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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates from March 20-22, 2020

Posted: 11:09 AM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-23 14:18:43-04
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DENVER — Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Colorado, with the statewide total at 591 cases as of Sunday evening, including seven deaths. And more closures have been announced, too, including executive action by Gov. Jared Polis this week shutting down all dining at restaurants and bars.

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, you can find updates regarding COVID-19 in Colorado that occurred from Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22.

Click here for the latest Colorado updates on COVID-19 from Monday, March 23.

Sunday, March 22

8:32 p.m. | Colorado man who moved to China to work as an English teacher has been living under quarantine

A Colorado teacher who has lived through the quarantine in Wuhan, China has advice for Colorado, since he wants to return in August: "I want to come back to a Colorado that I know. And if you guys keep going crazy and don’t do this, it’s not going to happen."

8:13 p.m. | "Furious" at federal lag in COVID-19 response, Colorado governor announces new restrictions & task force

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a new order to have more than 50% of “non-essential” workforces work from home as of Tuesday and said he was “furious” with the federal response as Colorado tries to fill gaps.

He also pleaded with people to stay home as much as possible. Regarding enforcement of his guidance and orders, he said, “There is a far greater enforcement authority in these matters, and his name is the Grim Reaper.”

6:34 p.m. | Polis: Colorado can't rely on federal government to secure needed medical equipment

Colorado may need 7,000 more ventilators to prepare for the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state, Gov. Jared Polis said during a briefing Sunday evening.

The governor said states like Colorado are "on our own" when it comes to securing medical equipment like ventilators to fight the virus because the federal government and the Trump administration were not prepared to handle the crises.

"In many ways, I couldn't have imagined that our nation's response could have been so slow," Polis said. "Like many governors of both parties across the country, I'm furious that at the leader of the free world, we're being forced to close down businesses and restaurants and bars, because the United States, unlike Korea and Taiwan, didn't have enough tests, enough personal protective equipment, or ventilators, to properly manage care for those who would get this virus."

Polis said the state would need to take more direct and drastic action in getting the medical equipment and personal protective equipment required to fight the virus amid the height of the epidemic in Colorado.

"Our medical professionals tell me of the height of the virus in Colorado, we might need 7,000 more ventilators than we have today. The administration told us as much when he said that governors were essentially on our own to get medical equipment. 'Try getting it yourselves,' was the quote," Polis said. "So based on these developments, it's clear to me, in my administration, and like all the governors across the country, we as states need to play an unprecedented role in securing our own supply chains of PPE and ventilators to deal with the virus. And we are, and we will. We need to implement even more dire restrictions to slow the spread of the virus."

6:31 p.m. | Denver criminal court to close

The Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver will close Monday and Tuesday and suspend all criminal dockets for the week amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Once dockets resume, they will be heard via remote access.

6:25 p.m. | DU to refund some fees for spring quarter

The University of Denver said it will refund some fees charged to students for the spring quarter after canceling in-person classes due to COVID-19. Some of the fees eligible for a refund include room and board charges and student activity fees.

6:18 p.m. | CSU employee tests positive for COVID-19

An employee with Colorado State University in Fort Collins tested positive for COVID-19, the university tweeted Sunday. The test was administered on March 17 after the employee became symptomatic mid-day. The test results came back Sunday.

Public health officials traced the employee’s contacts over last five days and advised them to stay home and self-monitor or quarantine.

5:54 p.m. | Weld County woman is Colorado's 7th-known COVID-19 death

A Weld County woman in her 70s is the state's seventh-known COVID-19 death and Weld County's second-known death related to the virus.

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment made the annoucement Sunday evening. They are currently investigating the case and individuals who had close contacts with the deceased.

Weld County has 48 positive cases as of Sunday evening.

5:22 p.m. | Gov. Jared Polis orders reduction to in-person workforce

Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order Sunday that requires non-critical workplaces in Colorado to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. The directive will take effect Tuesday at 8 a.m. and will last through April 10.

Exemptions in the order include health care, critical infrastructure, manufacturing, retail, services, news media, financial institutes, construction, defense, public safety, vendors to public services.

