Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for April 5-April 11, 2021

Posted at 9:10 AM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 18:06:09-04

More than 468,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and nearly 26,000 have been hospitalized as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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:

Sunday, April 11

4:00 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Sunday, with the change from Saturday in parentheses:

478,678 cases (+1,235)
26,274 hospitalized (+18)
64 counties (+0)
2,793,615 people tested (+5,247)
7,288,404 test encounters (+19,275)
6,157 deaths among cases (+2)
6,296 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
4,466 outbreaks (+0)

The latest hospital data showed 465 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, five more than Saturday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.65%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Sunday, 2,073,529 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 1,272,898 people have been fully vaccinated.

Saturday, April 10

4:00 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Saturday, with the change from Friday in parentheses:

477,443 cases (+1,455)
26,256 hospitalized (+28)
64 counties (+0)
2,788,368 people tested (+6,052)
7,269,129 test encounters (+30,557)
6,155 deaths among cases (+5)
6,296 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
4,466 outbreaks (+11)

The latest hospital data showed 460 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, six more than Friday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.64%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Saturday, 2,028,898 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 1,238,076 people have been fully vaccinated.

Friday, April 9

10:38 p.m. | Tri-County Health to allow less restrictions for counties April 16

Tri-County Health Department's Board of Health (BOH) authorized the health department executive director to issue a public health order for a simplified version of the state's COVID-19 Dial when the state hand's over control beginning April 16.

The TCHD Public Health Order will be in effect from April 16 through May 15. For 30 days, counties will move one level less restrictive than the level indicated by their metrics on April 15.

Counties will move to Level Clear with no restrictions during an "observation period" from May 16 to August 16, which includes 100% capacity with no mitigation requirements, though face-covering requirements may still apply. This is subject to TCHD observation of hospital admission rates in the county.

    As of April 9, 2021, there are 132,885 known positive cases in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, with 1,595 deaths in those counties, according to Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). With evidence of potentially more severe variant strains spreading as well as rising case numbers, TCHD believes it's necessary to remain cautious when the state moves to a local approach April 16.

    TCHD continues to encourage residents to social distance, wear face masks and wash hands frequently, as well as get tested for COVID-19 if symptoms occur.

    8:49 p.m. | Latino community vaccination event being held next week

    Organizers are leading an effort to increase the numbers of vaccinations in the Latino community.

    A community vaccination event will be held April 16-17 from 9-4 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Registration opened Friday and will remain open until all 5,000 appointments are filled, according to the state.

    This is a drive-thru event sponsored by the Governor’s equity initiative in partnership with Centura Health. They will distribute Pfizer vaccines.

    Registration can be done online and through the Mile High United Way 211 Help Center by dialing 2-1-1.

    A CDC study cited a disproportionate incidence of COVID-19iInfection, hospitalizations and deaths among people who identify as Hispanic or Latino in Denver. The majority of adult COVID-19 cases (55%), hospitalizations (62%) and deaths (51%) were among Hispanic adults, which is double the proportion of Hispanic adults in Denver (24.9%).

    5:05 p.m. | Colorado in 'fourth wave' of pandemic as state readies to hand dial control to local governments

    Colorado officials said Friday the state is in a fourth wave of the pandemic, with more than half of new cases being caused by variants of concern and with increasing case numbers and hospitalizations among people ages 18-50. But the state still plans to hand control of the dial system and restrictions over to local counties in a week.

    Gov. Jared Polis said Friday that it is currently “a time of great concern” for the Colorado, with multiple factors all reaching a head simultaneously.

    As of Friday, about 1.2 million people were fully immunized in Colorado and nearly 2 million have received their first dose. A majority of the population of Coloradans age 50 and up have now been fully vaccinated and the state has opened up vaccine eligibility to everyone over age 16, with more vaccine supply expected in coming weeks.

    Simultaneously, Colorado reported nearly 2,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday, including more than 1,500 new cases, 69 new hospitalizations, and a seven-day average positivity rate of 5.65%, which continues to climb. There were also 454 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.

    The state will hand over local control of the COVID-19 dial system and business restrictions to counties in Colorado on April 16 as the state also sees variants of concern rise in numbers.

