What We Currently Know About Coronavirus In Colorado

Wednesday 3-25-20

Wednesday, three Denver Metro Health Departments issued a public health stay-at-home order that effect five more Denver area counties.

For full information on this story, go HERE.

Tri-County Health (Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties), Boulder County Health and Jefferson County Health issued the order in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Broomfield county is encouraging residents to abide by social distancing guidelines and also encouraging all residents to stay home for all but essential activities.

The order goes into effect on Thursday, March 26 at 8 a.m. MDT through Friday, April 17 at 11:59 p.m. MDT.

The order requires residents to stay-at-home except for certain essential activities or work. Please consult the exact order of your county for the exemptions.

Please check the links below for comprehensive information and exact language from each county, including exemptions to the orders.

Tuesday 3-24-20

Tuesday night, RTD announced service changes due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Ridership is down 70% because of the spread of COVID-19, so RTD will make service changes that will begin on April 19, including:

--Changing most bus service to a Saturday schedule.

--Changing most light rail service to a Sunday schedule.

--Reduced service levels will remain in effect through Sept. 20, 2020.

--Commuter rail lines (Univ. of Colorado A line, B Line and G Line) will continue to run at current levels.

The full release from RTD.

RTD Board tonight approves service changes starting April 19

Changes include package originally scheduled for May, plus weekend service levels in response to COVID-19

DENVER (March 24, 2020) –The Regional Transportation District (RTD)’s Board of Directors tonight approved changes that will reduce the agency’s bus, light rail and special services starting April 19.

The Board approved an extensive package of May service changes, which would have originally taken effect May 17, and a service reduction plan to address COVID-19 by moving to the weekend service outlined in the May service changes. During a special Board meeting to discuss the COVID-19 service plan the motion passed unanimously. 

The initial changes shift most bus service to a Saturday schedule and light rail service to a Sunday schedule as outlined in the May service change plan. This is in response to a 70% decrease in ridership resulting from the spread of COVID-19. The weekend levels of service that were approved reduce service by about 40% from current levels.

“The current decrease in RTD ridership is unrivaled in the agency’s history, and by taking this action, we exercise responsibility and care for our employees and our customers,” said RTD Interim General Manager and CEO Paul J. Ballard. “This also allows us to continue to serve those who rely on us, including health care and food service workers and others who are critical to fighting this crisis, while also giving us flexibility to restore service as ridership returns.”

Ballard says the reduced service levels will remain in effect through Sept. 20, which is the next planned service change. RTD will continue to evaluate ridership and service needs and reinstate service as demand warrants and ridership returns. Service will be restored as necessary from Saturday and Sunday service to the service levels outlined in the May service change.

Implementing the service reduction plan starting April 19 gives RTD time to work through many processes with the union and integrate the change into its information systems.

RTD intends to retain its operations staff during the service reduction. Those who aren’t assigned regular routes will be on standby to cover open trips or shifts for operators who call in sick, as well as participate in refresher training.Taking this approach will keep the agency’s workforce intact for when the pandemic subsides and service levels can be restored.

RTD’s commuter rail lines--University of Colorado A Line, B Line and G Line--will continue to run at current service levels, because they are operated by Denver Transit Partners, a private concessionaire.

_____

Monday 3-23-20

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) spoke on the Senate floor Monday night and called upon President Trump to take action to address the shortage of equipment for health care workers.

Go HERE for details and the Senator's full remarks.

Monday 3-23-20

Mayor Michael Hancock issued a stay-at-home order for resident of the city and county and Denver, effective Tuesday, March 24 at 5 p.m. MDT and closed non-essential businesses until April 10, 2020.

Go HERE for details and the Mayor's full remarks on Monday.

Sunday 3-22-20

Sunday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive order directing non-essential businesses in the state to reduce their in-person workforce by 50 percent. Employers must institute tele-work option as to the greatest extent possible, starting Monday, March 23 at 8 a.m. and lasting through April 10, 2020.

The Executive Order exempts employers "that can certify that employees are no closer than six feet from one another during any part of their work hours."

