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Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from April 8, 2020

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Posted at 5:22 AM, Apr 08, 2020

NOTE: This is the live blog from Wednesday, April 8. Click here for the live blog from Thursday, April 9.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced on Tuesday that 250 National Guard members were approved to deploy to Denver shelters to support the facilities and individuals experiencing homelessness.

The request was approved by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

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:

Wednesday, April 8

6:56 p.m. | Denver provides resources for people experiencing abuse

The City and County of Denver has released a list of resources to help victims of domestic violence during the COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado. In a statement, Mayor Michael Hancock said, "If you are house with an abuser, you are allowed to leave to find a safe place to shelter. If you need help with that, there are resources for you." The city provided the following resources to those who need help during these times:

-- Denver Police services
Call or text 911 for emergencies or 720-913-2000 for non-emergent police service requests. www.Denvergov.org/DomesticViolence for domestic violence information and resources

-- Rose Andom Center
720-337-4400, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm - www.RoseAndomCenter.org for more information

-- Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
844-CO-4-Kids or www.co4kids.org

-- Safe House Denver - provides both emergency shelter and non-residential counseling and advocacy services to adults, children and youth experiencing intimate partner violence
24-Hour Crisis Line at 303-318-9989 or www.Safehouse-Denver.org

-- National Domestic Violence Hotline - operating around the clock, seven days a week, confidential and free of cost, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse
-- Latina Safe House - provides bilingual and culturally sensitive services to Latina survivors of domestic violence and their families
303-433-4470 or www.latinasafehouse.org
-- City of Denver services
303-433-4470 or www.latinasafehouse.org
Call 311 or visit www.Denvergov.org [denvergov.org] for COVID-19 information about jobs, housing food, etc.

5:31 p.m. | Routt County to start including probable cases of coronavirus in their count

Routt County officials say they'll start to include probable causes of individuals who are positive for COVID-19 "to get an accurate picture of the new virus in the county.

5:31 p.m. | Routt County to start including probable cases of coronavirus in their count

"CDPHE has shifted somewhat the tallying of cases in that they are now entering data to include Positive and "Probable" cases -- close contacts identified through contact tracing of positive patients who are symptomatic bu have not been tested. While we have 29 confirmed positive cases in Routt County through COVID-19 testing, we also have other cases that are probable and will be reflected in a chaange to our dashboard indicating confirmed and probable cases combined."

5:14 p.m. | Bass Pro Shop in Denver shut down for violating stay-at-home order

The Bass Pro Shop located at 7970 Northfield Blvd. in Denver was shut down today by the city and county of Denver for violating the city's public health order, according to a Denver Joint Information Center spokesperson.

The spokesperson says the business was given a verbal warning on Tuesday and did not comply, which led to the city shutting down the shop today.

4:40 p.m. | Polis says more social distancing key for lifting stay-at-home order

Gov. Jared Polis earlier this week extended the statewide stay-at-home order to April 26, with the hope Colorado can lift social distancing measures and end the limitations on the economy by the end of the month.

But Polis on Wednesday emphasized that can only happen one way: If Coloradans continue social distancing and adhere to the stay-at-home order while it's still in place.

"I think [April 26] is a realistic date we can achieve as long as Coloradans are staying home," Polis said at an afternoon news conference Wednesday. "If Coloradans aren't, this is going to get worse and much worse."

Polis and state health officials over the last week have offered positive news about the spread of coronavirus in Colorado, saying the spread has slowed. But they continued to emphasize that more social distancing is needed and that the state likely hasn't reached its peak in the outbreak.

4:35 p.m. | Adams County announces resources for residents affected by novel coronavirus

The Adams County Government has launched a new website to support residents and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Colorado. The website includes information and resources regarding business support, childcare for critical personnel, food security and basic essentials, housing stability, senior services, support for the unemployed and future workforce, and uninsured and healthcare access.

Visit the website here.

4:32 p.m. | Colorado governor 'grateful' for 100 ventilators promised by President Trump, says communication is key

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday afternoon the state was “grateful” to receive 100 more ventilators from the federal government, and lauded the 500 more devices the state had than at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, just days after he said that FEMA had bought ventilators out from under Colorado.

He brushed aside a question about whether it mattered whom the president credited for facilitating the delivery of the new ventilators, saying he was “not here to do political analysis.”

But he said what was needed most from FEMA and all suppliers were timelines – on what date will the supplies arrive and exactly what the state is receiving so those details can be built into the state’s overall plan. Click here to read the full story.

4:29 p.m. | Polis announces new website outlining resources for those staying at home

Governor Polis announced a new website Wednesday that provides free resources to support Coloradans while they're at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those resources range from wellness, to services, to education, to entertainment and more.

