This article is updated multiple times a day with coronavirus news from Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region and elsewhere in Colorado.
The latest around Colorado
- A civilian employee of the 10th Air Base Wing at the Air Force Academy has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is improving and being treated at a Colorado Springs hospital. More information here.
- Construction is moving ahead on several high-profile commercial projects in Colorado Springs despite pandemic. Full story here.
- El Paso County case rate per 100,000=17.08, Denver County=29.81.
- Total number of cases in El Paso county is 122, second to Denver which has 214.
- Although it is certain that coronavirus spreads through mucus and droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that a new study found no virus in tears of COVID-19 infected patients. Read more here.
- Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez closed as of Wednesday night.
- Gov. Jared Polis announces am emergency, temporary stay at home order for Colorado starting tomorrow, March 26, at 6 a.m through April 11. This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities including:
- Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
- Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties
More information here.
- Colorado case summary (this summary only includes data through 3/24 and does not reflect cases since then):
- 1,086 cases
- 147 hospitalized
- 36 counties
- 8,064 people tested
- 20 deaths
- 9 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities
More information here.
- Gov. Jared Polis provides guidance to local law enforcement and detention centers. Read more here.
- Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales has issued a stay-at-home order for Larimer County, effective at 5:00 p.m., March 26.
- Mountain lions in Boulder reclaim their territory as humans shelter.
- Douglas County state senators and representatives are demanding that the county commissioners sever ties with Tri-County Health Department after health officials issued a shelter in place order on Wednesday, which goes into effect at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Read more.
- Ten El Paso County jail inmates are under quarantine, but only one has been tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus, limiting efforts to gauge the potential spread of the illness. Full story here.
- The Jefferson County Department of Public Health became the latest in metro Denver to issue a stay-at-home order, effective from 8 a.m. Thursday, March 26, through April 17. Read more.
- The Colorado General Assembly will not resume what’s left of its 120-day session on Monday, but how that will happen is still very much up in the air. Read more here.
- Jeremy Jojola, investigative reporter for 9NEWS (KUSA) Denver, reported via Twitter that 26 inmates in Denver jails are showing symptoms of COVID-19, and 31 inmates in Jefferson County are in isolation.
New: 26 inmates in Denver's jail system are showing symptoms of COVID-19. 23 are at the downtown facility while 3 are at the facility on Smith Road. #9NEWS— Jeremy Jojola (@jeremyjojola) March 25, 2020
Last week, the ACLU of Colorado and other inmate advocacy groups sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis warning about the risk of jails and prisons becoming an "epicenter" for COVID-19 infections in the state.
- The U.S. Air Force Academy announced Tuesday that the North Gate will be closed to all traffic, beginning Thursday. "Those on official business need to use the South Gate to enter the base and plan extra time to get through the gate," the Academy stated in a press release.
- USAToday has suspended their 10 Best Readers' Choice voting for Best Zoo and Best Zoo Exhibit, due to the current coronavirus impact, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced. All votes already cast will carry over when voting re-launches down the road.
- Tri-County Health Department is drafting a stay-at-home directive for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties that would be similar to ones that the cities of Denver and Boulder have instituted this week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
- The White House and Senate leaders of both major political parties announced agreement early Wednesday on an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency bill to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
- Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office said Wednesday. The 71-year-old is showing mild symptoms of COVID-19 and is self-isolating at a royal estate in Scotland, his Clarence House office said. It says his wife Camilla, 72, has tested negative. Read more here.
- Three of America's best-known national parks — Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains — closed their gates as parks struggle to keep popular recreation areas open while heeding warnings from officials urging them to prevent spreading the coronavirus at congested sites. Rocky Mountain National Park closed indefinitely on Friday. Read more here.
- Thousands of masks, surgical gowns, face shields and other supplies needed to keep doctors and nurses safe from the coronavirus came to Colorado from a federal stockpile in recent days, but the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management and Colorado Springs hospitals say they need more, even as health care providers take steps to preserve supplies. Read more here.
- Colorado case summary (this summary only includes data through 3/23 and does not reflect cases since then):
- 912 cases
- 84 hospitalized
- 35 counties
- 7,701 people tested
- 11 deaths
- 7 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities
Colorado nears 1,000 cases. Here is today's COVID-19 case summary for the state:912 cases (+192)84 hospitalized (+12)35 counties (+4)7,701 people tested (+1,477)11 deaths (+4)7 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities (+2)https://t.co/bnCHdYAtHA pic.twitter.com/kkc1qILYZK— Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (@CDPHE) March 24, 2020
- A second El Paso County sheriff's deputy has tested positive for COVID-19. The deputy has been isolated since the first developing symptoms, the sheriff's office said in a news release.
- Teller County Public Health and Environment reported Tuesday that one county resident has died from COVID-19. The death is one of three lab-confirmed cases of the virus in Teller County to date. No details about the person who died were available as of Tuesday afternoon. Read more here.
