More than 571,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 32,500 have been hospitalized as of Tueesday morning, 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.
Friday, July 30
10:39 p.m. | CDPHE releases school masking recommendations
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated their school guidance Friday recommending local public health agencies and school districts consider some type of mask requirement.
The department recommended a requirement for all unvaccinated individuals or, particularly in areas in higher-risk environments, a universal masking requirement.
The CDC recommendations encourage universal masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors of K-12 schools, however, the state guidance outlines options on how local districts and governments can operate.
“We all want children to be back at school and as safe as possible. Masks will help us slow the spread of the delta variant and avoid school closures,” said Rachel Herlihy, CDPHE state epidemiologist. “Masks are an added layer of protection, as we hope that even more children ages 12+ will get vaccinated.”
10:27 p.m. | No indoor mask requirement in the City and County of Denver
The City and County of Denver Public Health said Friday it will move forward with a new public health order going into effect Aug. 2 even though COVID-19 cases are increasing across the Front Range.
City officials said it’s because the hospitalization rate remains low.
Even with the CDC’s recent recommendation of universal masking in public indoor spaces, Denver has decided to allow businesses and individuals to make their own decisions about wearing masks. Officials strongly encourage people who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised to wear a face covering in public.
The city also recommends anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, saying it’s “the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus.”
Approximately 70% of eligible Denverites are fully vaccinated.
Denver’s most recent one-week cumulative incidence rate is 74.0 per 100,000 population, which is considered “substantial,” according to the CDC.
10:17 p.m. | Westminster Public Schools to require masks for students, staff, teachers
Westminster Public Schools guidelines have been revised to require masks for all students, staff and teachers following Tri-County Health Department formally endorsing recent CDC recommedations encouraging mask wearing in public indoor spaces.
The new guidelines will be effective Aug. 3 when new teachers arrive at school. Students must also wear masks on school buses, which is required by federal law.
The district said they have a stockpile of masks available for anyone who needs them.
Anyone who feels sick should stay home and get tested. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 10 days.
The district said it recommends vaccinations for all students and staff who are eligible.
Westminster Public Schools said it’s hopeful guidelines can be loosened as more people get vaccinated and infection rates move in the right direction.
10:09 p.m. | Summit County extends public health order for mask wearing
Summit County announced Friday it will extend its current public health order through Aug. 31, which requires masks for kids 2-11 years old in indoor settings.
This includes at childcare centers, summer camps and schools.
Summit County Public Health said it will remain in close conversations with Summit School District as they review all CDC recommendations and CDPHE school guidance as they develop their plans for the upcoming school year.
This comes just days after the CDC released its latest recommendations for everyone to wear masks indoors for areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission rates, and Summit County says it meets this definition.
8 p.m. | Adams 12 Five Star Schools not requiring masks for students
Adams 12 Five Star Schools announced Friday that students would not be required to wear masks at the start of the school year, but recommends them for everyone.
The school district came to the decision based on “high community vaccination rate across our two counties and per conversations with local public health, the school district can follow CDPHE’s guidance for low-risk counties.”
Tri-County Health issued guidance on Friday recommending all students wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
Both Adams and Broomfield counties are considered to have “substantial” community transmission, a level at which the CDC recommends everyone, including those vaccinated, wear masks in indoor settings.
The district said it would honor parents’ decisions on whether their children wear masks in school or not.
All staff and visitors will be required to wear masks in schools.
Masks are required on school buses, per federal law.
Students and staff will not be required to quarantine unless the school is experiencing an outbreak, which is defined as five cases or more tied to the original positive case.
5:45 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for Friday, with the change from Thursday in parentheses.
575,082 cases (+1,175)
32,859 hospitalized (+91)
64 counties (+0)
3,275,274 people tested (+5,718)
9,466,442 test encounters (+21,131)
6,945 deaths among cases (+10)
7,208 deaths due to COVID-19 (+6)
5,586 outbreaks (+7)
The latest hospital data showed 365 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 3 fewer than Thursday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.11%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Friday, 3,358,285 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,083,278 people have been fully vaccinated.
5:25 p.m. | Jeffco Public Schools to require unvaccinated students, staff wear masks
Jefferson County Public Schools will require students ages 3-11 to wear masks at the start of the school year and recommends vaccinated students 12 and up wear them after recommendation from Jefferson County Public Health.