The website can be accessed here.

4:20 p.m. | Bennet announces $24+ million in funding for Colorado Community Health Centers

Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded over $24 million to 20 community health centers across Colorado as part of the push to include the funding in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, otherwise known as the coronavirus relief stimulus package.

4 p.m. | Number of new positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado rise to more than 5,600; state reports first death of patient in their 20s

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state has grown to 5,655 cases, an uptick of 226 cases from Tuesday, according to the latest numbers provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A total of 1,162 people have been hospitalized, 83 more than reported a day prior, and 29,199 people have been tested (an additional 1,105 more than reported Tuesday). The state also reported 193 deaths Wednesday, 14 more than reported a day prior - and the state reported its first death from someone in their 20s. A total of 48 outbreaks have been reported at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities — four more outbreaks than reported on Tuesday 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

3:53 p.m. | Inmate at Department of Corrections tests positive for COVID-19

An inmate at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Department of Corrections.

The inmate was transferred to Buena Vista from the Denver City Jail on March 26 as a community corrections regression and per department policy, the inmate has been in quarantine since arriving at the prison and did not enter the general population or go out into the facility. The inmate was quarantined with one cell mate who will continue to be monitored by CDOC medical staff.

3:43 p.m. | RTD COVID-19 changes begin April 19

Changes to RTD's system of buses, rail and special services will begin on Sunday, April 19, in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Colorado, including reductions on two of the agency's commuter rail corridors, the B and G Lines.

Starting April 19, buses will run on a Saturday schedule on weekdays and light rail will run on a Sunday schedule. Additionally, all fare collection has been suspended and riders are asked to board using the back doors to prevent contact with operators to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

3:27 p.m. | Aurora launching grant, loan program for small businesses

The city of Aurora and the Aurora City Council, in cooperation with CEDS Finance, are launching a $1 million grant and loan program for targeted small businesses in Aurora to ease the current economic burden resulting from COVID-19 and retain jobs in the community.

Applications are now open for the Aurora Economic Relief Loan and Grant Program, which will supply economic assistance to restaurant, retail, service and entertainment small businesses and arts-related nonprofits.

More info. and how to apply here.

3:22 p.m. | Georgetown Lake now closed for most activities

Town of Georgetown officials say they've closed Georgetown Lake to all activities except walking or hiking, "due to the public health emergency related to (the) COVID-19 pandemic." The order is in effect until further notice.

Officials said parking in any of the parking lots around Georgetown Lake will be restricted to emergency vehicles only.

3:11 p.m. | CDPHE secures two alternative care sites to treat COVID-19 patients

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) says the Colorado Convention Center in Denver and The Ranch - Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex in Loveland will be transformed as alternative care sites that will serve as Tier 3 medical shelters for coronavirus patients who no longer require critical care.

In a statement, the CDPHE said The Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC), along with the Colorado Hospital Association, worked with local communities and the US Army Corps of Engineers to select and prepare those sites for patients who have stabilized in-hospital and need to be moved elsewhere to treat patients recovering from the disease caused by the novel conarivurs.

The sites will be for patients who are being transferred from hospitals and health care facilities, and will not accept people seeking medical care or diagnosis from COVID-19.

On April 1, state health officials formed a four-tiered system, classifying facilities based on the type of care needed there.

Tier 1 will be in-hospital care in the intensive care units.

Tier 2 facilities would include ambulatory surgical location and other freestanding sites.

Tier 3 facilities would be for "sub-acute" patients who need daily monitoring and respiratory needs. Tier 3 facilities could include arenas, convention centers and stadiums and the goal would be to have 2,000 beds by April 18.

Tier 4 would be for patients who are asymptomatic but need supervision. Dorms, hotels and other similar buildings could serve as Tier 4 facilities. The state estimates it would need 10,000 beds by May 15.

In the release, the CDPHE said the Army Corps of Engineers said it would begin construction for the Convention Center and the Events Complex on Friday to retro-fit them to serve as Tier 3 medical shelters.

2:52 p.m. | 21-year-old college student is Colorado's youngest COVID-19 victim

A Colorado Mesa University (CMU) student has died of complications from the novel coronavirus, the school said Wednesday. Cody Lyster, 21, recently passed away from the virus, according to a letter from CMU President Tim Foster. He is Colorado's youngest person to die from the infection, according to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

The governor tweeted the following statement Wednesday:

"We mourn the tragic loss of all victims of CO-VID 19 “Coronavirus” here in Colorado, nationally, and internationally. Today we mourn Colorado’s youngest victim: a 21-year Colorado Mesa University student who played on the club baseball team. While older Coloradans are most at risk, this virus can take a deadly turn for people of all ages. That’s why we need to stay at home except when absolutely necessary."

