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Coronavirus in Colorado: Updates from March 6-11, 2020

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 15:50:41-04

DENVER — Colorado's number of positive coronavirus cases rose to 33 by Wednesday afternoon, in addition to one case that is "indeterminate" and is being treated as positive. Click here for updates starting March 12, 2020.

READ MORE: COVID-19 in Colorado: What to do if you suspect you have symptoms

READ MORE: New updates on the coronavirus in Colorado, beginning Thursday, March 12

The cases were considered "presumptive positive," meaning they tested positive at the state level and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional testing and confirmation.

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:

Thursday, March 12

11:30 a.m.: The National Hockey League has suspended its season, the league announced Thursday. Earlier Thursday the NHL advised teams to not hold morning skates and workouts as the league planned next steps.

11:00 a.m.: Just a warning: Wait times at the coronavirus drive-up testing facility in Denver's Lowry neighborhood are 3-4 hours, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Here's more information on the requirements to be tested at the drive-up facility.

Dozens of vehicles were lined up around the corner from the testing center, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and Friday.

10:40 a.m.: The Pac-12 conference canceled its men's basketball tournament and all other conference events Thursday. The SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 also canceled their tournaments.

The rest of the sports world was also in the process Thursday of determining if events and games would be put on hold, following the NBA's suspension of its season Wednesday night. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that MLB owners was scheduled for Thursday to discuss the possibility of suspending spring training. The NFL was reportedly going to update teams later Thursday about possible changes to the upcoming NFL draft and visits with draft prospects.

10:30 a.m.: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera cancelled all of their events for the rest of the week, including Polis' planned remarks at the Colorado Music Ambassador new conference, the Common Cause campaign kickoff and two cabinet events Friday.

9:38 a.m.: According to a letter sent to parents of students at Edison Elementary School, Denver Public Schools said they recently learned that one student's parent tested positive for COVID-19. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been notified. The parent's child is being tested for the virus. Edison Elementary School will close Thursday so the district can disinfect the entire school.

8:05 a.m.: The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs will temporarily close to visitors starting Friday at 5 p.m. According to a press release, this is a precautionary measure in response to the spread of COVID-19.

6:44 a.m.: The second weekend of Denver's Colorado Crossroads Volleyball tournament has been canceled, the group announced this morning. The group posted on Facebook: "We have just received important and conclusive information that causes us to change the notice we sent out yesterday and announce that we must stop Crossroads for Week 2. If you are a team planning to come to Denver, do not come. We wish things had not changed overnight, but they have. And, in an effort to keep people from coming here, especially those of you flying, we are sending this out at this time in the morning and reversing the notice we sent just last night."

Wednesday, March 11

10:38 p.m.: The following Commerce City facilities will be temporarily closing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
-- Civic Center (including the Municipal Court)
-- Municipal Services Center
-- Bison Ridge Recreation Center
-- Buffalo Run Golf Course and Bison Grill
-- Eagle Pointe Recreation Center
-- Eagle Pointe Recreation Center

It's unclear how long the closures will be.

9:03 p.m.: Nederland's Frozen Dead Guy Days festival has been canceled as Colorado tries to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus across the state. In a statement on their website, organizers said they understand "the enormity and seriousness of the situation not just for FDGD LLC, but for our sponsors, vendors, musicians, staff, volunteers, production, community at large." There will be no activities in Nederland this weekend associated with Frozen Dead Guy Days, they added.

9:03 p.m.: Nederland's Frozen Dead Guy Days festival has been canceled as Colorado tries to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus across the state. In a statement on their website, organizers said they understand "the enormity and seriousness of the situation not just for FDGD LLC, but for our sponsors, vendors, musicians, staff, volunteers, production, community at large." There will be no activities in Nederland this weekend associated with Frozen Dead Guy Days, they added.

8:33 p.m.: Cory Elementary School will remain closed on Thursday, March 12, after a student's parent tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, school officials told parents in a letter sent Wednesday evening. All other DPS schools will remain open.

8:33 p.m.: Cory Elementary School will remain closed on Thursday, March 12, after a student's parent tested presumptively positive for COVID-19, school officials told parents in a letter sent Wednesday evening. All other DPS schools will remain open.

7:58 p.m.: The University of Denver is moving to online classes in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the state. In a letter on their website, DU said the following:

- The University will move classes online, including at the Sturm College of Law (beginning Tuesday, March 17) until at least April 10.
- DU is canceling in-person final exams, which begin on Tuesday, March 17. The university will instead move to remote or on-line exams.
- The on-line Interterm classes that were scheduled for Spring Break will continue as planned. The in-person Interterm classes are canceled.
- The university is not closed.
- The university is not closed.

7:50 p.m.: The Colorado High School Activities Association says attendance for state basketball will be limited to essential team personnel only and that players will only be allowed to bring a maximum of four guests to each game. Read the full letter here.