    Polis and officials with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment stressed that they believe this will be the fourth and final wave of the pandemic, but said the severity of it would be left up to Coloradans and whether or not they can keep up with a few more weeks of wearing masks indoors and around others, not gathering with many others, and following the steps that have been drilled into the minds of residents here now for 14 months.

    “It’s a little bit different,” Polis said of this current wave. He and CDPHE State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy explained that this wave is now affecting younger Coloradans ages 18-50 who have mostly been unable to sign up to be vaccinated until the past couple of weeks.

    Since people ages 50 and up, and especially 70 and up, are much more likely to die of complications from COVID-19 and have been vaccinated in greater numbers than younger people, officials expect this wave to include fewer deaths and hospitalizations.

    But they still warned that people of all ages can have deadly or severe, long-term outcomes caused by the virus, especially as more variants that are considered more transmissible and possibly more intense move through Colorado.

    Herlihy said the state had now identified 12 cases of the P.1 variant currently ravaging Brazil in Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield and Denver counties. The CDPHE announced earlier this week two cases of that variant had been identified in Boulder County.

    She said that scientists believe there were multiple introductions of the variant to Colorado, including one person who traveled internationally.

    Colorado now has nearly 1,500 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, which has been part of what has led to the sharp spike in cases and hospitalizations in Michigan and is now the most common variant found in the U.S.

    There are two-dozen cases of the South African variant B.1.351 and nearly 500 cases of the California variant, called B.1.427 or B.1.429.

    As such, Herlihy said, Coloradans who contract COVID-19 now are more likely than not to be infected with a variant strain.

    She presented data which showed the effects of the vaccine on older populations versus the age groups that have been less likely to receive the vaccine until recently: Cases and hospitalizations among people ages 50 and up have become stagnant or are falling, while cases and hospitalizations among people 18-49 have been steadily climbing.

    “That’s the good news here,” Herlihy said, adding that until cases among all age groups start declining, people will need to still follow the COVID-19 protection protocols.

    Polis urged everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible and to live like they did in February and March in the meantime to try to reduce case and hospitalization numbers, which now include more younger people than in previous periods of the pandemic.

    But this fourth wave also coincides with the April 16 move to put the dial system in the hands of local governments, which Polis said Friday are “able to better adapt their resources” and communicate with the local population. He said the state would continue to work closely with the local governments to help tailor their plans, and he urged regional coordination.

    Click here to read the full story.

    4:20 p.m. | Latest coronavirus data

    Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Friday, with the change from Thursday in parentheses:

    475,988 cases (+1,935)
    26,228 hospitalized (+97)
    64 counties (+0)
    2,782,316 people tested (+7,920)
    7,238,572 test encounters (+37,755)
    6,150 deaths among cases (+7)
    6,296 deaths due to COVID-19 (+2)
    4,455 outbreaks (+20)

    The latest hospital data showed 454 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, five more than Thursday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.65%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

    As of Friday, 1,985,977 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 1,200,658 people have been fully vaccinated.

    GRAPH: COVID-19 numbers as of April 9, 2021

    12:26 p.m. | Latest on dial change from Tri-County, Jefferson Co. Public Health

    As the state considers giving local control to counties over their COVID-19 regulations on April 16, the Tri-County Health Department and Jefferson County Public Health both have updates on their plans coming in the next few days, they say.

    Jefferson County Public Health says it will issue a new public health order early next week with guidance for the county. JCPH says it plans to extend the current Dial 3.0 framework “for a short period of time to ease out of restrictions in an attempt to avoid seeing Jeffco’s recent increase in COVID-19 cases turn into a fourth wave.”

    The department said under the order, the county will operate under Level Blue through mid-May.

    “The Colorado School of Public Health Modeling Team advising the Governor has concluded that delaying policy changes in Colorado until mid-May will prevent large numbers of deaths and hospitalizations,” JCPH said. “maintaining Dial 3.0 Level Blue restrictions in Jeffco for one additional month will allow our community to stay safer as we work to get our current increase in COVID-19 transmission back under control, get more residents vaccinated and let our local businesses plan for the next several weeks using Level Blue capacity limits and requirements.”

    Gary Sky, a spokesperson for the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties, said the board of health on Thursday authorized more changes to the public health order, which should be finalized by Friday afternoon.

