Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from April 7, 2020

Posted at 5:23 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 07:23:23-04

NOTE: This is the live blog from Tuesday April 7. Click here for the live blog from Wednesday, April 8.

On Monday evening, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis explained, in a statewide address, that the state's stay-at-home order will be extended until April 26.

During the address, he said that date may be extended or reduced based on how well the community works to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. This includes measures like staying at home as much as you can and social distancing when you are outside. Read more about his address here.

READ MORE: List of Colorado businesses that are open

As of Monday at 4 p.m., Colorado has recorded 5,172 positive cases of the coronavirus, with almost 1,000 people hospitalized. One hundred and fifty people have died.

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:

Tuesday, April 7

5:53 p.m. | Denver Public Schools to distribute computers for students on Wednesday

Denver Public Schools says any family whose child still needs a computer can pick one up on Wednesday, April 8, between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at any of these 12 distribution sites:

-- Abraham Lincoln High School
-- Valverde Elementary School
-- Hamilton Middle School
-- Place Bridge Academy
-- Cowell Elementary School
-- North High School
-- STRIVE Prep – Sunnyside
-- Bruce Randolph School
-- DCIS Baker
-- Manual High School
-- Evie Dennis Campus
-- Montbello Campus

Computers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and DPS officials say students do not need to be present to pick up a computer; you just need to have their name and student ID number. More info here.

5:44 p.m. | $250,000 announced for small businesses in Boulder

City of Boulder officials, along with local philanthropists Dan and Cindy Caruso and the Zayo group, have contributed $250,000 to support qualifying businesses "in their continued safe operation during the immediate pandemic health crisis and near-term response," officials said in a news release.

“Keeping the community safe is our first priority,” said Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam, “closely followed by our awareness of the pandemic’s impacts on our local economy, small businesses and workers. We appreciate the partnership of the Boulder Chamber and Community Foundation Boulder County in aiding this response and are thankful for the generosity and leadership of the Caruso Foundation and their Zayo colleagues.”

5:08 p.m. | Nearly 2,000 people laid off at 13 ski-area businesses, Dept. of Labor data shows

Data from the Colorado Department of Labor shows 1,924 people were laid off from 13 ski-are businesses due to the novel coronavirus. Here's a breakdown:

-- Breckenridge Ski Resort: 105 employees
-- Colorado Ski & Golf: 133 employees
-- Keystone Resort: 147 employees
-- Keystone Conference Center: 75 employees
-- Keystone Lodging: 200 employees
-- Vail Mountain: 204 employees
-- Beaver Creek Resort: 297 employees
-- Colorado Mountain Express: 198 employees
-- Bicycle Village: 65 employees
-- Vail Beaver Creek Resort Properties: 79 employees
-- Arrabelle at Vail Square: 82 employees
-- The Lodge at Vail: 89 employees
-- Vail Marriott Mountain Resort: 250 employees

4:19 p.m. | Coronavirus stimulus package allocates $485,056 to Boulder for COVID-19 response

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved a special allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to prevent, prepare for and respond to the effects of coronavirus in our community at a sum totalling $485,056 for the City of Boulder. The allocation of the funds, under the CDBG, will help low- and moderate-income people in Boulder, officials say.

4:13 p.m. | FEMA awards Colorado nearly $16.7 million for coronavirus response efforts

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $16,688,096.55 to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to better respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. The funding was made available under the major disaster declaration issued on March 28 by President Donald Trump.

The funding will help Colorado buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gowns, masks, face shields, safety glasses and gloves, sanitizer, respirators, and ventilators to assist hospitals, medical clinics, city and county governments, and certain private-non-profits across the state.

“These funds will help Colorado and its communities in the battle against COVID-19,” said FEMA Region 8 Administrator Lee dePalo in a statement. “This is an example of how all levels of government are coming together to ensure the health and welfare of the public.”

4:11 p.m. | Safeway, Albertsons to limit store capacity in Colorado

Safeway and Albertsons stores in several states, including Colorado, will limit the number of customers who can be inside the stores at one time to roughly 30% of capacity. The stores will also implement a one-way movement policy in the aisles, which will be marked to provide direction. Additionally, stoores arae also making Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 9 pm. seniors-only and immunocompromised-only hours. The company says it has secured masks for all of its employees.

4 p.m. | Colorado reports highest single-day death toll to date as number of coronavirus cases continues to increase

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state has grown to 5,429 cases, an uptick of 257 cases from Monday, according to the latest numbers provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A total of 1,079 people have been hospitalized, 85 more than reported a day prior, and 28,09 people have been tested (an additional 1,219 more than reported Monday). The state also reported 179 deaths Tuesday4, 29 more than reported a day prior - the highest single-day coronavirus death toll to date. A total of 41 outbreaks have been reported at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities — three more outbreaks than reported on Monday by the CDPHE.

State health and government officials believe there could be between 12,000 and 33,000 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, but are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk

2:15 p.m. | CEA to hold press conference Wednesday

The Colorado Education Association will hold a press conference at noon Wednesday. The association has asked Gov. Jared Polis to do more to help Coloradans pay rent and secure unemployment benefits, including support of educators and students.

12:56 p.m. | National Guard approved to help Denver homeless community amid COVID-19 outbreak

Gov. Jared Polis approved the request made by the city of Denver on Saturday to deploy 250 National Guard members to support staff and guests at the city’s existing homeless shelters as the city said it had reached its limit on what it can do to manage the homeless crisis amidst the virus outbreak.

The mayor said the city would be opening more shelters in the coming days that will provide 24/7 needs to people experiencing homelessness, including securing space at the National Western Complex. The make-shift shelter at the complex will utilize 100,000 square feet of space on the main floor to provide ample social distancing for 600 men and will be staffed by volunteers, staff from the Denver Rescue Mission and the Stout Street Health Center.

