More than 396,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and 21,800 have been hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
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, Feb. 7
4:46 p.m. | Latest coronavirus numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, with the change in parentheses from Saturday:
405,289 cases (+1,034)
22,306 hospitalized (+29)
2,452,636 people tested (+6,637)
5,653,529 test encounters (+25,243)
5,731 deaths among cases (+10)
5,454 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
3,627 outbreaks (+1)
The latest hospital showed 527 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate Friday was 4.31%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Sunday, 539,590 Coloradans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 207,562 had received two doses.
Saturday, Feb. 6
4:17 p.m. | Latest coronavirus numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Saturday, with the change in parentheses from Friday:
404,255 cases (+1,541)
22,277 hospitalized (+19)
2,445,999 people tested (+8,373)
5,628,286 test encounters (+33,861)
5,721 deaths among cases (+17)
5,454 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
3,626 outbreaks (+12)
The latest hospital showed 538 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate Thursday was 4.34%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Saturday, 528,006 Coloradans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 197,141 had received two doses.
11:24 a.m. | Summit County warns of more contagious COVID-19 variants
Summit County health officials say that the more contagious variant strains of the COVID-19 virus are now present in the county. One individual tested positive for the UK variant, and another individual tested positive for the West Coast variant. Summit County Public Health received the positive test results on Feb. 4.
The state first confirmed the arrival of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant on Dec. 29, and identified the infected as a Colorado National Guard member in Elbert County. At the time, state health officials said a second member of the Colorado National Guard was suspected of being infected with the new mutation, which was first reported in the U.K. toward the end of September.
The UK variant is one of concern as it appears to spread more easily and quickly than more common strains of the virus that cause Covid-19. In addition, preliminary data from the UK shows that it may cause more serious illness and possibly be more deadly. Scientists believe that the existing vaccines will be effective in protecting individuals against new strains of Covid-19.
Friday, Feb. 5
On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis announced new changes to the state's COVID-19 dial that would move many counties from Level Orange to Level Yellow at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Denver is one of the areas that will now move into Level Yellow, meaning businesses and restaurants will be able to increase capacity.
The changes come right after several Denver businesses and restaurants applied to or were planning to apply to Denver's 5 Star program.
The program's application opened on Tuesday to the first 500 applicants first come, first served. On Friday, the Mayor's Office said 19 applicants have notified that they had received approval.
Chris Fuselier, owner of Blake Street Tavern, said the COVID-19 dial changes made him feel his efforts had been disregarded.
The owner of the Grizzly Rose said he gave the green light to violate the state health order capacity limit last Saturday when a crowd of mostly maskless people packed into the bar.
Earlier in the week, a video circulated online of people failing to socially distance in the country dance hall. Scott Durland claimed he didn’t advertise on the radio or on television. He said it was all word of mouth.
“There is a lot of pent out demand to go out and see people and do things socially again,” Durland said.
Durland, a Delta Airline pilot, said he was out of town when he got a phone call from an employee telling him there were two “ridiculously” long lines out both doors at the dance hall.
“I made the call to go ahead and let them in because we could handle them inside, I thought, better than outside,” Durland said. “Per the state mandate, that is correct, there was more than 50 people in here.”
He admitted he may have made the wrong call, but said he didn’t have the staff to manage the crowd outside.
4:50 p.m. | 30 more variant cases reported in Colorado
The CDPHE added 30 more cases involving two SARS-CoV-2 variants found in Colorado to its dataset on Friday – most of which were collected between Jan. 11-26.
The state said of those 30 cases, 20 involve the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the U.K. and 10 involve the L452R variant. Officials consider B.1.1.7 to be a "variant of concern," which the CDC described as a variant that spread more easily and causes more severe disease, among other things.
That brings the total number of 33 cases involving confirmed variants and 13 involving variants under investigation.
The CDPHE said the B.1.1.7 variant is the only variant currently of concern that have been found in Colorado. Researchers are still studying the L452R variant.
The state is screening all positive COVID-19 samples that are submitted to the state lab for the B.1.1.7 variant and says with added screening capabilities at other labs, about 30% of positive cases are now being screened for B.1.1.7.