    Among the changes are modifying the public health orders to use “a simplified Dial 3.0 Framework describing capacity limits and other best practices in the TCHD district for 30 days starting from April 16 or when state guidance devolves to local authorities.”

    Other facets include allowing counties to move down one step in terms of restrictions on business capacities from April 16 to May 15; continue the Five-Star program; and allow for a 90-day observational phase starting May 16 to monitor hospitalizations, among other things.

    The governor and CDPHE are expected to give an update on the state’s plans for loosening restrictions and having over control to the local governments Friday at 2:30 p.m., which you will be able to stream here.

    Thursday, April 8

    8:21 p.m. | Polis amends and extends a COVID-19 Executive Order

    Governor Polis amended and extended an Executive Order authorizing Executive Directors of certain agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents due to COVID-19 in Colorado.

    This Executive Order continues the authority to extend licensure deadlines for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Department of Local Affairs and Department of Higher Education, while allowing the authority to expire for the Department of Public Health and Environment, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Revenue, Department of Regulatory Agencies and Department of Human Services.

    5:55 p.m. | Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and jail closed due to COVID-19

    The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office has closed its Glenwood Springs office and the county jail there because of a COVID-19 outbreak involving four detention officers and 17 inmates.

    The sheriff’s office said the inmates were all part of the same pod and have been quarantined from other inmates and detention officer. Five of the inmates are symptomatic and have “low grade” symptoms that are being created at the jail, the sheriff’s office said.

    The CDPHE’s rapid response team will test all inmates and staff members based at the Glenwood Springs location. Other public services will be available in the meantime at the sheriff’s office’s location in Rifle.

    5:35 p.m. | Colorado finds 'no cause for concern' after reactions to Johnson & Johnson vaccine

    The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it has no cause for concern about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 11 people experienced immediate symptoms following their injections Wednesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

    The CDPHE and Centers for Disease Control investigated the batch of vaccine used on Wednesday after pausing the vaccinations at the site in Commerce City on Wednesday when the 11 people experienced symptoms including nausea, dizziness and fainting.

    Two people were taken to a hospital for treatment but were released Wednesday night, Centura Health officials said Thursday afternoon. Nine others were treated at the site with juice and water.

    “After reviewing each patient’s symptoms, analyzing other vaccinations from the same lot of the vaccine and speaking with the CDC to confirm our findings, we are confident in saying that there is no reason for concern,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer, CDPHE. “We are committed to making sure every community clinic is well-staffed with medical professionals who take patient safety with the utmost seriousness, just as they did at yesterday’s clinic.”

    The CDPHE said the Food and Drug Administration also ran the two lot numbers used at the site on Tuesday “and found no worrying pattern of similar events with these lots.”

    The state said the mass vaccination site was prepared to respond accordingly to the symptoms people experienced. At the site, people are advised to wait in the parking lot for 15-30 minutes following their injection to monitor for any immediate reactions, which can be a known side-effect of being vaccinated.

    Click here to read the full story.

    5:16 p.m. | Park County moving to Level Green

    The Park County Board of County Commissioners announced the county will move to Level Green on the state's COVID-19 dial by April 9 at 6 a.m.

    The move to Level Green will relax some restrictions in Park County, including:

    • Optional mask-wearing unless entering public settings, like schools, child care centers, indoor children's camps, public-facing government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, health care settings, personal services businesses and businesses that choose to require them.
    • No capacity restrictions other than those resulting from six-feet distancing. Bars, smoking lounges, unseated indoor events, organized indoor recreational youth or adult league sports and certain camps all must operate at 50% of their capacity without exceeding 500 people.
    • Seated indoor events may seat up to 10 people together including non-household members; however, if the event will exceed 500 people, the event operator or organizer must consult with CDPHE.
    • Counties may increase their businesses and activities operational capacity by 5% each month that the county continues to meet the metrics.

    Full details on the order can be found here.

