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Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates for Aug. 10-Aug. 16, 2020

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Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 18:19:43-04

More than 50,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected since the pandemic was officially reported in Colorado on March 5. Saturday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.84%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

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, Aug. 16

4:15 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data from Colorado

Colorado saw 338 cases reported and zero deaths due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, according to the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

53,176 cases (+338)
6,735 hospitalizations (+8)
1,896 deaths among cases (+0)
1,768 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
631,008 tested (+8,263)
873,051 test encounters (+13,317)
542 outbreaks (+1)

The latest hospital data was not yet updated as of 4 p.m. Sunday. Saturday's 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.43%. The state's target is to remain below 5%.

Saturday, Aug. 15

4:20 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data from Colorado

Colorado saw 300 more cases reported and zero deaths due to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, according to the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

52,838 cases (+300)
6,727 hospitalized (+9)
63 counties (+0)
622,745 people tested (+5,973)
859,734 test encounters (+10,939)
1,896 deaths among cases (+8)
1,768 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
541 outbreaks (+1)

The latest hospital data show 236 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 29 fewer than Friday, with 16 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 84% of state hospitals reporting. Friday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.77%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

Saturday, Aug. 15 COVID-19 in Colorado update

Friday, Aug. 14

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 cases from Colorado

Five more deaths and four more outbreaks of COVID-19 were reported from Thursday into Friday, according to the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

52,538 cases (+319)
6,718 hospitalized (+18)
63 counties (+0)
616,772 tested (+6,948)
848,795 test encounters (+11,505)
1,888 deaths among cases (+6)
1,768 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
540 outbreaks (+4)

The latest hospital data shows 265 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 23 fewer than Thursday with 14 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 84% of state hospitals reporting. Thursday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.88%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of Aug. 14, 2020

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

2 p.m. | Morgan County school staffer tests positive

The Morgan County School District RE-3 on Friday reported a staff member's positive test for COVID-19. The staffer and all other staffers who attended the same professional development training with the staffer are now working from home in quarantine.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 is going to adversely affect this school year. This is not the first nor is it going to be the last situation we will have to deal with,” interim Superintendent Rena Frasco said in a news release. “But thankfully we are prepared and have mitigation plans in place to respond quickly and effectively.”

Morgan County is beginning the school year with five days of in-person learning for Pre-K through 5th grade. Grades 6-12 will be under a hybrid model of both remote learning and in-person classes.

Earlier this week, the Sheridan and Mapleton school districts announced that a teacher at each district had tested positive for COVID-19.

Thursday, Aug. 13

4 p.m. | More than 450 test positive from COVID-19 from Wednesday into Thursday

More than 450 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus from Wednesday into Thursday, according to the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

52,219 cases (+463)
6,700 hospitalized (+15)
63 counties (+0)
609,824 tested (+7,528)
837,290 test encounters (+12,228)
1,882 deaths among cases (+7)
1,763 deaths due to COVID-19 (+7)
536 outbreaks (+4)

The latest hospital data shows 288 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 27 fewer than Wednesday with 22 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 82% of state hospitals reporting. Wednesday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 3.27%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

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

12:59 p.m. | 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Denver Half Marathon canceled

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon scheduled for Oct. 17-18 cannot take place in 2020 or 2021, the company announced Thursday.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series officials will continue to evaluate options for possible future events in the region, the company said. All registered participants will receive an email with additional information

7:35 a.m. | Colorado Department of Labor and Unemployment release unemployment claims

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported today that 6,187 regular initial unemployment claims were filed during the week ending Aug. 8. There were also 9,048 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed for the same week.

Since mid-March, a total of 523,390 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed with a grand total of 694,490 claims, including federal PUA benefits.

6:40 a.m. | U.S. unemployment numbers

The number of laid-off workers applying for unemployment aid fell below 1 million last week for the first time since the pandemic intensified five months ago yet still remains at a high level. The Labor Department said applications fell to 963,000, the second straight drop, from 1.2 million the previous week.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday, Aug. 12

6:42 p.m. | Gov. Jared Polis plans to extend Colorado’s mask mandate

Gov. Jared Polis plans to extend Colorado’s statewide mask mandate before it expires this weekend, his staff confirmed to our partners at The Denver Post.

The order — issued July 16 for one month — states that everyone 11 and older must wear a mask or other facial covering while in public indoor spaces, including retail stores. More than 30 U.S. states are under similar orders.

When Polis first ordered everyone to wear a mask, the state’s coronavirus case count and the number of daily virus-related hospitalizations were both growing. The number of people that those infected with the virus spread it to was, on average, 1.78 at that time in Colorado — better than during the state’s initial outbreak in March and April, but still troublingly high.

