Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from May 13, 2020

Posted at 5:24 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 07:24:03-04

NOTE: This is the live blog from Wednesday, May 13. Click here for the live blog from Thursday, May 14.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will meet with President Donald Trump today at the White House to discuss Colorado's situation with the novel coronavirus and call for more federal support for the state, including more testing supplies and personal protective equipment.

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, May 13

8:58 p.m. | El Paso County Public Health will reopen campgrounds in the county on May 13

El Paso County Public Health issued a Notice of Determination on Wednesday, stating all local campgrounds are permitted to reopen effective May 13, with some restrictions: Limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, having playgrounds, playground equipment, picnic areas, and pools closed, maintaining proper social distancing, among others.

7:06 p.m. | President Trump praises Colorado's COVID-19 response as Gov. Polis, CDPHE head visit White House

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis met with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday to discuss the gradual reopening of the state and Colorado’s need for more testing supplies.

Trump praised the response to the outbreak by Polis, a Democrat, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican who was also invited to the meeting at the White House Wednesday, saying both were working very hard.

“You’re both doing an excellent job and it’s an honor to have you at the White House," the president said.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt were among the other Colorado officials at the meeting. Bernhardt said Polis was doing a “fantastic” job and Gardner said Polis had “done a good job” after the governor praised his efforts in helping Colorado get hold of more testing supplies and ventilators.

Polis said that his administration had received a firm commitment that the federal government had received 96,000 tests and would be sending them to Colorado in the next couple of days. Polis said that was a part of the 195,000 the state expects to receive through the end of June and would be crucial in helping the state reach its goal of testing 10,000 people a day next month.

Polis said that FEMA would also be sending a first round of tests to senior and nursing centers in Colorado – which have experienced the highest number of cases and deaths – on May 18 and that an additional shipment is expected toward the end of the month.

Click here to read the full story.

5:19 p.m. | Montrose County applies for variance from safer-at-home order

Montrose County has requested a variance to loosen some of the restrictions from the state's safer-at-home order, requesting to allow limited capacity in-person dining at restaurants, churches, and gyms.

"It’s time to allow people to make their own decisions about where they feel comfortable. We don’t have a steady increase in cases in our community. People need to get back to work, church, and life on their terms,” said Montrose County Commissioner Roger Rash in a prepared statement.

5:07 p.m. | Colorado begins distributing experimental drug against coronavirus

The Colorado State Unified Command Group (UCG) says it has received an initial shipment of the experimental anti-viral drug remdesivir from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate its benefit in improving recovery in patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. The UCG says it received enough doses to treat approximately 100 patients. The drug is being distributed to eight hospital systems across the state.

4:54 p.m. | Hanes donates 150,000 cloth face coverings to Colorado

Clothing brand Hanes donated 150,000 cloth face coverings to the Colorado Emergency Center to use in the fight against COVID-19 in the state. The donation was made possible through a FEMA partnership program.

4:47 p.m. | Lowe's donates 100,000 KN95 masks to Colorado

Lowe's donated 100,000 KN95 masks to the state of Colorado to help front line workers in the fight against COVID-19, the Colorado Emergency Center announced in a tweet.

4:45 p.m. | El Paso County to vote on variance request from public health order

El Paso County Commissioners will vote Thursday on a resolution Thursday requesting a variance from the state's safer-at-home order to allow the county a limited reopening of in-person dining at restaurants.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and can be viewed on the county's Facebook page.

4:30 p.m. | Polis holds briefing after meeting at White House

Gov. Jared Polis held a briefing to discuss his meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday. He said he was tested and received a negative result as soon as he arrived at the White House. Dr. Deborah Birx, with the White House's coronavirus task, was also in attendance and was complimentary of Colorado’s work on testing and contact tracing, the governor said. Polis said they discussed coordination with the federal government, which will help scale up testing to 8,500+ COVID-19 tests per day by June. Colorado officials have set a goal of 10,000 tests per day.

4:20 p.m. | Denver Mayor Hancock to provide update on city’s response to COVID-19

Mayor Michael Hancock along with city leaders will be providing an update on Denver’s response to COVID-19, including testing, contact tracing, the implications of the pandemic on the city budget and the creation of a “Social Safety Net” strategy.

A news conference will be held tomorrow, Thursday, May 14 at 1 p.m.

Denver7 will carry it live on our website, our streaming apps and our social media pages.

4:08 p.m. | RTD: Wear a mask when riding buses, light rail

The Regional Transportation District continues to urge riders of both buses and light rail to wear a mask or face covering when riding public transit in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Capacity on buses remains limited to 15 people on standard buses, 20 on people on larger buses, and 30 on rail cars. If buses are experiencing ridership beyond capacity limits, operators are calling dispatch to deploy buses that are staged in those areas.

4 p.m. | Nearly 20,500 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado

The number of people infected with coronavirus increased to 20,475 by Wednesday, according to the latest data provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Here are the latest numbers. The (+) denotes the increase in reported numbers from the previous day:

20,475 cases (+318)
3,735 hospitalized (+40)
60 counties (+0)
112,505 people tested (+3,201)
1,062 deaths (+53)
206 outbreaks (+7)

The latest hospital data from the CDPHE shows 688 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients — 50 fewer beds than reported on Tuesday.