    4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers

    Here are the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, with the change from Wednesday in parentheses:

    474,053 cases (+1,886)
    26,131 hospitalized (+171)
    64 counties (+0)
    2,774,396 people tested (+7,551)
    7,200,817 test encounters (+39,373)
    6,143 deaths among cases (+4)
    6,294 deaths due to COVID-19 (+9)
    4,435 outbreaks (+22)

    The latest hospital data showed 449 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, one fewer than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.61%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

    As of Thursday, 1,941,195 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 1,168,890 people have been fully vaccinated.

    GRAPH: COVID-19 numbers as of April 8, 2021

    7:35 a.m. | Colorado unemployment numbers

    The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported today that 9,305 regular initial unemployment claims were filed during the week ending April 3. There were also 2,180 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the same week.

    Since mid-March 2020, an estimated total of 900,734 regular initial unemployment claims have been filed and a grand total of 1,164,455 claims were filed, when the PUA program is included.

    For the week ending on March 27, the number of continued weeks requested totaled 261,156, including the following totals by UI program: regular UI (81,772), PUA (87,880), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) (91,504). CDLE estimates those continued claims were filed by approximately 210,911 individuals (73,519 for regular UI; 64,987 for PUA, and 72,405 for PEUC).

    Wednesday, April 7

    11:19 p.m. | All public-facing employees in Colorado can receive free, at-home testing

    All Colorado employees who interact with the public at their jobs can now receive free, at-home test kits from the state.

    Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced the expansion of the Binax At-Home rapid testing program Wednesday. Previously, the at-home testing was first available to educators.

    Public-facing employees can enroll in the program by filling out a Google Form. Once approved, they will receive an email from CDPHE detailing how they can order their own free testing kit, delivered directly to their homes. From there, individuals will schedule a telehealth appointment for instruction on how to administer the test.

    11:03 p.m. | State confirms dial will take local approach April 16

    Colorado's COVID-19 Dial will take a new approach beginning April 16, moving control to local jurisdictions.

    According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the dial system will "evolve from a statewide public health order to locally managed and local ordinances."

    For weeks, the state has mentioned more dial changes coming, previously saying it plans to “move to a more local model, allowing local public health agencies to assume more control over capacity restrictions that are currently determined by the dial.”

    Even with the move to more local control, CDPHE said "we must all continue to do our part" as more Coloradans get vaccinated by wearing masks, staying six feet apart and only gathering in small groups with others outside.

    8:37 p.m. | Frontier Days to return this summer

    The governor of Wyoming announced Cheyenne Frontier Days will return this summer.

    Gov. Mark Gordon said, "Wyoming is back and the Daddy of ‘em All will be back, safely, at full capacity."

    7:40 p.m. | Outbreak reported at Elbert County building

    The Elbert County Public Health (ECPH) has confirmed an outbreak at the county's Samuel Elbert Building in Kiowa.

    According to the department, "the number of cases involved met CDPHE's definition for a communicable disease outbreak." The outbreak is limited to the county building at 440 Comanche Street in Kiowa, which houses several county departments, including the Elbert County Clerk & Recorder, the Elbert County Treasurer's Office and the Motor Vehicle Department.

    ECPH recommends anyone who has conducted business at the county building in the past week monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they suspect they have been exposed to someone associated with the building to follow quarantine guidelines.

    6:47 p.m. | Operations at Dick's Sporting Goods Park mass vaccination clinic paused due to adverse reactions

    Operations at the mass vaccination event at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City have been put on pause after multiple adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for Centura Health.

    Following the administration of the vaccine and during observation onsite, a "limited number" of adverse reactions to the vaccine occurred, the spokesperson originally said. The spokesperson later confirmed 11 people who were vaccinated Wednesday had an adverse reaction. Medical staff on site determined two individuals required additional observation and were taken to nearby hospitals out of an abundance of caution.

    Per protocol, Centura Health, in partnership with the state, made the decision to pause operations for the rest of Wednesday.

    In total, 1,700 patients were vaccinated Wednesday. The 640 patients unable to receive a vaccine will be automatically rescheduled for Sunday, April 11 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

    Read the full story.

    4:22 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

    Case numbers continue to grow and the seven-day average positivity rate remains above the state's 5% threshold. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from Colorado, with changes from Tuesday in parentheses.

