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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Nov. 16-Nov. 22, 2020

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Posted at 10:27 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-22 18:18:51-05

More than 163,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Colorado since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest data from 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.


Latest updates:

Sunday, Nov. 22

4:12 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, with the change from Saturday in parentheses.

198,600 cases (+3,921)
12,484 hospitalized (+60)
64 counties (+0)
1,611,564 tested (+22,169)
2,855,610 test encounters (+47,972)
2,806 deaths among cases (+19)
2,355 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,908 outbreaks (+2)

The latest hospital data showed 1,670 beds in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Saturday's three-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 11.62%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

12:52 p.m. | State sends phone alert to Level Red counties

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a COVID-19 phone alert Sunday morning to millions of Coloradans who live in Level Red counties. The alert read: "This region is a severe risk of deadly COVID. Use caution."

The alert was designed to "notify Coloradans about the direness of the COVID-19 situation in our state," a CDPHE spokesperson told Denver7.

The number of Coloradans contagious with COVID-19 grew to about one in 49 people as nearly 20 counties move to Level Red restrictions.

Health officials are encouraging everyone to avoid gatherings outside of their household, especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

10:39 a.m. | 2 Denver testing sites at capacity

The COVID-19 testing sites at both Paco Sanchez Park and Denver Department of Human Services East are at capacity today, and not accepting new cars in the queue. Please plan to come another day or visit denvergov.org/covid19testing to find alternate testing locations.

Saturday, Nov. 21

4:07 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Saturday, with the change from Friday in parentheses.

194,679 cases (+6,113)
12,424 hospitalized (+258)
64 counties (+0)
1,589,395 tested (+25,657)
2,807,638 test encounters (+54,920)
2,787 deaths among cases (+42)
2,355 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,906 outbreaks (+33)

The latest hospital data showed 1,703 beds in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Friday's three-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.16%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

3:30 p.m. | New large capacity COVID-19 testing sites in Golden, mountain communities

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), in partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and Curative Testing, is launching two new COVID-19 testing sites in the county. The first, located at Jefferson County Fairgrounds opens Sunday. In addition to the testing site at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, there will be a mobile COVID-19 testing van that will provide free testing at several locations in mountain communities throughout Jefferson County as well as neighboring counties. More information can be found here.

Friday, Nov. 20

6:43 p.m. | Colorado releases guidance for residential care visitation

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an updated public health order and guidance for indoor visitation at residential care facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities. The state says the new guidance allows for indoor visitation with enhanced safety precautions.

Facilities should continue outdoor visits if weather permits and the resident is able to participate. Indoor visitation for family and friends is now permitted at facilities that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must be located in a county that has less than 10% average two-week positivity rate as determined by utilizing the COVID-19 dial dashboard.
  • Must implement ongoing weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing as required for all staff and residents. Surveillance testing is done to identify the presence of COVID-19 in people before they have symptoms of illness. Surveillance testing is an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in facility settings.
  • Must not be experiencing a current COVID-19 outbreak nor have any other ongoing infectious disease outbreak, such as flu or norovirus.
  • Must maintain a 14-day supply of all necessary personal protective equipment.
  • Must maintain adequate staffing levels and provide ongoing training in the latest COVID-19 prevention protocols.

The public health order also stated reinforced that the following groups must be permitted to enter facilities with safety precautions:

  • Essential health care service providers (physicians, hospice, and home health staff of all disciplines, along with other types of medical and nonmedical health care and services).
  • Religious exercise.
  • Adult Protective Services.
  • Long Term Care Ombudsman.
  • Designated support persons (must be screened and may be offered testing).
  • Compassionate Care Visitation.
  • Emergency medical and service personnel (neither screening nor testing required and no delays from response or access in carrying out duties).

“The updated guidance balances the need to be as safe as possible in facilities that continue to be at highest risk-- with the need for visitations. We know that visitations are critical to the health and wellbeing of those served by the facilities, so we are proceeding cautiously, and we will continue to closely monitor and respond to the situation,” said Randy Kuykendall, Director, Heath Facilities and EMS Division, CDPHE.

6:26 p.m. | Colorado creates Staffing Shortage Fusion Center to address COVID-19 needs

The Colorado Unified Coordination Center (UCC) announced Friday the activation of the Staffing Shortage Fusion Center. Organizations that can ask for assistance include residential living facilities (homeless shelters, prisons and correctional facilities), long term care facilities and hospitals.