The school system said their primary goal is to keep students in school as much as possible and maintain a consistent learning environment. The health department has indicated it will strictly enforce quarantine guidelines for schools, which will include requiring quarantines for routine classroom exposure for anyone unvaccinated and not wearing a mask.
Those who are vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19.
The quarantines greatly interrupt learning for healthy children, so the masking will help to avoid quarantines for numerous students in classrooms and the school who may have been exposed to a positive case, the school district said.
Though wearing a mask is still strongly recommended for vaccinated kids 12 and up, they will not be required, which is in alignment with health department guidelines.
All students will be required to wear masks on buses, as required under federal order.
Staff are not required to get vaccinated, but they are required to notify the district of their vaccination status by Aug. 16. Masks are required for unvaccinated staff and recommended for vaccinated staff.
All visitors at Jeffco Schools will be required to wear a mask.
The guidelines could change in the future depending on COVID-19 conditions.
JCPH released guidance Friday that falls in line with CDC recommendations for both schools and childcare recommending everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks while in public indoor spaces.
The case count for the county is currently at 77/100,000, an increase of 300% in the last 11 days.
The Jeffco vaccination rate is nearly 74% for people 12 and up. Jeffco Schools strongly encourages anyone eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
Colorado will require all state employees not vaccinated against COVID-19 to be tested twice a week and wear masks indoors over concerns over the delta variant and to be in line with the latest federal requirements.
“I have heard from state employees who are terrified that their unvaccinated co-workers will give them COVID-19 and want vaccination mandated, and from other state workers who have hesitation towards the vaccine,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement. “I think this middle road is the right one to take, respecting the right of state workers to decide while also talking effective steps to address the legitimate safety concern of fellow state workers.”
The governor’s office said the requirements will go into effect Sept. 20.
The testing will be free and required for any state workers who have not verified they are fully vaccinated with human resources or through the myColorado app.
The state said once a state employee has been fully vaccinated, they won’t have to submit proof of their twice-weekly testing.
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that federal workers and some contractors would be required to wear masks at work if they can’t prove they are fully vaccinated.
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4:40 p.m. | Tri-County Health Department endorses mask recommendations for schools
The Tri-County Health Department announced Friday that it endorses the CDC’s newest recommendation for all people, regardless of if they are vaccinated, to wear masks in indoor settings where transmission rates are high.
TCHD specifically recommends that everyone wears masks in school settings. The department said the recommendations are consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, which says universal mask-wearing keeps schools as safe as possible while maximizing in-person learning.
The health department said this is particularly important because their are many interactions in schools between the vaccinated and unvaccinated because children under 12 are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
While it is not a requirement, TCHD said universal masking is a “strong science-based recommendation.”
“One thing that we have learned over and over again during the pandemic is to expect the unexpected. Although we think a resumption of wearing masks in schools and public indoor settings can be a useful measure to stem increases in transmission, it’s quite clear that getting vaccinated as soon as possible is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. John M. Douglas, Jr., executive director of Tri-County Health Department. “We are in a race against time to get more people vaccinated before Delta spreads even further or new even more contagious variants emerge.”
As of Thursday, July 29, for Adams County, the 7-day incidence rate per 100,000 for COVID-19 cases was 76 per 100,000, an increase of 172% since June 26. Arapahoe has an incidence rate of 70 per 100,000, an increase of 142%. Douglas County has an incidence rate of 71 per 100,000, which is an increase of 163% over the same period.
3:55 p.m. | Kroger Co. encouraging everyone to wear masks in stores
Kroger, the parent company for King Soopers, is strongly encouraging all shoppers and associates, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while inside their stores.
The recommendations come “in light of the delta variant and updated CDC recommendations.”
The company’s previous mask guidance required unvaccinated associates to wear masks and requested that unvaccinated customers also wear them.
The company said it’s continuing “to abide by all state and local mandates and encourage all Americans to get vaccinated, including our associates.”
Thursday, July 29
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for Thursday, with the change from Wednesday in parentheses.
573,907 cases (+1,053)
32,768 hospitalized (+28)
64 counties (+0)
3,269,556 people tested (+5,901)
9,445,311 test encounters (+25,667)
6,935 deaths among cases (+11)
7,202 deaths due to COVID-19 (+12)
5,579 outbreaks (+2)
The latest hospital data showed 368 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 11 more than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.89%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Thursday, 3,352,300 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,078,848 people have been fully vaccinated.
