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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Aug. 2-8, 2021

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Posted at 5:22 AM, Aug 02, 2021

More than 575,000 people in Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 32,000 have been hospitalized as of Sunday, 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:

Friday, Aug. 6

4:45 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Friday, with the change from Thursday in parentheses.

581,692 cases (+1,082)
33,191 hospitalized (+68)
64 counties (+0)
3,308,035 people tested (+4,885)
9,590,747 test encounters (+20,975)
6,978 deaths among cases (+8)
7,255 deaths due to COVID-19 (+15)
5,619 outbreaks (+6)

The latest hospital data showed 459 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 22 more than Thursday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.38%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Friday, 3,507,739 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,204,629 people have been fully vaccinated.

5:34 a.m. | United Airlines requiring employees to be vaccinated

In a letter, United’s CEO Scott Kirby and United’s President Brett Hart announced that all U.S.-based employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the fall.

The deadline is either five weeks after the FDA announced it has fully approved a COVID-19 vaccine or five weeks after Sept. 20, whichever comes first, the letter reads. The latest potential deadline for meeting this requirement is Oct 25.

Employees who get vaccinated before Sept. 20, or who are already vaccinated, will receive an additional day of pay.

Denver is a hub for United Airlines.

Thursday, Aug. 5

4:30 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Thursday, with the change from Wednesday in parentheses.

580,610 cases (+1,244)
33,123 hospitalized (+42)
64 counties (+0)
3,303,150 people tested (+5,552)
9,569,772 test encounters (+23,473)
6,970 deaths among cases (+7)
7,240 deaths due to COVID-19 (+14)
5,613 outbreaks (+5)

The latest hospital data showed 437 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 20 more than Wednesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.43%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

Note: Details on the latest vaccination numbers were not immediately available for the second day in a row due to a technical issue with the state's website.

Wednesday, Aug. 4

11:30 p.m. | Genensis HealthCare to require vaccines for staff

Genesis HealthCare will require universal COVID-19 vaccination for current employees, personnel, care partners and vendors by Aug. 23.

Genesis said 85% of its patients and residents and 65% of its staff are already vaccinated, but said in a press release Thursday that "the growing spread of the delta variant makes clear that we need to increase our vaccination rates substantially to better protect our patients, residents and employees."

The health care company said it would have "greatly preferred a strictly voluntary process," but that health and safety outweighed its concerns on moving forward with a mandate.

8:10 p.m. | Englewood Schools to require masks at start of school year

Englewood Schools announced Wednesday it would require universal masking for students, staff and visitors while indoors for the start of the school year.

Masks will not be required outside.

There will not be quarantines for routine classroom exposure, but individuals with symptoms who test positive will need to stay home and isolate. Limited or targeted quarantines may be required in certain circumstances.

Englewood Schools encourages, but does not require eligible students, staff and family members to get vaccinated.

7:30 p.m. | Poudre School District requiring universal masking

Beginning Thursday, the Poudre School District will require masks for students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

The latest requirement, which was announced Wednesday, does not require masks outside.

The decision is subject to change based on improving health conditions and increasing vaccination rates.

The district is strongly encouraging eligible staff and students to get vaccinated for COVID-19, but it is not required. Those who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if they're exposed to someone who is positive for coronavirus.

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Wednesday, with the change from Tuesday in parentheses.

579,366 cases (+1,090)
33,081 hospitalized (+106)
64 counties (+0)
3,297,598 people tested (+5,376)
9,546,299 test encounters (+20,526)
6,963 deaths among cases (+6)
7,226 deaths due to COVID-19 (+8)
5,608 outbreaks (+9)

The latest hospital data showed 417 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 38 fewer than Tuesday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.30%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

Note: Details on the latest vaccination numbers were not immediately available due to a technical issue with the state's website.

3:30 p.m. | Hundreds of parents protest Jeffco Schools mask mandate days before kids return to class

Hundreds of parents gathered outside the Jefferson County Public Health building Wednesday morning to protest new guidelines mandating students ages 3-11 wear masks indoors across Jeffco Public Schools.

