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Coronavirus in Colorado: COVID-19 updates for Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2020

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Posted at 1:41 PM, Oct 26, 2020

More than 100,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Colorado since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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, Nov. 1

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers

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

109,910 cases (+2,560)
9,089 hospitalized (+25)
64 counties (+0)
1,236,323 tested (+14,047)
2,034,795 test encounters (+30,073)
2,288 deaths among cases (+3)
2,105 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,216 outbreaks (+0)

The latest hospital data showed 788 beds in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Saturday's three-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 8.77%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

Saturday, Oct. 31

4 p.m. | Latest COVID-19 numbers

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

107,350 cases (+2,924)
9,064 hospitalized (+33)
64 counties (+0)
1,222,276 tested (+14,838)
2,004,722 test encounters (+41,137)
2,285 deaths among cases (+7)
2,105 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,216 outbreaks (+19)

The latest hospital data showed 788 beds in use by COVID-19 patients or suspected COVID-19 patients. Friday's three-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 7.94%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

10:10 a.m. | Governor extends disaster declaration

Gov. Polis signed an executive order extending the state’s disaster declaration. Gov. Polis also signed an executive order updating Protect Our Neighbors and Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors, and establishing directives for the COVID-19 Dial Framework. An updated public health order will be issued in the coming days.

Friday, Oct. 30

5:34 p.m. | Glenwood Springs Middle School moving to remote learning

Glenwood Springs Middle School is transitioning 52 students to remote learning following the recommendation of the Garfield County Public Health Department after a student and/or staff member at the school has symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

All students and staff who may have been exposed have been contacted.

Students will be able to return to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 9.

"In-person classes for non-impacted students will continue," said Kelsy Been with Roaring Fork Schools. "The affected areas in the school will be deep cleaned and disinfected prior to the return of non-impacted students and staff."

5:08 p.m. | Hudson Gardens cancels holiday lights display

Hudson Gardens in Littleton has cancelled the popular holiday lights display, “A Hudson Christmas,” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization issued the following explanation:

“We explored many options before making this decision. However, we concluded that the financial risks are too great given the public health policies that are implemented for the collective health and well-being of everyone during the pandemic. As much as we would like to continue this long-standing holiday tradition in 2020, we simply cannot.”

Hudson Gardens said their non-profit organization has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. If you’d like to support them, there are several ways to help:

  • Donate $10.50, the price of one ticket to “A Hudson Christmas”
  • Purchase a membership or gift a membership to someone else
  • Make a purchase from the Hudson Gardens Gift Shop
  • Donate to Hudson Gardens on Colorado Gives Day, which can be pre-scheduled starting Nov. 1

5 p.m. | Pitkin Co. limits gatherings

Pitkin County is limiting gatherings in unregulated settings to 5 people from no more than two different households no matter if the gatherings are masked, social distanced and outdoors.

The county said its incidence rate continues to rise and that small private gatherings were the “primary source of community spread.”

“Less congregating are proven strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19,” the county said in a statement. “We are hopeful that these measures now will keep us on track to a successful winter season and prevent stricter state-imposed restrictions in the future.”

4:43 p.m. | Douglas County moving to Safer at Home Level 2

Douglas County is the latest Colorado county to be moving backward on the state’s COVID-19 dial framework and will move to Safer at Home Level 2 on Nov. 4, the county and CDPHE said Friday afternoon.

The county had been at Safer at Home Level 1 with variances but climbing positivity rates and incidence rates have forced the move backward.

In the new level, according to Douglas County, 100 people will be allowed at indoor events and 175 at outdoor events. Gyms will have 25% capacity up to 50 people. Indoor pools will be allowed 25% capacity up to 50 people, and libraries will be limited to 100 people indoors.

Restaurant capacity will be limited to 50% of a room’s capacity or up to 50 people, the county said.

Houses of worship will be allowed to have 50% capacity up to 50 people unless the space is more than 30,000 square feet, at which time the space would be allowed to fit up to 100 people.