Wednesday, July 28
State data shows a COVID-19 outbreak stemmed from activities surrounding the All-Star Game in Denver earlier this month.
The data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment shows that 14 people contracted COVID-19 at "Major League Baseball All-Star Events." The information was reported on July 21.
None of the people who caught the virus have died, according to the data.
5 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for Wednesday, with the change from Tuesday in parentheses.
572,854 cases (+896)
32,740 hospitalized (+109)
64 counties (+0)
3,263,655 people tested (+4,063)
9,419,644 test encounters (+18,276)
6,924 deaths among cases (+2)
7,190 deaths due to COVID-19 (+9)
5,577 outbreaks (+4)
The latest hospital data showed 357 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 18 more than Tuesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.83%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Wednesday, 3,345,861 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,073,971 people have been fully vaccinated.
Is it time for you to start wearing a mask again in indoor settings following the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?
That mostly depends on where you live. And, unfortunately for Coloradans, that guidance covers a a big part of the state, according to the CDC.
In a reversal from guidance issued a little more than two months ago, the federal agency announced Tuesday it was now recommending that fully vaccinated people continue wearing masks in indoor settings in parts of the country where there is “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus.
The CDC defines “substantial transmission” as 50 or more infections of the novel coronavirus per 100,000 people, which for Colorado not only means Mesa County and other parts of the Western Slope, but also includes some mountain communities and the Denver metro area as well.
The data from the CDC shows 40 out of Colorado’s 64 counties fall within levels of substantial or high transmission, which translates to 58.82% of the state. That’s nearly in line with the rest of the country, where 66.62% of all U.S. counties show a substantial or high degree of transmission, according to the CDC.
The areas shaded in orange represent substantial transmission while those in red represent high transmission of the virus in the map below. Please note: The map below does not automatically update with new data from the CDC. To view the latest levels of transmission, click here.
UCHealth and Denver Health announced Wednesday they will require all employees, providers, volunteers and partners to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the fall.
UCHealth's deadline for vaccinations will be Oct. 1 and Denver Health's will be on Nov. 1. This means all employees will have to receive two doses of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to the deadlines.
“The best way to stay safe from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention for UCHealth. “The vaccines have been proven to be safe and highly effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization, even from the delta variant. About 94% of our hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, and even for fully vaccinated people who get sick, the vaccine reduces the severity of the illness. Vaccinated people are less likely to need ICU-level care or to die even if they need hospitalization.”
Banner Health made the mandate announcement last week, requiring vaccination for all team members by Nov. 1.
Tuesday, July 27
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment for Tuesday, with the change from Monday in parentheses.
571,958 cases (+871)
32,631 hospitalized (+44)
64 counties (+0)
3,259,592 people tested (+3,261)
9,401,368 test encounters (+9,011)
6,922 deaths among cases (-2)
7,181 deaths due to COVID-19 (+9)
5,573 outbreaks (+1)
The latest hospital data showed 339 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 4 more than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.69%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Tuesday, 3,340,754 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,070,120 people have been fully vaccinated.
7:55 a.m. | Congressman Neguse releases PSA with Black Colorado leaders to encourage vaccinations
Congressman Neguse released a COVID-19 PSA video with members of the Colorado Black Caucus and Black Colorado community leaders to encourage vaccinations among the African American community. The CDPHE's data shows that 65% of white Coloradans have received at least one shot while only 52% of Black Coloradans have.
“This last year has been difficult for everyone, but thankfully there is a light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 has taken so much from so many. And getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” the group says in the PSA.
Monday, July 26
4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data
The number of hospitalizations for confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 continues to show a flat trend, with 335 hospitalizations reported Monday. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.
571,087 cases (+1,798)
32,587 hospitalized (+45)
64 counties (+0)
3,256,331 people tested (+9,940)
9,392,357 test encounters (+36,069)
6,924 deaths among cases (+14)
7,172 deaths due to COVID-19 (+14)
5,572 outbreaks (+5)
The latest hospital data showed 335 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 11 more than Friday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 4.04%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.
As of Monday, 3,336,388 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,067,292 people have been fully vaccinated.
Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for July 19-July 25, 2021.