He also encouraged employers to convert to a 100% telecommuting set up, and implement telework capabilities to the greatest extent possible. When not possible, stagger work schedules to reduce proximity.

5:04 p.m. | As crisis deepens, congressional rescue deal teeters

Top-level negotiations between Congress and the White House are teetering on a nearly $1.4 trillion economic rescue package as the coronavirus pandemic deepens. The Senate turned back the aid package on a procedural vote. But negotiations are continuing on Capitol Hill.

4:03 p.m. | Nearly 600 positive cases in Colorado

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Colorado jumped to 591 Sunday afternoon, 116 more from Saturday, according to the latest data collected by the CDPHE.

In total, 5,436 people have been tested, and the virus has spread to 29 of Colorado's 64 counties. Nine more people were hospitalized Sunday, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 58. The coronavirus has claimed seven lives in the state.

On Saturday, the state began reporting the number of outbreaks at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities. On Sunday, the number of outbreaks at these facilities were at five, one more than Saturday.

Officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

2:54 p.m. | El Paso County Sheriff's deputy tests positive for COVID-19

A deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy is at home isolated and are getting better, the sheriff's office said. All employees who have had contact with this deputy are taking precautions, according to the sheriff's office.

2:19 p.m. | Polis briefing moved to 4 p.m.

We are expecting to hear from Gov. Jared Polis as he provides an update on the state's response to COVID-19. A press briefing is now scheduled for 4 p.m. today and Denver7 will air it live on air, online and on our streaming apps.

2:10 p.m. | Colorado attorney general calls for pause on eviction proceedings

In a statement Sunday, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser called for state courts to halt eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Denver has already paused proceedings during this time.

Weiser's statement reads:

“In this emergency, evicting any Coloradan from their home would exacerbate the public health and economic crisis we are fighting together. I applaud Governor Polis in leading state agencies and local governments in an effort to stop evictions during this crisis.

“I commend the many state courts that have already suspended or postponed eviction proceedings and are not accepting new eviction applications during this crisis. I also applaud the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court for granting local judges the authority to make that determination.

“So far, courts in Denver, Mesa County, Weld County, and Boulder County, among others, have taken this important step. I urge all Colorado courts to join in recognizing the urgent need to pause all eviction orders during this emergency. Nobody should be without their home as we all grapple with this crisis.”

12:55 p.m. | Gov. Polis to provide update on state's response to COVID-19

We are expecting to hear from Gov. Jared Polis as he provides an update on the state's response to COVID-19. A press briefing is scheduled for 3 p.m. today and Denver7 will air it live on air, online and on our streaming apps.

12:35 p.m. | Rand Paul is first known US senator to test positive for COVID-19

Republican Sen. Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19, the illness associated with the new coronavirus. This makes him the first known U.S. senator to be diagnosed with the virus at the center of the pandemic.

Paul’s diagnosis was announced on the Kentucky lawmaker’s Twitter page Sunday. The series of tweets say Paul is “feeling fine” and is in quarantine.

11:23 a.m. | Task force to provide update on COVID-19 response

The White House’s coronavirus task force is expected to provide an update on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a press briefing at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

9:30 a.m. | Personal protective equipment drive

On Sunday, a personal protective equipment drive will be held in Lot J at Empower Field at Mile HIgh. It begins at noon and runs until 4 p.m.

The drive is being organized by House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, Project C.U.R.E., Colorado Concerns and the Denver Broncos.

Saturday, March 21

5:33 p.m. | First Colorado National Guard member tests positive for COVID-19

A Colorado National Guard Member tested positive for COVID-19, according to a release from the National Guard. The patient, a man in his 30s, is being cared for in isolation at Fort Carson. The Douglas County resident does not require hospitalization at this time, the release read.

4:10 p.m. | More than 470 positive cases in Colorado

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Colorado jumped to 475 Saturday afternoon, 112 more from Friday, according to the latest data collected by the CDPHE.