The fusion center only accepts requests for assistance directly related to COVID-19 through a local public health agency or an emergency manager. Requests are limited to short term assistance lasting five to seven days to bridge a gap, but are not intended to be the long term solution. A resource order cost share policy and resource request form are being finalized for distribution on Monday.

6:17 p.m. | Jefferson County opens free COVID-19 community testing site in Golden for county residents and neighboring counties

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), with the help of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is opening a FREE, large-scale, COVID-19 community testing site in Golden.

The testing site, run by JCPH and Curative Testing, will be at Jefferson County Fairgrounds at 15200 W. 6th Ave. Frontage Rd. Golden, CO 80401 starting on November 22. The schedule is as follows:

Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

6:12 p.m. | Free COVID-19 testing site opens in Lone Tree for Douglas County, neighboring counties

A free COVID-19 testing site will open in Lone Tree daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Canvas Credit Union at 10000 Park Meadows Dr. in Lone Tree, CO 80124 starting on Nov. 21.

The testing site will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

6:01 p.m. | Larimer County moving to Level Red on Tuesday

The CDPHE has moved Larimer Couonty to Level Red on the state's COVID-19 dial, "a result of rapidly increasing COVID-19 case counts, positivity rates across all age groups, and significant impacts to hospital utilization within Larimer County over the past several weeks."

The new restrictions will go into effect on Tuesday, Nov. 24. at 5 p.m.

5:45 p.m. | Colorado State Patrol activates COVID-19 call center

With an influx of public phone calls coming in for general information or pandemic assistance, the Colorado State Patrol activated a call center to assist emergency dispatch centers and Emergency Operations Centers.

CSP said members of the community seeking guidance on state public health orders can use the COVID-19 call center. To reach the center, call 1-833-598-5533 Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The call center is not a 911 center and is not intended to assist with emergencies.

5:38 p.m. | Jeffco Schools will continue to pay wages for regular employees through 2020

Jeffco Public Schools said they will continue to pay planned wages for all regular employees through Dec. 31.

All grade levels will switch to remote learning Nov. 30 and continue through the start of winter break. In a letter to staff, Jeffco said some employees will continue to actively work their regular jobs and some will not, but wages will be paid regardless.

The district will be assigned alternate work if regular job duties are not available. In most cases, school-based employees such as paraprofessionals and office staff will continue to support remote learning for students. Operations staff in areas such as food and nutrition, custodial and transportation services will possibly be assigned to alternate work.

5:28 p.m. | Northeast Colorado Health Department concerned with hospital capacity

Northeast Colorado Health Department urged their communities to unite and work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as Logan, Morgan and Washington counties move to Level Red Friday.

The department said they have “no more wiggle room to continue to ignore this virus.” The health department said 14 people across the department’s six counties have died in the past two weeks.

Hospitals in the area are experiencing significant surges of COVID-19 patients, affecting the ability for the health department’s facilities to transfer more seriously ill patients to larger Front Range hospitals for higher levels of care.

This has led to patients moving further distances to get to a hospital with the capacity to accept them and extended wait times.

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, NCHD is “begging” the community to do their part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to avoid overwhelming the health care system, which could lead to a full shutdown.

'It's rather shocking:' 1 in 49 Coloradans are contagious with COVID-19

4:22 p.m. | 'It's rather shocking:' 1 in 49 Coloradans are contagious with COVID-19

The number of Coloradans contagious with COVID-19 grew to about one in 49 people, according to Gov. Jared Polis in a press conference Friday.
"It's rather shocking," Polis said.

Just days ago, about one in 110 Coloradans were contagious.

Colorado saw another day of growth in COVID-19 numbers, with 5,765 new cases and 1,564 patients with the virus currently hospitalized.

Polis announced changes to the state's COVID-19 dial Tuesday, which has led to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announcing a move to the updated Level Red for 20 counties.

"We hope that this changes the trajectory, but it's also important that Coloradans are realistic. It takes two weeks for that to change the trajectory," Polis said. "We're in for some tough days ahead."

Read the full story here.