7:50 p.m.: The Colorado High School Activities Association says attendance for state basketball will be limited to essential team personnel only and that players will only be allowed to bring a maximum of four guests to each game. Read the full letter here.

7:48 p.m.: There has been quite the run of news in the past half-hour related to COVID-19, so here’s a recap:

-- President Trump has canceled his Friday trip to Colorado “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the White House. He had been set to attend a fundraiser with Sen. Cory Gardner.
--The NBA has suspended its season “until further notice” after a player on the Utah Jazz tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.
--Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, say they have tested positive for COVID-19 in Australia.
--President Trump announced a Europe travel ban and other economic moves.

7:20 p.m.: Tri-County Health, which covers Douglas, Adams and Arapahoe counties, is hosting a virtual town hall meeting on COVID-19. You can ask questions by clicking here. Watch the town hall in the player embedded below or by clicking here.

Tri-County Health Department holds virtual town hall over COVID-19 response

7:06 p.m.: The Colorado Department of Corrections says it has begun to modify operations at their facilities, "given the risks associated with the spread of COVID-19." Effective immediately, the department will:

-- Suspend all visiting in their facilities. "The risk of a visitor potentially bringing COVID-19 into a facility is something that must be prevented to the extent possible," officials said in a statement.

The CDOC said it was currently looking at options for conducting video visits and expanding the amount of phone time allowed. Legal visits will still occur, but will be non-contact visits. All volunteer services will also be suspended and all public tours and family reunification events will be postponed.

All staff will be limiting any inter-facility travel unless absolutely necessary, officials said. And parolees who are sick, immune compromised, over 60 and/or considered to be at risk of infection will be not required to come into the parole office, but will be required to maintain contact with their parole officer.

The CDOC said it was currently looking at options for conducting video visits and expanding the amount of phone time allowed. Legal visits will still occur, but will be non-contact visits. All volunteer services will also be suspended and all public tours and family reunification events will be postponed.

All staff will be limiting any inter-facility travel unless absolutely necessary, officials said. And parolees who are sick, immune compromised, over 60 and/or considered to be at risk of infection will be not required to come into the parole office, but will be required to maintain contact with their parole officer.
The CDOC said it would review all these decisions regularly over the next 30 days.

7:05 p.m.: President Donald Trump says the U.S. will suspend all travel to the U.S. from Europe – except for the United Kingdom – for 30 days starting on Friday. He is also urging nursing homes to have people avoid unnecessary visits to try to mitigate the risk to more at-risk people. He is also calling for the Small Business Administration to provide capital to businesses affected through low-interest economic loans in affected state and territories and is asking Congress to increase funding for the program by $50 billion, he said. He said he would ask the Treasury Department to differ tax payments for certain people and businesses who are negatively impacted by coronavirus and would be asking Congress for immediate payroll tax relief.

6:57 p.m.: The Vail Fire Public Open House scheduled for Thursday, March 12 has been canceled. You can read more about the cancellation here.

6:52 p.m.: The University of Northern Colorado is announcing they will be holding classes remotely starting March 23 through April 5, officials said in a statement. Staff is currently investigating how to accommodate classroom activities that typically include laboratories, performances, or other in-person interactions, and specific guidance will follow, they said. University officials also said university-sponsored or affiliated international travel is suspended through June 30, 2020 and all personal travel international travel is strongly discouraged by the university. Anyone who decides to travel outside of the country will be subjected to a 14-day self-quarantine off campus upon return, per CDC guidelines.

6:09 p.m.: The Colorado School of Mines is following the steps of other educational institutions in Colorado by moving classes online for the remainder of the semester starting March 30.

5:34 p.m.: Fort Lewis College in Durango is moving classes online starting Wednesday, March 25 through April 6, officials said in a tweet.

5:15 p.m.: Gov. Jared Polis in a news conference Wednesday evening said there is evidence of community spread of the novel coronavirus in the resort and mountain towns of Colorado's high country, and he recommended anyone over 60 to avoid unnecessary travel to the mountains. Polis also said state health experts advised him that "we are likely on the verge of a tipping point where we will see more community spread [in Colorado] in the days and weeks ahead."

'A test of our Colorado character': Polis provides update as state Coronavirus tally 33

While evidence has not emerged of community spread in the Denver area, Polis said state officials are acting as if that will eventually happen.

The state announced 16 additional positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the state total to 33. Nine cases have been identified in the Aspen area in Pitkin County after people came in contact with a visitor from Australia who tested positive. Also on Wednesday, about 160 people were tested for coronavirus at a drive-up testing facility in Denver, and Polis said the state will continue to "aggressively" complete more testing.

Polis said the state is working to set up a drive-up testing facility in the high country. The mountain areas, Polis said, could be problematic for those with health issues because of the high altitude and a lower capacity in hospitals.

