Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from April 17, 2020

Posted at 5:13 AM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 23:59:55-04

The public now has access to new data on the novel coronavirus in Colorado, including the number of current hospitalizations, daily discharges and facilities expecting resource shortages.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Hospital Association announced on Thursday that they had launched a website for that data, which can be found here.

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, April 17

6:35 p.m. | USAF Thunderbirds to fly over the Front Range, other parts of Colorado on Saturday

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over the Denver metro area tomorrow, Saturday, April 18, sometime around 1 p.m., to salute and honor Colorado's frontline workers fighting on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

5 p.m. | Loveland trims city workforce by 280

The city of Loveland will furlough or layoff 280 temporary, seasonal and non-benefitted employees in response to budget cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the positions are in the recreation, golf, cultural services, library and visitors center departments. The reductions are effective Monday. The city's general fund could see losses of $6 million in the second quarter of the year.

4:20 p.m. | Polis requiring critical workers to wear masks

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday issue an executive order requiring all critical business workers to wear face masks while working. Critical businesses include grocery stores and senior care facilities where workers interact in close proximity to others.

Gov. Polis announces requirement for essential business workers to wear masks

4:15 p.m. | New requirements issued for nursing homes

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday announced new requirements for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in response to the coronavirus outbreak at facilities across the state.

All long-term care facilities will be required to submit a detailed isolation plan to the state by May 1. Also, the Colorado National Guard will be deployed to conduct testing at the three largest nursing homes in the state.

4 p.m. | New COVID-19 numbers released

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released the state's latest COVID-19 numbers on Friday. Here was the data, with the change from Thursday in parentheses:

9047 cases (+372)
1755 hospitalizations (+62)
57 counties (+1)
43,307 people tested (+1,477)
391 deaths (+17)
100 outbreaks (+7)

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospitalizations as of April 17, 2020

3:25 p.m. | COVID-19 outdoor recreation resource

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources has created a new online portal for Coloradans to see the current status of various outdoor recreation spots, trails, marinas and other outdoor recreation areas.

Click here for more.

3:20 p.m. | New Weld County COVID-19 dashboard

Weld County has started releasing county-specific data on COVID-19 on a new website, where people can see cumulative reported cases broken down by age, sex and zip code.

“Displaying our case information in this manner allows us to better represent the reported positive cases in our county, which spans 4,000 square miles,” said Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. “By breaking it out by zip code, we are able to more accurately include the unincorporated areas of the county while continuing to protect the privacy of positive COVID-19 individuals in specific towns.”

3:10 p.m. | 91% of renters paid rent on time for April, CAA says

The Colorado Apartment Association on Friday said 91% of Colorado renters were able to pay rent on time for April. The delinquency rate of 9% was 1.8% higher than the average for January and February, the association said.

The association's polling reported that about 3% of renters asked their housing provider about being put on a deferred payment plan, though the association believes that number will increase for May.

“Although April rent payments remain steady in Colorado, our organization understands that the economic impacts of coronavirus are still unfolding,” Mark Williams, executive vice president of CAA, said in a news release. “Residents are continuing to experience job furloughs, layoffs and some residents may not receive a paycheck during the month of May. As such, we encourage any resident who has been impacted by virus-related income or job loss to reach out to their housing provider immediately for financial assistance and payment options.”

3 p.m. | Lakewood trailheads to temporarily close

Lakewood will temporarily close the William F. Hayden Park trailheads beginning this weekend. Parks employees will monitor the Rooney Road and Florida Drive trailheads to Hayden Park on Green Mountain, and then close the trailhead and parking lots temporarily when they reach capacity, to avoid overcrowding. Vehicles will not be allowed to park along Rooney Road or Alameda Parkway. Officials recommend avoiding the park during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

2:45 p.m. | SCL Health part of antibody treatment program

SCL Health, which operates St. Joseph Hospital in Denver and other hospitals and clinics across Colorado, said Friday the network is participating in the Colorado COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, an effort to develop effective COVID-19 antibody treatment. The treatment involves giving patients an infusion of antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus. The program is being coordinated by the Mayo Clinic.