4 p.m. | Over 5,500 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in a single day as hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to increase

More than 5,500 cases of the novel coronavirus were reported Friday across Colorado as hospitalizations for confirmed cases jumped to 1,564 - 64 more than Thursday. Here are the latest numbers from the CDPHE:

188,566 cases (+5,765)
12,166 hospitalized (+186)
64 counties (+0)
1,563,738 tested (+26,379)
2,752,718 test encounters (+57,018)
2,745 deaths among cases (+15)
2,355 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
1,873 outbreaks (+20)

The latest hospital data shows 1,723 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 78 more than Thursday with 226 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 95% of state hospitals reporting. Thursday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.50%. The three-day average positivity rate was 12.16%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of November 20, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

11:56 a.m. | Weld County officials say they won't enforce Level Red COVID-19 restrictions

Weld County officials said they will not enforce the guidelines on the state's COVID-19 dial after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced an additional five counties will move to Level Red Sunday.

CDPHE announced Thursday evening the following counties will move to Level Red Sunday at 5 p.m.:

  • Alamosa
  • Otero
  • Prowers
  • Pueblo
  • Weld

Within an hour of the public announcement from CDPHE, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams made a post on Facebook, which said his office would not be enforcing the Level Red guidelines because they are not law enforcement-related. He said members of the Weld County community can, "wear a mask if you are at risk (if you choose to)."

Friday morning, the Weld County Board of Commissioners said the county would not be enforcing the state's mandate.

The state’s decision to move Weld County into the red portion of the dial does not change the stance of the Weld County Board of Commissioners with regard to enforcement of the state’s mandates. Instead, county government continues to do what it has done since March, which is promote and encourage residents and business owners to take individual responsibility and make decisions to protect themselves, their families, their community and their businesses. The county will not enforce a rule confining individuals to their homes for an undetermined length of time; the county will not enforce a rule that states residents cannot have personal gatherings; the county will not tell the school districts how to provide education to their students; the county will not enforce a rule requiring a reduction of attendees in places of worship; the county will not enforce a rule demanding restaurants close their indoor dining areas; the county will not enforce any rule that forces a business to shut down or impedes their ability to operate.

The county will continue to encourage individuals to actively engage in prevention methods with regard to the virus: physically distance yourself from others, wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick, clean frequently touched surfaces. The county will continue to encourage individuals to evaluate their personal situation and make decisions that protect them as best as possible.

In the letter CDPHE sent to Weld County, the department requested a mitigation plan from Weld County on Nov. 3 and never received one. At the time the county was seeing a two-week cumulative incidence rate of 456.82 of 100,000 people, a percent positivity of 10.84% and a two-week COVID-19 case count of 1,479. As of Thursday, those numbers jumped to a two-week cumulative incidence rate of 1063.12 of 100,000 people, a percent positivity of 16.6% and a two-week COVID-19 case count of 3,442.

Read the full story here.

8:30 a.m. | COVID-19 updates from Denver Mayor Hancock and Gov. Polis

At 10:30 a.m., Mayor Hancock Department of Public Health & Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald will provide an update on Denver’s response to COVID-19. this includes the new public health restrictions that will take effect today and details on Level Red on the state's COVID-19 dial.

At 1:30 p.m., Polis will provide a virtual update on the state's response to COVID-19. He will be joined by Health Care Professionals from Grand River Health Clinic in Battlement Mesa.

To watch these streams live, download Denver7's mobile, Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire apps, or check out our Facebook page.

8:10 a.m. | Colorado employment situation update from CDLE

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's survey of households, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 6.4%.

The national unemployment rate declined one percentage point from September to 6.9%.

The CDLE also release the following data from the household survey:

  • Labor force grew by 17,600 in October to 3,138,700
  • Labor force participation rate rose by 3/10 of a percentage point to 67.6% (but is still below the February ratio of 69.4%)
  • Number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 15,800 in October to 2,937,200 (represents 63.% of the state’s 16+ population)
  • Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio still falls well below the February level of 67.7%
  • Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio continues to improve since April, when it was 58.3 percent

The following Colorado counties had the highest unemployment rates in October:

  • San Miguel: 8.0%
  • Huerfano: 7.9%
  • Summit: 7.9%
  • Pueblo: 7.8%
  • Pitkin: 7.6%

County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s October unadjusted rate of 6.2%, the CDLE said.

The CDLE also reported that employers in Colorado added 21,100 nonfarm payroll jobs from September to October for a total of 2,688,100 jobs. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 22,000. Government shed 900 jobs in October, most of which are attributable to the end of the 2020 Census campaign and related temporary jobs.

