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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2022

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Posted at 11:50 AM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 18:42:59-05

More than 1,250,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 56,700 have been hospitalized as of Sunday, 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.


Latest updates:

Friday, Feb. 4

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,270,138 cases (+3,695)
57,808 hospitalized (+314)
64 counties (+0)
4,702,224 people tested (+3,527)
16,073,249 test encounters (25,469)
11,202 deaths among cases (+8)
11,718 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
8,137 outbreaks (+22)

The latest hospital data show 1,120 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 86 fewer than Thursday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 15.04%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Friday, 4,380,835 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,922,873 have been fully vaccinated.

3:16 p.m. | Denver Public Schools: Masks still required despite Denver lifting its mask mandate

Denver Public Schools officials on Friday reminded parents that even though Denver no longer has an indoor mask mandate in place, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) still requires people 2 and up to wear a mask in an indoor school setting.

"At the current time, quarantines are still required when a student has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID. Masking allows our students to be exempt from quarantines, which helps maximize in-person learning and support," officials said in a news release.

Colorado health officials on Thursday continued to express “cautious optimism” about the trajectory of the virus in Colorado but said the rate of community transmission is still “pretty unprecedented” and urged Coloradans to continue to wear masks indoors even as counties lift their mandates.

10:44 a.m. | Children’s Museum of Denver will continue requiring masks for kids, adults as city lifts mandate

Kids and adults will need to continue bringing their masks along with them if they want to get into the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus, the president of the museum announced in a statement Friday.

“As many of you know, the mask mandate in the City and County of Denver for public indoor spaces expired on February 3. However, it is important to note the mask mandate will continue for Denver schools and child-care organizations,” said Michael Yankovich, the museum’s president and CEO in a statement sent to Denver7 Friday morning.

Yankovich said that after consulting reputable resources and having discussions with other community organizations who also serve children, museum officials decided to continue to require masks indoors for people ages 3 and up.

The museum’s policy does allow for medical exemptions, and guests are welcome to remove their masks in outdoor exhibit spaces, such as Snow Days and Joy Park.

The museum temporarily closed its doors to the public last week and canceled reservations from Jan. 26 – Feb. 4 after some visitors directed their anger toward staff over the facility’s mask policy.

Yankovich said the museum’s reopening is still on for Saturday, Feb. 5, and reservations – which are required to get in – are now available on the museum’s website.

Read the full story here.

Thursday, Feb. 3

5:16 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,266,443 cases (+5,489)
57,494 hospitalized (+58)
64 counties (+0)
4,698,697 people tested (+5,477)
16,047,780 test encounters (-7,542)
11,194 deaths among cases (+16)
11,718 deaths due to COVID-19 (+52)
8,115 outbreaks (+17)

The latest hospital data show 1,206 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 45 fewer than Wednesday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 15.92%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

AsAs of Friday4,378,799 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,920,621 have been fully vaccinated.

3:30 p.m. | Jefferson County Board of Health votes to end indoor mask mandate on Feb. 18

Residents in Jefferson County will no longer be required to wear masks in public indoor settings starting Friday, Feb. 18, joining several metro area counties in lifting these mandates despite high rates of transmission of the novel coronavirus across Colorado.

The Jefferson County Board of Health debated for several hours whether to extend the mandate but ultimately decided on expiring the public health order as cases and hospitalizations continue to decline throughout much of the state.

Board of Health officials said the mask mandate could expire as early as Feb. 15, depending on what the data shows.

Part of the decision in lifting the county-wide mask mandate was due to a recent Colorado School of Public Health modeling report, which projects 80% of Coloradans will be immune to the omicron variant by mid-February.

The board of public health said the expiration of the public health order will also apply to schools, though federal and state mandates – like mask wearing in school buses or health care settings – will remain in place for the time being.

Though indoor mask mandates are ending for much of the Denver metro, businesses are at liberty of requiring them from patrons if they so choose.

Colorado health officials on Thursday continued to express “cautious optimism” about the trajectory of the virus in Colorado but said the rate of community transmission is still “pretty unprecedented” and urged Coloradans to continue to wear masks indoors even as counties lift their mandates.

Read the full story here.