In total, 4,500 people have been tested, and the virus has spread to 29 of Colorado's 64 counties. Five more people were hospitalized Saturday, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 49. The coronavirus has claimed six lives in the state.

On Saturday, the state began reporting the number of outbreaks at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities, at which there were four as of Saturday afternoon.

Officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

4:03 p.m. | Colorado’s 6th death from COVID-19 in El Paso County

A man in his 70s is Colorado’s sixth known death related to COVID-19, health officials announced Saturday. The El Paso County resident is the county’s third death related to the virus.

The El Paso County announced its third fatal case just minutes after Eagle County health officials announced it first COVID-19-related death, a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions.

The first person who died from COVID-19 in El Paso county was a woman in her 80s. Her death spurred a public health alert because she had played cards at the Colorado Springs Bridge Center. The second fatal case, a man in his mid-60s, had direct contact with the first person who died in the county.

It's unknown if the third victim was connected to the Bridge Center.

3:28 p.m. | Eagle County man is Colorado’s 5th known COVID-19 death

Eagle County health officials confirmed Saturday the county’s first death of a county resident from COVID-19. The patient was a male in his 60s with underlying health conditions. He is Colorado’s fifth known COVID-19 death.

He died at a Denver-area hospital. He was identified by a tweet from the town of Vail as longtime resident Rod Powell. The 64-year-old was described in RealVail.com publication as a "musical icon." The publication reported that Powell was skiing in Vail on March 6, and was feeling sick the next day.

Eagle County has been one of the state’s hardest-hit counties amidst the coronavirus outbreak, with 61 cases as of 4 p.m. Friday.

1:09 p.m. | Starbucks moving to drive-thru only at most locations

Starbucks announced Friday that its company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada will move to a drive-thru only model for at least two weeks.

12:44 p.m. | King Soopers to provide $300, $150 bonuses to employees who've worked amid pandemic

King Soopers' parent company, Kroger, announced Saturday that it will provide a one-time bonus to every hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associate who've worked amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company says it will give $300 to every full-time associate and $150 for every part-time associate.

12:27 p.m. | Businesses can donate/sell supplies to state to fight COVID-19

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management has a process established for businesses that would like to register with the state to sell or donate supplies needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available here.

9:46 a.m. | Safeway to install Plexiglas at checkstands

The parent company of Safeway, Albertsons Companies, announced it will begin installing Plexiglas at all of its stores in its checkout lanes as a protective barrier between customers and checkers. The Plexiglas “sneeze guards” will be installed in the company’s 2,200+ stores over the next two weeks, with many locations being complete in the next several days.

Friday, March 20

10:14 p.m. | Littleton Schools plans on allowing students back in to pick up belongings

Littleton Public Schools says they are preparing for the possibility of not returning to school for the rest of the school year and as such, are planning to open their schools for students to pick up their belongings, clean out their lockers, etc. on Sunday and Monday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8:14 p.m. | Albertsons, Safeway announce temporary raise for front line associates

Alberstons Companies has announced it is temporarily raising the pay of its front line associates across stores, e-commerce delivery, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants $2 an hour effective March 15 through at least the end of the following pay period on March 28, 2020. About 230,000 Alberstons' associates will benefit.

7:54 p.m. | Rocky Mountain National closed until further notice

Rocky Mountain National Park is now closed to all park visitors until further notice at the request of Larimer County Public Health Department, a spokesperson for the national park said in a statement.

"The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Rocky Mountain National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels," national park officials said in a statement.

6:56 p.m. | Mayor of Vail tests positive for novel coronavirus

In a letter on the Town of Vail's website, Mayor Dave Chapin says he hasa tested positive for COVID-19.

"You’ve heard the message from public health experts near and far: the COVID-19 virus has no borders or boundaries. I can now attest to that personally: I have tested positive and am in isolation," he said in a statement. "I decided to go public with my diagnosis to not only share what it has been like for me, but to join with Vail Health CEO Will Cook in communicating the urgent need for everyone to take immediate actions to knock this virus down."