“This is very exciting research and we’re honored to be a part of it.” SCL Health’s project lead, Dr. Alan Miller, Chief Medical Director of Oncology and Associate Chief Medical Director of Clinical Research, said in a news release. “People are eager to help in any way they can. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this vital research from the very point of the donor draw through to the treatment of the patient."

1:10 p.m. | CDPHE launches symptom tracker pilot

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has launched a symptom tracker survey that could help officials track early warning signs of an outbreak and where they might happen.

The survey is on the state's COVID-19 website and will collect symptom information, though the state will only aggregate the data for publication, not release personal information.

1 p.m. | 100 ventilators delivered to Colorado hospitals

One hundred ventilators from the federal Strategic National Stockpile were delivered to eleven Colorado hospitals on Thursday. The ventilators will be available to other hospitals, based on need. Here's how they were distributed this week:

  • Denver Health and Hospital Authority (Denver): 15 ventilators
  • University Hospital (Denver): 15 ventilators
  • St. Anthony’s Hospital (Denver): 15 ventilators
  • Swedish Medical Center (Denver): 15 ventilators
  • St. Mary’s Hospital (Grand Junction): 5 ventilators
  • Mercy Medical Center (Durango): 5 ventilators
  • San Luis Valley Medical Center (Alamosa): 5 ventilators
  • Parkview Medical Center (Pueblo): 10 ventilators
  • Memorial Central (Colorado Springs): 5 ventilators
  • North Colorado Medical Center (Greeley): 5 ventilators
  • U.C. Health (Greely): 5 ventilators

11:45 a.m. | Colorado's system for unemployment benefits for self-employed, gig workers to launch Monday

Coloradans who are eligible for extended federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act can start applying for those benefits starting Monday, the state Department of Labor and Employment announced Friday.

The long-awaited system will allow self-employed workers, independent contractors and so-called “gig workers” to apply for unemployment benefits. It will also extend an additional 13 weeks of federal benefits to workers who exhaust their 26 weeks or regular benefits and $600 a week to anyone receiving benefits of any kind.

Click here to read more.

10:30 a.m. | Polis to give 4 p.m. update

Gov. Jared Polis will give a COVID-19 update at 4 p.m. Friday. You can watch the news conference live on Denver7 and on our streaming app and Facebook page.

10:15 a.m. | Colorado's unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in March, highest since 2015

Colorado’s unemployment rose to 4.5% in March as the COVID-19 outbreak forced thousands of people out of their jobs.

That rate is the highest seen in Colorado since August 2015, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Friday. The state’s unemployment rate in February was 2.5%.

The CDLE said that the national unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in March – meaning that Colorado’s rate is now higher than the national rate. The last time that was the case was in June 2005.

Click here to read the full story.

8 a.m. | Payroll jobs decline by 3,900

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado decline by 3,900 from February to March to 2,809,500 jobs. The unemployment rate increased 2 percentage points in March to 4.5%, which is Colorado’s highest unemployment rate since August 2015.

7:45 a.m. | Gardner takes on scams, frauds related to coronavirus

Sen. Cory Gardner is proposing harsher fines and punishments for those who use the pandemic to create scams and frauds. According to a press release this Friday morning, he plans to introduce the Combating Egregious Advertising through Sentencing Enhancement (CEASE) Act, which increases the Federal Trade Commission’s fines and punishment for false advertising during this time.

6 a.m. | Novel coronavirus opens the door for remote clinical trial participation

This foundation is now offering cancer patients who are participating in clinical trials a way to do so remotely via telemedicine. And one man, who's has bone cancer and has had to travel to Denver from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico for various reasons, said this has become "a godsend." Click here to read more.

Click here for the live blog from Wednesday, April 15, 2020.