The Governor said the State of Colorado will meet this requirement and half (or more than half) of the non-24 hour facility jobs will be worked remotely.

The Governor's full remarks are below.

Gov. Polis: Colorado is Leading by Example and Taking Action to Address COVID-19

***INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL***

CENTENNIAL - Gov. Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. Today he signed an executive order directing all of Colorado’s non-critical employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50 percent. In accordance with the executive order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is also issuing a public health order. 

“As long as I am in a position to lead Colorado’s response, I will continue to take bold steps and do everything in my power to protect our medical workers, limit the severity and duration of this crisis, and save the lives of Coloradans,” said Governor Jared Polis. “In the short term, Coloradans must heed this order and take this gravely and seriously. But my team is moving as fast as they can to build a new Colorado paradigm to ensure that we can look more like South Korea’s successful containment strategy, and less like the public health disaster that is crippling Italy right now. The virus is here in our communities and we need to respond. And in a vacuum of federal leadership, others need to step up and here in Colorado we are doing and will do just that.”

The executive order directs all employers to implement tele-work options to the greatest extent possible. If tele-work is not practical or possible, employers are encouraged to stagger work schedules to reduce the proximity of employees during work hours and to keep employees on payroll. This Executive Order does not apply to any employer that can certify that employees are no closer than six feet from one another during any part of their work hours.

The state as an employer will be meeting this requirement and less than half of non-24 hour facility jobs will be working from the office.

The order takes effect on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. and is set to last through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020.

The critical workplaces that are exempt include:

  • Health care operations.
  • Critical Infrastructure, including utilities, fuel supply and transmission, public water, telecommunications, transportation, hotels, organizations that provide for disadvantaged people, and food supply chain.
  • Critical Manufacturing, including food, beverages, chemicals, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, sanitary products, agriculture.
  • Critical Retail, including grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, gas stations, restaurants and bars for takeout, marijuana dispensaries but only for medical or curbside delivery, hardware stores.
  • Critical Services, including trash and recycling, mail, shipping, laundromats, child care, building cleaning and maintenance, auto supply and repair, warehouses/distribution, funeral homes, crematoriums, cemeteries, animal shelters and rescues. 
  • News Media.
  • Financial Institutions.
  • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations.
  • Construction.
  • Defense.
  • Public Safety Services like law enforcement, fire prevention and response, EMTs, security, disinfection, cleaning, building code enforcement, snow removal, auto repair.
  • Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products including logistics, child care, tech support, or contractors with critical government services.
  • “Critical Government Functions.” 

On March 5, CDPHE’s public health laboratory confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued to climb. Colorado needs to take these precautions for the preservation of public health and safety throughout our entire State and to ensure our healthcare delivery system can serve those who are sick.  

Gov. Polis also launched the state’s Innovation Response Team (IRT) to bring together public and private sector resources and innovations to the state’s emergency response to the COVID-19 virus. The Innovation Response team’s initial focus is ramping up a mass testing program for the COVID-19 virus, creating a suite of services for citizens under isolation or quarantine, developing mobile and other technologies to help track the spread of the virus and support infected citizens, and developing locally-sourced alternatives for constrained critical medical supplies.  

Matt Blumberg, a technology entrepreneur who founded and led Broomfield-based email technology company Return Path for the past 20 years, will serve as Interim Director. The Governor has also appointed Boulder-based Venture Capitalist Brad Feld as the Chairman of the IRT’s Private Sector Task Force. The IRT will be within the State’s Emergency Operations Center command structure and reports to Stan Hilkey, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

The Governor also thanked everyone who is stepping up in the, #DoingMyPartCO social media challenge, who has donated and signed up to volunteer at HelpColoradoNow.org and who has donated blood. 

To read the executive order, click here. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will release the public health order. To see frequently asked questions, click here

---------------------------------------

Gob. Polis: Colorado Dando el Ejemplo y Tomando Acciones para Mitigar los Efectos de COVID-19

CENTENNIAL - Gobernador Polis presentó una actualización a la respuesta del Estado de Colorado a COVID-19. Hoy, el firmó una Orden Ejecutiva ordenando que todos los empleadores ‘no críticos’ reduzcan su mano de obra presencial por un 50 por ciento. De acuerdo con la orden ejecutiva, el Departamento Estatal de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente (CDPHE en inglés) también ha publicado una orden de salud pública. 