Douglas County is the 12th this week in Colorado to either move or be notified they would be moving to more restrictive coronavirus response levels this week:

Douglas Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Nov. 4
El Paso Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Nov. 4
Otero Co. – Safter at Home Level 2 – Oct. 30
Crowley Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 30
Prowers Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 30
Adams Co. – Safer at Home Level 3 – Oct. 28
Arapahoe County – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 28
Denver County – Safer at Home Level 3 – Oct. 28
La Plata Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 26
Kit Carson Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 26
Mesa Co. – Safer at Home Level 1 – Oct. 26
Elbert Co. – Safer at Home Level 2 – Oct. 24

4 p.m. | Hospitalizations in Colorado for confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase

The number of people hospitalized for confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Colorado continues to increase, with 663 cases reported Friday - a number not reported since May 5. These are the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

104,426 cases (+2,412)
9,031 hospitalized (+88)
64 counties (+0)
1,207,438 tested (+11,136)
1,963,585 test encounters (+27,177)
2,278 deaths among cases (+10)
2,105 deaths due to COVID-19 (+10)
1,197 outbreaks (+31)

The latest hospital data shows 781 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 39 more than Thursday with 74 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 85% of state hospitals reporting. Thursday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 7.50%. The three-day average positivity rate was 7.91%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:40 p.m. | More staff test positive at El Paso County Jail

Fourteen deputies have tested positive for COVID-19 at the El Paso County Jail in the last 24 hours, officials announced Friday afternoon. The total number of sheriff's office employees infected this week is now 16.

The staff cases are in addition to 72 inmates who have been infected at the jail this week. No inmates or staff have been hospitalized in the outbreak.

The sheriff's office is in the process of testing all staff and inmates at the jail.

12:15 p.m. | El Paso County moves to Safer at Home Level 2

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is requiring El Paso County to move to Safer at Home Level 2: Concern in the state's dial framework due to a rise in COVID-10 case rates, test positivity and hospitalizations.

As of Thursday, El Paso Couny has a two-week incidence of 278.6 and a two-week test positivity rate of 6.94%, well over the CDC-recommended guideline of being at or below 5%. El Paso County Public Health said their daily admissions to the hospital are stabilizing, but the elevated level is concerning for the future.

Moving to Safer at Home Level 2 requires the following guidelines and restrictions:

  • Preschool - 12 school and higher education move to in-person, hybrid or remote as appropriate.
  • Pursuant to a federal court order, capacity limits do not currently apply to indoor places of worship, though social distancing requirements must still be met.
  • Restaurants are allowed 50% capacity or up to 50 people per room (or up to 100 with social distance calculator), six feet between parties outdoors.
  • Offices move to 50% capacity.
  • Bars will be closed unless food is served from a retail food licensee with tables spaced at least six feet apart and set seating with the same capacity rules as restaurants. Dance floors are not permitted.
  • Gyms and fitness centers move to 25% capacity up to 50 people per room.
  • Group sports are capped at 25 people per activity.
  • Retail moves to 50% capacity.
  • Personal services move to 50% capacity with up to 50 people per room.
  • Indoor events have a 100-person cap per room (with social distance calculator).
  • Outdoor events have a 175-person cap per designated activity (with social distance calculator).
  • Senior facilities are allowed outdoor and compassionate visitation with indoor under limited circumstances.
  • Outdoor guided activities move to 50% capacity with up to 10 people.

El Paso County has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to fully implement the following changes of their updated mitigation plan:

  • Working with the Economic Development Regional Recovery Council, schools and broader community partners and sectors
  • Working with the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association on a COVID-19 safety certification initiative which will provide an opportunity for restaurants and bars to be evaluated on standard COVID-19 safety criteria and receive acknowledgement
  • Increased low-barrier testing sites throughout El Paso County

The Safer At Home Level 2 order limits personal gatherings to 10 people or fewer from no more than two households. The health department encourages El Paso County residents keep gatherings small, limit unnecessary trips and condense errands to once or twice a week. They also remind residents to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash hands often with soap and water.

“This has been a difficult year for everyone and we appreciate the continued COVID-19 prevention actions being practiced by each person daily to include staying home when you are sick, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently,” said Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director. “We urge our community to step up prevention efforts once again to impact El Paso County’s disease transmission and help reduce exponential growth of COVID-19 to protect public health and to support our economy and schools in the safest and most sustainable way possible. We need your help to get us to where we want to be as a county.”

Thursday, Oct. 29

4 p.m. | Hospitalizations for suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 nearing 750

Hospitalizations for suspected or confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase in Colorado, with the state reporting 742 as of Thursday, a number not reported since May 11. Here are the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):

102,014 cases (+1,806)
8,943 hospitalized (+89)
64 counties (+0)
1,196,302 tested (+11,259)
1,936,408 test encounters (+25,425)
2,268 deaths among cases (+19)
2,095 deaths due to COVID-19 (+1)
1,166 outbreaks (+24)

The latest hospital data shows 742 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 21 more than Wednesday, with 74 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 85% of state hospitals reporting. Wednesday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 7.02%. The three-day average positivity rate was 7.24%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of October 29, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:40 p.m. | El Paso County Jail reports outbreak of the coronavirus after 64 test positive in a single day

El Paso County Jail says 64 inmates at the facility have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a single day, bringing the total number of infected inmates to 72.