4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Friday, with the change in parentheses from Thursday:
402,714 cases (+1,863)
22,258 hospitalized (+82)
64 counties (+0)
2,437,626 people tested (+10,483)
5,594,425 test encounters (+43,290)
5,704 deaths among cases (+27)
5,454 deaths due to COVID-19 (+23)
3,614 outbreaks (+15)
The latest hospital showed 538 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 57 fewer than Thursday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate Thursday was 4.41%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Friday, 512,021 Coloradans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 179,360 had received two doses.
Colorado officials on Friday unveiled changes to the state's COVID-19 dial, bringing less restrictions for most Colorado counties, including Denver, but also putting in place measures that can more quickly increase restrictions if cases rise.
The levels on the dial — green, blue, yellow, red and purple — remain the same. But a widening of metrics for each level will bump many counties from Level Orange to Level Yellow when the new dial goes into effect 9 a.m. Saturday.
To put it simply: Denver restaurants and businesses will be allowed to expand capacity limits to 50%, or up to 50, whichever is fewer. Larger spaces may expand up to 150 people, using the state's social distancing calculator.
The same goes for the rest of metro Denver counties, including Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas, Adams and Boulder. All will move from Level Orange — which limited indoor capacity to 25% — to Level Yellow.
Level Yellow's metrics include seven-day case incidence rates of 100-300 per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 7.5% or less. The previous metrics for Level Yellow were two-week case incidence rates of 75-175 per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 10% or less.
Gov. Jared Polis and Jill Hunsacker Ryan, director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, announced the changes in a news conference Friday.
Denver and other counties had begun implementing the state's 5 Star program, which allows pre-certified businesses to operate outside of their county's COVID-19 dial level. In Denver, for example, the first few hundred businesses certified through the 5 Star program this week would have been allowed to operate under Level Yellow restrictions, instead of Level Orange.
Now, all Denver businesses and restaurants will be allowed to operate under Level Yellow. Those certified through the 5 Star program will be allowed to operate under Level Blue restrictions when 70% of the state's 70-and-up population is vaccinated, state officials said Friday.
Polis said the state has vaccinated about 250,000 70-and-up residents, about 64% toward its goal 70% by the end of February.
While the updated dial was likely welcome news for business owners, the update will also allow for more restrictive measures to be put in place quicker.
Under the previous dial system, a county with rising COVID-19 metrics would get a chance to form a mitigation plan to avoid moving to a more restrictive level. That won't be the case under the updated dial. If cases rise in a county, the county will move to a more restrictive level quicker.
On the flip side, counties with decreasing numbers will be allowed to move to less restrictive levels faster. The state will consider a 7-day average of cases in determining a county's COVID-19 level, instead of a 14-day average.
The change to the COVID-19 dial comes amid a decline in hospitalizations and cases across Colorado. The state's seven-day average positivity rate has dipped from November and December highs above 12% to below 5% over the last week.
Hospitals this week deactivated the Combined Hospital Transfer Center due to a decline in hospitalizations.
Polis was asked if some businesses that applied through the 5 Star program might be frustrated by the dial change after completing the application process this week. Polis encouraged all businesses to still apply for the program, pointing out two factors: When the state reaches its 70-and-up vaccination goal, 5 Star businesses will be able to operate under Level Blue restrictions; and if Denver or other Level Yellow counties get bumped back to Level Orange, the 5 Star businesses will be allowed to stay in Level Yellow.
Thursday, Feb. 4
Denver businesses that have received approval through the city’s 5 Star program application process will soon be allowed to expand their operations after the state certified the city’s program on Thursday.
The city said Thursday that 319 businesses had completed applications and turned them in thus far and are now preparing for inspections.
Already, 31 businesses have been audited, and the city said 19 of those applicants “are on track to be granted certification this week.”
The city said that it was no longer going to cap the initial number of businesses to be certified for the program at 500, which was the original plan, but would instead keep the portal open and continuously accept applications while the program is in existence.
The city said most of the applications so far have come from restaurants and that its outreach team was working on other business sectors – such as gyms, indoor event spaces, personal services and other general businesses – to get them information on applying.
