Coronavirus news and updates from Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region, and elsewhere in Colorado and the U.S.


- Colorado Springs has just 14 available intensive care hospital beds and Denver 25, while Weld County is down to three and Pueblo five at a time when COVID-19 hospitalizations are growing, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday. Full story here.

- The 4th Judicial District courthouses in El Paso and Teller counties will be closed until next year and most hearings will be conducted virtually, amid a surge of coronavirus cases across the state, the region's chief judge ordered Tuesday. Read more here.

-A key committee that will advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on who should get the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine agreed Monday on initial priorities and an ethical framework. More here.

-Should hospitals become overwhelmed, Colorado will enact a plan drawn up in April to ration care to the most likely to survive COVID-19. The crisis standards of care will layout a blueprint by which hospitals will use to give individual patients a score from one to eight, with eight being the worst. Read the full story here.

-Public health experts have warned for weeks that gathering for Thanksgiving could be risky, and now an online tool shows even relatively small gatherings could carry significant risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Colorado counties. Read more here.

-Colorado's two-month surge in coronavirus infections has led to a milestone not seen since May: As of Monday, it is again the leading cause of death among Coloradans. Over the past seven days, 167 Coloradans have died from COVID-19, putting the number of deaths caused by the virus ahead of all other causes. More here.

-Deaths from COVID-19 between when the pandemic began in March and this week have exceeded 2,800, but state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said during a Tuesday news conference that models show that toll could more than double in the next five weeks, depending on the actions Coloradans take to stem the spread of the virus. Read more here.

-Colorado is one of 10 jurisdictions chosen to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine distribution pilot program by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed. Read more here.

El Paso County must move to "red" severe risk status for COVID-19 effective Friday evening, a change that closes restaurants for indoor dining, and reduces offices and gyms to 10% capacity. Read more here.

- About 1 million Americans a day packed airports and planes over the weekend even as coronavirus deaths surged across the U.S. and public health experts begged people to stay home and avoid big Thanksgiving gatherings. Read more here.

- Tests show those hipper face coverings are not as effective as surgical or cloth face masks. Bandannas, like plastic face shields, allow the virus to escape out the bottom in aerosolized particles that can hang in the air for hours. And gaiters are often made of such thin material that they don’t trap as much virus as cloth masks. Read more here.

- A men's prison in Crowley County east of Pueblo is battling the largest active COVID-19 outbreak among state correctional facilities. Read more here.

- New daily cases of COVID-19 in Colorado are potentially on a downward trend — good news ahead of the holidays — but officials say it's too early to know if several days of lower numbers foretell a true drop in cases or merely a temporary fluctuation. Read more here. 

- Already reeling from months of restrictions, Colorado Springs-area businesses are about to be hit again as El Paso County moves to "red" severe risk. Effective Friday evening, the change closes restaurants for indoor dining and reduces offices and gyms to 10% capacity. Here's what business owners are saying.

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