Earlier this week, eight inmates were identified as COVID-19 positive "as a result of routine quarantine and testing prior to movement out to the Department of Corrections to carry out their sentence," the sheriff's office said in a news release, adding they will be making significant adjustments to how they operate the facility to combat the outbreak - including testing and caring for every employee and inmate and providing the safest facility possible under the rapidly evolving conditions.

"The threat of further infection will continue to increase over the next several weeks. Within the next week we will be testing all employees and inmates. In addition to testing, we are providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to inmates. At this point in time, there have been no inmates who have had to be hospitalized," said a spokesperson from the sheriff's office in the release.

12:15 p.m. | Pueblo mayor announces 2-week curfew to combat rising COVID-19 numbers

Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar announced two new directives Thursday morning, including a two-week curfew that goes into effect Friday night to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The curfew will be in effect nightly between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

He also said the city is stepping up enforcement at local businesses licensed by Pueblo if they are not following public guidelines.

The mayor said Pueblo is "going in the wrong direction" when analyzing the number of positive cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations. As of Wednesday, the Pueblo Department of Public Health said there were 2,002 confirmed and probable cases and 43 deaths.

Police Chief Troy Davenport said in regard to the curfew that officers will approach the situation with no assumptions and ask questions as each situation presents itself.

Click here to read the full story.

10:05 a.m. | UCHealth will begin second vaccine trial

UCHealth is recruiting participants for a COVID-19 vaccine trial for a second time.

The trial will include 1,500 people, 18 years and older, who are at higher risk of exposure due to their work environment or habits, the hospital said in a news release.

The vaccine on trial was developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Initial results showed the vaccine generated an antibody response, according to UCHealth.

The vaccine is based on an inactive cold virus combined with a protein seen on the outside of COVID-19. If the vaccine works, a person's body would recognize the protein and develop an immunity to it, according to UCHealth.

Some participants will be invited through UCHealth patient records. Others can begin the application process online.

10 a.m. | No fans at CSU football games

Colorado State University officials on Thursday said there will be no fans allowed at CSU football games this season.

The school had applied for a variance to allow two guests per player, so parents could watch games in person. But recent rise in cases in Colorado led to CSU and state health health officials nixing the idea.

"Understandably, parents and families may be disappointed, but our greatest responsibility is to the health of the university, county and Colorado communities," CSU said in a statement.

CSU opens the season Thursday night at Fresno State. The Rams will host Wyoming on Nov. 5 for their home opener.

7:30 a.m. | State unemployment data

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported that 6,031 regular initial unemployment claims were filed the week ending Oct. 24. There were also 2,554 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed for the same week. Since mid-March, a total of 587,365 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 760,187 claims, including federal PUA benefits, were filed.

For the week ending on Oct. 17, a combined total of 221,036 continued claims were filed, including 104,832 from regular UI, 66,445 from PUA, and 49,759 from Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

6:45 a.m. | Unemployment numbers in the United States

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 751,000, the lowest since March. However, it's a figure that remains historically high and indicates the viral pandemic is still forcing many employers to cut jobs.

Click here to read the full story.

Wednesday, Oct. 28

7:20 a.m. | Westminster Public Schools going full remote

After reviewing community COVID-19 numbers and trends, Westminster Public Schools decided to begin all-remote learning starting on Nov. 2 for two weeks. They will return to in-person learning on Nov. 16.

5:48 p.m. | Free COVID-19 testing site opening up in Centennial

Tri-County Health officials are opening up a free COVID-19 testing site in Centennial in response to the increase number of cases seen across the area.

The site will be at Centennial Center Park, 13050 East Peakview Avenue, near the intersection of Arapahoe Road and Peoria Street. It will open Monday, Nov. 2 and will offer drive-up screenings seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Testing at the Centennial site is open to anyone; no ID, health insurance or appointments are required, but visitors are encouraged to reduce wait times by pre-registering at tinyurl.com/co-15238 before going to the site. Results from the tests will be available within four days.

4:14 p.m. | CSU warns of COVID-19 scams

Colorado State University says students, faculty and staff are being targeted by scammers related to the novel coronavirus. School officials provided this link to help people spot these type of scams.

4:10 p.m. | Englewood schools switching to remote learning

Because of the rise in COVID-19 cases in Arapahoe County, Englewood Schools will be moving to "rolling remote learning" for all students beginning Monday, Nov. 2 for a minimum of two weeks, the school district announced Wednesday.