Polis said his office also issued guidance to Colorado schools to close for 72 hours if a student or staff member tests positive. If there are multiple positive cases in the school, the closures would last up to 14 days. Multiple positive cases across a school district should also lead to a 14-day closure for the district, Polis said.

4:58 p.m.: Colorado State University has joined other educational institutions in the state and will be moving classes online after extending spring break through March 24. Classes will resume March 25 and delivered online until at least through April 10, when school officials will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines.

4:48 p.m.: Coloradans in certain industries will be eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave from their employer while they are being tested for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) under new emergency rules ordered by the governor earlier this week and issued by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) on Wednesday afternoon.

The new rules will apply to people who work in the following industries: leisure and hospitality; food services; child care; education and related food service or work at schools; home health if people are working with elderly, disabled, sick or high-risk people; nursing homes and community living facilities, the CDLE said.

Under the rule, people working in those industries who exhibit flu-like symptoms and who is being tested for COVID-19 will be eligible for the paid leave for up to four days – or until they receive a negative test result.

But the rules do not require employers to offer the additional days if they already offer employees a sufficient amount of paid leave. Though if a person has already exhausted all of their paid leave from their employer and meets the criteria of the rule, they are entitled to the extra paid sick days.

Read more by clicking here.

3:40 p.m.: Colorado School of Mines in Golden issued some coronavirus guidance Wednesday for students and faculty. Anyone who returns from travel on a cruise ship will be required to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days following the trip. Anyone who travels through a country under the CDC's Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus. Anyone who returns from other international travel will be asked to self-quarantine off campus for several days.

The school also asked students to prepare to take classes online, though no decision has been made yet on whether that will happen.

3 p.m.: The Douglas County School District on Wednesday emailed parents about the district's prevention efforts ahead of spring break. The district will deep-clean school buildings and buses over the break and asked any students who have symptoms related to coronavirus to not come to school. The district is also developing plans for remote learning, should students have to stay home. The district says schools will be in touch with family members about the technology needed for remote classes. The district had already canceled all district-sponsored trips out-of-state.

2:45 p.m.: The NCAA announced on Wednesday that the upcoming men's and women's basketball tournaments will be played without spectators. Locally, NCAA hockey and gymnastics events will also be held without fan attendance, including University of Denver's hockey regional at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland (March 27-28) and DU gymnastics' Magness Arena in Denver (April 2-4).

"While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. "This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes."

2:40 p.m.: Pitkin County says six additional people have tested positive for COVID-19. Those six cases are in addition to three cases announced by the county earlier Wednesday. In all nine cases, the people had been in contact with a visitor from Australia who tested positive. One other person's test remained pending Wednesday afternoon. The cases were considered "presumptive positive" and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. The Pitkin County cases put the state total at 33 presumptive positive cases.

2:10 p.m.: Metropolitan State University of Denver announced that it will move to online classes by March 30, when implementation for remote learning and teaching can be completed. The university is also canceling all campus events involving 150 or more people, including athletics events.

2 p.m.: President Trump says he plans to deliver a prime-time address to the nation on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Mountain Time to discuss the federal response to COVID-19.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down more than 1,400 points Wednesday over coronavirus fears and closed in a bear market, according to experts.

1:39 p.m.: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is awarding $9.8 million in funds to Colorado as part of a $560 million package to support a COVID-19 response nationwide, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

That comes after President Trump last Friday signed a supplemental appropriations act containing $8.3 billion in funding for preparation and response to COVID-19.

Colorado received $500,000 in initial funding and the dispersal of the remaining $9.3 million is underway, according to HHS.

For a full state-by-state breakdown of the funding, click here.

1:27 p.m.: The city of Denver says that an employee at Denver International Airport has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 at the state laboratory. They are isolated from other people, and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment says it has been contacting people who have had close and extended contact with the person.

The city said all first responders involved with the person have been interviewed and received guidance on what to do – from self-monitoring for symptoms to staying home from work for up to 14 days.

The city says it expects additional employees to test positive because there are 13,000 city employees and testing capabilities should be increasing.

“Our priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our community, and that includes City and County of Denver employees,” said Bob McDonald, Director of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment. “It’s important to remember that this is a dynamic situation that requires tremendous flexibility in response. Our plans and tactics will change as the situation evolves and we have new information and strategies.”

The city says the person was one of the 27 presumptive positive cases identified within the past hour by CDPHE.

1:17 p.m.: The CDPHE released additional guidance about what community spread could mean after saying it “has reason to suspect we are seeing limited community spread in Colorado.”

It says it community spread “can mean a few different things” (click here for more information):

- Limited community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and outbreaks in certain communities where people became infected, and we are unable to identify the source.
- Widespread community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and outbreaks in many communities where people are spreading the virus to other people.