“Mientras estoy en una posición para dirigir la respuesta del Estado a COVID-19, tomaría pasos audaces y haría todo bajo mi poder para proteger nuestros trabajadores de salud, disminuir la severidad y duración de esta crisis, y proteger las vidas de Coloradenses,” dijo Gobernador Jared Polis. “A corto plazo, Coloradenses necesitan hacer caso a esta orden y tomarla muy gravemente y en serio. Mi equipo se está moviendo lo más rápido posible para construir un nuevo paradigma para asegurar que podemos realizar un resultado que pertenece más a la estrategia exitosa de Corea del Sur, y menos al desastre de salud pública que actualmente está falleciendo a Italia. El virus está aquí en nuestras comunidades y necesitamos enfrentarlo. Y en un vacío de liderazgo federal, otros necesiten dar un ejemplo, y aquí en Colorado estamos y seguiremos haciendo justo eso.”

La Orden Ejecutiva dirige a que todos los empleadores en el estado implementen opciones de trabajo virtual a la mayor medida posible. Si trabajo virtual no es práctico o posible, el Estado anima que empleadores alternan horarios de trabajo para reducir la proximidad de trabajadores durante horas de trabajo, y que mantienen trabajadores en su nómina de sueldos. Esta Orden Ejecutiva no aplica a empleadores que pueden certificar que trabajadores mantendrán más que seis pies de distancia de cualquier persona durante la totalidad de su día laboral.

El Estado como empleador cumplirá este requisito y más de un mitad de puestos estatales que no son de 24 horas serán hechos virtualmente. Este paso empezará mañana, lunes, 23 de marzo, 2020.

La Orden se realiza el martes, 24 de marzo, y durará hasta las 11:59 p.m. del viernes, 10 de abril, 2020.

Funciones críticas que serían exceptuadas incluyan: 

  • Operaciones de salud y medicina.
  • Infraestructura Crítica, incluyendo servicios públicos, suministro y transmisión de combustible, agua pública, telecomunicaciones, transporte, hoteles, organizaciones que proveen para gente marginada, y la cadena de suministro para alimentación.
  • Fabricación Crítica, incluyendo alimentos, bebidas, químicas, equipo médico, farmacéuticos, productos sanitarios, y agricultura. 
  • Tiendas Críticas, incluyendo tiendas de comestibles, tiendas de licores, fincas, gasolineras, restaurantes y bares para llevar, dispensarios de marihuana (pero solo para uso medicinal o entrega en la acera), y ferreterías.
  • Servicios Críticos, incluyendo basura y reciclaje, el postal, logística, lavanderías, limpieza y mantenimiento de hogares y oficinas comerciales, suministro y reparación de automóviles, funerarios, crematorios, cementerios, y refugios de animales.
  • Prensa y Noticias.
  • Instituciones Financieras.
  • Proveedores de Necesidades Básicas para Demográficos Marginados Económicamente. 
  • Construcción.
  • Defensa.
  • Servicios de Seguridad Pública como policía y cumplimiento de la ley, bomberos, ambulancias, seguridad y guardias, desinfección, limpieza, aplicación de códigos de construcción, eliminación de nieve, y reparación de automóviles.
  • Vendedores que proveen Servicios o Productos Críticos incluyendo logística, cuidadores infantiles, apoyo tecnológico, o contratistas para servicios públicos críticos.
  • “Funciones Críticas del Gobierno.”

El 5 de marzo, el laboratorio de salud pública de CDPHE confirmó el primer caso presumido positivo de COVID-19 en Colorado. Desde entonces, el número de casos confirmados ha seguido aumentando. Colorado necesita tomar estas precauciones para la preservación de la salud y seguridad pública de nuestro estado entero, y para asegurar que nuestro sistema de salud puede atender a los enfermos.

