The new guidelines also state that quarantines will be required for unvaccinated students and staff who are exposed to positive cases during what the district called “higher-risk extracurricular activities.” Sports, field trips, after-school band practices, choirs and performing arts groups fall within this category, according to district officials.
4:59 p.m. | Eagle County will require masks indoors for kids, staff and visitors inside schools
Eagle County Public Health is issuing a new public health order requiring masks for students, staff, and visitors while in indoor school settings, "where there are large numbers of youth that are not yet eligible for vaccination against COVID-19."
In schools with only youth that are eligible for vaccination (e.g. 9-12 grade), masks will remain recommended given the high rates of vaccination among these age groups, county health officials say.
The order will be relaxed if an entire school reaches an 80% overall vaccination rate or the seven-day incidence rate for Eagle County goes below 50 per 100,000.
The new public health order takes effect Monday, Aug. 16. The public health order can be found here.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools will require all students in preschool through 6th grade to wear masks indoors, regardless of what county the school is located in, district officials announced Friday.
Superintendent Chris Gdowski said in a letter parents, teachers and staff the mandate comes after a new public health order from the Broomfield Department of Public Health, which requires kids ages 2-11 to wear masks while in school as well as in childcare settings.
The district will continue to strongly encourage students in grades 7-12 to wear masks.
Gdowski wrote in the letter all staff will continue to wear masks while indoors, “given our interest in minimizing preventable staff COVID absences and maintaining continuity in instruction and services.”
Kids between 2 and 11 years old will be required to wear masks inside schools as well as in licensed childcare facilities starting Monday, according to a new public health order from the city and county of Broomfield.
The new COVID-19 safety guidelines announced Friday afternoon come the same as the Cherry Creek School District announced they, too, would be requiring students in pre-K through 6th grade to wear masks indoors.
Broomfield Public Health officials said Friday there are currently 23,297 residents there who have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, 9,501 are children up to 11 years of age, with 5,880 being elementary school-aged, ranging from 5 to 11 years old.
The new public health order states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified Broomfield as an area of high transmission after recording 124.4 cases per 100,000 people as of Thursday, Aug. 12. It also states the CDC’s latest guidance for COVID-19 prevention in school settings calls for universal recommendation of indoor masking in school settings for students, teachers, staff and visitors due to the highly transmissible delta variant.
Masks are also recommended – but not required – for adults. In schools and licensed childcare facilities as well as for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in indoor public settings.
County health officials said Friday the new mandate is being put in place because kids 12 and under are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for this group is expected to come in early to midwinter, according to federal health officials.
Health department officials also said requiring masks in schools and licensed childcare facilities “will help limit quarantines and outbreaks that disrupt in-person learning.”
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Friday.
589,526 cases (+1,296)
33,666 hospitalized (+33)
64 counties (+0)
3,344,868 people tested (+5,762)
9,727,047 test encounters (+26,466)
7,032 deaths among cases (+9)
7,284 deaths due to COVID-19 (+7)
5,647 outbreaks (+2)
The latest hospital data showed 582 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 8 more than Thursday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.80%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Friday, 3,551,090 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,234,523 people have been fully vaccinated.
Students in pre-K through 6th grade at Cherry Creek Schools will be required to wear masks indoors when they start the new school year next week.
District Superintendent Christopher Smith announced the new guidelines in a letter to parents, students, teachers and staff just three days before the district begins welcoming thousands of students in a phased-in approach.
The letter states transmission of COVID-19 “is highly likely in the school setting without high levels of mask wearing,” and would pose a considerable risk to the health of children, especially those who are not yet eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
It also states transmission of COVID-19 would pose a considerable risk to family and friends “outside of the school setting, especially for those at higher risk of complications from COVID-19.”
Additionally, the letter from the superintendent states that not requiring mask indoors for kids who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine would interfere with in-person learning due to the potential of frequent disruptions to the learning environment due to outbreaks and quarantines of whole classrooms.
Staff who work with students in pre-K through 6th grade will also be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
In the letter, Smith wrote the mask requirement will help the district keep their schools open and students in the classrooms and emphasized that mask wearing is an important and effective prevention strategy to keep students and staff safe.
He also strongly encouraged students in grades 7 and above as well as the staff that comes into contact with this age group, to wear masks inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status.
The first day for students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 is Monday. Grades 1, 2, 7 and 8 start Tuesday, and all rest will begin school on Wednesday.
Thursday, Aug. 12
More Colorado health care groups said Thursday they would require all their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in coming weeks as a consortium of Colorado health care organizations pushed for all health care workers to be vaccinated.
Children’s Hospital Colorado will require all of its staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, and SCL Health and Boulder Community Health will require their staffs to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.
For Children’s Hospital Colorado employees who do not get fully vaccinated by the beginning of October, they will be subject to wearing increased personal protective equipment and routine PCR testing. The policy applies to all employees, medical staff, trainees, volunteers, vendors, medical students and contractors.