2:15 p.m. | Colorado Hospital Transfer Center back to Tier 2

The Colorado Hospital Transfer Center is moving back down to Tier 2 as COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state continue to drop following the omicron variant’s peak in most counties.

The CHTC activated Tier 3, the highest level, back in November as hospitalizations started to again spike as the omicron variant moved into Colorado while delta variant hospitalizations were still relatively high.

They have declined for the past week-plus, so the Colorado Hospital Association made the decision to move back to Tier 2, it said.

Tier 2 still will allow hospitals and medical centers to transfer patients both with and without COVID-19 to different sized facilities as health care centers deal with bed and staffing shortages.

“This differs from Tier 3 that used this system to facilitate transfers across the state as a whole,” the CHA said in a news release.

“We are hopeful that we will continue to see a decline in our COVID-19 hospitalizations, allowing us to move our focus on providing essential care to our community members, including many who may have deferred care earlier in the pandemic, and providing support for our health care workforce who have fought so valiantly in this ongoing battle with COVID-19,” said CHA vice president of clinical affairs Darlene Tad-y, MD, in a statement.

1:40 p.m. | CDPHE officials optimistic about decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, but continue to warn about high levels of transmission across the state

Colorado health officials said Thursday they're feeling optimistic about the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Colorado as cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease, but warned that while things are starting to look better, there's still high levels of transmission across the state.

Colorado reached just below 5,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus for the first time since the state's third wave of the pandemic in the winter of 2020, but "cases are still the highest than we've seen since the beginning of the pandemic," state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said during a virtual news conference Thursday.

The state's positivity rate is also declining, with the average percentage of tests coming back positive currently at 15.92% - still three times higher than what federal, state and local health officials recommend to curb transmission of the virus.

Herlihy said those figures mean that's there's still lots of transmission happening across the state and that's reason enough to continue to take precautions, such as wearing masks in indoor public spaces, get vaccine or boosted if eligible, get tested if you're feeling ill, and stay home if sick.

The BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus has only been detected in three Coloradans to date, Herlihy said, and has only been detected in Boulder County's wastewater monitoring system. There's currently no evidence that vaccine are less effective against BA.2, Herlihy said.

Colorado's immunity - due to either vaccination or infection - is high and rising, she said, and modeling projects 80% of Coloradans may be immune to omicron by mid-February.

The CDPHE incident commander, Scott Bookman, said there's currently 1,162 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and added that while they're also decreasing, hospitals have been dealing with "an incredible surge" in patients since of August of last year, when the delta wave started in Colorado.

"We have a long way to come down from where we have been, but I really want to continue to encourage Coloradans to keep wearing masks indoors, test when you don’t feel well, stay home when you’re ill and get that shot when you’re eligible so you’re up to date," Bookman said.

He also provided an update on the state's efforts when it came to NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions).

So far, the state has distributed more than 3.7 million medical grade masks and more than 2.07 million rapid at-home tests.

Wednesday, Feb. 2

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,260,954 cases (+4,397)
57,436 hospitalized (+444)
64 counties (+0)
4,693,220 people tested (+3,555)
16,055,322 test encounters (+30,503)
11,178 deaths among cases (+14)
11,666 deaths due to COVID-19 (+50)
8,098 outbreaks (+57)

The latest hospital data show 1,251 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 35 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 16.82%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

AAs of Thursday 4,377,444 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,919,253 have been fully vaccinated.

Tuesday, Feb. 1

5:15 p.m. | Adams 12 Five Star Schools will no longer require masks starting Feb. 5

Officials with Adams 12 Five Star Schools said Tuesday the district will no longer require masks in schools for all students, from Pre-K through 12th grade, in alignment with the expiration of the public health order from the Tri-County Health Department.

Masks will continue to be required on district buses, as required by federal law.

More information can be found on the district's website.

5:10 p.m. | Several state COVID-19 community testing sites, vaccine clinics delayed or closing due to snowstorm

Several state COVID-19 community testing sites and vaccine clinics will either be delayed or closed Wednesday due to the latest snowstorm that is expected to affect travel across Colorado.