Además, Gob. Polis lanzó el Equipo de Innovación para la Respuesta (IRT en inglés) para alinear recursos e innovaciones públicos y privados para la respuesta de emergencia del Estado al virus COVID-19. El enfoque inicial del IRT se preocupara en aumentar un programa de examinaciones para COVID-19, creando una variedad de servicios para ciudadanos bajo aislamiento o quarantina; tecnologías móviles, y otras, para respaldar al rastreamiento de la propagación del virus y apoyar ciudadanos infectados; y alternativos locales para suministros médicos apretados.

Matt Blumberg, un empresario de tecnología que fundó y lideró la empresa tecnológica de Broomfield Return Path los últimos 20 años, servirá como Director Provisional. Gob. Polis nombrará un director permanente al IRT durante las siguientes dos semanas. El Gobernador también ha nombrado al empresario Brad Feld, de Boulder, como Director de la Fuerza Especial para el Sector Privado del IRT. El IRT será ubicado dentro del Centro Estatal para Operaciones de Emergencia, y queda bajo de Stan Hilkey, Director Ejecutivo del Departamento Estatal de Seguridad Pública.

El Gobernador también agradeció a todos que participaron en la campaña de media social #DoingMyPartCO, a los que han donado y registraron para ofrecerse de voluntario en el sitio HelpColoradoNow.org, y a los que han donado sangre.

Para leer la Orden Ejecutiva, ve aquí. El Departamento Estatal de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente (CDPHE) publicará la orden de salud pública. Para ver preguntas típicas, ve aquí.

Para ver la conferencia de prensa, por favor visita la página de Facebook del Gobernador

Friday 3-20-20

#NewNormal: Safeway and Albertsons stores are installing Plexiglas at checkstands in stores nationwide, including Colorado locations, as a precaution against COVID-19.

Details and video are here: PLEXIGLAS AT SAFEWAY AND ALBERTSONS STORES

Friday 3-20-20

Colorado Governor Jared Polis spoke Friday at the state capitol and primarily focused on the economic impact of COVID-19 and steps he is taking to try to deal with its impact in Colorado.

He is establishing the Emergency Council for Economic Stabilization by former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, who will work with business and community leaders to help Gov. Polis navigate the economic challenges of COVID-19.

In addition, the Governor has added alcohol as an item that can now be included in take-out dining.

The Governor's full remarks are below.

Gov. Polis Announces State’s Economic Response to COVID-19

***INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL***

DENVER - Today, Governor Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and announced a number of actions the state is taking to support Colorado’s economy. 

“This virus has significantly impacted our economy here at home and across the world. We know this has been challenging for our local businesses and workers, and we are working to provide relief including deferral of taxes and suspension of evictions to Colorado families and individuals. These times are difficult, but they are temporary. Coloradans should rest assured that we will get through this together and we will be well-positioned for success when this all blows over,” said Governor Jared Polis.

The Governor announced that the state will be taking action to provide relief from evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. The Governor is directing the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to work with state-chartered financial institutions to address the threat of residential and commercial foreclosures and displacement. The Governor is requesting that municipal and county governments refrain from using law enforcement to carry out evictions or foreclosures against Colorado families unless there is a threat to public safety. He is also encouraging banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions holding residential or commercial mortgages to follow the lead of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and halt foreclosures and related evictions that are due to income reductions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Governor is requesting these financial institutions consider providing a 90 day deferment of payment for all consumer loans, including residential and commercial mortgages, refinances, auto loans, and student loans, and small business loans. The state is also requesting that all public utilities suspend service disconnections for delayed or missed payments from residential and small business consumers.

The Governor is also requesting that all property owners and landlords refrain from removing tenants or mobile home owners without cause or as a result of late rent payment or minor tenancy violations through April 30, unless public safety requires it. Finally, he is asking that all property owners and landlords refrain from imposing a fee for the late payment or nonpayment of rent through the end of April. 

The Governor will also be directing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Unemployment Insurance Division to expedite claim payments during this state of emergency. CDLE has seen a ten-fold increase of claims filed from last week to this week. Coloradans can visit the Department of Labor’s website at www.coloradoui.gov for more information. To learn more about these actions and read the executive order, click here.