We also have a story up about the state’s first drive-up testing facility in Denver.

1:05 p.m.: Other University of Colorado campuses are also moving to remote learning after CU Boulder announced it will move to online classes starting next Monday through the rest of the semester.

The University of Colorado Denver says it plans to have “full implementation” of remote teaching and learning in place by Monday, March 30. For the remainder of the next two weeks and for the March 23-27 spring break, the campus will be testing and preparing for the transition. The campus said it expects remote learning to continue for the rest of the semester once the change is made unless circumstances change.

Employees are being asked to talk with their supervisors to see if they are able to work remotely. Further information about the CU Denver campus and its plan can be found here.

“We acknowledge that these are extraordinary times that require exceptional measures to deal with a health risk that affects all of us. Thank you for all that you have done and will do to show care and compassion as we confront the challenges that COVID-19 poses in our community. I appreciate your patience and cooperation. We will get through this together,” Chancellor Dorothy Horrell said.

Similarly, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs announced Wednesday it will start using remote learning from March 30 through April 13 for classes where that is possible. In-person classes would resume April 14 unless the campus decides otherwise. For classes that cannot be attended remotely, instructions will be sent out by Thursday, March 19.

The latest information from UCCS can be found on its coronavirus information page.

12:45 p.m.: The Colorado Department of Public Health says there are now 27 presumptive positive cases in COVID-19 in Colorado after 10 new cases were identified through overnight testing in Pitkin, Eagle, Gunnison, Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe counties. There is also still one indeterminate case.

Colorado says it has now performed around 300 tests since Feb. 28.

The CDPHE says it now “has reason to suspect we are seeing limited community spread in Colorado” and that the governor’s office will be holding a news conference to provide more details at 5 p.m.

The CDPHE said other cases include:

-A man in his 70s in Eagle County whose exposure is under investigation
-A woman in her 50s in Gunnison County whose exposure is under investigation
-A man in his 50s who is in Pitkin County but is an Australian resident who was visiting Aspen
-A woman in her 20s who is in Pitkin County but is an Australian resident who was visiting Aspen
-A woman in her 70s who is in Jefferson County and was exposed during travel
-A man in his 70s in Jefferson County who was exposed during travel
-A woman in her 50s in Gunnison County whose exposure is under investigation
-A man in his 40s in Denver who was exposed during travel
-A woman in her 80s in Arapahoe County whose exposure is under investigation
-A woman in her 60s in who is in Pitkin County but is an Australian resident who was visiting Aspen
-A woman in her 80s in Arapahoe County whose exposure is under investigation

Jefferson County Public Health says the two people, a man and a woman in their 70s, had been aboard a cruise while traveling internationally. They are currently isolated at home.

“Our team is working closely with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to further investigate these cases,” said Dr. Mark B. Johnson, Executive Director, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH). “We hope these patients recover quickly and completely. The health and safety of the public is our number one priority and we are working around the clock to protect our community from this virus.”

11:12 a.m.: Pitkin County officials announced that three people who were in contact with an Australian visitor in the Aspen area have tested positive for COVID-19. Seven other people who were in contact with the visitor — who tested positive and later returned to Australia — still had their tests pending Wednesday. The three positive cases announced Wednesday morning brings the state total to 20 "presumptive positive" cases of coronavirus.

10:48 a.m.: The University of Colorado Boulder announced that beginning March 16 the campus will move to online classes for the rest of the semester. Campus facilities will stay open, including residence and dining halls and libraries, but classes will be conducted remotely via online programs. Supervisors are also being asked to identify student workers, researchers and staff who can work remotely. Read the full letter to the campus from Chancellor Philip DiStefano.

10:40 a.m.: The World Health Organization on Wednesday officially declared the novel coronavirus to be a pandemic. By definition, a pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.

10:30 a.m.: Cars began lining up Wednesday morning for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment'sdrive-by coronavirus testing facility at 8100 East Lowry Boulevard in Denver. The center was scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. In order to be tested at the facility, people must have an order from their doctor confirming they meet the testing criteria. Test results should available within 72 hours, according to CDPHE.

10:30 a.m.: Cars began lining up Wednesday morning for the Colorado Department of Health and Environment'sdrive-by coronavirus testing facility at 8100 East Lowry Boulevard in Denver. The center was scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. In order to be tested at the facility, people must have an order from their doctor confirming they meet the testing criteria. Test results should available within 72 hours, according to CDPHE.

Colorado's first drive-up COVID-19 testing center

6:23 a.m.: Will Jones with Denver Public Schools confirms that Cory Elementary School is closed today because a student's parent tested presumptively positive for COVID-19. As of now, this is only affecting the elementary school, not the middle school. A letter sent home to parents said the parent's two children who attend Cory are being tested for the virus. DPS has notified the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education. The elementary school will be disinfected today.