Read the rest of this story here.

5:25 p.m. | Colorado releases guidance for schools, families to respond to positive coronavirus cases, outbreaks

Colorado public health officials released more guidance Wednesday for how school districts and parents can prepare the event a student, staffer or class contracts coronavirus and needs to quarantine at home, and how they can return.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that more than 70 districts, school nurses, teachers union representatives, counties and local public health agencies had input over the past week on the guidance released Wednesday.

The guidance includes a checklist for parents and school staffers on whether students or staff should attend school, what to do if someone feels sick after arriving at school, guidance on returning to school or work after a positive coronavirus test, and a tool to figure out whether classmates or a cohort should stay home from school if a close contact is sick or tested positive for the coronavirus.

Click here to read the full story.

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers from Colorado

51,756 cases (+315)
6,685 hospitalized (+6)
63 counties (+0)
602,296 tested (+4,429)
825,062 test encounters (+7,640)
1,875 deaths among cases (+0)
1,756 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
532 outbreaks (+13)

The latest hospital data shows 315 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 6 more than Tuesday with 29 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 88% of state hospitals reporting. Tuesday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 3.14%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

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

2:18 p.m. | Former county official describes his COVID-19 battle, recovery

Former La Plata County Planning Commission Chair Jim Tencza thought he had a sinus infection when the initial symptoms of COVID-19 began to show.

“I was diagnosed on March 21, so I was one of the early ones,” said Tencza. “And prior to the that, like a week before, I thought I had a sinus infection. And then the early morning of the 21st of March, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, fell down, couldn’t get back up — I was so weak.”

Learn more about his story in the video embedded below.

1:40 p.m. | Colorado health officials, scientists expand coronavirus wastewater tracking pilot project

Colorado health officials and scientists will be expanding their pilot program to test wastewater and fecal matter for early detections of the novel coronavirus as another tool to try to identify outbreaks early.

Earlier this spring, a wastewater testing pilot was done in Gunnison County and in two Front Range wastewater districts with Massachusetts-based Biobot to try to find the coronavirus in sewage and see whether scientists could use that data as a tool to identify outbreaks in various communities.

On Wednesday, officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado State University, Metro State University and Metro Wastewater elaborated on the new and expanded year-long pilot program to test wastewater across the Front Range for viral loads – a program first reported last month by The Colorado Sun.

Sixteen Front Range wastewater utilities spanning from Fort Collins down to Pueblo will participate in the initial phase of the program. They will collect samples from 18 different wastewater facility catch points among the 16 utilities twice a week, as part of routine sampling, and send the samples to CSU for processing and testing.

GT Molecular is also a partner in the testing, as is Metropolitan State University in Denver, which is also working to stand up a testing lab of its own, officials said Wednesday.

The samples would be sent quickly – within hours – to minimize the time between when they are collected and results become available, said Jim McQuarrie, the Director of Strategy and Innovation at the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District.

Once the samples are received at the labs, scientists will filter the samples to remove solids, then using a concentrating pipette to capture viral particles off a filter, from which they will extract the RNA of a virus. That RNA would then be converted to DNA, said Dr. Susan De Long, an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU, after which they will copy the virus and use a droplet chain reaction instrument to quantify the levels of the virus found in the wastewater.

With the 16 Front Range wastewater utilities participating in the first phase, officials say they expect to capture wastewater data from about 60% to 65% of Colorado’s population – which they said would be yet another tool they have to try to quantify where the virus is in the state and which areas are seeing outbreaks.

The CDPHE’s Environmental Programs Director John Putnam said that such data could provide scientists, epidemiologists and officials with a four-to-seven-day advanced notice of where COVID-19 is in a community even if those people do not have symptoms or know they have the virus.

“Unlike regular testing, which generally happens after people have symptoms, but knowing symptoms may not be seen for days or a couple weeks, virus starts shedding through people’s fecal matter within a couple of days of them being infected and before they become symptomatic,” Putnam said, adding that an early warning system would give state and local officials extra time to respond to a likely outbreak.

McQuarrie said that while the data would not show exactly how many people are carrying the virus in a certain wastewater district, the strength of the RNA signal from the virus, combined with other factors, could give researchers signs of how prevalent the virus is in a given community.

The CDPHE’s Respiratory Disease and COVID Surveillance Program Manager Nisha Alden said public health officials would be able to use the wastewater data in addition to other data to make decisions about where to shift resources, where more testing might be needed, and signal whether any distancing requirements needed to be strengthened or could be relaxed.