Since May, Colorado has gained back 217,000 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April, the CDLE said.

That translates to a job recovery rate of 63.4%, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 54.5%.

The CDLE included the following other highlights from the establishment survey:

  • September estimates were revised up to 2,667,000
  • Over the month change from August to September was a gain of 15,200 rather than the originally estimated increase of 13,400 (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates)
  • Private industry sectors with significant job gains in October included trade, transportation, and utilities (about 7,600), leisure and hospitality (about 5,800), financial activities (about 2,800), construction (about 2,500), professional and business services (about 1,600), and education and health services (about 1,300)
  • Since October 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs have decreased 111,600, with losses totaling 80,600 in the private sector and 31,000 in government. The largest private sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality (~49,500)
  • Colorado’s rate of job loss over the past year is -4%, compared to the U.S. rate of -6.%
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.1 to 33.6 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $30.53 to $30.8

Thursday, Nov. 19

8:56 p.m. | Grand County announces 10 p.m. curfew starting Friday

Grand County Public Health officials announced Thursday night the county would be instituting a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in order to further contain the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. It's unclear how long the curfew will last.

The county's public health department is also limiting personal gatherings to o10 or less and only between two households. Additionally, the county is enacting a two household limit for any short-term rental property in grand County, which also begins at 5 p.m.

Last call has also been moved to 10 p.m.

6:53 p.m. | Old Town Hot Springs changes protocols due to surge in COVID-19

Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs says it is making some changes in light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Colorado. Among them: Reduced capacity throughout the facility as well as a walk-up reservation system. For more, visit their COVID-19 FAQ.

6:14 p.m. | Five additional counties moving to Level Red this weekend, CDPHE says

Five additional counties are moving to Level Red this weekend, according to a news release from the CDPHE. The move means the following counties will have to abide by the following restrictions:

  • Indoor dining is prohibited.
  • Gatherings of more than two non-household members are also prohibited.
  • Indoor gyms cannot operate at more than 10% capacity, or 10 people per room.
  • Capacity for non-critical office businesses is capped at 10%.
  • Capacity for critical and non-critical retail businesses is capped at 50%.
  • Indoor events are prohibited.

The restrictions will now also apply to these additional five counties (in bold). In total, 20 Colorado counties will be moved to Level Red. The full list is below:

  • Adams
  • Alamosa
  • Arapahoe
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Clear Creek
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • Jefferson
  • La Plata
  • Logan
  • Mesa
  • Morgan
  • Otero
  • Prowers
  • Pueblo
  • Routt
  • Summit
  • Washington
  • Weld

These five counties (in bold) will move to Level Red on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. Click here for a break down of what the new levels on the COVID-19 dial mean.

4:11 p.m. | Denver DMV offices closing to the public until further notice starting Nov. 23

All Denver DMV offices will close to the public until further notice starting Nov. 23 "to protect the health and safety of employees and the community and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Denver County," city officials said in a news release Thursday. The city's Taxpayer Service Center (TPS) will also reduce its hours beginning Monday, Nov. 23 until further notice.

City officials said residents with registrations/tags that expired prior to November will be served in-person through Friday, Nov. 20.

The city urges all residents to continue to process transaction by phone, mail and online.

DPD officers and Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Right of Way Enforcement agents will not be enforcing expired tags in Denver beginning Mon., Nov. 23 until further notice

4 p.m. | 1,500 people are now hospitalized with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado

A total of 1,500 people are now hospitalized with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado as the number cases reached over 6,000 again Thursday, nearly a week after the state broke that record. Here's the latest data from the CDPHE:

154,038 cases (+6,439)
10,861 hospitalized (+264)
64 counties (+0)
1,415,886 people tested (+26,752)
2,443,599 test encounters (+51,797)
2,504 deaths among cases (+36)
2,234 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,597 outbreaks (+25)

The latest hospital data shows 1,645 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 52 more than Wednesday with 197 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 95% of state hospitals reporting. Wednesday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.85%. The three-day average positivity rate was 12.34%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of November 19, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:26 p.m. | Adams County closing most buildings during the month of December to stymie surge in COVID-19 cases

Adams County says it will be closing most of its county buildings during the month of December in an effort to stop the rapid growth of COVID-19 cases in the county. The following offices will remain open:

Colorado Air and Space Port, Coroner, District Attorney, Human Services, Justice Center and Probation, Riverdale Animal Shelter, and Sheriff.