Tuesday, March 10

8:13 p.m.: Colorado's largest teachers union has canceled the Educator Day of Action protest scheduled for March 19 at the Colorado State Capitol over coronavirus fears, organizers say. Several Denver metro area districts had canceled classes that day as schools expected a large number of teacher absences.

7:37 p.m.: Jeffco Schools is canceling all school- and district-sponsored international and out-of-state travel until further notice to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado. That includes all student trips as well as staff business travel. A district spokesperson said charter schools should make their own determinations on trip cancellations.

6:02 p.m.: Two more "presumptive positive" cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported by the CDPHE:

- A man in his 50's from Jefferson County
- A teenage girl from Denver

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment did not immediately provide more details about the two new cases, including information about how they were exposed.

The number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado now stands at 17, not including the indeterminate case from Denver which is being treated as a "presumptive positive" until conclusive results show otherwise.

5:28 p.m.: The City of Denver is suspending all non-essential work-related travel by city employees and postponing optional city government sponsored public meetings - not to discourage public gathering - but to determine where online services might be preferable to in-person service delivery, due to growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city and the state.

5:01 p.m.: The Poudre School District says it has a plan in place in case COVID-19 becomes a problem for student learning in the area. You can read their response plan here.

4:53 p.m.: Aurora Public Schools says they have "various online resources" students and teachers could use for remote learning in case of district-wide closures due to COVID-19.

4:45 p.m.: Colorado College in Colorado Springs is advising students to remain off-campus from Spring Break through at least April 15, "and possibly the rest of the academic year." The college is also canceling most, if not all, large campus events scheduled between now and April 15. All Block 7 classes, which are now beginning on March 30 (as Spring Break has been extended by a week), will be distance-learning only to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. Read the full statement from Colorado College here.

4:31 p.m.: Adams 12 Five Star Schools says that in the event of a district-wide shutdown due to the novel coronavirus, the district has "a variety of resources that students can access to stay engaged in a self-directed manner." A district spokesperson added they would provide more information should the need arise.

4:17 p.m.: The Douglas County School District is planning for remote learning for quarantined students or in case the district closes a school or schools due to the spread of COVID-19 in the county, a spokesperson says.

3:53 p.m.: The Poudre School District is canceling all district- and school-sponsored out-of-state trips for students and staff through the month of April to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus in Colorado, the district said in a tweet. This includes all domestic and international travel for staff professional development. For more information about their decision, click here.

3:52 p.m.: The RTD interim general manager says they are purchasing additional sanitation products and disinfectants, including hand sanitizer, gloves and sanitation wipes for frontline RTD employees, and continue to use industrial-strength disinfectant/antibacterial cleaner during daily cleaning of bus and rail vehicles. They advise commuters using RTD buses or the light rail to follow the recommended CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including: avoid touching your eyes, nose and moth with unwashed hands; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (or your upper sleeve, not your hands); avoid close contact with peole who are sick; stay at home when you are sick; clean and disinfect suraces frequently that you touch at work and home; wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if none available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content).

3:12 p.m.: The Thompson School District, which covers Loveland, Berthoud, a southern section of Fort Collins and portions of Windsor, Johnstown and unincorporated parts of Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties, says they will be canceling all district-sponsored international trips for students and staff members as well as to U.S. states that have declared a State of Emergency, which include: California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and the state of Washington. Travel within Colorado, which itself has declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday, is not restricted at this time, the district said.

2:52 p.m.: Medical Center of Aurora says it was notified by CDPHE that a patient at its facility presumptively tested positive for COVID-19 and they are awaiting CDC confirmation of whether it is a positive case.

“We are following CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 cases, including isolating the patient and taking steps to ensure the safety of our patients, colleagues and visitors. All potentially exposed colleagues, providers, and visitors have been identified and the hospital is communicating with them to answer their questions, provide additional information, and take appropriate measures,” the hospital said in a statement.

Aspen Valley Hospital is limiting all non-essential access to all its locations to stem potential exposure to COVID-19.

The Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Buckley Air Force Base and Fort Carson both raised their health risks on Tuesday as well.

The Silver Thread Public Health District said that the woman who tested presumptive positive in Gunnison County is in her 40s and is from Denver County, and a part-time resident of Gunnison County who had traveled recently and is currently self-isolating.

12:08 p.m.: Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora has closed a child care center on base after the mother of a child using the center tested positive for COVID-19.

The Arapahoe County woman is in her 30s and is the wife of an active reserve Guard member assigned to Buckley AFB. The family had recently returned from a trip to India in the last couple of weeks.

The whole family has now been quarantined at their home off base and is working with the appropriate medical and federal agencies to mitigate public exposure and receive the proper care, Air Force officials said.

