Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from May 1, 2020

Posted at 5:16 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 23:16:13-04

Keep that mask handy, Denver.

On Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he expects to issue a mandate next week requiring Denver residents to wear face masks in public.

Hancock told Denver7 that he expects to have a detailed news conference sometime next week to further explain the mandate.

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, May 1

8:17 p.m. | City of Lone Tree issues order requiring cloth face coverings

Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet has issued an executive order requiring face coverings in all indoor essential and non-essential retail stores in Lone Tree.

“We have been given the privilege of reopening commerce in the metro region, and it is our responsibility to do it right,” said Millet in a prepared statement. “We must do all we can to keep the COVID-19 curve flattened, protect our residents, workers and visitors, and position Lone Tree businesses to not only reopen successfully, but remain open.”

The order goes into effect Friday, May 8, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 26.

The order is pretty much the same as others issued across other Colorado communities: cloth face coverings must cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place while a person is inside an indoor retail business.

The order exempts children under age 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

6:58 p.m. | Colorado Apartment Association responds to Gov. Polis' executive order on evictions

The Colorado Apartment Association says they were surprised by Gov. Polis' executive order barring evictions for the month of May, citing concerns that the governor is "tying his authority to enact an eviction moratorium to an amorphous concept of economic stability, which has no statutory definition and is a largely subjective measure."

The association further states, "Declaring that the courts are open but that Colorado property owners can’t use them is not the right approach. We need to focus on making it legal for Coloradoans to go back to work."

5:48 p.m. | Sterling Correctional Facility inmate dies from possible COVID-19

An 86-year-old male inmate who was jailed at the Sterling Correction Facility has died after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The inmate, whose identity was not immediately released, was tested for the new virus while at the hospital.

The Colorado Department of Corrections said in a statement Friday the inmate had been residing on the east side of the Sterling Correctional Facility. The cell he was in has been quarantined and inmates will continue to be monitored.

A spokesperson said the facility has continued to undergo extensive cleaning multiple times a day and staff and inmates are all required to wear face coverings in the facility at all times.

All of the inmates on the east side of the facility are having temperature checks done twice daily as an additional screening measure, the spokesperson said.

5:14 p.m. | Fort Collins to require people to wear face coverings

The City of Fort Collins will require people to wear face coverings in most enclosed buildings open to the public beginning Monday, May 4. The face coverings will be required in the following places:

-- Any enclosed area, including retail and commercial businesses or on-site service providers, to which the public is invited or in which workers, including volunteers, from more than one household are present
-- Any City of Fort Collins building or indoor City facility;
-- Any public transportation, including City Transfort buses and bus shelters; or
-- Any other public indoor place where person are unable to maintain safe social distancing from others not of their own household.

Exemptions to the order include:

-- Persons under the age of 10 years or children within a childcare facility;
-- Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition documented by a medical professional;
-- Persons working in an office or other workspace who do not have any face-to-face interactions with or share workspace with other persons;
-- If the person is undergoing a medical or dental procedure that requires access to the person's mouth or nose;
-- Property owned or operated by the federal, state or county governments; and
-- Persons who are customers of banks, financial institutions, and pawn shops. However, employees of these places must still wear face coverings.

"The order is meant to help protect employees, assist healthcare workers and emergency personnel in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, and slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus," city officials said.

5 p.m. | COVID Relief Fund awards second round of grants

The COVID Relief Fund announced Friday the second round of grants, totalling $3.6 million that will be disbursed to 165 organizations that are serving all 67 Colorado counties.

4:18 p.m. | Face masks will be mandatory starting May 6 in Denver

Denver, you'll be required to use a face mask in public starting Wednesday, May 6.

The city made the mandate official Friday afternoon, with a new public health order requiring people in Denver wear that is lasting "until further notice."

Residents and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside of, or waiting in line to enter, certain businesses, facilities or locations – such as any retail or commercial business, at a bus stop or facilities offering health care services, according to the language of the new public health order.

Here are some guidelines for wearing face masks:

-- Masks must be made of cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
-- May be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.
-- Should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
-- Need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.
-- Should be replaced when it becomes dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

"Residents need to take this face covering order seriously, as they did with the stay at home order. Multiple agencies will be involved in enforcement, with the goal of compliance and keeping everyone safe through education," the city said in a statement.