4 p.m. | Colorado reports over 100,000 cases of the novel coronavirus as 7-day positivity rate reaches 7%

The state surpassed 100,000 positive cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday and saw the average number of tests coming back positive over the past week reach 7% - 2% higher than what state health officials say is recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and suggests that the state is missing significant numbers of infections within the community. Here are the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

100,208 cases (+1,475)
8,854 hospitalized (+76)
64 counties (+0)
1,185,043 tested (+7,999)
1,910,983 test encounters (+18,034)
2,249 deaths among cases (+13)
2,094 deaths due to COVID-19 (+12)
1,142 outbreaks (+43)

The latest hospital data shows 721 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 73 more than Tuesday with 56 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 88% of state hospitals reporting. Tuesday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 7%. The three-day average positivity rate was 7.58%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of October 28, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:39 p.m. | COVID-19 concerns force Denver to cancel next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

For a second year in a row, Denver will not have a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Event organizers announced Wednesday that March 2021’s planned parade has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee Board of Directors made the decision due to the “unlikelihood that a parade will be able to be held safely or legally in Denver in any capacity in the coming months.”

3:36 p.m. | State will send $375 stimulus check to 435,000 Coloradans impacted by pandemic

Negotiations for a new federal stimulus package remain underway, but Colorado officials are taking some action now, with Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday announcing a one-time $375 payment to about 435,000 Coloradans impacted financially by the pandemic.

Polis in a news release said the payments will be distributed in early December to "qualifying individuals ... whose lives and jobs have been hurt due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

12:10 p.m. | DPS switch to remote learning result of "facing multiple bad choices," superintendent says

Denver Public Schools is switching back to fully-remote learning for all students, except first and second grades, and Superintendent Susana Cordova on Wednesday said the decision was difficult.

Cordova and health officials in a news conference said district transmission rates have been extremely low — below 1% for both staff and students — but that overall community transmission led to the decision to go back to remote classes.

Denver this week is moving to safer-at-home Level 3, as cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise. The Level 3 restrictions do not impact schools, but Cordova said the impact of students having to quarantine and the disruptions to learning as a result of that factored into the decision to fully remote.

"We're not seeing big transmission in schools, but we are seeing the impact of frequent disruptions," Cordova said.

Students in first and second grades will still be offered in-person classes. Grades 3-5 will be fully remote until at least through Thanksgiving, and then officials will re-assess the situation. Middle and high school students will stay remote for the remainder of the semester.

11:39 a.m. | Outbreak at Lamar nursing home; Prowers Co. moving back

Prowers County Public Health and Environment said Wednesday the county will be moving to Safer at Home Level 2 on Friday, as the positivity rate there was 11.6% as of Monday afternoon.

“If we move back another level we will have to go to remote/hybrid learning again and our economy will further suffer from the increased restrictions,” the health department said.

The health department also said that there was been a “devastating” COVID-19 outbreak at Lamar Estates nursing home in Lamar. Twenty-nine residents and 31 staff have tested positive in the outbreak, and the health department said there have been three deaths associated with the outbreak.

Click here to read more on the counties that are moving backward on the state's dial framework this week.

10:10 a.m. | Adams 12 Five Star Schools will continue in-person learning for elementary students

With Adams County moving to safer-at-home Level 3 on Wednesday, Adams 12 Five Star Schools announced that it will continue to offer full-time in-person learning for preschool and elementary students.

The Level 3 phase does not impact school operations at this time.

"We want to continue to support a safe and productive learning environment for students, staff and families," Superintendent Chris Gdowski said in a letter to the district community. "I maintain daily contact with the directors of public health for Adams and Broomfield counties. We share our case and quarantine information with them on a daily basis and so far, they do not see in-person learning as a significant source of community spread."

The district's middle and high schools will remain in full-time remote learning.

10 a.m. | Denver providing $435,000 in aid for city restaurants

The city of Denver is providing restaurants with $435,000 in aid to help cover their costs of creating expanding dining spaces and outdoor seating areas amid the pandemic.

Restaurants will need to apply through the city and include receipts from March 16 to Nov. 13. More information about the aid — which the city received through the CARES Act — can be found here.

The city's outdoor expansion program began in May and allowed restaurants to increase their outdoor seating areas to stay compliant with COVID-19 protocols. The program was extended through October 2021.

Tuesday, Oct. 27

7:01 p.m. | DPS shifting grades 3-5 to remote learning amid rising COVID-19 cases in Denver

Denver students in grades third through fifth will be shifting to remote learning beginning next Monday due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city, according to a letter to parents Tuesday from Denver Public Schools Superintend Susana Cordova.

