NOTE: This is the live blog from Tuesday, April 28. Click here for the live blog from Wednesday, April 29.
More than 700 people have died of the novel coronavirus in Colorado, according to data released Monday afternoon by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Across the state, more than 66,000 people have been tested for it and just under 14,000 were confirmed to have COVID-19.
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.
Tuesday, April 28
10:19 p.m. | Boulder City Council passes motion requiring face masks in public
Boulder City Council has passed a motion requiring workers of operating businesses and customers shopping at those businesses, to wear non-medical face masks effective immediately.
7:03 p.m. | 238 inmates test positive for coronavirus at Sterling prison, the largest known outbreak in Colorado
A Colorado prison is now the site of the state’s largest confirmed COVID-19 outbreak as mass testing confirms that 238 inmates at Sterling Correctional Facility have the virus.
6:06 p.m. | Colorado Renaissance Festival postponed until August
The 2020 Colorado Renaissance Festival has been postponed due to current health concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, festival organizers tweeted. The new dates will be Saturday August 1 for eight weekends with a closing day of Sunday, September 20. Dates will be posted publicly on both the festival's website and announced through social media outlets.
4:32 p.m. | Some Colorado campgrounds closed, others open
Campgrounds within Colorado State Parks will remain closed through the weekend, according to an official with Cherry Creek State Park. All reservations between May 1 and 4 will be canceled and fully refunded, the official said, adding the agency will continue to post updates as they receive them.
From their part, the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources said that beginning this Friday, all camping in the county, including Hermit Park, will open to all existing reservations "who have self-contained hard-sided units with restrooms." More information can be found here.
4:05 p.m. | Latest Colorado COVID-19 data
The latest data on COVID-19 in Colorado from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment is as follows as of 4 p.m. Tuesday (Change from Monday):
14,316 cases (+437)
2,571 hospitalized (+86)
56 counties (+0)
67,094 people tested (+753)
149 outbreaks (+5)
736 deaths (+30)
149 outbreaks (+5)
Read the full dataset here.
According to the CDPHE’s hospital data, there are 994 people hospitalized with confirmed or presumed COVID-19. Currently, 423 of the 1,085 ventilators in the state are in use.
Kaiser Permanente and the CDPHE are expanding COVID-19 testing for symptomatic health care workers and first responders – including EMTs, law enforcement, firefighters and corrections officers.
Kaiser and the CDPHE will now test non-members referred by the health department who have been deemed essential to the public welfare.
The eight locations are: Kaiser Permanente Loveland, Rock Creek (Lafayette), Westminster, Lakewood, Aurora Centrepoint, Lone Tree, Parkside (Colorado Springs) and Acero (Pueblo).
Testing at each location will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Rock Creek, Westminster and Acero locations are not open on weekends, however.
Health care workers and first responders who are not Kaiser Permanente members should call the CDPHE at 303-692-2700 for an initial screening, after which the department would coordinate appointments.
Kaiser Permanente members can go to kp.org/coronavirus or call 303-338-4545 for more information.
3:31 p.m. | Colfax Marathon Virtual Challenge
The Colfax Marathon is now hosting a virtual challenge to run the distance you would have run at the May 16-17 event virtually instead – whether it be 10 miles, 13.1 miles or 26.2.
People can run their miles, fill out a form here, and potentially win prizes.
Those who run 10 miles could win a trucker hat or visor. If you run a half-marathon, you could win a Colfax Marathon Half Zip. And for those of you who complete the marathon, you could potentially win a staff jacket.
President Donald Trump is expected to order all meatpacking facilities to reopen amid the COVID-19 crisis, according to an Associated Press report. The president will sign an executive order Tuesday, classifying meat processing as a critical industry under the Defense Production Act.
Colorado received $10.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week to build up its COVID-19 contact tracing and testing programs as the state continues to spend millions in its response to the novel coronavirus.
