Coronavirus in Colorado: Latest COVID-19 updates from May 6, 2020

Posted at 4:45 AM, May 06, 2020

NOTE: This is the live blog from Wednesday, May 6. Click here for the live blog for Thursday, May 7, 2020.

Today marks the first day that face masks will be required in certain public settings in Denver.

On Friday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued a public health order requiring Denver residents to wear face masks in some public settings. The order begins today. 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 retail stores, bus stops or health care facilities, the order said. Learn more — and read the full order for yourself — by clicking here.

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 6

9:12 p.m. | ABC News: Frontier won't charge $40 to guarantee empty middle seat

Frontier Airlines is rescinding plans to charge passengers $40 to guarantee the middle seat next to them would be empty after the airline faced backlash from lawmakers two days after making the announcement, ABC News reports.

8:57 p.m. | Aurora mayor: Milgard Manufacturing to close due to COVID-19

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said a series of tweets that Milgard Manufacturing plans to permanently "cease operations" at its Aurora facility next month, which will mean 133 employees will lose their jobs.

"The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused an abrupt decline in sales volumes which is having a significant impact to our business resulting in the plant closure," Coffman says the manufacturing officials wrote in a letter to formally notify him of the closing.

5:07 p.m. | Tri-County Health strongly advises wearing face coverings

The Tri-County Health Department says it will not issue a public health order to mandate people wear face coverings in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, but instead that a "voluntary approach, accompanied by an aggressive public education campaign, rather than a public health order would be most appropriate at this point."

Requiring face masks could be considered at a later time if "monitoring data indicated that the campaign was not sufficiently effective."

4:37 p.m. | Mount Evans Highway closed until at least July

The opening of Mount Evans Highway will be delayed until at least early July due to delays related to COVDI-19 and publich health orders, CDOT said in a news release.

4 p.m. | Latest Colorado coronavirus data

Here were the latest coronavirus numbers for Colorado, as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, with the change from Tuesday in parentheses:

17,830 cases (+466)
2,986 hospitalized (+67)
57 counties (+1)
89,529 people tested (+3,553)
921 deaths (+18)
174 outbreaks (+4)

GRAPH: COVID-19 hospital beds in use as of May 6, 2020

2 p.m. |Nurse talks about the realities of treating COVID-19 patients

Registered nurse Laura Rosenthal of the CU College of Nursing spoke at Gov. Jared Polis' news conference Wednesday, emphasizing the unique nature of the coronavirus. She said COVID-19 is unlike anything she's treated in 20 years of working as a nurse.

Rosenthal pointed out how many patients may test positive without having a cough or a fever and how that increases the potential for asymptomatic people to spread the virus.

It is not an old person disease or a sick person's disease, she says, adding that it's unlike anything she's seen in 20 years of working as a nurse.

— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) May 6, 2020

Rosenthal encouraged Coloradans to continue social distancing and avoid gathering in public.

"Eventually there will be a time where we can do this again, but we are not quite ready now," she said. "Nurses are out there doing their part to protect you."

11:09 a.m. | State updates on Residential Care Task Force

The state required high-density residential facilities, which are experiencing the worst and most-deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 in the state, to submit prevention and response plans for their facilities by May 1. The CDPHE says that is has received to date:

--96% of plans from nursing facilities

--85% of plans from assisted living residences

--100% of plans from intermediate care facilities

--83% of plans from group homes

9:57 a.m. | Colorado receives federal money for telemedicine

The state says the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has approved an emergency funding request for $7.9 million in federal match money for the state’s Office of eHealth Innovation and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

The state says the money will go towards the state’s health information exchange infrastructure and other emergency response technology for battling COVID-19.

“This funding will go toward innovations that include telemedicine and telemonitoring. This technology will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and provide Coloradans an effective and safe alternative to in-person care,” Gov. Polis said in a statement.

9:50 a.m. | Gov. Polis to provide briefing at 1:30 p.m.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is expected to provide a briefing on the state’s response to COVID-19 at 1:30 p.m. We will carry it live on our website, streaming apps, over the air and on social media.

5 a.m. | Happening today: Order requiring Denver residents to wear face masks in certain public settings begins

Today marks the first day of the Denver order requiring face masks in certain public settings.

“When we’re at the grocery store, work or any other business, my face covering protects you and your face covering protects me,” Hancock said in a news release. “The virus isn’t going away any time soon. By wearing a face covering, you're doing your part to reduce the spread of infections and keep everyone safer.”

Click here to read more about this order and what it means for you.

5 a.m. | Happening today: Colorado National Guard's F-16 flyover

The Colorado National Guard will do a F-16 flyover to honor COVID-19 frontline workers across Colorado this afternoon. The flyover will start at 4:30 p.m., beginning in Greeley and continuing to Fort Collins, the high country, the Denver metro area and then finishing in Colorado Springs around 6 p.m. Click here for details.

Click herefor the live blog from Tuesday, May 5, 2020.