The mayor is urging Vail residents as well as the rest of Colorado to heed the warnings of public officials and keep proper hygiene as well as practice social distancing to further prevent the spread of the illness.

"Let’s help everyone pull through by reaching out virtually to friends and family to see how they are feeling and what support they may need."

6:25 p.m. | UCHealth implements no-visitor policy across all hospitals

UCHealth is implementing a no-visitors policy at all of its hospitals and clinics with exceptions for materity, NICU, pediatric and end-of-life care effective 8 p.m. Friday. Outpatient clinic patients will only be allowed one person to accompany them if needed for support. These new restrictions were put in place for the health and safety of patients and their families, visitors and health care workers, hospital officials said.

6:17 p.m. | Montrose County reports 1st case of COVID-19

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Montrose County, according to county officials. The patient was identified as a 39-year-old man. The man is currently self-quarantining at his home.

“This individual is currently in self-isolation. CDPHE staff, in conjunction with Montrose County Public Health, are monitoring the person who may have been exposed and investigating any additional contacts this individual may have had with community members,” said Lisa Gallegos, Montrose County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Communicable Disease Specialist. "We hope this individual recovers quickly and that there limited spread in Montrose County. Systems are in place to address the needs of the affected individual."

Montrose Memorial Hospital has also implemented temporary visitor restrictions. People with respiratory symptoms are not permitted to visit (symptoms include cough, sore throat, aches, fever), and children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the patient care areas. Additionally, only one visitor will be allowed per patient and lengths of visits may be limited.

6:13 p.m. | Denver Mayor Michael Hancock: "People and businesses need to take social distancing seriously"

In an updated amended public health order, the city of Denver is now requiring that all events and gatherings of 10 people of more be canceled or postponed until May 11, 2020, as the city also aligns itself with the state's order to temporarily shut down "non-essential personal services such as hair or nail salnos, spas, tattoos or massage parlos.

“This is not a ‘shelter in place’ order, this is an update to our public health order following the new public health advice we have received over the past several days. People and businesses need to take social distancing seriously to make an impact on the spread of this virus,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. "I urge everyone to stay informed, have patience and keep their spirits up as we work to protect all of our residents during this time.”

5:59 p.m. | Mountain Metro reducing weekend bus service in Colorado Springs

The Mountain Metro service in Colorado Springs is reducing weekend bus service due to shortage of reporting bus drivers. For more information, click here.

5:48 p.m. | All Dave & Busters locations temporarily closing

All Dave & Busters locations will temporarily close to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.

5:31 p.m. | Colorado Attorney General urges Coloradans to follow health public order

The Attorney General for the State of Colorado is urging Coloradans to obey the public health order issued by the CDPHE, which calls for the closures of bars, theaters, restaurants, gyms, casinos, non-essential personal service facilities and horse track and off-track betting facilities statewide, as well as the prohibition of gatherings of 10 people or more.

"Under Colorado law, it is unlawful for any person, association, or corporation to willfully violate, disobey, or disregard the provisions of the public health laws or the terms of this or any other public health order. Any person who violates the order may be subject to civil and criminal penalties," the state's attorney general office said in a news release.

4:18 p.m. | State Dept. of Labor: Unemployment claims surpass 20,000

The number of unemployment claims submitted to the state surpassed the 20,000 mark this week, according to the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment — a 1,454.34% increase over the last week, according to officials.

The total number of calls to the department's call center saw a dramatic increase — from 9,900 last week 99,000 this week. Applications submitted online also grew exponentially — from 7,000 last week to 114,000 this week, according to initial estimates.

4:16 p.m. | Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive for healthcare providers at Empower Field this weekend

Several organizations, including the Denver Broncos, will host a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive to support Colorado healthcare providers at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday, March 22 from noon to 4 p.m.