The testing sites that will close are the following:

  • Aims Community College - Greeley
  • All City Stadium - Denver
  • Aurora Public Schools - Aurora
  • Boulder County Fairgrounds - Longmont
  • Centaurus High School - Lafayette
  • Chapel Hills Mall - Colorado Springs
  • Citadel Mall - Colorado Springs
  • Clayton Early Learning - Denver
  • Clear Creek Valley Park - Arvada
  • Colorado School of Mines - Golden
  • Convenient Care Clinic- Alamosa
  • Cripple Creek Rec Center - Cripple Creek
  • Dr. MLK Early College - Denver
  • Eastman Park- Windsor
  • Echo Park Stadium - Denver
  • Estes Park Fairgrounds - Estes Park
  • FLC Stadium Parking Lot - Durango
  • Fort Morgan - Lincoln Street - Fort Morgan
  • Foundations Church - Loveland
  • Fountain
  • Fremont County DPHE - Cañon City
  • George Washington High School - Denver
  • Instructional Support Facility (ISF) - Aurora
  • Jefferson County Fairgrounds - Golden
  • Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy - Denver
  • La Veta Fire Protection- La Veta
  • McHarg Community Park- Avondale
  • Montbello Library- Denver
  • Our Lady Mother of the Church - Commerce City
  • Park County Public Health- Bailey
  • Pueblo County Fairgrounds - Pueblo
  • Pueblo Mall - Pueblo
  • Red Rocks Community College - Arvada
  • Riverdale Regional Park - Brighton
  • Rock Island Trailhead - Falcon
  • Rocky Mountain Prep - Denver
  • Saguache Community Building- Saguache
  • SOAR Academy - Englewood
  • Southwest Plaza - Littleton
  • St. Vrain Valley Innovation Center - Longmont
  • Stazio Ball Fields - Boulder
  • Timberline Church - Fort Collins
  • Walsenburg Train Depot- Walsenburg
  • Wiggins Community Church - Wiggins

The testing sites that will be delayed:

Opening at 9 a.m.: 

  • Adams State - Alamosa

Opening at 10 a.m.:

  • Aurora Center for Active Adults - Del Mar
  • Centennial Hospital - Centennial
  • Colorado Mountain College - Breckenridge
  • Dicks Sporting Goods - Commerce City
  • Douglas County Justice Center - Castle Rock
  • Front Range Community College - Westminster
  • Mesa County Fairgrounds - Grand Junction
  • Park Meadows Mall - Lone Tree
  • Pirates Cove - Englewood
  • Silverthorne Recreation Center - Silverthorne
  • Sky Ridge Campus - Lone Tree
  • Strings Music Pavilion - Steamboat Springs
  • Summit County Community Center - Frisco
  • UNC Greeley - Greeley
  • Waterworld - Federal Heights

Opening at 11 a.m.:

  • Littleton Park and Walk 

All patients with appointments are being provided information about rescheduling. There are numerous state-sponsored community testing sites across the state, as well as dozens of locations offered by private providers. They are free, convenient, and do not require identification or insurance. Visit covid19.colorado.gov/testing for a list of locations. As the weather conditions evolve throughout the day, additional community testing sites may be required to close. We will update the website accordingly.

Vaccine clinics CLOSED on Feb.2:

  • Chapel Hills Mall - Colorado Springs
  • Citadel Mall - Colorado Springs

Vaccine clinics DELAYED on Feb. 2:

Opening at 10 a.m.

  • Boulder County Fairgrounds - Longmont
  • Timberline Church - Fort Collins

4:34 p.m. | All COVID-19 community testing and vaccination sites will be closed Wednesday due to inclement weather

Due to inclement weather, all COVID-19 community-based testing and vaccination sites in El Paso County, including the Fountain, Falcon/Peyton, Chapel Hills Mall and Citadel Mall locations, will be closed on Tuesday.

4:22 p.m. | Cherry Creek School District is dropping its mask mandate beginning Monday

The Cherry Creek School District announced Tuesday that it will no longer require students and staff to wear masks while inside its facilities beginning Monday.

In a letter to parents and staff, Cherry Creek Superintendent Christopher Smith said the district will not renew the school mask mandate when it expires Friday.

While face coverings will no longer be required, the district is strongly encouraging their continued use, Smith wrote in the letter. He also said masks will still be required on school buses.

The announcement comes a day after the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) Board of Health voted to let mask requirements expire in Adams and Arapahoe counties in both schools and public indoor spaces. Other districts in the counties served by TCHD are expected to make similar announcements.