Anyone that fails to comply with the new mandate will face a $999 fine per violation.

Read the full story here.

4 p.m. | Colorado sees nearly 16,000 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday

The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state has grown to 15,768 cases, an uptick of 484 cases from Thursday, according to the latest numbers provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A total of 2,747 people have been hospitalized, 50 more than reported a day prior, and 75,259 people have been tested (an additional 2,869 more than reported Thursday). The state also reported 820 deaths Friday, 43 more than reported a day prior. A total of 161 outbreaks have been reported at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities — 2 more outbreaks than reported on Tuesday by the CDPHE.

New epidemiological modeling predicts that between 65,000 to 75,000 people have COVID-19 throughout the state, but state and health officials are prioritizing testing for those who are most at-risk.

The number of hospital beds in use due to COVID-19 now stands at 959 - 7 fewer than reported on Thursday, according to hospital data from the CDPHE.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of May 1, 2020

3:49 p.m. | Colorado officials remind people to stay within 10 miles of home for recreation

Colorado officials are reminding people not to go to the mountains if they live along the Front Range and to keep their recreation within 10 miles of home as much of the state enters the safer at home phase and the weather begins to warm.

Gov. Jared Polis said Friday afternoon that mountain communities, which were among the hardest-hit early on in Colorado’s COVID-19 outbreak, were still working to recover and needed more time before people from other parts of the state can come back.

“Colorado has made great progress in reducing the threat of COVID-19 but we all must continue to do our part,” said DNR Executive Director Dan Gibbs in a statement Friday. “Our favorite trail or mountain crag will be there for us when this pandemic is over. For the next few weeks, Coloradans need to stay close to home and look for recreation opportunities within 10 miles of where they live. Taking a brisk walk, bike ride or run to a different part of your community are all good activities to do in lieu of heading to our mountains or other further destinations.”

Click here to read the full story.

3:35 p.m. | Congressman Neguse to participate in Town Hall Saturday

State Senator Joann Ginal alongside State Representatives Jeni Arndt and Cathy Kipp invite you to join them for a virtual legislative town hall featuring Congressman Joe Neguse. They’ll provide updates on the state and federal response to COVID-19 and then look forward to addressing community member’s questions.

The Town hall is Saturday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. You can join via this Zoom link.

3:02 p.m. | Vail Health releases results of COVID-19 survey

Vail Health recently partnered with Intercept Insight, a local data research company, to conduct an online survey gauging community sentiment regarding COVID-19. The results of the survey are providing insight into the community’s feelings on resuming activities like going to restaurants, attending events, how well are locals adhering to social distancing guidelines, and what measures will make locals more comfortable to resume a myriad of activities and spending behaviors. Here are some highlights

-- 88% of locals feel they have been social distancing ‘Very’ or ‘Extremely Well.’
-- 75% of locals wear a mask in public.
-- The community is MOST comfortable with opening golf courses, visiting grocery stores and gas stations, and opening participatory events (e.g. bike and trail running races).
-- The community is LEAST comfortable with open-aired events (e.g. concerts, food & beer festivals), opening performance arts venues, and social gatherings of more than 10 people.
-- Lines of businesses that will be utilized MOST within the next few weeks: parks & recreation, dental offices, barber shops/salons, and healthcare facilities.
-- Lines of businesses that will be utilized LEAST within the next few weeks: daycare, lodging/hotels, movie theaters, and spas.
-- Top measures to ease comfort level when dining out: adequate space between seating and availability of hand sanitizer.
-- Top measures to ease comfort level for visiting local retail stores: limit the number of patrons at one time and availability of hand sanitizer.

1:20 p.m. |No evictions in April, Polis says

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday said no evictions happened in Colorado due to non-payment of rent in April and that his latest executive order will prevent any evictions in May.

Polis' order issued Thursday night limits residential and commercial evictions, foreclosures and public utility disconnections for 30 days, which Polis wrote "will help protect the economic well-being of Colorado's communities and businesses during the next month."