- Crowds storm liquor stores, before Denver Mayor Michael Hancock reversed initial announcement that they would not be considered "essential services." Full story here.
-El Paso County currently has 106 coronavirus cases and 3 deaths.
- Denver issues stay-at-home order effective 5 p.m. Tuesday through April 10, requiring non-essential businesses to shut down. Denver is the first Colorado city to issue such an ordinance.
- Director of Colorado’s Office of Emergency Management Mike Willis said there are many more cases of coronavirus in rural and southern Colorado than what test results show. The spread of the virus in places like La Veta, Trinidad and Walsenburg far exceeds the number of tests those communities actually have, he said Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s very safe to assume that there are substantially more cases in rural Colorado than are currently being reported,” Willis said. “That’s why it’s so important, even in rural colorado, that if you have symptoms, you must self-quarantine to prevent the spread. If you’re sick, stay home. That applies everywhere in the state.”
Health officials and people living in those communities will better understand the spread of coronavirus when mass testing ramps up, Willis said. That’s something Polis said the state is working on implementing soon.
- Gov. Jared Polis backs up N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's criticisms of the U.S. government's response to the coronavirus health crisis on MSNBC. Polis also stated that we need the Trump administration to "step up" regarding economic recovery.
- Gunnison County recorded its first death according to crestedbuttenews.com. The patient died March 13 and was tested for COVID-19 posthumously. The results came back 10 days later.
- One of Denver's first COVID-19 cases has recovered. The 46-year-old man was ordered into isolation on March 6. He spent two weeks in his basement, separated from his wife and kids. He has since shed the virus and tested negative.
- State health officials are handing out supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to counties across Colorado to distribute to medical facilities.
The packages include:
- 49,200 N95 masks
- 115,000 surgical masks
- 21,420 surgical gowns
- 21,800 face shields
- 84 coveralls
According to state health officials, these supplies should only last one full day of operations statewide.
- Gov. Polis encouraged to the Presidents of Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway, and The Kroger Co., which owns King Soopers and City Market to adhere to new safety protocols including:
- Providing appropriate gloves, masks, face screens, and other personal protective equipment to grocery store workers to the extent possible.
- Consider expanding into grocery delivery services, prioritizing service to those at the highest risk.
- Provide daily designated time periods for higher-risk individuals to shop.
- Establish entrance/access controls to ensure crowds are in compliance with safe social distancing practices.
- To the extent possible, assign those employees with higher health-risks to tasks with lowest exposure risks such as backroom work.
- Doctors, nurses and medics from Fort Carson were thrown into the fight against coronavirus Tuesday with the post's largest medical unit ordered to deploy its troops to help civilians combat the disease. Read more here.
- Colorado could lose half its jobs in retail, recreation and entertainment, according to a new analysis of the coronavirus fallout from the Common Sense Policy Roundtable. Read more here.
- Effective immediately, the City of Colorado Springs will suspend enforcement of parking meters, time limited and non-metered parking areas along with booting until Thursday, April 30. All parking meters in downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City will be free and without time limits. Structured parking will also be free. The purpose of the free parking is to allow residents easy access to restaurants offering curbside food services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Optum and Mountain View Medical Group closed seven primary and pediatric clinics Tuesday while Optum opened three clinics dedicated to coronavirus care. Read more here.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment urged Coloradans not to engage in open burning activities during the current COVID-19 response. "The COVID-19 virus poses a particular threat to individuals with a history of heart or respiratory illness," the press release from the CDPHE said. "Smoke from open burns could put a strain on already vulnerable populations."
- Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he does not expect the city will see a stay-at-home order unless the state issues one or he receives new direction from the El Paso County Health Department. Read more here.
- Boulder city manager Jane Brautigam has issued an order for residents to shelter in place beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday and extending until April 10. Read more here.
- The town of Monument declared a local disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The declaration will allow the town to "seek and utilize mutual aid, potentially obtain reimbursement, and ensure that the Town’s public health professionals have all necessary tools at their disposal to keep the community safe," according to the official release. Read more here.
- Fort Carson declared a public health emergency on Tuesday, a move the post's commander says will free up resources to proactively fight the pandemic. Read more here.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is proposing a one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Read more here.
- With the International Olympic Committee’s announcement that it will postpone this summer’s Tokyo Games, United States Olympic and Paralympic CEO Sarah Hirshland penned a letter Tuesday morning to American athletes. “With this decision, the work of planning a new version of the Tokyo Games is now officially underway,” Hirshland wrote. Read more here.
- More than a third of incoming and outgoing flights at the Colorado Springs airport were canceled Monday morning. At least some of those flights were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, said an airport spokesperson. Read more here.
- As of Monday, Eagle County has 92 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a population of just under 55,000. 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.