12:01 p.m.: Mayor Michael Hancock has canceled the St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to the on-going situation surrounding COVID-19. This year’s parade was going to be the 58th year and was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

11:34 a.m.: CU Anschutz officials suspended all work-related domestic and international travel for employees and students due to COVID-19 concerns.

10:30 a.m.: Gov. Jared Polis declared a state of emergency in Colorado in response to COVID-19, saying that getting ahead of the public health response is the best option to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect the most vulnerable people and the state economy.

MORE | Colorado governor declares state of emergency to increase COVID-19 testing, implement paid sick leave

He said that the state lab would be opening a drive-up testing lab at the Lowry location – likely on Wednesday. Additionally, LabCorp, which Polis says partners with most hospitals and doctors in the state, can perform testing, though it will take 3-4 days for turnaround rather than the 24 hours at the state lab.

Polis said he had spoken with Vice President Mike Pence and CDC Director Robert Redfield and that the CDC committed to sending another 1,500 test kits to Colorado’s state lab. UCHealth and Children’s Hospital are also working to develop testing protocol, Polis said.

Under the emergency declaration, Polis said he would be directing the Department of Labor and Employment to develop rulemaking in the next couple days to provide paid sick leave for people in the food, child care and hospitality industries if they are experiencing flulike symptoms and as they await test results should they be tested for COVID-19.

He said he also hoped the department would be able to put in place additional wage replacement or other measures for any of those workers who have to quarantine themselves if they test positive.

Additionally, Polis said that there were three more confirmed cases – bringing the Colorado total to 15 presumptive positive cases and one indeterminate case.

We will have a full story here shortly and will continue to update this story as well as more information comes in regarding the virus in Colorado.

9:27 a.m.: Jefffo Schools says they're "having conversations" around providing options for remote learning should Jefferson County close schools for an extended period of time due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

9:18 a.m.: Gov. Polis and state officials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Office of Emergency Management and Colorado Department of Public safety are holding a news conference at the Capitol at 9:45 a.m.

8:57 a.m.: A Denver Public Schools spokesperson said they are finalizing their plans to provide options for remote learning should DPS schools close for an extended period of time due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Monday, March 9

9:22 p.m.: The Tri-County Health Department said the woman from Arapahoe County who tested "presumptive positive" had recently returned from a trip to India. They also said the woman lives in Centennial. The Tri-County Health Department said they will begin investigating to determine if there were any other potential exposures.

8:49 p.m.: The Boulder Valley School District has canceled school-sponsored trips to states that have declared at State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These states include: Washington, California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Utah and Oregon.

8:23 p.m.: A 12th case of the novel coronavirus has been reported in Colorado. The CDPHE says the patient is a woman in her 30's from Arapahoe County with a history of international travel.

7:31 p.m.: The CDPHE has clarified that its administrative offices in Glendale do not test for COVID-19, as some people have "mistakenly tried to access services at the state health department’s administrative offices in Glendale, which does not provide clinical services." They also reiterated that people exhibiting symptoms should only go to their doctor only after calling their doctor's office or clinic. They also said the Colorado state lab testing for COVID-19 prioritizes tests that meet the following criteria:

  1. The patient has a fever OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, AND the patient has been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, within 14 days of when symptoms started.
  2. The patient has a fever OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (and other diagnoses such as influenza have been ruled out), AND the patient recently traveled to parts of the world where infection rates are high or community spread is occurring, within 14 days of when symptoms started.

7:01 p.m.: American rock band Pearl Jam has canceled their first leg of their PJ/Gigaton tour to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The band was scheduled to play in Denver on April 9.

5:46 p.m.: University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy said in a note that six people on CU campuses have so far been tested for COVID-19, four of which have come back negative and two of which are still pending.

5:30 p.m.: The city of Denver already has a link for Denver restaurants and other businesses to download hand-washing posters to post. Click here and look on the side of the page to download in both English and Spanish. More hard copies will be distributed starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, a city official said.

5:25 p.m.: The presumptive positive case in Larimer County involves a woman who lives in the Larimer County portion of Johnstown, the county said.

The Douglas County School District is cancelling all district-sponsored out-of-state and international field trips, athletic events, professional development and other activities until further notice.

5:23 p.m.: The CDPHE now says that the woman in her 30s in Denver who tested presumptive positive on Monday did recently travel within the U.S. and that the exposure of the woman in her 70s whose diagnosis is indeterminate is unknown.

4:29 p.m.: The University of Denver suspended its study abroad program Friday, the university says. Two students in Italy were brought back and 31 other students are also being brought home. All students are self-isolating.

4:19 p.m.: Tri-County Health says that one of the Douglas County presumptive positive cases, a woman in her 70s, visited the Department of Motor Vehicles in Castle Rock, located at 301 Wilcox Street, on Tuesday, March 3, between noon and 3 p.m. before she tested positive for the virus. The areas of the DMV she visited have been cleaned, the health department says.