    472,167 cases (+1,913)
    25,960 hospitalized (+43)
    64 counties (+0)
    2,766,845 people tested (+6,849)
    7,161,444 test encounters (+35,129)
    6,139 deaths among cases (+7)
    6,285 deaths due to COVID-19 (+19)
    4,413 outbreaks (+63)

    The latest hospital data showed 450 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 14 more than Tuesday. The seven-day average positivity rate was 5.40% on Monday. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

    As of Wednesday, 1,909,317 people have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1,145,039 people are fully immunized.

    2:51 p.m. | Jefferson County moving back to Level Yellow on the COVID-19 dial due to increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

    Jefferson County is moving back to Level Yellow due to a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

    The county reported 142.7 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents for the period lasting from March 31-April 6, which exceeds the metrics for Level Blue (115 cases per 100,000 residents for five consecutive days) in the state’s COVID-19 dial.

    Dr. Dawn Comstock, the executive director for Jefferson County Public Health, said the majority of new cases are among adults between 20 and 39 years old, adding the majority of the county’s outbreaks were being reported within schools and non-regulated businesses, such as offices and retail.

    “Other factors contributing to the increase in community spread include significantly decreased social distancing as well as circulation of virus variants,” Comstock said in a news release.

    The announcement of the county’s move to a more restrictive level on the color-coded dial comes a day after Jefferson County modified its public health order on masks, no longer requiring them in outdoor spaces but still mandating them for indoor public settings.

    Read the full story here.

    Tuesday, April 6

    4:52 p.m. | Two cases of P.1 variant identified in Boulder County

    Two cases of the COVID-19 P.1 variant cases have been identified in Colorado, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

    The CDC notified CDPHE of the first cases in the state originally identified among travelers from Brazil arriving in Japan. The variant cases are residents of Boulder County.

    Prior travel history isn’t known for the two individuals. Boulder County Public Health is working closely with CDPHE to provide local support as needed.

    According to CDPHE, currently authorized vaccines are effective against known variants, and it suggests Coloradans continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently.

    To date, 289 cases of the P.1 variant have been identified across 25 jurisdictions in the U.S.

    4:25 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

    470,254 cases (+1,266)
    25,917 hospitalized (+143)
    64 counties (+0)
    2,759,996 people tested (+4,214)
    7,126,315 test encounters (+14,566)
    6,132 deaths among cases (+6)
    6,266 deaths due to COVID-19 (+4)
    4,350 outbreaks (+20)

    The latest hospital data showed 436 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 35 more than Monday. The seven-day average positivity rate was 5.19% on Monday. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

    As of Tuesday, 1,870,467 people have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1,121,334 people are fully immunized.

    12:38 p.m. | It's official: Denver and Coors Field will host 2021 MLB All-Star Game

    The Colorado Rockies and Major League Baseball formally announced Tuesday that the 2021 All-Star Game will be held in Denver at Coors Field this July.

    Denver7’s Troy Renck confirmed the move on Monday night, but the team and league made the announcement just after 11 a.m. Tuesday. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis lauded the move in a news conference at 11:30 a.m.

    The Rockies and Hancock said the team and city had already been bidding for a future All-Star Game this decade and had submitted plans for hotels, event space and security, and received visits from MLB officials in recent months.

    It's official: Hancock, Polis announce 2021 MLB All-Star Game will be held in Denver

    “It’s been a long year, and I can think of nothing more energizing to help advance our recovery and to boost our economy than by bringing the 2021 Midsummer Classic back to the Mile High City,” Hancock said.

    “We are excited to host this year’s All-Star festivities at Coors Field,” said Rockies Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel in a statement formally announcing the news. “We are confident that our organization along with the city, state, VISIT DENVER and the Denver Sports Commission are capable of putting on this premier event in a relatively quick time frame because of the preparations that had already been done. Summer in Colorado is something everyone in the country should experience, and we embrace this opportunity to show off our beautiful ballpark and everything our city, state and region have to offer.”

    Coors Field will host its first All-Star Game since 1998. The move was made by MLB after the league decided to take the game out of Atlanta because of voting laws the state of Georgia passed in March.

    “Major League Baseball is grateful to the Rockies, the City of Denver and the State of Colorado for their support of this summer’s All-Star Game,” said MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “We appreciate their flexibility and enthusiasm to deliver a first-class event for our game and the region. We look forward to celebrating our sport’s best players and entertaining fans around the world.”

