Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from April 27, 2020

Posted at 5:17 AM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 07:34:34-04

NOTE: This is the live blog from Monday, April 27. Click here for the live blog from April 28.

On Monday, much of Colorado will move to the safer-at-home guidelines, which outline what the gradual reopening phase of some businesses in the state will look like in the weeks ahead. But most of the Denver metro counties have extended their local stay-at-home orders through May 8.

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:

Monday, April 27

8 p.m. | Grand County issues standing public health order as Colorado begins to ease restrictions

Grand County officials issued a Standing Public Health Order to provide the community with various procedures as the county moves through what they call "various, potentially fluctuating phases of the COVID-19 pandemic" in the area.

To view the full order, click here.

6:38 p.m. | Tri-County Health Dept. releases "safer at home" guidance for various county residents

The Tri-County Health Department has released a handy chart in order to help residents in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties navigate the current environment as some counties ease restrictions but others (like Adams and Arapahoe), remain under stay-at-home orders.

6:30 p.m. | Contact7 Town Hall with Mayor Hancock

Anne Trujillo is hosting a town hall with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock about Denver's stay-at-home order and what it means now that Colorado has started easing restrictions. Watch the Town Hall below:

6:07 p.m. | El Paso County officials to host news conference Tuesday about "safer at home" phase

El Paso County officials will host a news conference on Tuesday, April 28 at 1 p.m. to discuss the county's transtion to the "safer at home" phase now in effect in parts of Colorado after the state stay-at-home order ended Sunday night.

4:50 p.m. | Colorado National Guard to help state test Weld County residents

The Colorado National Guard says its Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield explosive Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) will help the state in its efforts to test more Colorado residents by testing up to 300 Weld County residents per day via a walk-through and drive-up testing site at Island Grove Park in Greeley through April 28.

No appointment or doctor's note is necessary, and the test is free.

4:30 p.m. | Pitkin County extends stay-at-home order to May 8

Piktin County officials say they will lift the county's stay-at-home order on May 9, in order to bring the county "into closer alignment" with the state's safer at home order.

Through May 8, all residents of and visitors to Pitkin County must continue to follow the guidance outlined in the last amended Pitkin County Stay-At-Home Order enacted on April 23, which was set to originally expire on April 30. The order was extended to allow the county to develop strategies and guidelines to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases when the community moves to the "safer at home" phase on May 9.

4:19 p.m. | Loveland suspends enforcement of RV rules due to coronavirus outbreak

The City of Loveland is suspending enforcement of some Municipal Code provisions governing recreational vehicles, or RVs. For the time being, the city will allow RVs parked on private property to be used as overnight accommodation with the property owner's written consent.

"The order is necessitated by the needs of some families in which one or more members of a household may need to be quarantined or sheltered apart from others to lower risk of COVID-19 infection," officials said in a news release Monday.

4 p.m. | Latest Colorado COVID-19 data

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Monday released the latest coronavirus data for the state. Here were the numbers, with the change from Sunday in parentheses.

13,879 cases (+438)
2,485 hospitalized (+47)
56 counties (-1)
66,341 tested (+3,067)
706 deaths (+26)
144 outbreaks (+1)

3:02 p.m. Governor Polis holds press conference as 'safer at home' begins

Governor Polis held a press briefing Monday as the so-called safer at home phase of social distancing measures began Monday. Polis said while many Colorado counties have decided to continue with stay-at-home rules for another couple of weeks, the state has eased some restrictions and will relax more in the coming days and weeks. The governor congratulated Colorado residents, stating that the daily number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been declining, showing the stay-at-home order has worked. But he stressed that people will need to remain vigilant as the virus is still in the community. He encouraged people to wear masks, gloves and continue social distancing. Also, protecting people in vulnerable populations will be crucial in the next phase of the virus mitigation, Polis said. He said people who are in those populations (age 65+, immune-compromised) are legally protected, and will not be compelled to return to work if it involves working close to people.

More on safer at home measures:

2:50 p.m. | JBS sends cease-and-desist letter to union

Company officials from the JBS meatpacking plant have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the union head accusing the union of engaging in a "multi-faceted corporate campaign" against the company to "coerce" JBS to grant specific protocols amid the coronavirus outbreak at the Greeley plant.

Kim Cordova, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 7, responded in a letter accusing the company of "threatening to stifle our voice" of the union and its members.

The JBS plant reopened Friday after a two-week shutdown. As of Sunday, more than 120 JBS workers had tested positive for COVID-19 and five workers had died of the virus, the union said.

Go here to read the full story and the full letters

2 p.m. | Majority of Coloradans think closures should remain until more testing available, survey finds

Nearly two-thirds of Coloradans believe measures like the closure of businesses should remain in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 while more testing becomes available even though many have been affected financially, according to a poll released Monday.