Denver is currently under Level Orange on the state's COVID-19 dial. Businesses certified through the 5 Star program will be allowed to operate under Level Yellow restrictions, which includes up to 50% capacity for indoor dining. Read the full restrictions for each level of the state's COVID-19 dial.
A list of approved businesses will be posted on the Denver 5 Star program website once the businesses have signed acceptance letter. That site also contains information on the program and directions on how businesses can apply.
“This 5 Star Certification Program represents a very encouraging, nimble collaboration between civic partners who share your goal of safely increasing capacity so you can serve more customers and get more of your employees back to work,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. “I look forward to congratulating our first group out of the starting gate with certification.”
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, with the change from Wednesday in parentheses:
400,851 cases (+1,584)
64 counties (+0)
2,427,143 people tested (+9,940)
5,551,135 test encounters (+36,937)
5,677 deaths among cases (+13)
5,431 deaths due to COVID-19 (+41)
3,599 outbreaks (+22)
The latest hospital data showed 595 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 23 more than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day positivity rate Wednesday was 4.43%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Thursday, 495,151 Coloradans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 162,060 had received two doses.
12:18 p.m. | Mayor Hancock to host panel on impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, community leaders and medical professionals will participate in a panel about the impact COVID-19 is having on communities of color.
The discussion will "address the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic, streets the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, and address the very real feelings of fear and distrust that exist between communities of color and the medical community."
The panel will happen this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. To watch the live panel, head to the mayor's Facebook page. Spanish interpretation of the panel will happen via Microsoft Teams or by calling (720) 388-6219 (Conference ID: 966-305-532#).
10:45 a.m. | Denver Health at Counterpath to offer vaccines
The East Colfax Neighborhood Association said it is looking for residents along East Colfax who are 70 years old and up and want the COVID-19 vaccine. A mobile vaccine pop-up will open at Counterpath, located at 7935 E. 14th Ave., Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A total of 100 vaccines are available.
Text 815-644-0343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today if you're interested or know somebody who may be.
Counterpath is a publisher, exhibition space and bookstore.
(UPDATE Friday, 7:39 a.m. — All spots have been filled.)
8 a.m. | Colorado unemployment numbers
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Thursday that an estimated 10,989 regular initial unemployment claims were filed during the week ending on Jan. 30.
Since mid-March, an estimated total of 791,836 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and an estimated grand total of 1,043,760 claims, including federal PUA benefits, were filed.
For the week ending Jan. 23, a total of 70,150 continued claims were filed from the regular UI program.
CDLE will resume reporting of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) claims activity next week.
Wednesday, Feb. 3
11 p.m. | Rocky Mountain National Park to enforce federal mask requirement
Rocky Mountain National Park announced Wednesday a mask requirement in support of President Joe Biden's Executive Order.
The requirement is for employees, visitors, partners and contractors and will be required in all park buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes on narrow or busy trails, parking lots, pull-offs and overlooks.
RMNP said the mask requirement will "protect the health of those who live, work and visit national parks and National Park Service (NPS) facilities."
4 p.m. | New cases of coronavirus in Colorado still high, but positivity rate continues to decrease
New cases of the novel coronavirus continue to be above 800 as of Wednesday, but the state's positivity rate stands at 4.53% as hospitalizations for confirmed cases of COVID-19 also continue to steadily decrease. Here's the latest data from the CDPHE:
399,267 cases (+1,269)
22,117 hospitalized (+121)
64 counties (+0)
2,417,653 people tested (+7,626)
5,514,198 test encounters (+32,093)
5,664 deaths among cases (+14)
5,390 deaths due to COVID-19 (+14)
3,577 outbreaks (+31)
The latest hospital data showed 572 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 27 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.53% on Tuesday. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Wednesday, 485,139 people had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, and 149,389 people had received two doses.
Tuesday, Feb. 2
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, with the change from Monday in parentheses:
397,998 cases (+935)
21,996 hospitalized (+152)
64 counties (+0)
2,410,027 people tested (+4,148)
5,482,105 test encounters (+14,235)
5,650 deaths among cases (+9)
5,376 deaths due to COVID-19 (+63)
3,546 outbreaks (+27)
The latest hospital data showed 599 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 12 fewer than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.71% on Monday. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Tuesday, 472,655 people had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado, and 140,189 people had received two doses.