Buildings will close Tuesday, Dec. 1, and remain closed through Monday, Jan. 4. All buildings are scheduled to reopen Tuesday, Jan. 5, with the normal building operating schedule – 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tuesday – Friday, county officials said in a news release.

“Closing our offices for the month of December will decrease the amount of exposure to both our employees and the public,” said Emma Pinter, Adams County Commissioner and Board Chair. “In support of Governor Polis’ recommendation to reduce workforces to 10%, we are doing everything we can to help keep our community safe and stop the spread of this virus.”

The Human Services Center will remain open for pick-up of EBT cards only. Additional essential services will be available by appointment only.

Residents can drop off tax and utility payments at several drop boxes located throughout the county at the following locations:

  • Aurora Motor Vehicle – 3449 N. Chambers Rd., Aurora
  • Adams County Government Center – 4430 S. Adams County Pkwy., Brighton
  • Commerce City Sheriff’s Substation – 4201 E. 72nd Ave., Commerce City
  • Adams County Human Services Center – 11860 Pecos St., Westminster
  • Westminster Motor Vehicle – 8452 N. Federal Blvd., Westminster
  • Strasburg Sheriff’s Substation – 2550 Strasburg Rd., Strasburg

3:08 p.m. | 57 inmates, 13 staff members test positive for COVID-19

Fifty-seven inmates and 13 staff members at the Jefferson County Jail have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a sheriff's office spokesperson.

The spokesperson said a few inmates in general population recently began displaying symptoms and were immediately isolated, and added all inmates in the two affected modules have since been tested. Most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic.

This is the second outbreak of COVID-19 at the jail, Sheriff Jeff Shrader said in a news release.

2 p.m. | CEA calls for COVID-19 dial for schools

The Colorado Education Association union in a news conference Thursday called for a COVID-19 dial for public schools, focusing on positivity rate and thresholds that would trigger a change in learning format.

Teachers in the news conference said their districts have offered complicated and confusing metrics when determining whether to move to remote learning, hybrid learning or in-person classes. The CEA and other local teachers unions want a dial standard based on community positivity rate, with local districts determining what metrics are needed to determine a shift in learning format.

12:25 p.m. | No CU, CSU games this weekend

Neither CU or CSU will play football games this weekend following COVID-19 cancellations. The PAC-12 this week approved non-conference games, with certain parameters, to substitute for conference cancellations, leaving the possibility of a CU-CSU matchup. CSU's game against UNLV was also cancelled.

CU Athletic Director Rick George said the school would consider a non-conference opponent in the future, if necessary, because they would have more time to prepare. CU's game Saturday against Arizona State was cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak within the ASU program. CU is scheduled to play at Southern California next week.

12:12 p.m. | Clyfford Still Museum temporarily closes Friday

The Clyfford Still Museum announced Thursday they will temporarily close for at least a month starting Friday at 5 p.m. in accordance with new COVID-19 Red Level guidelines.

“Our primary concern continues to be the safety and well-being of our staff and visitors,” a statement by the Museum said. “As the stewards of a public art collection, we are proud to help protect our community.”

Visitors can participate in free virtual programs during the temporary closure.

12:05 p.m. | Mesa County runs out of ICU beds

Mesa County hospitals are reaching critical thresholds for capacity and staffing due to COVID-19, according to an update from Mesa County Public Health.

As of Wednesday, there were no ICU beds available.

Hospitals in the area have begun activating surge capacity to ensure rooms and beds are available in the county.

"This is possible due to a robust collaborative planning process that has been in place since the start of the pandemic," the department said. "The activation of this additional capacity signals yet another pivotal point in the local COVID-19 response."

8:30 a.m. | Weekly unemployment numbers in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported that 9,171 regular initial unemployment claims were filed during the week ending Nov. 14. Since mid-March, a total of 611,135 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims for the week ending Nov. 7 were revised down to 6,121 from 7,281.

PUA initial claims for the week ending Nov. 14 are not currently available, CDLE said, as it continues to analyze PUA claim characteristics that may be contributing to the increase from recent weeks.