The new back-to-school guidance also recommends vaccinated students 12 and up wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, and state masks are required for unvaccinated staff but recommended for those who are vaccinated.

School district officials said the new guidelines were issued with the goal of keeping students in school as much as possible and maintain a consistent learning environment.

An organizer of the protest said the point of the demonstration was to give a voice to those families who don’t have the ability to relocate to a district that aligns with their beliefs.

“It’s not about the masks, it’s not about the vaccines,” the organizer said. “It’s about having a choice to prioritize normalcy in kids’ education, so it’s about the fact that everyone needs to be able to make their own choice and what’s best for the kids.”

Kids ages 0-19 (22% of the county’s population) account for 16% of cases in the county, according to the latest COVID-19 data from Jefferson County Public Health. People under 30 years of age (34.7% of the county’s population) account for 6.4% of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, public health data from the county shows.

Almost 72,000 children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 for the week ending July 29, “a substantial increase” from a week prior when about 39,000 children tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Tuesday. The group said cases have steadily increased in July after declining in early summer.

Since the pandemic began, children represented 14.3% of total cases. For the week ending July 29, children represented 19% of all reported weekly cases, according to the AAP.

Read the full story here.

Noon | Cherry Creek Schools “strongly encouraging” masks

Cherry Creek Schools will not require, but will “strongly encourage,” all students and staff to wear masks in school when class returns the week of Aug. 16, according to a letter from Superintendent Christopher Smith. However, they will be required to wear masks on buses whether or not they are vaccinated.

“The decision on whether to have your child wear a mask in school will be up to each family. We will work with families to accommodate their students’ needs and comfort levels so that every student has an enjoyable and safe learning environment,” the letter from Smith says.

The Tri-County Health Department has recommended everyone wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, and the CDC has recommended masks be worn indoors for everyone at K-12 schools whether or not they are vaccinated.

“Like much of the guidance released by the CDC, CDPHE and TCHD for the 2021-22 school year, at this point, universal masking should be understood not as a requirement but as a strong, science-based recommendation,” Smith wrote in the letter.

Tuesday, Aug. 3

9:07 p.m. | CDPHE requires universal masking at residential care facilities

Universal masking will be required at residential care facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities regardless of vaccination status, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Tuesday.

Staff, visitors and residents will all be required to wear masks indoors in areas where cases are surging, which includes much of the state.

Fully vaccinated individuals will be required to get tested if they come in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

CDPHE updated their guidance to modify masking requirements for these facilities following the CDC’s recent recommendation for mask use for vaccinated individuals indoors.

4:22 p.m. | Weld County opens more vaccination clinics due to increase in getting vaccinated against COVID-19

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment says it has seen a 20% increase in vaccination rates over the past several weeks and for this reason, it has partnered with the High Plains Library District to help increase vaccine access in the community to reach 70% or higher vaccination rates in the next few months.

Here's a list of where upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be:

  • Farr Regional Library (Greeley), Friday August 6, 1:30 – 4:00 PM
  • Hudson Library, Monday August 9, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Erie Community Library, Tuesday August 10, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Lincoln Park Library (Greeley), Wednesday August 11, 12:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Carbon Valley Regional Library (Firestone), Saturday August 14, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Book Mobile: Monday August 16 (Town of Carr, Community Church, 12:15 – 1:15 PM; Nunn, Town Park, 2:00 - 2:45 PM; Pierce, Jones Park, 3:15-4:30 PM)
  • Kersey Library, Tuesday August 17, 11:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Riverside Library and Cultural Center (Evans), Wednesday August 18, 3:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Centennial Park Library (Greeley), Tuesday August 24, 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Nantes Library (Gilcrest), Wednesday August 25, 10:00 PM – 12:30 PM
  • Platteville Library, Wednesday August 25, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Milliken Library, Thursday August 26, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Johnstown Library, Thursday August 26, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Tuesday, Aug. 3

578,276 cases (+991)
32,975 hospitalized (+57)
64 counties (+0)
3,292,222 people tested (+4,457)
9,525,773 test encounters (+13,676)
6,957 deaths among cases (+1)
7,218 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
5,599 outbreaks (+9)

The latest hospital data showed 455 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients, 50 more than Monday. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.16%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Monday, 3,379,501 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,099,180 people have been fully vaccinated.