DPS students from early childhood education (ECE) through second grade will continue to attend full-time, in-person learning. Cordova said in-person learning for students in these grades is crucial, and the “COVID risks for students in the early-elementary grades are also very low.”

Cordova said grades 6-12 will remain in remote learning through the end of the semester in December, because “health conditions are unlikely to improve enough” by the end of the year for students to return to the classroom.

Read the full story here.

5:40 p.m. | Colorado Restaurant Association concerned about new restrictions

The Colorado Restaurant Association is worried about what this latest round of restrictions will mean for its members that are already struggling.

The CRA says hundreds of eateries across the state have closed permanently during the pandemic and that the new restrictions will cause even more to shut down, resulting in furloughs or layoffs.

Restaurants are a significant employer in Colorado and contribute to local tax revenue, which could also be affected by the latest restrictions.

“Half of restaurants have told us within six months they are permanently closing under the current conditions. Now, let’s add further restrictions to that and I think you’re going to start seeing more and more restaurants closed permanently,” said president and CEO Sonia Riggs.

Many restaurants have taken safety precautions above the city or state requirements in terms of sanitation, and during Tuesday’s press conference, the mayor stressed that most restaurants are doing the right thing.

“The fact that those that are working so diligently to keep people safe are now being forced to go into tighter restrictions is really frustrating,” Riggs said.

Outdoor dining will still be allowed under the Level 3 restrictions — something Caleb Benton, the director of operations for Gastamo Group, is thankful for.

“We just hope that it’s a short opportunity for us to make an improvement and then hopefully back to business as normal when we get closer to the holidays,” Benton said.

He was hoping for a little more notice from the city before changes went into effect. Benton says they’re adding outdoor tents with heating and ventilation, admitting it’s not ideal but they are adapting to the changes.

“We’ve been thankful that guests have been really patient with us as we work through to go programs and complicated ordering integration and experiencing technical glitches,” Benton said.

Riggs is asking the public to consider take-out and delivery options to help restaurants and to follow health protocol so businesses can get back to normal more quickly.

Click here to read more.

4:49 p.m. | Broomfield shuts down COVID-19 community testing site

The City of Broomfield said that it would be shutting down a COVID-19 testing site at 100 Spader Way early due to high demand. They ask residents to visit broomfield.org/Testing-Sites for more information.

This is the second week in a row the site has shut down early.

4:31 p.m. | Durango Fire Protection District reports COVID_19 outbreak, says department is still fully operational

The Durango Fire Protection District says an outbreak of the novel coronavirus within their ranks has not created "any issue or delays in emergency response," even as the department deals with staffing issues after sending several employees home as a precaution.

The department says two DFPD members tested positive for COVID-19 last week which immediately affected four others who were potentially exposed. Out of those four, only one tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The group was nevertheless quarantined and none have returned to work since.

"We decided to take further action and test multiple others and send others home from work to be safe and proactive in not letting anything get larger here at DFPD," an official said.

The DFPD says many of its staff has been working overtime as a result, and said there "has been no known compromise" to the public it serves.

"We are looking forward to start bringing employees back as soon as we can safely, after a second round of testing this week."

4 p.m. | State's average of positive tests over the past week nearly 7%

The state of Colorado reported its average number of positivie coronavirus tests over the past week was 6.77% - nearly 2% more than what state health officials say is recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and suggests that the state is missing significant numbers of infections within the community. The number of hospitalizations due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 also grew to 538 - a number not reported since May 13. Here is the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):

98,733 cases (+1,433)
8,778 hospitalized (+120)
64 counties (+0)
1,177,044 tested (+8,319)
1,892,949 test encounters (+18,848)
2,236 deaths among cases (+10)
2,082 deaths due to COVID-19 (+0)
1,099 outbreaks (+35)

The latest hospital data shows 648 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 57 more than Monday with 40 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 84% of state hospitals reporting. Monday's seven-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 6.77%. The seven-day average positivity rate was 7.53%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of October 27, 2020

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

3:08 p.m. | 'Grateful to be alive': Colorado COVID-19 survivors share stories of weeks in the hospital

Barbara Gould stayed in the hospital for 91 days. Kim Powell was out after two nights, but needed in-home care and struggles to this day to walk to her mailbox. Clarence Troutman spent nearly a month unconscious, intubated in intensive care, and had to learn how to eat again.

All three COVID-19 survivors shared their experience Tuesday in a news conference with Gov. Jared Polis, who urged Coloradans to continue to take the virus seriously as cases and hospitalizations are rising again.