Smith said the district is seeing a sharp decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases and encouraged parents to keep their students home if they are sick to continue that decline.

Read the full story here.

4 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

1,256,557 cases (+3,515)
56,992 hospitalized (+109)
64 counties (+0)
4,689,665 people tested (+2,954)
15,974,819 test encounters (+21,450)
11,164 deaths among cases (+49)
11,616 deaths due to COVID-19 (+62)
8,041 outbreaks (+30)

The latest hospital data show 1,286 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 65 fewer than Monday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 17.70%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Wednesdayay, 4,374,908 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,916,996 have been fully vaccinated.

12:18 p.m. | CDPHE launches Test to Stay school testing program

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has launched an additional testing program officials say will "supplement testing resources, help students and staff continue in-person learning after contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and reduce the burden on parents."

Officials say the program provides a pathway out of quarantine for students and staff with school-associated exposures to COVID-19 if they remain asymptomatic and test negative twice.

Here's how the program will work: An exposed student or staff member will take the first test as soon as they are notified they have been exposed. If this first test is negative, they may stay in school so long as they wear a well-fitting mask and remain asymptomatic. Official say they should then test again five to seven days after their exposure to COVID-19. If the second test is also negative, and they remain asymptomatic, the student or staff member can continue to remain at school.

Staff and students must wear a well-fitting mask consistently and correctly while around others for ten days following their exposure to a positive case, even if their rapid tests are negative and regardless of masking policies at that school.

School administrators may also choose to include staff and students with non-household community exposures to participate in Test to Stay, officials said in a news release.

The program is open to everyone, but individuals who are up-to-date on their vaccinations, meaning they've received all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, do not have to quarantine after being exposed to someone at school who tested positive for COVID-19.

Unvaccinated individuals who choose not to participate in Test to Stay and who are exposed to a positive case at school will not be allowed to remain at school and will need to complete the normal five-day quarantine, followed by five days of wearing a well-fitting mask in school, CDPHE officials said.

“We are committed to helping ensure students continue in-person learning and are providing schools with a menu of testing resources to help make that happen,” Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, said. “We encourage schools to enroll in this and other testing programs so students can continue to benefit from being in the classroom.”

This new Test to Stay program compliments other programs for school-aged children in Colorado, including the school screening testing program.

CDPHE will provide schools with Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests and the schools will distribute them to eligible staff and students, officials said.

Participating schools will be asked to complete a Memorandum of Understanding and are encouraged to institute the layered mitigation strategies outlined in the practical guide for operationalizing CDC’s school guidance. Schools already enrolled in the School Screening Program will need to enroll separately in Test to Stay. CDPHE will ship tests to the enrolled schools, and enrolled schools can re-order at any time.

Anyone who develops symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should get tested immediately and isolate. Individuals who have symptoms but test negative with a rapid test should follow up with a PCR test. Positive rapid result tests do not need to be confirmed. Any staff or student who tests positive while participating in the Test to Stay program should isolate.

Monday, Jan. 31

7:25 p.m. | Tri-County Health Department board votes to lift mask requirement

The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) Board of Health voted Monday to let mask requirements expire in Adams and Arapahoe counties in both schools and public indoor spaces.

The requirements will expire Saturday, Feb. 5.

“While wearing a well-fitting face covering is still an important COVID-19 prevention measure, especially in indoor public spaces, we do think it is reasonable to end the public health orders requiring them now,” said Dr. John M. Douglas, Jr., executive director of Tri-County Health Department. “We have worked closely with our school districts to ensure they have capacity to implement a range of prevention measures to accommodate particularly at-risk students and to minimize disruptions to in-person learning.”

In a press release, the department called this week an appropriate time to end the mask mandate via public health order and to allow schools and communities to individually decide whether or not to require masks.

5 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.

1,253,042 cases (+12,681)
56,883 hospitalized (+150)
64 counties (+0)
4,686,711 people tested (+14,713)
15,953,369 test encounters (+117,553)
11,115 deaths among cases (+54)
11,554 deaths due to COVID-19 (+120)
8,011 outbreaks (+23)

The latest hospital data show 1,351 beds in use by patients with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, 66 fewer than Friday. Colorado’s seven-day average positivity rate was 18.39%. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Tuesdayy, 4,372,558 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Colorado and 3,883,167 3,915,052 have been fully vaccinated.