1 p.m. | Denver Public Schools to require masks for students, staff, visitors to start school year

Denver Public Schools will require all students, staff and visitors to wear masks inside schools to start the school year, the district said Tuesday.

The requirement will be in place for people regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated against COVID-19 and takes effect Monday, Aug. 9, according to DPS spokesperson Will Jones.

People will be required to wear masks any time they meet with students or staff, but staff members who are vaccinated and alone in their workspace will not have to wear them at those times.

Jones said students and staff will not have to wear masks outside because of the lower risk of spreading COVID-19.

He said the district made the decision in consultation with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.

Sources added that charter schools will be able to make their own decisions regarding masks indoors.

Click here to read the full story.

6:47 a.m. | Masks required in more county courthouses and probation offices

People entering courthouses or probation offices in the 18th Judicial District — which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties — are now required to wear facial coverings until further notice.

Monday, Aug. 2

4:21 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 data

Here's the latest COVID-19 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for Monday. A reminder that today's state data is an aggregate from the weekend as well as Monday's.

577,285 cases (+2,203)
32,918 hospitalized (+59)
64 counties (+0)
3,287,765 people tested (+12,491)
9,512,097 test encounters (+45,655)
6,956 deaths among cases (+11)
7,213 deaths due to COVID-19 (+5)
5,590 outbreaks (+4)

The latest hospital data showed 405 beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients. Colorado's seven-day average positivity rate was 5.20%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

As of Monday, 3,374,230 people had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 3,095,702 people have been fully vaccinated.

3:30 p.m. | Kaiser Permanente will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for employees, physicians

Kaiser Permanente will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all its employees and physicians, joining at least three other health care systems in Colorado mandating vaccines as the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to drive up cases and hospitalizations across the U.S.

Employees or physicians who chose not to get vaccinated will be able to apply for a medical or religious exemption.

Kaiser officials said as of July 31, 77.8% of its employees and more than 95% of its medical group physicians are fully vaccinated. The company has set Sept. 30 as the target date to have every employee and physician fully vaccinated.

Kaiser has more than 216,000 employees and more than 23,000 physicians nationwide. Kaiser employer 7,200 employees and 1,200 doctors currently working in Colorado.

Read the full story.

11:55 a.m. | Denver to require COVID vaccines for city employees, teachers, some private workers

A new public health order in Denver will require all city employees, school staff, and others in congregate care settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced Monday morning.

He said the employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 30.

It applies to the City and County's municipal workforce, which includes more than 10,000 employees, plus workers in congregate care work, such as nursing homes, shelters for people experiencing homelessness, correctional facilities, schools (both public and private) and hospitals. It also applies to first responders.

Click here to read the full story.

8:41 a.m. | Mandatory mask-wearing now in effect at Denver courts

Mandatory mask mandates are back in effect for everyone attending court proceedings, conducting court business, or entering probation offices, as well as for people in court areas until further notice.

The following are exemptions to the mandate:

a. Individuals that cannot medically tolerate a face covering
b. Individuals who are testifying as witnesses in court proceedings, so long as such individuals wear a face covering at all other times during the proceeding
c. Individuals who are interpreting for participants in court proceedings, where the ability to see the mouth and hear the translation is essential to communication, so long as such language interpreters wear a face covering when not providing interpretation services

7:44 a.m. | Update on COVID-19 across Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis, along with State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy, will provide an update on the state’s recovery efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at 11:30 a.m.

5:16 a.m. | Update on COVID-19 in Denver

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Executive Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment Bob McDonald will provide an update on Denver’s response to the pandemic today at 11 a.m.

Click here for the COVID-19 live blog for July 26-Aug. 1, 2021.