    After MLB announced it was taking the game of out Atlanta, both Polis and Hancock released public statements urging MLB to move the game to Denver. Polis said, “It would be good for baseball and good for Colorado.”

    The two leaders also said Tuesday that Rockies owner Dick Monfort was “dead focused” on having the game moved to Denver. They said that things moved quickly when MLB reached out last week.

    Hancock, Polis and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold all pointed, in part, to Colorado’s election laws having some bearing on MLB’s decision to pick Colorado after moving the game out of Georgia.

    “Colorado is recognized as the national gold standard for elections, and I’m thrilled with the decision to move the MLB All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver,” Griswold said in a statement.

    Hancock said having the All-Star Game here would bring at least a $100 million economic impact to the city, and Polis said it could bring up to $190 million to the state as a whole.

    “It’s been a long year, and I can think of nothing more energizing to help advance our recovery and to boost our economy than by bringing the 2021 Midsummer Classic back to the Mile High City,” Hancock said. “…That’s incredibly good news for our small businesses or restaurants or hotels, and our workers. We have struggled and suffered through this pandemic. It took a true team effort to get to this point.”

    Polis said having All-Star Week here in Denver was a big win for Colorado’s economy.

    “It’s really a pivotal turning point, not just for our return to normalcy, but the opportunity to move forward to highlight Denver and Colorado nationally, showing some of the most amazing talent from across baseball – all coming here to Colorado,” Polis said.

    Polis and Hancock said the next key would be for people to continue getting vaccinated in the months leading up to the July 13 All-Star Game so that COVID-19 levels have dropped significantly then and both Coors Field and Denver businesses can operate at full capacity.

    “Consistent with what President Biden has said, every American who wants to be vaccinated will be able to get it by the end of May, and frankly, we’re thinking it’ll be closer to mid-to-late may, which means immunity by late June,” Polis said. “And, of course, we’re talking about a mid-July game, so there are really no concerns from that front. Everybody will have been able to get vaccinated by then. The state is pulling back on restrictions in mid-April in many parts of Colorado … plenty of room there, and I think everybody expects a fully-packed, sellout stadium in July.”

    Hancock added that he was “very optimistic” that could be the case come July as well.

    “It’s in our hands here in Denver and throughout Colorado to continue to do the things that we have to do,” Hancock said, “so that come July, we are fully read to be at full capacity.”

    Click here to read the full story.

    Monday, April 5

    10:27 p.m. | Tri-County Health removes outdoor face covering requirement

    The Tri-County Health Department (TCDH) removed the requirement of wearing face coverings in outdoor public spaces Monday.

    The face covering order still requires that individuals older than ten years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or within any public indoor space. It’s also strongly encouraged to have children between two and ten years old wear a face covering, with supervision.

    The order is relevant to all parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties that did not opt out of the order. Those jurisdictions include:

    • Arapahoe County East of Watkins Road to county line
    • Douglas County
    • City of Castle Pines
    • City of Glendale
    • Columbine Valley
    • Town of Bennett
    • Town of Castle Rock
    • Town of Deer Trail
    • Town of Parker

    Even with the requirement lifting, TCHD says mask-wearing will still be especially important as businesses are allowed to more fully re-open.

    8:35 p.m. | Summit County moving back to Level Orange

    The state confirmed Monday Summit County will move to Level Orange on the COVID-19 dial beginning Wednesday.

    The county's case incidence has exceeded Level Yellow metrics for 10 days, which is prompting the move. Summit County will officially be in Level Orange beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

    The state says it's working closely with the county to find ways to slow disease transmission.

    5:33 p.m. | No more outdoor mask requirement in Jefferson County

    Jefferson County Public Health amended the county’s public health order on mask wearing to remove the requirement that people wear masks in outdoor spaces. They will still be required to do so inside indoor public spaces when at least 6 feet of distance cannot be kept from non-household members.

    The mask requirement for indoor spaces will apply to people age 11 and up in Jefferson County. People will also still be required to wear masks on public transportation.

    The county said that modeling suggests that people should continue to wear face masks in all public spaces until at least mid-May as more people are vaccinated.