The survivors' stories, Polis said, that while hospital discharge rates have improved since the onset of the pandemic — down from 15.3% mortality among hospital patients to 4.1% — the road to leaving the hospital is still difficult and recovery uncertain — and different — for many patients.

"I'm thankful to be here," said Troutman, a 59-year-old broadband technician who came down with COVID-19 in late March.

By April 4, Troutman had a fever and struggled to breathe. He was taken to a hospital by ambulance and said he woke up about 28 days later, intubated in intensive care.

"I had no idea what was going on until I woke up a month later," Troutman said.

Troutman survived but had to re-learn how to walk, talk and eat again. On June 1, after 58 days in the hospital, he was released. But even today, Troutman still had regular doctor appointments and CT scans.

"Since [being discharged], it's been a battle to get back to where you were," Troutman said.

Click here to read the full story.

2:13 p.m. | Free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site opening in Lyons and Nederland

Boulder County health officials are opening two drive-thru testing sites in Lyons and Nederland in response to the surge in cases across the county.

The Lyons testing site will open in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 200 2nd Court in Lyons, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday beginning Oct. 30 through the end of the year.

The Nederland testing site will open at the Nederland Community Center located at 750 Highway 72 N in Nederland, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every Thursdaya beginning Oct. 29 through the end of the year.

Both sites will ope weather permitting and excluding holidays. A mask must be worn to get tested.

“Testing is important in identifying and stopping the spread of COVID-19 disease,” said Chris Campbell, Boulder County Public Health emergency manager. “We hope having testing available in the Peak-to-Peak area will make it easier for residents in our mountain communities to access the service.”

12:55 p.m. | Several Colorado counties facing new restrictions amid surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations

Along with Adams and Denver counties, several other counties will also be moving to more-restrictive response levels this week.

La Plata County moved to Safer at Home Level 2 and Mesa County moved to Safer at Home Level 1 on Monday.

And Arapahoe County will move to Safer at Home Level 2 on Wednesday, then Otero and Crowley counties will move to Safer at Home Level 2 on Friday, the CDPHE said.

All seven counties have submitted mitigation trends and are working to reverse their trends, the department said.

“We need everyone to stay vigilant. Colorado is experiencing a swift rise in cases right now that is worrisome,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan. “As we head into winter and spend more time indoors, the virus is going to be harder to suppress. The dial is designed for the long haul, in an attempt to control infections based on local conditions. We are grateful for the cooperation of counties, and the seriousness with which they are taking their response.”

Arapahoe County said its incidence rate was just under 300 and the positivity rate is 6.95% -- significant increases since early last month. Arapahoe County said in a news release that it is reluctant to impose additional restrictions, that the recent increases “mean that we all must redouble our efforts to slow the spread of the virus or risk further closures.”

The move from Level 1 to Level 2 will mean indoor worship services are reduced from 175 to 50; only 50 people can attend a gym at once; restaurant attendees will be limited to 50 or 100 of there is adequate space; group sports will be limited at 25 people; and indoor events can only have 100 people attend, which outdoor events will be capped at 175 people.

“Now that the re-opening of schools is bringing more people into contact with each other, and cooler weather is beginning to drive more people indoors than during the summer, we’re seeing a steep rise in COVID case numbers,” said Nancy N. Sharpe, Arapahoe County Board Chair. “Blunting the spread of COVID now, at the onset of the annual flu season, is especially crucial to ensuring that we don’t overburden our hospital system in the County and throughout Colorado. We share everyone’s frustration at these restrictions, but our numbers are rising in ways that jeopardize our ability to keep the County open without further mitigation efforts.”

The county is encouraging business owners with questions to contact the Tri-County Health Department’s Business Re-Opening Task Force through email at covidbusinessrecovery@tchd.org or by calling 720-713-6030.

Click here to read the full story.

11:30 a.m. | Denver to move to Safer at Home Level 3 restrictions amid surge in cases, hospitalizations

Due to an ongoing rise in the COVID-19 positivity rate and increasing hospitalizations, Denver will move to the Safer at Home Level 3, meaning businesses will face further restrictions regarding the capacities at which they can operate.

The Denver mayor’s office confirmed the further restrictions Tuesday morning. Mayor Michael Hancock announced the city’s move to the second-most restrictive level of the state’s COVID-19 dial framework and more details at a news conference at 11:30 a.m., which you can watch in the player below.

Denver to move to Safer at Home Level 3 restrictions amid surge in cases, hospitalizations

The Safer at Home Level 3 restrictions will be in effect as of Wednesday, according to the letter to Denver from the CDPHE.