For the week ending Nov. 7t, a combined total of 224,076 continued claims were filed, including 86,142 from regular UI, 78,759 from PUA, and 59,175 from Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

6:45 a.m. | 742,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks and a sign that the resurgent viral outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, Nov. 18

7:06 p.m. | Colorado Rep. Meg Froelich tests positive for COVID-19

State Rep. Meg Froelich said in a tweet today she's tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is experiencing symptoms, though Froelich did not elaborate further.

Rep. Froelich said in the tweet she hasn't been to the Colorado State Capitol recently but said she would be quarantining for at least ten days. She urged everyone in Colorado to wear a mask, practice social distancing, "and take this virus seriously."

4:55 p.m. | Museum of Contemporary Art Denver closing to the public starting Friday.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver will be closed to the public starting Friday at 5 p.m. "in order to comply with Governor Polis’ recent public health order." It's unclear how long the closure will last.

The museum continues to offer weekly free virtual programs here.

4:26 p.m. | Adams County DMV offices closing Thursday until further notice

The Adams County DMV offices are closing until further notice starting Thursday, Nov. 19 "due to increased numbers of COVID-19."

The offices will be unable to process transactions over the phone, via mail, or in-person during this time, but online services will continue. More information can be found here.

4:09 p.m. | 16-person class at Glenwood Springs Middle class transitions to remote learning

Glenwood Springs Middle School transitioned one class with fewer than 16 students to distance learning today because of a positive case of COVID-19 per Garfield County Public Health.

All students and staff who have been exposed have been contacted directly and will quarantine through Friday, Nov. 27. The affected areas in the school will be deep cleaned and disinfected prior to the return of non-impacted students and staff.

The students quarantining will resume school after Thanksgiving break

4 p.m. | Colorado reports 3rd consecutive date of new cases above 4,000 as hospitalizations continue to increase.

Colorado reported another 4,000+ cases of the novel coronavirus for a third straight day as 50 more people were hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a single day. Here's the latest data from the CDPHE:

176,694 cases (+4,650)
11,802 hospitalized (+194)
64 counties (+0)
1,511,200 tested (+19,819)
2,640,615 test encounters (+41,034)
2,651 deaths among cases (+43)
2,324 deaths due to COVID-19 (+25)
1,810 outbreaks (+92)

The latest hospital data shows 1,593 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 50 more than Tuesday with 191 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 92% of state hospitals reporting. Tuesday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.88%. The three-day average positivity rate was 12.39%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of November 18, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:03 p.m. | Denver Public Schools announces move to remote learning through the end of the semester

Denver Public Schools announced Wednesday the district will move K-12 grades and programs to remote learning through the end of the first semester.

In a letter from DPS Superintendent Susanna Cordova, the district said the switch to remote learning will begin on Nov. 30 through winter break. Cordova said the shift will allow teachers and students to work on consistent, uninterrupted class routines and focus their energy on learning.

This comes just one week after Cordova and Denver Public Health Director Dr. Bill Burman pleaded with the people of Denver to follow public health guidelines. The increasing spread of COVID-19 in the community has led to severe staffing shortages that are impacting their ability to continue in-person learning for early childhood education programs, grades K-2 classrooms and center programs.

The district intends to bring elementary students back to in-person learning at the start of second semester in January, with hopes of having all secondary students return as well, if it's deemed safe through work with health partners.

Read the full story here.

2:17 p.m. | UNLV game against CSU scheduled for Saturday canceled due to positive COVID-19 test

The UNLV game against CSU that was scheduled to take place Saturday has been canceled after positive COVID-19 tests within the Las Vegas football program, a spokesperson for the Mountain West Conference said in a statement.

1:24 p.m. | Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn tests positive for COVID-19

Republican Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado's 5th Congressional District, recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, per a statement from his office.

The congressman is experiencing mild symptoms and is isolating at home in Colorado Springs. The news of the positive test come a day after Congressman Perlmutter said he too, tested positive for the new disease.

12:38 p.m. | Virtual town hall with Arapahoe and Adams counties tomorrow

Arapahoe and Adams counties are hosting a virtual town hall with Tri-County Health on Thursday at 6 p.m. The focus of this meeting will be the updated COVID-19 dial and ramifications for the areas.

To join, call 855-436-3656, or by visiting Arapahoe County’s Facebook or Town Hall page Thursday at 6 p.m.