    “Indoor spaces pose a greater risk than outdoor spaces, but outdoor spaces are not entirely without risk,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, the executive director of Jefferson County Public Health. “When you’re spending time outside, socializing with larger groups is a greater risk than socializing with smaller groups. Being near others who are shouting, singing or breathing heavily during physical activity is a greater risk. Each individual should assess their risk level when they are outside, and I hope people will have a mask handy in their pocket when in outdoor public spaces so it is easily accessible whenever they find themselves in a higher risk scenario.”

    4:25 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

    The current seven-day positivity rate continues to inch higher over the threshold of 5%, hitting 5.19% Sunday. Current hospitalizations also rose to more than 400 people Monday for the first time since March 1. Here's the latest COVID-19 data from Colorado, with changes from Sunday in parentheses.

    468,988 cases (+867)
    25,774 hospitalized (+8)
    64 counties (+0)
    2,755,782 people tested (+4,148)
    7,111,749 test encounters (+13,038)
    6,126 deaths among cases (+0
    6,262 deaths due to COVID-19 (+9)
    4,330 outbreaks (+1)

    The latest hospital data showed 401 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 25 more than Sunday. The seven-day average positivity rate was 5.19% on Sunday. The state’s goal is to remain below 5%.

    As of Sunday, 1,837,138 people have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 1,105,853 people are fully immunized.

    GRAPH: COVID-19 numbers as of April 5, 2021

    1:15 p.m. | Rent payments at 98% in Colorado

    Colorado rent payments were at 98% for March, according to data from the Colorado Apartment Association. That's about 0.6% lower than March 2020 payments at the onset of the pandemic. CAA officials said the 98% rate is a good thing.

    “A 98% collection rate in March is a strong indicator of residents’ growing confidence with the economy,” said Mark Williams, executive vice president of the CAA. “Considering Colorado’s Property Owner Preservation (POP) program had been closed for the majority of the month, a high number of rental payments shows CAA members are continuing to find ways to keep people housed as Colorado begins to ease COVID restrictions, disseminate vaccines and lift closures. We expect the housing market to continue to recover as Coloradans are able to return to work and resume some semblance of normalcy.”

    Colorado eviction moratorium expired before March, when 1,742 evictions were filed. There were 3,480 evictions filed in March 2020.

    12:01 p.m. | Regis University to hold in-person commence ceremonies at the end of April

    Regis University says it has received local public health variances to conduct in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies starting at the end of the month at its Northwest Denver campus. Only two guests per graduate will be allowed to attend, per safety rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.

    Additionally, the university will hold four separate ceremonies over the three days – April 30, May 1 and 2 – as well as complementary nurses pinning, honorary society induction and other graduation-related events on Boettcher Commons.

    Live streaming will be available for those who are unable or do not wish to attend in person, officials said in a news release.

    11:20 a.m. | FEMA will take over Pueblo mass vaccination site on April 14 for 8-week pilot

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will take over operations of the community vaccination site at the State Fairgrounds in Pueblo for eight weeks starting April 14 in an effort to increase the number of vaccinations given in southern Colorado.

    The fairgrounds site has been running for several weeks as one of the state’s six mass vaccination clinics. The new partnership with FEMA aims to increase the number of doses administered at the site from 1,750 to 3,000 each day, according to the governor’s office.

    The FEMA pilot program will run for eight weeks and will be transitioned over from the state site in partnership with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

    The governor’s office said along with the drive-up site at the fairgrounds, the plan is to increase the number of mobile vaccination clinics across southern Colorado as well.

    Vaccinations can be scheduled through Centura Health by clicking here. The site at the fairgrounds will operate seven days a week starting at 7 a.m.

    The state and FEMA say that they to announce the locations and hours for the mobile clinics in coming days, but said the static and mobile sites would hopefully be able to get more people in Alamosa, Bent, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Rio Grande and Saguache counties vaccinated.

    “FEMA is pleased to continue supporting the State of Colorado in its efforts to ensure everyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine has access to one. This Pilot Site not only boosts vaccine supply with additional vaccine doses, it supports the larger mobile effort to reach across southern Colorado into rural communities,” said FEMA Region 8 Acting Administrator Nancy Dragani.

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