“Once we learned of this situation, TCHD Communicable Disease staff conducted an investigation of possible exposures. Based on that assessment and the limited amount of time the affected person was in the DMV, we do not believe there was a risk of exposure to anyone from the public who was in the DMV or the rest of the building during that time period,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “TCHD has already notified the DMV employees, through Douglas County administration, who may have been impacted and their risk is low.”

3:56 p.m.: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said just before 4 p.m. that two more presumptive positive cases and one indeterminate case of COVID-19 – in addition to the Larimer County case announced Monday morning – have been confirmed in Colorado, making that three presumptive positive cases and one indeterminate case announced on Monday.

The CDPHE said the presumptive positives come from 21 tests completed between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday.

The two presumptive positive cases are a woman in her 70s who lives in Eagle County and a woman in her 30s who lives in Denver.

The woman in Eagle County has no known exposure contact with an infected person but did recently travel in the U.S. Eagle County said she has mild symptoms, was not hospitalized and is recovering in isolation.

“The patient is working with public health officials in the ongoing investigation to identify people that may have had close contact with her. The case is presumptive positive, which means test results haven’t yet been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the county said in a statement.

The woman in her 30s in Denver has no known contact with an infected person but did recently travel in the U.S., the CDPHE said.

The indeterminate case involves a woman in her 70s who lives in Denver whose exposure is unknown. The CDPHE said testing produced two different indeterminate results, so the case is being sent to the CDC for additional testing.

“Out of an abundance of caution, CDPHE will treat that individual as a positive case until we receive conclusive results,” the CDPHE said in a statement.

There are now 284 negative tests in Colorado, 11 presumptive positive cases and the lone indeterminate case.

3:24 p.m.: Tri-County Health, which covers Douglas, Adams and Arapahoe counties, is hosting a virtual town hall meeting on COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss preparations and responses to the virus and so people can ask health officials questions.

People can submit questions by clicking here and are encouraged to do so in order for Tri-County Health to develop a list of frequently asked questions and responses to them. People will also be able to ask questions during the town hall.

Several Tri-County Health representatives will be participating and providing updates on best practices and the state of the virus in the area.

The town hall will be streamed on the Arapahoe County government’s website and Facebook page. People can call in to 1-855-436-3656 in order to participate in and listen to the town hall or can tweet questions through Arapahoe County’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

1:16 p.m.: Health officials said 13 people from a group of Australians visiting Aspen are exhibiting "fairly mild" symptoms of coronavirus and are self-isolating in Pitkin County. Tests have been done, but the results have not been returned yet.

While in Aspen, members of the group had been in contact with a 21-year-old Australian woman, who later returned home and tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials said the group has been cooperative with the testing and isolation. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said they are continuing to work to find other potential cases.

12:24 p.m.: Organizers of the NoCo Hemp Expo have rescheduled the event from March 26-28 to Aug. 6-8 over COVID-19 outbreak concerns. The trade show’s conferences and symposiums will still take place at the National Western Complex and Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, organizers said.

“The decision to shift the timing of this year’s Expo has not been an easy one. The health and safety of all participants remains a top priority. We want to provide attendees, exhibitors, vendors, staff, industry partners, and others involved in the Expo enough time to rework their schedules and plan accordingly for the newly announced August dates," said Morris Beegle, Producer, NoCo Hemp Expo. "We're also exploring options for a potential online digital conference in the upcoming weeks to continue the conversation about hemp. We look forward to creating a robust, powerhouse event in August and appreciate everyone’s support.”

11:53 a.m.: At a news conference Monday morning, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said there are still only two presumptive positive cases in Denver, but that eight people were quarantined – all of whom had contact with the two presumptive positive people.

Hancock was joined by Denver Executive Director of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald and Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Mueller to discuss where the city sits as of Monday in regard to its preparations for a COVID-19 response.
Hancock ordered the Emergency Operations Center to be partially activated in order to coordinate operations responses and messaging for the city and county.

Mueller said that the city had been doing outreach to food and entertainment establishments across the city and would be installing new signs to encourage hand-washing in most public spaces, and encouraging businesses and residents to be proactive to prevent the spread of the virus.

The officials said they would be looking at options for city employees to possibly work from home should that become necessary and that the task force announced last week had been looking at all scenarios to determine what next steps might be needed to protect the population and the economy in Denver.

Mueller said the emergency operations center would be running “as long as this takes.” The focus by the officials is four-fold, he said: public health and protective safety measures; public information and messaging to all the community; looking at the economic impacts to city businesses and residents; and maintaining the continuity of government operations.