10:35 a.m. | SCL Health vaccination event to help seniors in Denver's underserved communities
SCL Health has partnered with two dozen community organizations to open a large-scale vaccination event on Saturday with a focus on vaccinating Denver's underserved communities.
The first one is scheduled for Saturday at the National Western Complex and has a goal of vaccinating 5,000 people who are 70 years old and up.
All appointments are filled and walk-ups are not accepted. However, people can still register for other SCL Health vaccination clinics, even if they're not a SCL patient. To register and learn more, click here or call 1-833-762-0141.
This event is happening in partnership with The Center for African American Health, The Senior Hub and The Center on Colfax, as well as the State of Colorado and the City and County of Denver.
Denver Health is opening its new Outpatient Medical Center (OMC) and announced its plan to use parts of the OMC as a COVID-19 vaccination site once more supply becomes available.
The 300,000-square-foot OMC has seven floors and features more than 30 medical services in one location.
Denver Health is solidifying its plans to use available areas in the OMC to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible members of the public. Click here to make an appointment. Most vaccination appointments will be held at nights and on the weekend, when most of the OMC isn't in use. This plan is still being developed.
“We built this facility to improve the care for our patients and the community we serve. Right now, getting as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19 is a top-priority for our community,” said Robin D. Wittenstein, Denver Health chief executive officer. “We are fortunate to have the ability to expand our vaccination sites by utilizing the OMC and can do so without interfering with our patient and staff needs. It’s a win, win for everyone.”
7:15 a.m. | 5 Star program applications open in Denver County today
Denver is opening applications for its 5 Star program to 500 businesses beginning this morning. Here is how to apply, plus other details.
7 a.m. | Second round of Winter Outdoor Dining Fund grants will help 260 Colorado restaurants
More than 250 restaurants in Colorado will receive a grant from the state’s Winter Outdoor Dining Fund to help them stay in operation and implement creative solutions to continue welcoming customers during the colder months. In this second round, 260 restaurants in 30 counties received grants that total $1,023,988. The first round of grants included 129 restaurants.
Monday, Feb. 1
4 p.m. | Latest covid-19 numbers
Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Monday, with the change from Sunday in parentheses:
397,063 cases (+884)
21,844 hospitalized (+11)
64 counties (+0)
2,405,879 people tested (+5,316)
5,467,870 test encounters (+15,820)
5,641 deaths among cases (+4)
5,313 deaths due to COVID-19 (+385)
3,519 outbreaks (+17)
The latest hospital data showed 611 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, the same as Sunday. It was not clear if the numbers had been updated by Monday afternoon. Colorado's 7-day positivity rate for COVID-19 tests was 4.84%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Monday, 464,805 Coloradans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 132,344 people had received two doses.
12:50 p.m. | Jefferson County to begin vaccinating people 70+ Wednesday
Jefferson County Public Health will begin vaccinating people who are 70 years old and up on Wednesday. Previously, the focus has been on healthcare workers and first responders.
JCPH will begin offering vaccine in limited quantities to these adults at the clinic at the Arvada Fire Protection District Training Center, 6651 Indiana St.
An appointment is needed to get the vaccination here. Click here to register.
“We believe we’ve come close to saturation among our Jeffco healthcare workers and first responders — that’s good news, because it means more of our frontline, essential workers are going to be protected against COVID-19 moving forward,” said Christine Billings, manager of the Office of Pandemic Response at JCPH. “Now, we can begin to make sure that other populations in Jeffco who are vulnerable to the virus, such as adults aged 70 and older, have greater access to the vaccine."
5 a.m. | COVID-19 vaccine hotline open 24/7
Beginning today, Colorado's new vaccine hotline will be open and available to the public 24/7. The number is 1-877 CO VAX CO or 1-877-268-2926.
The hotline was created to help better direct people to where they can sign up to get inoculated against COVID-19. For right now, the CDPHE asks that only people in Phase 1A and 1B call with inquiries.
Click here for the COVID-19 live blog from Jan. 25-Jan. 31, 2021, 2021.