This blog for Monday, April 20 is updated multiple times a day with coronavirus news from Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region and elsewhere in Colorado and the U.S.
The latest around Colorado and the world
– As Colorado exceeded 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19 Monday, Gov. Jared Polis confirmed the statewide stay-at-home order will be lifted on schedule, but social distancing and other precautionary measures will remain in place. Read more here.
– Updated coronavirus case numbers in Colorado as of 12 p.m. from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
47,466 people tested
111 nonhospital healthcare facilities with outbreaks
– In Denver, current health data is showing that the spread of the virus is slowing, signs Mayor Michael Hancock called “very encouraging.”
Denver city leaders over the next seven to 10 days will be working closely with Gov. Jared Polis and state health officials to determine if and when the city can begin rolling out a “phased relaxation” of stay-at-home orders.
“Some of our biggest challenges are significantly increasing testing for COVID-19 and then testing for antibodies, as well as retraining and hiring staff for contact tracing,” Polis said. Full story here.
– Colorado’s unified command center started testing for COVID-19 at long-term care facilities on Sunday, and this week will complete testing at two more in the coming days.
Assisted by the Colorado National Guard and the Colorado State Patrol, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment chose three of Colorado’s largest nursing homes that have not yet reported COVID-19 outbreaks, one each in Adams, Broomfield and El Paso counties. The goal is for earlier identification of COVID-19 to limit the spread of the virus in those facilities.
– The T. Rowe Price Foundation is giving $40,000 to Colorado Springs-area nonprofits, which will be split evenly between Care and Share, Silver Key Senior Services, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, and Exponential Impact.
The foundation also donated 30,000 N95 masks to Colorado Springs health care facilities, which was split evenly between UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, Centura Health, and Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs.
– Water Works Car Wash & Detail Centers are offering free car washes to essential workers. The offer is available at three locations from April 24-26. Essential workers may pull up to the Xpress wash lane and let the attendant know they are an essential worker to get the free car wash.
“We’re thankful for the heroes that have risked their lives during these hard times and want to thank them for their service to our community.” said owner Jim Spinato.
Water Works has locations at:
525 S. Nevada Ave.
2253 La Montana Way
1108 N. Academy Blvd.
– Local, state and federal leaders squabble over division of coronavirus aid. Read more here.
– While the website portal for Americans to track their stimulus check appears to be fully functional now, people are still waiting on their payments. Read more here.
– The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging is offering “practical tips” for seniors on “things that you can do while staying safe.” Read more here.
– The head of the World Health Organization has warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak, raising new alarm bells about the pandemic just as many countries are beginning to ease restrictive measures. Read more here.
– The Colorado Department of Education released the results of a statewide survey Monday conducted by the CDE and the Colorado Education Initiative, finding “Colorado schools say they need more help developing effective online instruction, providing students computer hardware and access to the internet, and supporting students who are suffering from stress related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The four top education needs identified were:
- Support for students and families who are struggling to manage the stresses caused by the pandemic,
- technical supports for delivering remote learning,
- online instructional supports for teachers, and
- help with family engagement.
Additionally, “approximately 53,000 students need wifi-enabled devices” and “approximately 65,860 children need Internet access at home.”
Read the full report here.
– Fatalities in El Paso County’s long-term care facilities continue to rise, according to the county’s health department.
Ten people have died at Laurel Manor Care Center, according to the latest data. Seven residents at Morning Star Assisted Living at Mountain Shadows and Winslow Court Assisted and Senior Living, respectively, have died.
The county has identified five outbreaks, defined as when at least two residents test positive for COVID-19 in a two-week period, as of April 17.
At the other two facilities — Colorado Springs Senior Homes and Solange at Appletree Assisted Living — two residents have tested positive for the virus, but no deaths have been reported.
– Phil Long Dealerships is offering employees working in a critical industry a free oil change and safety inspection on registered vehicles now through April 30, according to a press release.
“Essential workers can go to PhilLong.com for full details and to schedule an appointment at their desired service location,” the release states. “Appointments can also be scheduled by calling 719.387.8968 and walk-ins are accepted. Complimentary vehicle pick-up and delivery are provided within a 10-mile radius of a Phil Long service location or the Phil Long Collision Center.”
– Manitou Springs School District 14 students and staff will not return to school buildings for in-person instruction for the remainder of this semester, Superintendent Elizabeth Domangue announced Monday. Read more here.
– A Denver nurse has a message for protesters.
– Some big restaurant chains have obtained loans under a small-business relief program, leading business groups to cry foul even though the loans are within the guidelines of the lending program. Read more here.
– Gov. Jared Polis will give an update on the state’s response to coronavirus Monday at 3:30 p.m. It will be livestreamed on Facebook.
– From the Associated Press’ “What you need to know about the virus outbreak” Monday:
Nations around the world are taking advantage of their flattening coronavirus infection curves to tentatively ease lockdowns, offering plenty of options for U.S. lawmakers and communities to consider. The plan is to open up while maintaining enough social social distancing to prevent new flareups of the virus.
The Trump administration and Congress expect an agreement today on an aid package of up to $450 billion to boost a small-business loan program that has run out of money and add funds for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.
– A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than originally feared. Read more here.
– Across Colorado, thousands of health care workers have been furloughed, laid off or have had their paychecks slashed amid a precipitous drop in appointments for anything not related to the coronavirus. In a twist, the pink slips come at a time when healthy doctors and nurses have never been more needed, on the front-lines of a global pandemic. Read more here.