Hancock said there were no current plans to postpone or cancel this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, as San Francisco has done. But the elderly and immune-compromised are encouraged not to go in public if they feel they are at risk or sick.

The officials said they were also focusing on people experiencing homelessness in Denver and had boots on the ground to try to contact those people. They said they would also be providing shelters and other organizations that serve the homeless with more sinks, soap and sanitizer if they need them.

They said they continued to be in constant contact with the CDC and CDPHE and were trying to go “above and beyond” the current guidance for municipalities in order to “limit this the best we can.”

Update on Denver’s COVID-19 preparedness

11:28 a.m.: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said a ninth person had come back as "presumptive positive" for COVID-19 — a woman in her 50s in Larimer County who has been diagnosed with pneumonia.

“CDPHE and local health agencies are working to gather more information and contact any individuals who have had close contact with the patient. The investigation is just beginning and more information will be released as it becomes available.”

There have now been 275 possible cases tested, 266 of which have come back negative as of Monday at noon.

10:50 a.m.: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has asked the state Division of Insurance to issue formal guidance to health insurance carriers in the state to promote telehealth services and to waive co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance and cost-sharing for people to be tested for COVID-19.

St. Anne's Episcopal School in Denver will remain closed through Tuesday so crews can perform a thorough cleaning of all the buildings, and so faculty and staff can be further trained on how to deal with possible novel coronavirus exposures.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and officials from emergency management and public health are expected to hold a briefing at 11 a.m. on the city's next steps in its response to the virus. This story will be updated.

Sunday, March 8

5:04 p.m.: State health officials reported that there were no new additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado Sunday. However, officials said they are aware of a confirmed COVID-19 case in Australia with ties to the Aspen community. One woman in her 20s who was visiting Aspen returned home to Australia earlier this week, where she tested positive for COVID-19. The individual had contact with Aspen residents and visitors at social gatherings; some of the people who had contact with the woman have reported experiencing respiratory symptoms. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) said Pitkin County health officials are working on a plan to get symptomatic people tested.

3:13 p.m.: School and health officials have cleared Ranch View Middle School in Highlands Ranch for potential exposure to COVID-19. In a letter to parents Sunday, district officials said the potential exposure is no longer a concern due to a negative test result for the virus. As a result, classes at Ranch View Middle School will be held as scheduled the week of March 9, the letter states.

Saturday, March 7

9:29 p.m.: Two students at Denver's East High School have self-quarantined after they had been in contact with one of the people in Colorado who has tested presumptive positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a letter to parents Saturday. The students are not showing any symptoms of the virus but have agreed to self-quarantine for the next 7-14 days, as a precaution. No East High School students or staff at this time have tested positive for COVID-19.

6:03 p.m.: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported no additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado Saturday.

Friday, March 6

6:55 p.m.: A letter was sent to Ranch View Middle School parents informing them that the Tri-County Health Department alerted school officials of a possible exposure to the novel coronavirus at the middle school. As a precaution, the middle school is cancelling their weekend musical programs.

5:20 p.m.: The Colorado High School Activities Association is encouraging students, coaches, and referees to not shake hands but acknowledge each other with a head-nod, fist pump or elbows as the novel coronavirus spreads through the state.

5:20 p.m.: The Colorado High School Activities Association is encouraging students, coaches, and referees to not shake hands but acknowledge each other with a head-nod, fist pump or elbows as the novel coronavirus spreads through the state.

What you should know about the novel coronavirus

The CDPHE said the "vast majority" of COVID-19 cases will be mild. Across the nation, the more severe cases typically involved the elderly and people with health conditions.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and usually shows up two to 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC. Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with an underlying chronic disease, are under a greater risk of developing more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. If you are healthy, there is no need to wear a face mask, health officials said.

MORE: Tips on how to prevent catching, spreading coronavirus

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, a bill President Trump signed on March 6 guarantees $8.3 billion in funding which provides federal public health agencies with money for vaccines, tests and potential treatments and helps state and local governments prepare and respond to the threat. The bill also contains $500 million to expand access to health services for seniors.

The CDC said the best way to prevent the virus is to avoid close contact with sick people, keep your hands away from your face, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, disinfect items you frequently touch, wash your hands often — essentially, what you would do during the flu season.

READ MORE: Colorado "prepared as possible" for coronavirus, Polis says, as state ramps up emergency plans

It’s important to note the difference between coronaviruses and COVID-19. Currently, there are many kinds of coronaviruses — like the common cold — in Colorado and beyond. On the other hand, this novel coronavirus, called COVID-19, is brand new. People have never been sick from this specific virus before.

CDC said the actual virus is called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19.

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China in late January. It has since spread to almost 70 locations around the world, according to the CDC. John Hopkins University is tracking the international number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries, which can be seen here.

Do you have more questions on COVID-19? Call 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 to reach the CDPHE.