Under the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s framework for Safer at Home Level 3, gyms would theoretically have to close to indoor services and many businesses will only be able to operate at 25% of their capacity, though Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald said that he was unsure if there would be some differences regarding gyms in the order coming down from the CDPHE on Tuesday.

The CDPHE told Denver that its positivity rate over 7%, that the city saw 2,800 new cases over a two-week period, and a case rate of 385 per 100,000 people were reasons for the new restrictions.

The Level 3 restrictions will mean:

  • Restaurants can operate at 25% of the occupancy limit indoors so long as the number does not exceed 50 people – down from the Level 2 50% capacity allowance.
  • Places of worship and life rites can operate at 25% capacity or 50 people.
  • Non-critical manufacturing and offices will have to operate at 25% capacity instead of 50% capacity.
  • Retail moves from 50% capacity. To 25% capacity, as do personal services.
  • Indoor events can operate at 50% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.

The changes do not impact variances granted to the Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo and Cherry Creek Mall.

Hancock said during the news conference he expects last call will also move back to 10 p.m.

To go back to Level 2, Denver will have to reduce its average daily case rate to 175 and hold those numbers for two weeks.

“It could be a little while before we are able to be upgraded,” Hancock said.

Hancock said that he believes the increase is due in part to more people coming into the Capitol city.

“I don’t believe this is Denver’s failing,” Hancock said at the news conference. “It is a failure by those who still refuse to believe in science.”

"These are not political words. This isn’t fear mongering. That’s just how the virus works,” Hancock added.

Hancock said he was concerned about the further restrictions and their impacts on Denver businesses, saying he talked to some restaurant and tavern owners Tuesday morning who said they were “barely hanging on” in Level 2 restrictions and that they were concerned about how long the Level 3 restrictions might last.

“We want to do everything we can to avoid shutting down our economy again,” Hancock said. “We have a responsibility to once again put our hands on this boulder and push it back up the hill. … We want to avoid [an economic shutdown] at all costs."

McDonald said Tuesday it is “a real possibility if everyone doesn’t contribute” that Denver could have to move back to a stay-at-home order and said that compliance would be key to avoid another one. And he said that moving back now would be better than waiting to do so.

“It’s important to understand the longer we hold off with public health orders … the less effective the restrictions will be,” McDonald said.

Hancock echoed those statements, saying that people needed to be smarter about how they deal with the virus while they are in public.

“We need folks to trust and believe that science matters … we need people to be smarter about their engagement,” Hancock said.

Click here to read the full story.

Monday, Oct. 26

5:07 p.m. | Brighton closing all city buildings due to coronavirus outbreak

The city of Brighton is temporarily closing all city facilities due to employees testing positive for COVID-19. These buildings will be closed effective immediately:

  • Brighton City Hall, 500 S. 4th Ave.
  • Historic City Hall, 22 S. 4th Ave.
  • Brighton Recreation Center, 555 N. 11th Ave.
  • Eagle View Adult Center, 1150 Prairie Center Parkway
  • Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong St.

The Brighton Police Department will remain open for essential public services, officials said.

The city's municipal court will close on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Any cases or hearings that were scheduled for Oct. 27 will be rescheduled to a later date and notices will be sent to the address on the summons. If the address needs to be changed, please email the court at municourt@brightonco.gov.

5:01 p.m. | Elbert County's COVID-19 cases report sharply due to data error with tests

Elbert County officials say they are examining a surge in reported cases of the novel coronavirus due to a data error with tests conducted by Kaiser Permanente.

County officials said last Friday, the CDPHE told the county it discovered that Kaiser’s test results had not been included in the state’s daily data since Oct. 1 due to file formatting issues.

"This may indicate that there has been more community transmission in Elbert County than previously reported, and that more individual precautions to prevent unchecked spread of the virus may be necessary," county officials said in a news release.

County officials noted that with the inclusion of the unreported numbers, the county has exceeded its Safer-at-Home Level 1 metrics and the county's public health department is examining current mitigation and containment efforts.

The county says its two-week cumulative incidence rate is 101.18 cases per 100,000 people.

"This rate is the highest the county has seen since the start of the pandemic, and shifts the county to “Safer at Home Level 2: Concern” on the Colorado COVID-19 dial. Elbert County’s two-week average positivity rate – the rate at which residents receive positive test results – is 5.02%, which exceeds the threshold indicating community control of virus spread," the deputy county manager said.

The county said it encourages citizens to continue to make good decisions and help reduce the risk of transmission.