12:58 p.m. | Governor Polis provides update on COVID-19 in Colorado

Governor Jared Polis held a press briefing at the Governor's Mansion Wednesday to discuss the challenges of marking the Easter and Passover holiday season amid the COVID-19 outbreak. While noting the importance of faith among observers, he stressed maintaining social distance while celebrating religious traditions.

11:45 a.m. | Colorado Mesa University student dies of COVID-19 complications

A student at Colorado Mesa University has died from COVID-19 complications, the school confirmed Wednesday morning. The student, Cody Lyster, was studying criminal justice and played on the school’s club baseball team. Read more here.

10:24 a.m. | Charlotte Figi, 13-year-old Coloradan whose CBD journey inspired medical marijuana reform, dies of COVID-19

Charlotte Figi, the 13-year-old Colorado Springs girl who used CBD to help treat seizures caused by Dravet syndrome, has died of COVID-19 complications, according to a nonprofit co-founded by her mother. Click here to read more.

10:05 a.m. | ACLU files another suit over jail response to COVID-19

The ACLU of Colorado says it has filed a class action lawstui in federal court against Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams over the county's response to COVID-19 at its jail. The suit sought an emergency order to compel Reams "to comply with COVID-19 public health guidelines — including physical distancing — for all high-risk people being held" at the jail, an ACLU news release said.

The ACLU said a "calamity" is unfolding at the Weld County Jail and that multiple COVID-19 cases have been identified. The lawsuit urged the jail to make sure inmates can stay at least six feet away and to reduce to population of the jail.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis took executive action last month to reduce jail populations and limit the spread of coronavirus.

Last week the ACLU, along with the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, petitioned to the Colorado Supreme Court to issue a directive to lower courts to comply with Polis' order, but the court denied the petitions the same day.

9:45 a.m. | Colorado Apartment Association: 16.4% of renters late on rent

The Colorado Apartment Association on Wednesday said 16.4% of Colorado renters were late on rent as of April 6, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The CAA encouraged residents who might not receive a paycheck this month to reach out to their housing provider for financial assistance options.

8:15 a.m. | Polis plans to update public on state's response to COVID-19

Polis will hold a "brief update" on how Colorado is continuing to tackle the coronavirus. The update is expected at 12:45 p.m. today.

8:13 a.m. | Centura Health starts testing for first responders

Centura Health is now offering COVID-19 testing to first responders who are symptomatic in Colorado. There are seven test sites, and all are open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The sites are located in:
--Breckenridge: 555 S. Park Ave.
--Denver: 711 E. Yale Ave.
--Durango: 810 3rd S., Basement Level
--Longmont: 1380 Tulip St.
--Pueblo: 4112 Outlook Boulevard
--Westminster: 7233 Church Ranch Boulevard
--Colorado Springs: 3027 N. Circle Drive
--Westminster: 7233 Church Ranch Boulevard
8 a.m. | Hancock signs letter asking federal government to increase production of medical supplies

The CoPIRG Foundation (Colorado Public Interest Research Group) plans to unveil a letter that 114 mayors from 18 states have signed urging the federal government to use its emergency powers to increase the production of critical medical supplies. Hancock has signed the letter.

The CoPIRG Foundation said at 11:30 a.m. today, it will also provide an update the Trump administration's actions and "why they fall short of what’s needed to ensure cities and towns obtain critical medical equipment for protecting health care workers and caring for COVID-19 patients," according to a press release. You can call in to listen to the announcement by dialing 1-346-248-7799 and using webinar ID 901 014 648.

7:20 a.m. | Teller County officials unveil new medical protection equipment

Today, officials with Teller County will demonstrate a newly designed piece of medical equipment invented by the Teller County Public Works Department and a local EMS director. The piece was created to protect healthcare workers while they put an intubation tube inside a person's airway.

6:50 a.m. | Trump says he'll send ventilators to Colorado

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he would send 100 ventilators to Colorado at the request of Sen. Cory Gardner.

Polis had previously requested more personal protective equipment and 10,000 ventilators in a March 28 letter to Vice President Mike Pence.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this morning that it had ordered 30,000 ventilators from General Motors under the Defense Production Act — 12 days after President Trump first said he would use the law to order GM to make the equipment.

5 a.m. | Reminder: CEA to hold press conference today

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

5 a.m. | Reminder: Denver Public Schools is distributing computers for students today

Denver Public Schools said any family whose child still needs a computer can pick one up on today 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
-- Evie Dennis 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. Click here for more information.

Click here for the live blog from Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Click here for the live blog from Tuesday, April 7, 2020.