12:16 p.m. | Aurora long-term care facility among first to enroll in CDC’s national COVID-19 vaccine program

Belleview Gardens Assisted Living & Memory Care in Aurora is among the first local senior living communities to enroll in the CDC’s national COVID-19 vaccine program -- the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.

The CDC has partnered with CVS and Walgreens to provide free of charge, on-site vaccination clinics at senior living communities across the country as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and becomes available.

Noon | Boulder among counties moving to Level Red

Boulder County will join the list of Colorado counties moving to the new Level Red restrictions on the state's COVID-19 dial.

“New cases are continuing to rise rapidly in Boulder County. This move on the dial is an important step that needed to happen to stop this virus from continuing to overwhelm our communities,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director.

Boulder County's five-day rolling average of cases was at 220.6 cases per day, compared to 146 per day last week. The Level Red restrictions prohibit gatherings between members of different households, indoor events and indoor dining, among other restrictions.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

5:51 p.m. | Congressman Perlmutter tests positive for coronavirus

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, who represents Colorado's 7th Congressional district, says he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

"As of now, I am asymptomatic and I’m feeling good. I am currently in Washington D.C. and plan to isolate in my apartment while continuing to work and voting remotely," he said in a prepared statement. "This serves as an important reminder that this virus is highly contagious and should be taken seriously. As we enter the holiday season, I encourage everyone to continue to heed the warnings of no personal gatherings, social distancing, and wearing a mask.”

4:54 p.m. | Colorado Department of Corrections inmate dies of COVID-19

A 57-year-old male inmate from the Colorado Department of Corrections died Tuesday at the Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, a CDOC spokesperson said in a news release.

The spokesperson said the CDOC has been conducting regular staff testing over the last several months, in coordination with medical and public health experts, as well as inmate surveillance testing in order to identify and quarantine those who are positive to mitigate the spread of the virus within the facilities.

"The vast majority of inmates that have tested positive have been asymptomatic or have had very mild symptoms," the news release states.

Our partners at The Denver Post report the man is the sixth to die of the virus while incarcerated at a state prison.

4:30 p.m. | Eagle County remaining in Level Orange

With about 10-15 Colorado counties expected to move to Level Red of COVID-19 restrictions, Eagle County will remain in Level Orange. County officials on Monday had announced the county was moving to the stricter level of COVID-19 protocols.

The change requires updates to the local public health order to address increased disease spread in the community. Case incidence rates continue to climb and Eagle County’s move to the High Risk: Safer At Home category on the statewide dial dashboard is intended to address this steep rise.

Level Orange won't shut down businesses or schools but capacity limits on restaurants, places of worship and gyms will be in place.

4 p.m. | Colorado sees nearly 90 hospitalizations for confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in 24 hours

Colorado reported 84 new hospitalizations for confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

172,044 cases (+4,331)
11,608 hospitalized (+405)
64 counties (+0)
1,491,381 tested (+18,924)
2,599,581 test encounters (+39,485)
2,608 deaths among cases (+30)
2,299 deaths due to COVID-19 (+23)
1,718 outbreaks (+52)

The latest hospital data shows 1,543 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 119 more than Monday with 176 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 94% of state hospitals reporting. Monday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.59%. The three-day average positivity rate was 12.60%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:30 p.m. | Polis: 10 to 15 Colorado counties, including Denver, will move to Level Red on COVID-19 dial by Friday

Colorado Gov. Jared Pols announced on Tuesday afternoon that 10 to 15 Colorado counties will move to Level Red: Severe Risk on the state's updated COVID-19 dial, including Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties, on Friday.

In addition, the state will add a Level Purple: Extreme Risk to the dial. This new level will sit after Level Red. The upgraded dial goes into effect on Friday.

The new Level Purple will be used to indicate that hospitals are being overwhelmed. Under the new Level Purple, no indoor or outdoor dining will be allowed. Capacity will be greatly limited at churches and non-essential manufacturing, personal services and outdoor events and entertainment will close. No counties are at this level as of Tuesday afternoon, Polis said.

In the updated Level Red, indoor dining is temporarily closed, however, takeout, delivery and outdoor dining options are still available. Polis said they are expecting up to 15 counties to move to Level Red and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock confirmed that will include Denver County.