“Our team members have embodied the spirit of a caring community, adapting and persevering through the past 17 months,” said Jena Hausmann, the president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Vaccines are essential in the fight against COVID-19. With safe and effective vaccines widely available, this decision affirms our commitment to the safety and care for our team members and for those we serve.”
The SCL Health requirement will apply to associates, providers, medical staff, contractors, vendors, temporary workers, students and volunteers. They can apply for a medical or religious exemption, the group said.
“We care about our patients and the associates who care for them,” said JP Valin, the executive vice president and chief clinical officer of SCL Health. “We ask anyone hesitant to receive the vaccine to consider the numbers. More than 300 million vaccines have been administered in the United States and nearly 4 billion doses administered worldwide, which shows the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.”
For Boulder Community Health, the requirement will apply to medical staff, volunteers, trainees and students, as well as business partners, independent contractors and vendors. Medical and religious exemptions may also be applied for, but people who receive them will have to wear a mask at all times and be tested weekly for COVID-19. Employees who do not get vaccinated or receive an exemption “will face disciplinary action,” BCH said.
“The only way we’re going to defeat this virus is for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Susan Hagen, MD, the medical staff president of BCH.
The moves from those health care groups come on the heels of other health care groups — including UCHealth, Denver Health, National Jewish Health and Banner Health — requiring employees to be vaccinated.
And they come after 19 Colorado health care organizations, led by the Colorado Hospital Association, issued a statement Thursday morning calling for all health care employees in the state to get vaccinated, for health care organizations to adopt their own policies requiring staff and employees get vaccinated based on local factors, and for kids ages 2 and up to follow CDC guidelines for wearing masks indoors, especially pertaining to in-person learning.
“We are confident that the Colorado health care community will continue to lead by example in embracing and promoting the COVID-19 vaccines,” the group wrote. “The dramatic increase in variants of concern has added urgency to the already pressing need to achieve herd immunity for Coloradans. Vaccination is the primary way we will avoid overwhelming the health care system in our state and finally put the pandemic behind us.”
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Thursday.
588,230 cases (+1,668)
33,633 hospitalized (+92)
64 counties (+0)
3,339,106 people tested (+8,218)
9,703,581 test encounters (+29,927)
7,023 deaths among cases (+10)
7,277 deaths due to COVID-19 (+9)
The latest hospital data showed 574 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 13 more than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.85%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Thursday, 3,544,262 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,228,979 people have been fully vaccinated.
More live entertainment groups and musicians announced Thursday they would require fans to show proof of vaccination to enter venues and shows in upcoming weeks.
AEG Presents, which is one of the largest concert operators in the country, announced it would require people to show proof of vaccination at its clubs, theatres and festivals by Oct. 1.
That includes Denver’s Bluebird Theater, Mission Ballroom and Ogden Theatre, as well as Englewood’s Gothic Theatre, Broomfield's 1stBank Center, and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in Greenwood Village, which all made announcements in coordination with AEG Thursday afternoon.
AEG said it chose the Oct. 1 date so people who are not currently vaccinated have time to get fully vaccinated if they so choose. Until then, people will have to either show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 72 hours in order to get into a show at participating venues.
The company said any changes would be “informed by updates relating to infection rates, transmission data, variant developments, and local and federal regulations.”
“We have come to the conclusion that, as a market leader, it was up to us to take a real stand on vaccination status,” said Jay Marciano, the COO of AEG and the chairman and CEO of AEG Presents. “Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about where our business, and country, were heading. The Delta variant, combined with vaccine hesitancy, is pushing us in the wrong direction again. We realize that some people might look at this as a dramatic step, but it’s the right one. We also are aware that there might be some initial pushback, but I’m confident and hopeful that, at the end of the day, we will be on the right side of history and doing what’s best for artists, fans, and live event workers.”
Colorado K-12 students might soon have a little more incentive to get tested regularly for COVID-19. Gov. Jared Polis told Denver7 the state is working on a plan to pay students a cash incentive if they participate in surveillance testing. The goal is to regularly test asymptomatic students for COVID-19, in hopes of reducing the spread of the virus in schools. Polis said surveillance testing would be one piece of a plan to keep schools safe and open. Read the story here.
6:15 a.m. | Polis provides update on COVID-19
At 10:15 a.m., Gov. Polis will hold a press conference with an update on the state's recovery efforts amid COVID-19.
Wednesday, Aug. 11
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Wednesday.
586,562 cases (+1,210)
33,571 hospitalized (+92)
64 counties (+0)
3,330,888 people tested (+5,294)
9,673,654 test encounters (+23,606)
7,013 deaths among cases (+3)
7,268 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
5,639 outbreaks (+11)
The latest hospital data showed 561 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 3 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.58%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Wednesday, 3,535,332 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,222,597 people have been fully vaccinated.