– Colorado Springs-area school districts are partnering to offer free breakfast and lunch to children, regardless of which district they attend, during extended school closures. Find more information and a map here.
– The number of reported cases in the state rose to 9,730 on Sunday. Deaths increased by 11 for a total of 422. See more of the latest number here.
– In the wake of the coronavirus being detected in Wuhan, China, in December and since spreading worldwide, racial profiling of Asian nationals and Asian-Americans has been reported nationwide and in Colorado Springs. Read more here.
– Over the past several years, about 135 Coloradans died from heart disease in an average week, while even more—roughly 150—died from cancer. But deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Colorado hit similar numbers during the past two weeks, making it one of the leading causes of death for all Coloradans for two weeks in a row. Read more here.
– Now that many more seniors are homebound because of the virus, several organizations are making extra efforts to deliver food, gifts and words of encouragement to the elderly. Read more about those efforts here.
– A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 descended on Denver’s state Capitol Sunday, protesting stay-at-home advisories and shutdowns of non-essential businesses, orders issued by Gov. Jared Polis within the last month. Read the story here.
– El Paso and Teller counties added no new coronavirus deaths for the second consecutive day on Sunday, reinforcing optimism the region could be “flattening the curve” on new infections. Read more of the latest here.
– Coronavirus is dealing a gut punch to the illegal drug trade, paralyzing economies, closing borders and severing supply chains in China that traffickers rely on for the chemicals to make such profitable drugs as methamphetamine and fentanyl. Read more.
– Multiple groups are organizing protests in Denver against Colorado’s stay-at-home order, which Democratic Gov. Jared Polis issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
– UCHealth and El Paso County Public Health have expanded testing guidelines at its drive-through tent located at South Parkside Drive and KidsKare Point. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Testing will be provided to anyone experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath within the last 3-5 days. More information here.
– The age group with the most cases in Colo. are 50-59 years at 18.11% followed by 40-49 years at 16.45%. The group with the least amount of cases is 0-9 years at 1%. Check here daily after 4 p.m. for statistics updates.
– Eagle County has requested an exemption from parts of Colorado’s statewide stay-at-home order. It’s the first time the state has received such a request during the coronavirus pandemic according to Colorado Public Radio.
– Air Force Academy graduates 967 in tempered ceremony. Read more here.
– Coronavirus: What’s next according to lawmakers, industry leaders and officials? Read more here.
– The county with the most amount of COVID-19 cases in the state is Denver at 1,723 followed by Arapahoe at 1,498. El Paso County has 721 cases.
– For the first time since at least 1975, Colorado had more than 900 deaths in a single week, according to Colorado Public Radio.
– Coronavirus in Colorado: No new deaths reported in El Paso County Saturday. Full story here.
– The number of Coloradans hospitalized from COVID-19 fell today for the fourth consecutive day, although there was an increase of 20 deaths from Friday to Saturday.
– Colo. has 9,433 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health. That puts the state in the top third on the list of states with the most U.S. coronavirus cases.
– According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now 732,197 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and 38,664 deaths.
– What is the state of the state with the coronavirus? Full story here.
– Colorado Case Summary (Note: This summary only includes data through 4/17 and does not reflect cases since then):
-44,606 people tested
– The age group with the most cases in Colo. are 50-59 years at 18.16% followed by 40-49 years at 16.51%. The group with the least amount of cases is 0-9 years at 0.99%. Check here daily after 4 p.m. for statistics updates.
– The restrictions in Denver’s stay-at-home order are expected to be slowly modified and won’t be lifted all at once on April 26, when Gov. Polis is expected to end it, according to Colorado Public Radio. City officials met this week and indicated social distancing measures will stay in place longer than the overarching order.
– What’s next? Lawmakers, industry leaders and officials give their best guess. Full story here.
– The county with the most COVID-19 cases is Denver at 1,636 followed by Arapahoe at 1,419. El Paso County has 708 cases. Check here daily after 4 p.m. for statistics updates.
– Gov. Jared Polis posted on Twitter Saturday that his stay-at-home order is not likely to be extended beyond April 26.
– What are people doing to cope with the shutdown? Read A ‘gnarly’ trip.
– Air Force Academy graduation: Celebration for cadets tempered by coronavirus, tragedy. Full story here.
– A group of Coloradans are planning to attend a “ReOpen Colorado” rally on Sunday in downtown Denver to protest the restrictive ‘stay-at-home’ order. Read more here.
– Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he expects an announcement from Polis next week on when retail stores across Colorado may be allowed to reopen, adding it could be as soon as April 27. Suthers does not expect bars and restaurants to be allowed to open at the same time as retail stores, he told the Colorado Springs City Council in a Friday afternoon briefing.
When the governor announces the phased approach to reopening everyday activities, the city is likely to start allowing some employees who had been working from home to return to city facilities, he said. All returning city employees will be required to wear masks on the job, he said.
“We are going to begin a very slow gradual phase-in process of our own,” Suthers said.
– Gov. Polis: New executive order requires workers to wear masks, National Guard deployed for testing. Full story here.
– Friday, the governor refuted a statement made by the state’s incident commander Thursday saying that the state wouldn’t open until it had the capacity to make everyone safe.
“That’s not true …” Polis said. “If any state, if any country, were to wait until we could keep everybody safe we would have to be closed forever.”
He added that the social distancing measures over the next few months will help Coloradans live with the virus around “in a sustainable way.”
– Colorado receives 100 ventilators from national stockpile. Read more here.