Healthcare providers are preparing for a critical shortage of PPE supplies due to an expected surge in the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the state, and they're asking Coloradans to donate any personal protective equipment in unopened boxers or containers they can spare, including:
-- Sterile and non-sterile gloves (latex-free preferred)
-- Hand sanitizer
-- Bleach bottles or sprays
-- Bleach wipes
-- Isopropyl alcohol
-- Eye protection and goggles
-- Clear face shields (which look like welders masks but are translucent; bring unused only)
-- Masks (tie, ear loop - no cloth masks)
-- Respirator masks - N95, N99, P100 - all sizes in unopened boxes. Extra filters are also needed for these devices.
-- PAPR respirators - 3M or MaxAir - unused. Hodos, filters, batteries, chargers, tubes to goo with these units are also needed
-- Diposable gowns - unused isolation gowns
-- Shoe covers
-- Biohazard bags

Donations can be dropped off in Lot J in the north side of the stadium. Items will be collected using proper social distancing. Directions to the drop-off location can be found here.

4:12 p.m. | Two Douglas County Sheriff's Office employees test positive for COVID-19

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says two of its employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been in isolation for more than 11 days. A spokesperson said they have wiped down offices and performed heavy disinfecting. The employees are feeling better and should be back at work soon, the spokesperson said. Neither was at work while exhibiting symptoms. The spokesperson did not know when the employees tested positive.

4:11 p.m. | CDPHE: 363 positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Colorado jumped to 363 Friday afternoon, 86 more from Thursday, according to the latest data collected by the CDPHE.

In total, 3,680 people have been tested and the virus has spread to 24 of Colorado's 64 counties. Six more people were hospitalized Friday, bringing the number of hospitalizations to 44. The coronavirus has claimed four lives in the state.

Officials believe there are many more cases in the state but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

4:05 p.m. | Online resource launched to help ailing restaurant industry

VISIT DENVER, along with the Boulder Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Eat Denver and the Colorado Restaurant Association have launched a free resource for Denver and Boulder restaurants that remain open for takeout and/or delivery service during the current dine-in shut down. Visit ToGoDenver.com to see which restaurants are offering delivery and takeout options.

3:14 p.m. | Colorado Raptors cancel rest of 2020 season

The Colorado Raptors, a professional rugby union team based in Glendale, will cancel the rest of the season for all major rubgy teams due to the coronavirus in the state. Team officials will be reaching out to those who've purchase tickets with refund information.

3:11 p.m. | Mayor of Estes Park asks federal government to close Rocky Mountain National Park

The Mayor of Estes Park is asking the federal government to close Rocky Mountain National Park. In a letter sent Friday to the Secretary of Interior, Mayor Todd A. Jirsa says he's requesting the closure of the national park, "to assist our community, our country and our state in addressing the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic."

The mayor argues that having the national park open "presents a grave public health concern to Estes Park" and surrounding communities, as people are recreating there due to a lack of park fees, spring break travel and the shuttering of ski resorts in the state.

Jirsa says the town's first confirmed case of COVID-19 was confirmed Friday and that the Larimer County Public Health Director has formally advised the mayor's office to discourage visitors from traveling through Larimer County to Estes Park.

"Estes Park is not in a position to support the potential needs of extra guests at this time," the letter reads. "Furthermore, adequate social distancing is not possible in many of the crowded areas of Rocky Mountain National Park this time of year."

Read the full letter here.

3:09 p.m. | All golf courses closing in Aurora due to COVID-19

Effective now through April 20, all Aurora golf courses are closing to the public in an effort to further mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in Colorado.

3:09 p.m. | 39 Coloradans returning home from Grand Princess cruise ship

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says 39 Coloradans who were aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship that docked in California on March 9 are returning to Colorado this afternoon.

In a statement, state health officials say the cruise ship passengers had been under U.S. Department of Health and Human Services quarantine since their ship docked 11 days ago in Oakland, Calif. The passengers are asymptomatic, state health officials say. If any one them showed any symptoms of COVID-19 in any way, they would remain in federal care and would not be allowed to return to Colorado.

The 39 Coloradans will fly into DIA at 3:30 p.m. and will not enter the concourses or main terminal, according to the CDPHE. Once here, they will continue to self-quarantine until they meet the CDC-required period of 14 days.