Counties will have until Friday to decide to move to a lockdown or stay in Level Red. Therefore, the exact counties expected to move to Level Red isn't clear. Following the Tuesday press conference, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties confirmed they will move to Level Red as well.

Click here to read more.

3:28 p.m. | TSA officer at DIA dies after contracting COVID-19

A Denver International Airport Transportation Security Administration security officer died Monday after contracting COVID-19.

TSA announced the death of Security Officer Eduard Faktorovich Tuesday. Faktorovich worked at the checkpoint and was last on duty Nov. 2. It's unclear whether he contracted COVID-19 at DIA.

Faktorovich joined TSA at DIA in April 2018. His colleagues remember him as a kind and respectful person who always had a smile on his face, according to TSA. The agency said they’re continuing to take every precaution to help protect both employees and airline travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2:15 p.m. | Polis calls special session for COVID-19 relief

Gov. Jared Polis is calling a special legislative session to address relief measures for those impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as cases continue to grow across Colorado and some businesses face further restrictions in the coming weeks, the governor announced Tuesday.

Polis said he wants the session to focus on a relief package for small businesses, especially those most affected by COVID-19 restrictions, including restaurants and bars; housing and rental assistance to avoid evictions and foreclosures; support for child care providers; and expanded broadband access for students who are having to take remote classes.

Colorado has addressed each of these issues over the course of the pandemic, often through executive orders from Polis. But the governor on Tuesday said a special session would be needed for legislators to quickly address the ongoing financial needs of Coloradans impacted by the pandemic.

Read more here.

12:55 p.m. | 27J Schools moving to remote learning

On Tuesday afternoon, 27J Schools said it will move all students currently attending in-person learning to remote/online learning starting Dec. 1. This will continue through Dec. 18.

Middle and high school classes will begin on Dec. 1. Elementary schools will resume online learning on Dec. 2.

The first week of the second semester will begin fully remote on Jan.. 5.. In-person instruction is set to return on Jan. 12. All student activities will be suspended during this time.

10:32: a.m. | Douglas County Fairgrounds testing site reaches capacity, closes Tuesday

The Douglas County Fairgrounds testing site in Castle Rock closed Tuesday around 9:20 a.m. after reaching capacity for the day, according to Douglas County officials.

A testing event is taking place at EchoPark Stadium in Parker Tuesday, Friday and Nov. 24. Registration and an appointment is required to get tested at this event.

For more COVID-19 testing sites in Douglas County, click here.

Monday, Nov. 16

6:10 p.m. | Eagle County moving to level “Orange” on the state’s COVID-19 dial

Eagle County is moving to level “Orange” on the state’s COVID-19 dial. The change requires updates to the local public health order to address increased disease spread in the community. Case incidence rates continue to climb and Eagle County’s move to the High Risk: Safer At Home category on the statewide dial dashboard is intended to address this steep rise.

5:50 p.m. | Littleton ending bus service for the elderly and those with disabilities

The city of Littleton says it is ending its Omnibus transportation Tuesday, Nov. 24, "due to the increase in COVID cases in the county and to protect the health and safety of city staff and Omnibus riders."

It's unclear if this will be permanent or temporary.

4 p.m. | Nearly 1,300 hospitalizatins for confirmed cases of COVID-19 as weekly positivity rate rises above 12.50%

The number of patients hospitalized for confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado rose to 1,294 on Monday, according to the latest data from the CDPHE.

167,713 cases (+4,296)
11,203 hospitalized (+79)
64 counties (+0)
1,472,457 tested (+17,633)
2,560,096 test encounters (+36,344)
2,578 deaths among cases (+32)
2,276 deaths due to COVID-19 (+42)
1,666 outbreaks (+16)

The latest hospital data shows 1,424 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 7 more than Sunday with 129 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and73% of state hospitals reporting. Thursday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 12.61%. The three-day average positivity rate was 13.03%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of November 16, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

8:55 a.m. | Carbondale Middle School transitions one grade to distance learning

Almost all seventh graders at Carbondale Middle School in Roaring Fork Schools will move to distance learning after a student or staff member tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. This has resulted in the quarantine of almost the entire class.

On Sunday, CMS parents and students received notice that the grade would transition to distance learning on Monday for the week. This cohort will return to in-person learning on Nov. 30 after Thanksgiving break.

Click here for the live coronavirus blog from Nov. 9-Nov. 15, 2020.