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of May 13, 2020

Recent 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.

3:31 p.m. | White House provides number of PPE sent to Colorado

The White House says it has provided more than 181 million surgical and exam gloves and other personal protective equipment to Colorado.

When asked about the number during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Polis said the number tweeted by the White House is a mixture between federal and private donations.

3:23 p.m. | Businesses in Denver can refuse service to customers not wearing masks

The City and County of Denver says businesses can refuse service to people not wearing a mask or face covering, after receiving several questions on the matter.

"No one has the right to expose the community to communicable disease,” city officials said in a tweet.

3:04 p.m. | Air National Guard to have second flyover on Friday

The Air National Guard is planning a second flyover in parts of Colorado on Friday. The Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing will conduct a second F-16 Fighting Falcon flyover from approximately 11:00 am - 12:45 p.m., primary in western Colorado. This flight will include healthcare facilities in Brighton, Granby, Kremmling, Rifle, Fruita, Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Trinidad, La Junta, and Parker, Colorado.

Approximate locations and times where the aircraft will be visible are:

11:03 am - Platte Valley Medical Center, Brighton, CO

11:11 am – Middle Park Medical Center, Granby, CO

11:14 am – Kremmling Memorial Hospital, Kremmling, CO

11:24 am – Grand River Health, Rifle, CO

11:31 am – Colorado Canyons Hospital & Medical Center Community Hospital, Fruita, CO

11:37 am – Saint Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center Heliport, Grand Junction

11:42 am – Delta County Memorial Hospital, Delta, CO

11:45 am – Montrose Memorial Hospital Heliport, Montrose, CO

11:55 am – Southwest Memorial Hospital-Emergency Room, Cortez, CO

12:00 pm – Animas Surgical Hospital, Mercy Regional Medical Center, Durango, CO

12:06 pm – Pagosa Springs Medical Center, Pagosa Springs, CO

12:14 pm – SLV Health Regional Medical Center, Alamosa, CO

12:24 pm – Mt. San Rafael Hospital, Trinidad, CO

12:33 pm – Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center Helipad, La Junta, CO

12:48 pm – Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker, CO

All time windows may vary by 15 minutes or more

2:39 p.m. | Remembering the victims of coronavirus

More than 1,000 people in Colorado have lost their lives to coronavirus, according to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. To honor the victims, the governor’s office has organized a remembrance event Friday at 7 p.m., asking people to join them for a moment of silence.

They are asking the community to wear a protective face covering or mask for one minute in silence. Organizers are also suggesting people post on social media to bring awareness to the remembrance. Building owners with lights are also encouraged to turn them red at 7 p.m. Friday.

1:30 p.m. | Teller County submits request for safer at home variance

Another Colorado county is seeking reprieve from the state's safer at home order. Teller County submitted a request May 8, asking the state to grant them a variance from the order. The county says they made the request to help the economy start to reopen and recover. Before the request was submitted, the county said they "solicited input from local businesses and community members and spent considerable time and effort with the variance request to demonstrate the unique circumstances in Teller County that justify the granting of a variance from the Order."

There is no word yet if the request was granted. County leaders said they are hopeful the state will recognize they can be trusted to reopen.

1:18 p.m. | Larimer County to request variance from state

Larimer County commissioners are asking the state for variance to the rules in Colorado's "safer at home" guidelines. During a commissioners meeting Tuesday night, Tom Gonzales, director of Larimer County Health and Environment, said, “we are in a phase were we can slowly step down, slowly open up our communities and move into a next phase."

"Looking at this data, I am comfortable moving forward in requesting a variance,” he added.

The county is also seeking to ease some face mask rules.

1:08 p.m. | Botanic Gardens offers virtual tours, workshops

Denver Botanic Gardens is set to begin a phased reopening later this month, but in the meantime, they are offering virtual tours and workshops during this time of social distancing. The gardens is offering online educaion classes and workshops for adults and children and photo and audio tours of the gardens. To learn more on what is being offered, click here.

1:07 p.m. | Louisville Street Faire canceled due to coronavirus concerns

The 2020 Louisville Street Faire has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. The music festival runs every Friday during the summer months in downtown Louisville, but because of health concerns, the event will not take place this year.

“We had an amazing lineup planned for this summer,” said DBA board president, Rick Kron, in a statement. “We look forward to offering a great lineup in 2021.”

The Louisville Street Faire started in 2001 and has continued ever since.

5 a.m. | Happening today: Polis meets with Trump at White House

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House Wednesday to discuss the on-the-ground situation regarding COVID-19 in Colorado and to bring a real-world perspective to the president, the governor said Monday.

The governor’s office confirmed to Denver7 Sunday that Polis would be meeting with the president Wednesday to call for more federal support for the state and for more testing supplies and personal protective equipment. Read more here.

Click here for the live blog from Tuesday, May 12, 2020.