Click here to read the full story.

7:24 a.m. | City of Golden shares mask wearing data, says no tickets for compliance have been issued

The City of Golden says it has been collecting data on face mask usage along the Clear Creek trail twice a day for 30 minutes over the past four weeks and revealed the following based on that data:

-- Downtown Golden has seen an average mask compliance of 95% - with that same percentage of pedestrians with masks during the 12 p.m. collection period, and 96% with masks during the 4 p.m. collection period.
-- Clear Creek has an average mask compliance rate of 80%, with 85% wearing a mask during the 12 p.m. collection period, and 74 percent during the 4 p.m. collection period, and
-- Mask compliance went up from 76% (during July 6 - 11) to 90% (during August 3 - 7) across both locations and times.

City officials also said 528 contacts had been made with people about face mask requirements between August 8 and 9, adding warnings were given no citations were issued. During that same period, two contacts were made with people regarding creek access restrictions and one ticket was issued.

City officials said they have used photos and drone video footage to see if gatherings are happening.

Tuesday, Aug. 11

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers from Colorado

Four-hundred more people were reported infected with coronavirus from Monday into Tuesday, bringing the total number of people testing positive for the new respiratory disease to 51,441. Here are the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):

51,441 cases (+402)
6,679 hospitalized (+52)
63 counties (+0)
597,867 tested (+4,073)
817,422 test encounters (+7,146)
1,875 deaths among cases (+12)
1,751 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
519 outbreaks (+5)

The latest hospital data shows 309 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 10 fewer than Monday with 25 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 90% of state hospitals reporting. Monday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.94%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of August 11, 2020

Click here for the latest COVID-19 case data.

2:24 p.m. | No CU football this fall: Pac-12 postpones season, will try spring slate

The Pac-12 Conference on Tuesday announced its plans to postpone all sports through the end of the year, ending CU Boulder's football season before it begins. The decision will also affect the beginning of the basketball season, along with all other sports planned to play before the end of the year.

The conference, in a news release, said it will consider a return to competition after Jan. 1.

Read the full story here.

2:08 p.m. | Mapleton School teacher tests positive for COVID-19

A teacher at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts told school officials late Sunday evening she tested positive for COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, all MESA staff were asked to work from home this past Monday while the school "coordinated an evaluation of the situation with Tri-County Health."

The health department cleared all teachers to return to the building today, except for the COVID-19 positive teacher and six other staff members identified as individuals who were within the 6-foot guideline and therefore more at risk of being exposed to the new respiratory disease.

The school said it will welcome back students on Thursday, Aug. 27.

12:38 p.m. | Sheridan School District co-teacher tests positive for coronavirus

A co-teacher at the Sheridan School District tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to district officials, who said in an email the co-teacher, as well as a teacher are self-isolating as a
precaution. The teacher has not been tested, to the district's knowledge, but is in quarantine.

District officials said they were both prepping their classroom at Alice Terry Elementary last week. That building and the classroom both instructors were in has been disinfected.

The Sheridan School District said it is planning on starting the school year with in-person learning on Monday, Aug. 17, though district officials said they'll talk about their fall reopening plans during a regularly scheduled board meeting tonight.

`12:33 p.m. | Gov. Polis, state legislative leadership call on U.S. Senate to pass relief package amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis along with Colorado's legislative leadership are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass a real relief package that provides support to Colorado schools and state and local governments and extends unemployment insurance for Coloradans in response to the challenges created by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Hardworking Colorado families need real relief and our schools and local governments need additional resources to effectively respond to the unique challenges of this pandemic. Without new federal support, our economy and small businesses will continue to teeter on the edge of a cliff,” said Governor Jared Polis in a prepared statement.“We appreciate the collaborative, bipartisan efforts our federal delegation has taken to this point and urge the Senate to move quickly on a real relief package.”

“Congress must quickly approve a meaningful coronavirus relief package, as thousands of hardworking Coloradans agonize over their economic security and wonder how they will make ends meet,” said House Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. “Without additional aid to states and local governments, an extension of unemployment assistance, and support for our schools, Colorado will be forced to reduce services for those who need them the most, school districts will face crippling budget shortfalls, and hardworking families will be left behind.”

“Colorado has no time to waste–-we need Congress to pass a robust COVID relief package as soon as possible,” said House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver. “The Federal support that our state has received so far has made an enormous difference in the lives of teachers, students, and everyday Coloradans dealing with the fallout of this pandemic. But it has not been enough. Today we’re calling on Congress to deliver a relief package that includes significant direct aid to state and local governments, robust education funding, and an extension of the unemployment benefits that have kept many Colorado families afloat over the past few months.”