10:02 a.m. | CSU mandates vaccines, screenings and masks as delta variant spreads in Colorado
Colorado State University is mandating vaccines, screenings and masks indoors at all university buildings effective immediately as the more virulent delta variant continues to spread across Colorado.
University officials said Wednesday all students, faculty and staff are required to submit their vaccine status or declare an exemption by Wednesday, Aug. 18. Individuals who declare an exemption will be required to undergo mandatory twice-weekly screenings beginning Monday, Aug. 16. Those screenings will be extended indefinitely.
More information on CSU's COVID-19 protocols can be found here.
Tuesday, Aug. 10
11:45 p.m. | Walmart gift cards still available at vaccine sites across the state
Gift card giveaways continue this week as part of the Colorado Comeback Cash incentive program.
Anyone 12 and up who receives a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at gift card locations will receive a $100 Walmart gift card while supplies last. Coloradans can register to get vaccinated at a gift card stop in advance here, but walk-ups are also accommodated.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will also be sending text message alerts to unvaccinated Coloradans about the Walmart gift card stops near them, which will come from 45778.
11:30 p.m. | Mission Ballroom requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for entry
Mission Ballroom, a Denver music venue, announced Tuesday all guests and staff must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before entering the venue.
The negative PCR test must be taken within 48 hours of entering the venue. Masks will be required for unvaccinated guests both indoors and outdoors.
The safety protocols will be in place for their upcoming Kesha event on Aug. 15.
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Tuesday.
585,352 cases (+890)
33,479 hospitalized (+189)
64 counties (+0)
3,325,594 people tested (+4,431)
9,650,048 test encounters (+10,760)
7,010 deaths among cases (+12)
7,273 deaths due to COVID-19 (+11)
5,628 outbreaks (+5)
The latest hospital data showed 564 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 24 more than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.68%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Monday, 3,530,120 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,218,971 people have been fully vaccinated.
3:03 p.m. | Tour de Fat canceled in Fort Collins for a second straight year due to COVID-19
New Belgium Brewing Company's Tour de Fat, which has scheduled for Aug. 28, has been canceled for a second straight year in a row due to the resurgence of cases of the novel coronavirus.
"Due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, we are concerned about driving further community spread at a large-scale event," said Shaun Belongie, VP of Marketing at New Belgium Brewing. "Because the CDC has listed Larimer County as a county with high transmission, we need to prioritize the health of our community despite our disappointment in not being able to host what has become a staple on the Fort Collins calendar."
Both the bike parade as well all Tour de Fat events scheduled to follow at the brewery in Fort Collins are canceled. The tasting room will remain open for normal business hours.
Belongie said they do not have plans to reschedule Tour de Fat for 2021, "but do hope to host the event again as scheduled in Fall of 2022."
Organizers invite the public to follow @tourdefat and @newbelgium on Instagram to learn about additional opportunities for support.
"We look forward to future in-person celebrations when deemed safe for all," Belongie said.
1:01 p.m. | CU Boulder requiring masks indoors as delta variant continues to spread in Colorado
CU Boulder will return to requiring masks in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status effective this Friday, Aug. 13, the university's pandemic response office said in a letter Tuesday.
"Campus officials have consulted regularly with local public health officials about the conditions in our community and support masking in educational settings as a means of maintaining the continuity of the campus educational experiences without changes in modality or capacity restrictions," a spokesperson for the office wrote.
Officials said the mask mandate is a temporary precaution due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases due to the more virulent delta variant and is aimed at supplementing the university's vaccine requirement.
Learn more about the new mandate as well as exceptions to the mask mandate here.
Monday, Aug. 9
9:56 p.m. Boulder County Public Health requiring masks for PK-12
Boulder County Public Health has issued a Public Health Order to require masks in schools PK-12.
BCPH made the announcement Monday requiring facial coverings while indoors for kids in school buildings anywhere in Boulder County beginning Tuesday, as well as while indoors at any childcare facility and youth extracurricular activities.
The order also requires schools and childcare facilities cooperate with quarantine requirements.
The health department said data shows that, second to vaccination, universal masking policies "are an extremely effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize disruptive quarantines and isolations in the school setting."
BCPH also recommends, but doesn't require, anyone 2 and older wear masks indoors.
In Boulder County, a total of 39,500 school-aged children ages 5-19 are either ineligible (23,500 people) or unvaccinated (16,000 people).
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Monday. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.
584,462 cases (+2,770)
33,290 hospitalized (+99)
64 counties (+0)
3,321,163 people tested (+13,128)
9,639,288 test encounters (+48,541)
6,998 deaths among cases (+20)
7,262 deaths due to COVID-19 (+7)
5,623 outbreaks (+4)
The latest hospital data showed 540 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 55 more than Sunday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.56%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Monday, 3,524,544 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,214,886 people have been fully vaccinated.
Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for Aug. 2-Aug. 8, 2021.