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Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from May 11, 2020

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Posted at 5:45 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 07:32:51-04

NOTE: This is the live blog from Monday, May 11. Click here for the live blog from Tuesday, May 12.

As of Sunday afternoon, 967 people in Colorado have died of the novel coronavirus, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. More than 100,000 people have been tested for it.

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:

Monday, May 11

10:30 p.m. | Coronavirus prompts Denver City Council to postpone plastic bag fees

Denver’s upcoming 10-cent fee for single-use plastic bags won’t start for more than a year, City Council unanimously agreed Monday.

The fees were set to begin July 1 after the council approved them in December. But the council unanimously voted to push that start to July 1, 2021, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Read the story here.

6:51 p.m. | Mayor Mike Coffman: No mask mandate for Aurora

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said in a tweet that the City of Aurora will not issue mask mandate following a conversation with the executive director for the Tri-County Health Department, who felt the TCHD had already issued a "strongly encourage" message about masks, adding they had seen positive results.

Coffman said he is rescinding his proposal but said he plans to reevaluate the situation in early June.

6:10 p.m. | Polis says state will consider whether and how to reopen restaurants, ski areas, camps on May 25

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Monday outlined when the state will begin to look at how to reopen ski areas, restaurants and bars and announced that camping at state parks could begin Tuesday by reservation only.

People can start booking campsites at state parks starting Tuesday if the counties where the campgrounds are located are allowing visitors. Camping will be allowed by reservation only, and federal officials have not yet decided when camping on federal grounds might resume. Polis is expected to discuss federal campgrounds when he meets with President Trump on Wednesday at the White House.

But the next big date for decision-making will come on May 25, Polis said. Then, officials will decide whether to allow ski resorts to open back up for spring skiing, when and how restaurants might be able to open back up, and if summer residential and day camps can open in June and under what conditions. The state on Monday ordered a Castle Rock restaurant that hosted large crowds and dine-in service Sunday shut down for disobeying the public health order.

After June 1, the governor said, the state would decide whether to modify the current safer at home order to phase in more activities and public spaces, such as libraries.

He said that the May 25 date is key because it is more than three weeks out from when much of the state moved to safer at home and more than two weeks since the metro area lifted its stay-at-home orders.

Click here to read the full story.

5:29 p.m. | Colorado Gov. Polis to meet with President Trump at White House Wednesday

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday to discuss the on-the-ground situation regarding COVID-19 in Colorado and to bring a real-world perspective to the president, the governor said Monday.

Polis said at a news conference Monday that he would be discussing getting additional resources for Colorado’s recovery and response efforts.

“It’s important for him to hear what’s really going on, on the ground. The fear; the anxiety; the health condition; the economic challenges the people of the country face,” Polis said. “I hope to bring those to him and make sure that he’s aware of what’s really going on in the real world.”

Click here to read the full story.

4:29 p.m. | Business leaders working with Douglas County Board of Commissioners to allow variances from safer-at-home guidelines

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners says in a statement they are working with various business leaders as they request variances from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to "responsibly and thoughtfully reopen" their businesses, as the state continues its safer-at-home phase.

The board also expressed their support for people and businesses "currently adhering to the safer-at-home orders to both protect public health and begin restoring our economy."

4 p.m. | Nearly 20,000 Coloradans infected with COVID-19

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state has grown to 19,879, an uptick of 176 cases from Sunday, according to the latest numbers provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A total of 3,663 people have been hospitalized, 32 more than reported a day prior, and 106,761 people have been tested (an additional 2,684 more than reported Sunday). The state also reported 987 deaths Sunday, 16 more than reported a day prior. A total of 192 outbreaks have been reported at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities — 2 more outbreaks than reported on Tuesday by the CDPHE.

The latest hospital data from the CDPHE shows 746 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients — 75 fewer beds than reported on Friday.

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

New epidemiological modeling predicts that between 65,000 to 75,000 people have COVID-19 throughout the state, but state and health officials are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

3:42 p.m. | Colorado state parks to reopen campgrounds after months-long closure

Colorado state parks will welcome back campers beginning Tuesday – by reservation only, Gov. Polis announced this afternoon.

Colorado's more than 4,000 campgrounds inside state parks were closed after the COVID-19-related stay-at-home order was implemented in March. However, certain restrictions are being eased under the state’s “safer at home” guidelines.

While state parks are once again welcoming back campers, national parks remain closed to overnight guests. A timeline on when they will begin to reopen is not known.

Read the full story here.

2:45 p.m. | State deems Castle Rock eatery a public health hazard, suspends restaurant's business license indefinitely

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has suspended the business license of C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock indefinitely after a viral video showing the business packed with customers and operating on Mother's Day.

Citing the agency's authority under the Food Protection Act to deem the business a public health hazard, Gov. Jared Polis made the announcement during a press briefing Monday. Polis said the suspension will likely last for 30 days.

The video, taken inside the coffee shop by Colorado Community Media, shows booths packed, tables filled and a line snaking out the door. None of the patrons or staff appeared to be wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.

Earlier Monday, the Tri-County Health Department had ordered the restaurant to close immediately and remain closed until they determine that C&C Coffee and Kitchen is in compliance with the public health order.

1:51 p.m. | Gov. Polis holds briefing on Colorado's COVID-19 fight

Gov. Jared Polis held a briefing Monday to provide an update on the state's fight against COVID-19. He started by releasing the latest numbers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, announcing that for the first time that the daily rate growth for new infections has fallen below 1%.