The CDPHE said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will be issuing further guidance this week on spending parameters for the money received by the department. But the CDPHE said that generally, the money is for two years and intended to cover the following:
· Enhanced case investigation, contact tracing and outbreak response – especially in high-risk setting and among at-risk populations
· Improved surveillance and reporting
· Strengthened and enhanced lab testing
· Improved lab coordination and outreach
· Enhanced workforce capacity
· Enhanced coordination between epidemiologists and labs
· Advancement of electronic information exchange implementation
· Enhanced information systems between health care systems and state and local public health agencies
· Advancement of electronic information exchange implementation
The CDPHE said it hopes to have plans in place for how to best use the money in “the next few weeks.”
Click here to read the full story.
12:15 p.m. | Aspen will require masks in city limits
The Aspen City Council on Monday passed a resolution requiring the wearing of face masks in city limits. The order goes into effect Wednesday. Violating the order could result in a penalty of $50 for the first offense, $250 for a second offense and a mandatory court appearance for any offense after that, including up to a $2,650 fine and one-year imprisonment.
Noon | PPE still "very strained" in Colorado; up to 2,000-3,000 tests per day, CDPHE says
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment addressed several coronavirus issues during its media call Tuesday, including the continued shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and efforts to ramp up testing.
Mike Willis, director of the state emergency operations center, said there remains a strain on PPE across the state, including in nursing homes.
"They are all under great stress," Willis said. "It is very strained right now."
CDPHE reiterated the state's goal of ramping up to 10,000 coronavirus tests per day. Colorado is testing about 2,000-3,000 people per day now, according to incident commander Scott Bookman.
Bookman said the state is looking to hire an additional 50 epidemiologists to help with contact tracing, a key component of tracking and identifying COVID-19 cases. The state is also looking for volunteers to help. Anyone interested in helping should visit HelpColoradoNow.org.
Willis said the CDPHE has spent about $70 million in the response to the coronavirus, though costs fluctuate on a regular basis due to increasing or decreasing demands across the state. Later Tuesday, the state announced it received about $10.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for epidemiological work and lab testing in response to COVID-19.
9:53 a.m. | Downtown Greeley's Friday Fests postponed until further notice
The Downtown Greeley Promotional Association announced Tuesday morning that the weekly Friday Fests is postponed until further notice.
"The postponement of The Greeley Stampede, The Greeley Blues Jam and any other great events that bring tourism to our city and contribute to our sense of place and pride, is something that affects us all," said Chairperson of the Association Alison Hamling. "I don’t think this announcement will really surprise anyone. Obviously, we will defer to the guidelines set forth from the Weld County Health Department, the state, and local governing authorities regarding outdoor events and crowd size. Once those are made clear closer to the summer season it will help us determine our course of action."
8:02 a.m. | Banner Health adds 2 new COVID-19 test sites
Banner Health has added two testing sites to Northern Colorado: One in Fort Collins and one in Greeley. Anybody who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can call a Banner Health primary care clinic to qualify and set a time for the drive-thru testing. Click here for details.
5:58 a.m. | Parker Days festival canceled
The annual Parker Days festival has been canceled due to the coronavirus, according to the event's Facebook page. The festival has been a tradition for Parker for the last 45 years. The 2021 festival dates have been set for June 10-13.
5 a.m. | Happening today: Update on COVID-19 in Colorado Springs, El Paso County
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, Dr. Robin Johnson with El Paso County Public Health, El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller, and Rachel Beck with Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC will hold a news briefing at 1 p.m. today. It will be streamed on El Paso County Health's Facebook page.
5 a.m. | Happening today: Boulder County Public Health executive director to discuss response
The executive director, Jeff Zayach, will hold a Facebook live today at 5 p.m. along with other public health agencies in the region. They will discuss why the county decided to extend its local stay-at-home order and what they will focus on in the coming weeks. You can watch the 5 p.m. live Facebook video here.
The testing site will open today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Fifth Street Garage on the Auraria Campus (650 Walnut Street, Denver). Registration is required. Click here for more information on this test site.
Click here for the live blog from Monday, April 27, 2020.