The Coloradans who will be returning to the state today are from Aurora, Boulder, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Denver, Edwards, Fort Collins, Greeley, Lakewood, Littleton, Longmont, Loveland, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and Windsor.

The CDPHE only identified the returning Coloradans as follows:

-- 3 are in their 80s
-- 15 are in their 70s
-- 14 are in their 60s
-- 5 are in their 50s
-- 1 is in their 40s
-- 2 are in their 30s
-- 2 are in their 20s
-- 2 are less than 18 years old

3:05 p.m. | Dinosaur National Monument modifies operations

All river trips/operations in Dinosaur National Monument are canceled until further notice to comply with the latest public health guidelines from the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Options to reschedule trips will be provided at a future date.

2:30 p.m. | Boulder city buildings closed through April 19

Boulder is extending its closure of city buildings and facilities through April 19.

1:35 p.m. | Walmart is hiring

Walmart announced it's hiring 150,000 new employees nationwide, including about 2,900 in Colorado, to work in stores, distributions centers and fulfillment centers. Go here to search for Walmart job openings.

1:30 p.m. | Boulder opens COVID-19 recovery center

A COVID-19 recovery center for people experiencing homelessness opened at the East Boulder Community Center on Friday. The center will serve people from Boulder and Longmont, if they show symptoms of COVID-19. If they continue to be symptomatic or test positive, they'll be able to stay at the center in isolation for 10-14 days. Anyone needing shelter service is asked to call Boulder officials at 303-579-4404.

1:15 p.m. | A-Basin laying off all seasonal employees

The coronavirus is hitting Colorado ski areas hard, and Arapahoe Basin on Friday announced it would be laying off all 430 seasonal employees, both full-time and part-time, effective April 1. The employees will receive pay for the final two weeks of March, based on what they were scheduled to work before the ski area was shut down. They'll also get a 50-cent bonus for each hour they've worked this year and all of their accrued paid time off (PTO).

Starting April 1, A-Basin's 70 full-time year-round employees will go down to 3/4 time but can add to their compensation with PTO.

"There is no clear indication of when the ski area will re-open," A-Basin wrote in a news release Friday. "It seems likely that we are still weeks away. While we have every intention of re-opening The Basin, we have no idea when that will be."

12:16 p.m. | Avoid the backcountry this weekend

Authorities in Eagle County are asking for everybody to avoid being in the backcountry — including uphill skiing — this weekend. Avalanche danger is present and any rescues will impact the already-overtasked first responders who are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

11:40 a.m. | Polis: Working to improve unemployment website

Gov. Jared Polis said the state was working to scale up the number of transactions that can be processed on the state's unemployment website. Many users have reported getting locked out on the website. Polis emphasized that users should continue trying to file claims and that their unemployment benefits and eligibility would not be affected by the high volume of users on the website.

11 a.m. | Polis announces economic advisers

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday announced a team of economic advisers, led by former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, to help the state weather the economic downturn due to COVID-19. Pena said the team would help address medical costs, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, trade impacts, and income tax benefits.

"I don't want to be, in any way, alarmist," Pena said, "but this is going to be difficult. This is unique. The challenge we face is extraordinary."

10:35 a.m. | CU Denver case update

CU Denver said Friday that a student who tested positive for coronavirus was last on campus on March 4, not March 9, as was previously reported. The student has been self-quarantined since that time.

10:30 a.m. | San Miguel County offering every resident blood test

San Miguel County in southwestern Colorado county is planning to offer a COVID-19 immunity test to everyone in the county, health officials announced this week.

San Miguel County, which ordered a shelter-in-place for residents earlier this week, began testing emergency first responders and their family members on Thursday, according to the county health department. More widespread testing — in which more than 8,000 people in the county would be offered two free blood tests to determine how immune they are to COVID-19 — would begin early next week. The test would not be mandated for every resident.

The county partnered with United Biomedical (UBI) to carry out the testing.

8:15 a.m. | Tax filing deadline extended

Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin said Friday that the IRS is moving the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.

"All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties," he said.

Read more details on this move here.

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MORE | Coronavirus in Colorado: Updates from March 18-19, 2020