4:55 p.m. | Teller County investigating outbreaks at in-person religious conference

Teller County Public Health and Environment (TCPHE) says it is currently tracking other outbreaks of COVID-19 associated with events held at the conference center at Andrew Wommack Ministres, Inc.. The conference took place in early October in Woodland Park, in violation of the state public health order limiting gatherings.

4 p.m. | Colorado reports highest single-day increase of COVID-19 cases

Colorado saw its largest single-day increase in novel coronavirus cases with 2,102 reported on Monday, plus an additional 109 which state health officials added due to a backlog in the system they are working to correct. The average number of tests that have come back positive over the past week rose to 6.67%, nearly 2% what state health officials say is recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and suggests that the state is missing significant numbers of infections within the community.

97,300 cases (+2,211)
8,658 hospitalized (+36)
64 counties (+0)
1,168,725 tested (+19,096)
1,874,101 test encounters (+31,847)
2,226 deaths among cases (+3)
2,082 deaths due to COVID-19 (+6)
1,064 outbreaks (+7)

The latest hospital data shows 591 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients – 5 more than Sunday with 50 patients discharged or transferred from hospitals over the past 24 hours and 83% of state hospitals reporting. Sunday's three-day average positivity rate in Colorado was 7.22%. The seven-day average positivity rate was 6.67%. The state's goal is to remain below 5%.

Click here to explore the latest COVID-19 case data for Colorado.

Monday, Oct. 26 COVID-19 in Colorado update

2:45 p.m. | Denver, Boulder counties warn of new restrictions if number of coronavirus cases isn't decreased

Denver and Boulder counties warned of tighter restrictions if the recent surge of infections and hospitalizations across both counties isn't brought to a halt soon.

Though the City and County of Denver's Twitter page, officials said the city's COVID-19 situation was "looking bad" and warned that the recent surge in infections and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, "could force us into another Stay at Home order."

City officials urged Denverites to do better by continuing to wear a mask, maintain proper social distancing of at least 6 feet, and practice good hygiene by washing hands for 20 seconds.

Denver reported 314 cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, a number not since the pandemic arrived to Colorado on March 5. It also reported 98 hospitalizations on the same day, a number not seen since May 25.

From their part, Boulder County officials said their county could move to a Safer-at-Home Level 3 on the state's COVID-19 dial, the highest risk level before stay-at-home mandates are imposed by the state, if the number of cases and hospitalizations aren't brought down.

As of Monday, Boulder County reported 174.5 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, up from 135.7 last Thursday, county health officials said.

"The five-day rolling average of daily cases among county residents is 52.6 cases per day, which is higher than any other time except during the height of the surge of new cases among young adults," they said in a statement.

“We are hearing that local health care workers are exhausted,” said Chris Campbell, Boulder County Public Health emergency manager. “If more people require hospital care, our medical system may not have the staffing to adequately care from them.”

Jeff Zayach, the Boulder County Public Health executive director, urged people to stay home as much as possible and to not go to any gatherings.

"Staying home is the best thing we can do. If you have to go out, please social distance and wear a mask," he said.

A move to a Safer-at-Home Level 3 would reduce capacity across restaurants, retail and personal services, and would prohibit group sport, gym or fitness activities indoors and reduce the number of people partaking in such activities outdoors to 10 or fewer.

1:50 p.m. | Trump Administration sending 1,730,000 antigen tests to Colorado

The Trump Administration on Monday said it was sending 1,730,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 tests to Colorado. The Abbott tests are a point-of-care antigen test that can diagnose a COVID-19 infection in about 15 minutes, according to Health and Human Services.

Gov. Jared Polis will distribute the tests as a way to boost testing among K-12 students, teacher, nursing home patients and staff, colleges and first responders, officials said.

1:45 p.m. | COVID-19 outbreak confirmed among El Paso County Sheriff's Office

Eight employees at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office have tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff's office confirmed Monday. The employees were both sworn deputies and civilian staffers with various assignments, including court and transport, floor security, patrol, tactical support unit and the communications center.

All infected employees have either recovered and returned to work or are recovering and doing well, officials said.

The sheriff's office has had 19 employees and three inmates test positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. That includes Deputy Jeff Hopkins, who died of COVID-19 in April.

1:30 p.m. | State-run COVID-19 testing centers closed Monday for weather

The five state-run COVID-19 testing centers in Colorado were closed Monday due to winter weather and bad road conditions.

The state-run sites are Water World in Adams County, Aurora Sports Park, the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, the Stazio Ball Fields in Boulder County and the Public Health Office in Fremont County.

There are still more than 50 free community testing sites across the state. Go here for a list of locations.

Go here for coronavirus updates for Oct. 19-Oct. 25, 2020.