3:48 p.m. | Larimer County lifting mask requirement Saturday, Feb. 12

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment said it will lift is public indoor mask requirement on Saturday, Feb. 12.

"This timeline will allow for the omicron wave to further retreat and gives families, local businesses, and schools time to prepare for the transition," said Kori Wilford, MPH, the interim community relations and public information supervisor for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

The Poudre School District said it has yet to determine what that will mean for the district’s mask protocol.

“PSD will communicate a district decision as soon as possible,” the district tweeted.

Denver announced earlier today it would lift its requirement on Friday. Jefferson County Public Health’s board will vote Thursday on whether to lift the Jefferson County requirement.

2:39 p.m. | Denver to drop 'mask or vax' requirement Friday for businesses; still required in schools

People will no longer be required to wear masks or show proof of vaccination to enter Denver businesses starting Friday, though the mask requirement will continue for schools and child care facilities, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Monday.

The mayor said the current public health order would expire Friday and would not be renewed at this time. However, he and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald said masks will continue to be required at schools and child care facilities.

The continued requirement for people to wear masks in schools is so schools can remain open to in-person learning and so students and staff can operate “as safely as possible,” Hancock said.

Private businesses can also continue to require people to wear masks inside or require the proof of vaccination from customers and visitors, Hancock said.

“We’re at a very important pivot point in this battle,” Hancock said.

More than 78% of Denver residents were fully vaccinated as of Monday, and the mayor said the virus would be something “we’re going to have to manage and learn to live with.”

“This is still a public health emergency and will remain so as long as there are spikes, surges and variants that threaten to overwhelm health care systems,” Hancock said.

McDonald said modeling from the state indicates that lifting the face covering requirement this week would have “little change” on the trajectory of the number of cases and hospitalizations in Denver and in the metro area, which have fallen sharply in recent weeks.

As of Jan. 10 in Denver, there was a 7-day average case rate of 1,998 cases per 100,000 of COVID-19. That number fell to 588 per 100,000 as of Jan. 29 and continues to fall as of Monday, McDonald said.

He said it was clear that the metro-wide move to require masks indoors or vaccine passports certainly had an effect on the modeling that was seen in November, which indicated if those requirements were not in place, the hospital capacity could have been breached. It was not despite near record-high numbers of cases and hospitalizations.

“Omicron has run out of fuel within our community,” McDonald said, adding that between the levels of vaccination and boosters in Denver, and the levels of infection from the omicron variant, indicated that this week would be a safe time to lift the requirements.

They said that people should still be diligent – especially if they are not vaccinated either because of compromised immune systems or because people have chosen not to be.

“This is saying the data tells us, the modeling tells us, it’s OK to drop the mask requirement starting Friday,” Hancock said.

The Tri-County Health Department is extending the current public health order until Feb. 4, but the board will meet Monday afternoon to consider whether or not to drop its requirement as well. Nearly all of the Denver metro area counties have acted in concert when it comes to COVID-19 precautions and public health orders.

McDonald said he has been communicating with the other metro-area public health directors and said they would be making their own announcements.

"Make no mistake, we are in very close communication regionally," he said.

Click here to read the full story.

11:35 a.m. | JeffCo Public Health rescinds public health order

As COVID-19 cases start to decline, Jefferson County Public Health and the Jefferson County Board of Health announced Monday morning that they would change the county’s current public health orders. This included rescinding PHO 21-005, which required routine testing of unvaccinated local government employees.

The Jefferson County Board of Health discussed and voted on this on Jan. 28. It is effective immediately.

On Feb. 4, the board of health will reconvene for a special meeting to discuss another public health order, PHO 21-006, which requires masking for all individuals in all public, indoor spaces. This order also upholds the current requirement for all individuals in PK-12 school settings to wear masks while inside.

8:20 a.m. | Update on COVID-19 in Denver

Mayor Michael Hancock and Executive Director of Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald will provide an update on the city’s response to COVID-19 at 2 p.m. today. We will carry this live on our Denver7+ streaming apps.

Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for Jan. 24-Jan. 30, 2022.