The order directs several state departments to work with landlords to identify lawful measures to avoid removing or evicting tenants or mobile home owners without cause or “as a result of late or nonpayment of rent or minor tenancy violations” and to exempt them from fees or penalties for late rent payments or a lack of payment.

It directs the DPS to work with local law enforcement officials to suspend eviction activities “unless such actions are necessary to protect public health and safety.”

That would mean if a tenant “poses an imminent and serious threat to another individual or causes significant damage to property” that they could be evicted, according to the order.

12:10 p.m. | Gov. Polis issues executive orders slashing immediate budget, barring evictions, extending ski closures

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a host of executive orders late Thursday night to slash hundreds of millions in spending by the state government, ban evictions and rental fees for May and extend the statewide closure of ski areas in response to COVID-19.

“As the State continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become increasingly evident that the prolonged period of economic disruption associated with COVID-19 is causing precipitous and significant revenue shortfalls for the State,” the governor wrote in his executive order cutting $229 million in line item reductions to certain programs or departments.

The bulk of the $228.7 million in cuts – $183 million – comes from Medicaid. But the Department of Corrections will lose $1.4 million to reimburse private contracted facilities who were housing prisoners and $550,000 for inmate drug screening, mental health treatment, medication management and other programs.

Polis mentioned earlier this week that he would extend the prohibition of evictions into May and issued an order Thursday night doing so.

The order limits residential and commercial evictions, foreclosures and public utility disconnections for 30 days, which Polis wrote “will help protect the economic well-being of Colorado’s communities and businesses during the next month.

Click here to read the full story.

9:55 a.m. | Gov. Polis remote briefing at 1 p.m.

Gov. Jared Polis will host a remote briefing on COVID-19 in Colorado at 1 p.m. We will carry the briefing live.

9 a.m. | More information on Greeley Stampede postponement

The Greeley Stampede, including its related summer events, was recently postponed until 2021 and at 9 a.m. this morning, organizers released more information on this process.

The Stampede is offering credit for the postponed 99th annual Greeley Stampede in 2021; the chance to donate the money to community organizers; or refunds. Those who choose the credit will get an exclusive opportunity to select or purchase additional tickets before they’re available to the public for 2021 events and concerts. Visit the Stampede’s website here for more information.

Email or call 970-356-7787 with questions.

In addition, staff are working on continuing two community traditions:

First: Northern Colorado’s largest display of fireworks on July 4, 2020.

Second: The Spud Rodeo. The Stampede is planning to produce three virtual Spud Rodeo performances this September to celebrate the sport. They will be broadcasted nationally through the Cowboy Channel network. A portion of the Spud Rodeo series proceeds will be donated to the Weld Recovers Fund COVID-19 relief benefiting the United Way of Weld County and Weld Community Foundation.

8 a.m. | Colorado Symphony extends postponement

The Colorado Symphony Association announced the postponement of the rest of the 2019-2020 season concerts and events through May 31. Click here for more information.

6:14 a.m. | Poudre School District ending year early

Following in the steps of the Cherry Creek School District, Poudre School District's elementary and secondary students will have their last day of school on May 22.

Elementary and middle schools will decide if virtual celebrations will occur for fifth and eighth grade students. No in-person celebrations will be held.

High school seniors won't have an on-time in-person graduation ceremony. But the school district said it hopes to have in-person ceremonies July 24, and July 25 at French Field, located at Rocky Mountain High School, 1300 W. Swallow Road in Fort Collins. What that graduation will look like depends on public health guidelines and orders in place at the time.

5 a.m | Happening today: Tele-town hall about higher education and the coronavirus

Sen. Michael Bennet will join Colorado State University for a telephone town hall about higher education and COVID-19's impact today at noon. Anybody is welcome to join and share their thoughts. Click here to learn more.

5 a.m. | Happening today: Second day of drive-thru site at King Soopers

After announcing a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site in Denver, King Soopers announced Wednesday it is continuing to partner with the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center to open and operate a second site, this time in Boulder, Wednesday. Today is the second day it will be open.

The site will be at CU Boulder's Space Sciences Building, located on 3665 Discovery Drive. It will open today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has the capacity for 250 vehicles per day. Click here for more details.

Click herefor the live blog from Thursday, April 30 2020.