Click here to read the full story.

12:52 p.m. | DIA travel down 94 percent since this time in 2019

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, the number of travelers moving through Denver International Airport’s security checkpoints has dropped more than 90 percent compared to this time last year. Click here to read the full story.

11:40 a.m. | 250 National Guard members deployed to shelters

Mayor Michael Hancock on Tuesday said Gov. Jared Polis has approved Denver's request to deploy 250 National Guard members to existing shelter facilities in the city, to help support the shelters and those experiencing homelessness.

The city will also open an auxiliary shelter at the National Western Complex that will be able to house up to 600 men and provide 24/7 needs to people experiencing homelessness. Staff from the Denver Rescue Mission will help staff the auxiliary shelter.

Hancock also said the city is having conversations with hotels about hundreds of rooms becoming available for high-risk people.

11:25 a.m. | University of Colorado Hospital tries blood treatment

The Denver metro area's largest hospital last week began treating a COVID-19 patient with a blood product collected from patients who have recovered from the virus, but a doctor at the hospital cautioned that it's "not a long-term solution."

Doctors at the UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital were excited about the possibility of convalescent serum — which is collected from the plasma of recovered patients — being used as a treatment for those suffering from coronavirus. The serum gives a sick patient a dose of virus-fighting antibodies, according to the hospital, though the treatment is not yet approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

The FDA last week called convalescent serum a "promising" possibility but said it had not yet shown to be effect for treating COVID-19.

11:02 a.m. | Colorado Hospital Association agrees with state models

The Colorado Hospital Association’s vice president of clinical affairs, Darlene Tady, MD, said in a statement Tuesday that the governor’s message to continue physical distancing was the right one and that the CHA agreed with the state model rather than other models, as state public health officials said Monday.

“Other models, such as the COVID-19 Projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, that have been distributed show that cases in Colorado may have already peaked. Unfortunately, we believe those studies may mislead Coloradans into thinking this is behind us, when in reality, it isn’t. That data doesn’t align with what is actually happening in Colorado hospitals currently – which we are tracking very closely,” Tady said.

She said about 20% of people hospitalized typically require critical care and often need a ventilator for support. She said patients are on average on a ventilator for five days, but some need them 10-14 days.

She said about 40-50% of hospitalized patients will need a ventilator at some point during their stay.

“The IHME study suggests that 110 ventilators will be adequate to support Coloradans who become sick with COVID-19. We know that there are nearly four times that number of patients on ventilators in Colorado hospitals today. Not only does this undercut the volume of COVID-19 and COVID-19-suspect patients in our hospitals, but it also entirely misses the other ICU patients who may need to be on a ventilator as well,” Tady said in a statement.

“We are all looking forward to the day when we can return to a more normal way of life, but as Governor Polis noted yesterday, we are not there just yet. On behalf of Colorado’s hospitals and our thousands of providers who are doing the heroic work of trying to save as many Coloradans’ lives as possible during this pandemic – we ask that the public continue their heroic role by staying home and social distancing.”

Click here to read the full story.

10:15 a.m. | State releases updated modeling data discussed Monday

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released the COVID-19 in Colorado modeling and projections from the Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado School of Medicine and Department of Applied Mathematics that public health officials discussed on Monday.

The modeling shows social distancing steps are having an effect in Colorado and that the extent of physical distancing in the state will have effects on how many deaths the state will see and how soon it can flatten the curve of the outbreak.

Click here to see the data presentation. Click here to read the full story.

10:13 a.m. | Denver Public Schools expands free meal services

Denver Public Schools is adding 12 meal pickup sites and will launch a meal delivery program, the district said Tuesday morning.

There will now by 24 grab-and-go locations open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. where families can get breakfast and lunch to-go and meals for the weekend each Friday.

School buses will deliver at designated locations and times each weekday for the rest of the school year, the district said.

Click here for a full list of grab-and-go and delivery sites across the city.

9:30 a.m. | Charity filing deadlines extended

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold issued emergency rules that will extend the certain filing deadlines for charities to Aug. 15. This affects the filing deadlines for charity registration renewals and solicitation campaign financial reports, but doesn't affect the filing deadline for new solicitation notices. Click here for more information.

6:45 a.m. | Remote learning: How are Colorado teachers, students, and parents making it work?

We went 360 this morning on remote learning. Is it working for you, or is it a bigger challenge than you expected? We talked with students, teachers and parents to learn about how they're making it work to the best of their ability. Click here for more.

5 a.m. | Arapahoe and Douglas counties and Tri-County Health Department to co-host COVID-19 virtual town hall

This virtual town hall begins at 7 p.m. and will be posted online following the meeting. Callers can listen in and ask questions by calling 1-855-436-3656. Officials will provide updates on the novel coronavirus in the community and helpful information regarding fear, grief and anxiety during this time. Click here for more information.

5 a.m. | Submit your questions to Gov. Polis

Many Coloradans still have unanswered questions about the novel coronavirus and its impact in our state. Do you? You can submit your questions by calling 303-832-0676 or emailing before 9:30 a.m. Denver7's special — a one-on-one between Anne Trujillo and Gov. Polis — airs at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Call for questions for Polis one-on-one on April 7 2020
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis delivers an address from the governor's mansion Monday, April 6, 2020, in Denver. Polis said that the state of Colorado will extend a statewide stay-at-home order from April 11 to April 26 due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)

4 a.m. | Boulder City Council urges against acts of discrimination due to COVID-19

Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver will deliver a statement on today "on the importance now more than ever of maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment for all races and ethnicities during the COVID crisis." Council is reminding the community that incidents of discrimination motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity may be considered a Human Rights Violation by the city’s Human Rights Ordinance.

Click here for the live blog from Monday, April 6, 2020.