“Playing power games with people’s lives is unacceptable,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “The US House passed a bill to help working families, schools, and small businesses months ago, but this critical legislation has been completely stonewalled. Now, everyday that goes by more and more people and institutions are at risk of collapse. We need true, selfless leadership that puts the wellbeing of hardworking Americans above political agendas. That means immediately boosting federal pandemic response efforts and renewing key programs like unemployment assistance. Otherwise, the consequences borne by our most vulnerable will be excruciating and potentially unrecoverable.”

Monday, Aug. 10

8:03 p.m. | Gov. Polis extends 5 executive orders to address COVID-19 in the state

Gov. Jared Polis signed several executive orders Monday evening addressing COVID-19 in the state.

First, Polis extended an executive order on evictions that - while not a moratorium - encourages "landlords to take steps to limit eviction for tenants who have made a good faith effort to make rental payments or who have made a good faith effort to establish a repayment agreement."

That executive order will remain in effect for another 30 days.

Polis also extended executive orders regarding the temporary suspension of certain statutes to maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan; allowing the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities; signature collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates who are required to file petition with the Secretary of State as well as expediting unemployment insurance.

4:50 p.m. | Mountain West Conference postpones fall sports, ending football for CSU, Air Force

Colorado State and the Air Force Academy officially won't play football this fall after the Mountain West Conference on Monday announced it will postpone all fall sports amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Men and women's cross country, women's soccer and women's volleyball were also affected by the decision made Monday. Conference officials said they'll "begin to explore the feasibility" of rescheduling fall sports to a spring season.

Read the full story here.

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers for Colorado

Here was the latest coronavirus data for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Monday, with the change from Sunday in parentheses.

51,039 cases (+379)
6,627 hospitalized (+11)
63 counties (+0)
593,794 tested (+5,247)
810,276 test encounters (+8,537)
1,863 deaths among cases (+5)
1,746 deaths due to COVID-19 (+10)
514 outbreaks (+1)

The latest hospital data shows 319 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, with 30 patients discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 79% of state hospitals reporting. Sunday’s 3-day moving average positivity rate was 2.83%. The state’s target is to remain below 5%.

3:10 p.m. | Free COVID-19 testing site opening at Water World in Federal Heights

The state and Adams County announced Monday afternoon it was opening another free COVID-19 testing site at Water World in Federal Heights, hours after a similar site was announced at the Aurora Sports Park.

County and state officials said that anyone will be able to get tested at the site free of charge and without a state ID, insurance or doctor’s recommendation – including people who do not have symptoms. Test results will come back typically in 2-3, though could take up to four, Polis said.

Like the test site in Aurora, the Federal Heights site will have staffing, testing operations, logistics and lab work done by MAKO Medical out of North Carolina, with support from the state and county health departments.

While people are not required to pre-register to testing, they are strongly encouraged to do so by clicking here.

The site will have options for speakers of English, Spanish, Farsi and Hmong, the officials said. Polis said he believes it is the first site in the nation to offer services in Hmong.

Click here to read the full story.

3:07 p.m. | Over 150 student athletes tested for coronavirus at CSU, 8 test positive within football program

Eight student athletes within Colorado State University’s football program tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the university paused all football team activities in late July.

CSU Athletics spokesperson Kyle Neaves said the athletics program, in partnership with UCHealth, conducted 150 COVID-19 tests on student athletes in the sports of football, volleyball, soccer and cross country on Aug. 3

A total of 9 student athletes tested positive after those tests, with 8 of those 9 tests belonging to CSU's football program.

Read the full story here.

11 a.m. | COVID-19 testing site opens Monday at Aurora Sports Park

A brand new COVID-19 testing site will open in Aurora at the Aurora Sports Park on Monday.

The test center will stay open from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. seven days a week. The 250-acre park is located at located at 19300 E. Colfax Ave.

Testing will be available for anybody, whether they have symptoms or not.

Gov. Jared Polis and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman made the announcement Monday morning, saying it was another way to get "free, easy and quick" testing done in the state, along with the Pepsi Center site, another site at Water World that officials are expected to announce Monday afternoon and which Polis hinted at during the morning news conference, and already-existing community-based testing sites.

Polis and Coffman said people who get tested at the site should expect to receive their results typically within 3 days.

Click here to read the full story.

Click here for the COVID-19 blog from Aug. 3-Aug. 9, 2020.