Sixty-four percent of the 1,000 people polled in the survey said they felt those measures were necessary, compared to 29% who said Colorado should ease up on measures even if it means more people contract and spread the virus.

The poll was released Monday, commissioned by Healthier Colorado and the Colorado Health Foundation and was fielded by Colorado-based Magellan Strategies from April 15 to April 21.

The release comes on the same day that most of Colorado – except for most Denver metro-area counties and San Miguel County – moves to the “safer at home” order issued by Gov. Jared Polis Sunday and begins to allow some businesses to gradually open starting Friday or next Monday.

Click here to read the full story.

Noon | Vail Resorts offering 2019-20 passholders discounts for 2020-21 season passes

Vail Resorts is offering up money off a pass for next year for season passholders who had their seasons cut short this year by the COVID-19 outbreak, the company said Monday.

The company’s CEO said Monday that it would be offering at least 20% off passes for the 2020-21 season to people who had Epic Passes. If people used their pass less than five days this season, they could see higher discounts – up to 80% off next year’s pass for a person who did not use their pass once this season.

Earlier this month, Alterra Mountain Co. announced that Ikon Pass holders can get up to $200 back on a pass for next season, a payment plan with zero interest and an “Adventure Assurance” plan that offers 2020-21 passholders the option to defer that pass to 2021-22.

Click here to read the full story.

10:39 a.m. | PrideFest celebration goes virtual

The annual PrideFest parade and festival in Denver will move online for the June 20-21 celebration. Rex Fuller, CEO of the Center on Colfax, said this will help prevent the spread of coronavirus, while still providing a safe way to celebrate the LGBTQ community.

“Although we will miss the energy of an in-person gathering, protecting the safety and health of the attendees, staff and volunteers who make PrideFest so special is paramount," Fuller said. "Instead of just canceling Pride, which means so much to so many, we are working hard to create a variety of opportunities for our community to connect and celebrate virtually."

Activities will include a virtual parade, virtual 5K, virtual entertainment, virtual dance party, virtual exhibitor page, pride decorating contest and a pride job fair.

Click here to learn more.

10:15 a.m. | Colorado joins California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada in Western States Pact

Colorado and Nevada will join California, Oregon and Washington in what they are calling the Western States Pact in order to work together on modifying their stay-at-home orders and fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

California, Oregon and Washington announced the creation of the pact on April 13. The governors of the respective states have three principles they say are “foundational” to the agreement: residents’ health comes first; health outcomes and science will guide decisions; and states will only be effective working together.

The states say they hope to protect vulnerable populations and a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, be sure anyone with the virus can be cared for and mitigating other effects of COVID-19 in the community as they work toward increasing testing and scaling up a contact tracing and isolation system.

“Coloradans are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and have important information to share with and to gain from other states. I’m thrilled Colorado is joining the Western States Pact,” Polis said in a statement. “There’s no silver bullet that will solve this pandemic until there is a cure so we must have a multifaceted and bold approach in order to slow the spread of the virus, to keep our people safe and help our economy rebound.”

Click here to read more.

10:08 a.m. | San Miguel Co. continuing public health order through May 1

San Miguel County says it will continue its current public health order through May 1 and then align with the governor’s “safer at home” order starting May 2.

9:08 a.m. | Gov. Polis to provide update at 2:30 p.m.

Gov. Jared Polis is expected to provide an update on the latest on COVID-19 in Colorado and the “safer at home” phase at 2:30 p.m. We will carry the briefing live.

7:20 a.m. | Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver Broncos host largest mobile food pantry in state
ood Bank of the Rockies and the Denver Broncos will team up to host the largest mobile food pantry in the state today at Empower Field. At least three refrigerated trucks and a team of volunteers will help distribute grab-and-go food boxes for 2,000 families in Lot C from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Click here for more food assistance through Food Bank of the Rockies.

5:30 a.m. | Wheat Ridge order requiring face masks in businesses goes into effect

Wheat Ridge City Manager Patrick Goff issued a new order Thursday morning requiring face coverings for anyone entering a business in the city. This begins today and will last until May 30. The order applies to critical businesses and requires customers to wear a medical or non-medical cloth over their faces — covering both their nose and mouth — when entering any business in Wheat Ridge. Anybody who violates the terms of this order could face a misdemeanor offense.

5 a.m. | Safer-at-home guidelines in effect for state

Most of Colorado will move to these guidelines starting Monday as the statewide stay-at-home order expires. But the majority of metro Denver counties – including Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Boulder and Broomfield – have extended their stay-at-home orders through May8 and will wait to move to the next phase.

Click herefor the live blog from Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, 2020.