Hospitalizations are down to 0.1% growth, far less than the peak. But Polis cautioned that Coloradans are still being hospitalized for the disease. About 1 in 10 people who contract COVID-19 are likely to need hospitalization.

He also announced more restrictions would be eased over the coming weeks, including the state parks reopening for campers. Camping can resume starting Tuesday in state parks unless host counties don't want it. Reservations will be required at CPWshop.com. Polis said he will decide on lifting more restrictions, including the reopening of restaurants, later in the month, which may come as soon as May 25.

Before taking media questions, he addressed the controversy over video showing a packed C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock. He announced that Colorado will suspend the restaurant's business license indefinitely, citing the business is causing an immediate hazard to public health. He said the suspension will likely last for 30 days. Tri-County Health has already ordered the restaurant to close.

"Colorado, we're better than that," Polis said, referring to the Castle Rock video.

1:28 p.m. | Tri-County Health Department orders Castle Rock eatery to close

The Tri-County Health Department ordered on Monday C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock to close after a video, showing the restaurant packed on Sunday, made the rounds on social media.

The video, taken inside the coffee shop by Colorado Community Media, shows booths packed, tables filled and a line snaking out the door. None of the patrons or staff appeared to be wearing a mask or practicing social distancing. The owner of C&C Coffee and Kitchen declined to speak on the record with Denver7.

The health department has ordered the restaurant to close immediately and remain closed until they determine that C&C Coffee and Kitchen is in compliance with the public health order.

“It is disheartening that this restaurant has chosen to move ahead of the public orders and not even consider implementing best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is not fair to the rest of the community and other business owners that are following Safer at Home and doing their part. We sincerely hope that C&C will choose to cooperate with the rules under which they are allowed to operate so we can lift this closure order,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.

Read More: https://bit.ly/2SVd2RI

1:10 p.m. | New website to connect care facilities with job seekers

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing has launched a new website to connect residential care facilities that need more employees with health care professionals who are seeking work, in partnership with Advancing States and the Centene Corporation.

The website, ConnectToCareJobs.com, allows people with professional health care experience to create a profile to potentially be paired with residential care facilities that need more workers – either because of short staffing or because some workers have had to isolate themselves due to COVID-19.

Residential care facilities are also encouraged to make an account, where they can solicit employees for certain positions, the state said. Colorado said it is the first state in the nation to launch such a site.

"The COVID-19 public health emergency has caused workforce shortages at some care facilities like nursing homes while driving layoffs in other parts of the health care industry," said Kim Bimestefer, Department of Health Care Policy & Financing executive director. "Through this innovative public-private partnership, we can help Coloradans in residential care facilities get the care they need while also helping health care professionals in Colorado get back to work. We thank ADvancing States and Centene for their partnership, time and resources - all of which they provided at no cost to taxpayers. Their willingness to collaborate with our staff and step up at this time of crisis will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many Coloradans."

1 p.m. | Denver City Council resumes in-person meetings

The Denver City Council will move back to in-person meetings starting with Monday evening’s meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Masks will be required for anyone wishing to enter the City Council meeting and anyone attending a meeting will also have to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The council says it has streamlined its agenda to prioritize critical matters to condense meetings and is advising residents to schedule meetings virtually whenever possible.

12:09 p.m. | Brighton Summerfest postponed

The annual Summerfest in Brighton has been postponed due to health and safety concerns.

11:02 a.m. | Tri-County Health statement on C&C Breakfast

The Tri-County Health Department called the actions of C&C Breakfast and Korea Kitchen and its owner, which illegally allowed dozens of customers inside for sit-down dining and did not have social distancing or other measures in place on Sunday, disappointing and said it was undermining the efforts of other Douglas County restaurants and residents.

“We are disappointed that C&C Breakfast & Korean Kitchen, a Cookies and Crema Company in Castle Rock, has decided to ignore the Governor’s Safer at Home order and open up yesterday with no attention to social distancing,” spokesperson Samantha Decker said in a statement. “This decision runs the risk of undermining the impact that other Douglas County businesses and residents have achieved over the last seven weeks by taking various social distancing measures. As the entity charged with enforcing the Governor’s statewide Safer at Home Public Health Order, we will follow up with this restaurant to ensure that they, like other restaurants in the county, take appropriate steps to protect the public health, by limiting service to curbside and take-out service.”

9:40 a.m. | Gov. Polis will provide update on COVID-19 this afternoon

Gov. Jared Polis will provide an update on the state's response to the novel coronavirus at 1:30 p.m. today.

6:43 a.m. | Colorado Renaissance Festival postponed

The Colorado Renaissance Festival has postponed its 2020 opening day, which was originally scheduled for June 13-Aug. 2.

The new starting date will be Aug. 1. It will continue for eight weekends with a closing day of Sept. 20. Click here for details.

5:53 a.m. | District 6 announces plan for delayed graduation

In-person graduations for non-charter Weld County School District 6 schools are postponed from this month to the last week in July.

“We are so very sorry for our graduating seniors, and know this has been a particularly challenging time for them. They have missed out on many rites of passage. So, if there is any chance we can host an in-person ceremony for this class, we will do whatever we can to make that happen safely,” said Superintendent Deirdre Pilch. “We know this health crisis is changing rapidly, but we will move ahead with planning the ceremonies with the guidance and approval of health officials.”

For more information, visit the Greeley-Evans schools website here.

Click here for the live blog from Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, 2020.