Gov. Polis will also be extending the income tax payment deadline for all Colorado taxpayers by 90 days until July 15, 2020, without penalty or interest. This will be similar to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extension, but applies to any income tax payment, regardless of the amount. Unlike the federal government, the state is not imposing any caps on the amount of tax that can be deferred. In addition, the state will grant an extension for taxpayers who are required to make estimated income tax payments for the 2020 tax year. The Governor is also directing the Department of Revenue (DOR) to coordinate with local governments that choose to extend tax payment deadlines for property, sales and use taxes. To read the executive order, click here.

The Governor also announced the Governor’s Economic Stabilization and Growth Council. This group will be made up of community leaders from a variety of backgrounds and will serve as economic advisors to the Governor during this time.

Former Denver Mayor and U.S. Transportation Secretary Federico Peña will chair the Council. 

Members include:

  • Gary Arnold, Business Manager, Denver Pipefitters
  • Deborah Jordy, Executive Director, Science and Cultural Facilities District
  • Dick Monfort, Businessman, Owner/CEO, Colorado Rockies
  • Blair Richardson, CEO Bow River Capital
  • Jim Crowe, Former CEO, Level 3 Communications
  • Brad Feld, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder Foundry Group, Co-Founder Techstars
  • Dave Young, State Treasurer
  • Cary Kennedy, Governor’s Policy Advisor
  • Lauren Larsen, Office of State Planning and Budget (OSPB)
  • Joe Barela, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)
  • Rick Garcia, Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) 
  • Betsy Markey, Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT)

In addition, the Governor also signed an executive order allowing retailers licensed for the sale of on-premises alcohol consumption to sell, deliver or provide takeout for sealed alcoholic beverages if the customer also purchases food. The order also suspends the requirement of a physical examination for a medical marijuana card to be issued. The prohibition of online sales for retail marijuana stores is now suspended as well. Each of these are in effect until April 18, 2020. To read the executive order, click here.

Yesterday, the Governor announced that Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek individual small business loans up to $2 million as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Small businesses throughout all 64 counties may seek SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA Disaster assistance provides low-interest federal loans for working capital to Colorado small businesses that have realized economic injury from COVID-19. Funding was appropriated through the US congressional Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. To learn more, visit OEDIT’s website

Thursday 3-19-20

Among his comments on Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced $4 million relief fund to support local small businesses and others involved in the food industry. His full remarks are below.

Thursday 3-19-20

A fourth person has died in Colorado from coronavirus. He was an elderly man from Crowley County.

Third person confirmed COVID-19 death in Colorado. Male in his 60's, identified as contact of woman who passed away last week.

Gov Polis signed an executive order today temporarily suspending elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures to preserve important equipment needed to combat COVID-19.

CDPHE issued and updated public health order closing nonessential personal services include hair or nail salons, spas, tattoo or massage parlors.

Denver District Attorney's Office releasing some inmates who are at high-risk of COVID-19.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, March 20, King Soopers will dedicate the first shopping hour (7am-8am) on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays exclusively to the shopping needs of senior citizens.

The Jefferson Country Sheriff's Office releasing some inmates early.

Adams County says government offices will be closed through April 19, 2020.

Summit County says there is no ski patrol or avalanche mitigation work in ski areas.

________

Wednesday 3-18-20

Gov. Polis issued new COVID-19 guidelines for the state of Colorado on Wednesday. They include:

--Having the Department of Public Health issue an order prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more for any type of event, including faith-based events and fundraisers.

--Signing an Executive Order suspending in-person learning at all public and private schools until April 17th (extended from March 23rd).

--Keeping ski areas closed until at least through April 6th.

The complete changes follow:

Colorado Takes Further Action to Address 

Public Health Threat of COVID-19

State extends suspension of downhill ski operations, limits gatherings to no more than 10 people, suspends in-person learning in public & private schools

DENVER- Today Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and announced new executive actions to protect the health and safety of Coloradans. Earlier today at a news conference, Governor Polis announced the launch of the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. 

“We are acting boldly and swiftly together to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans. The science and data tells us this will get worse before it gets better,”said Governor Jared Polis.“We are in this together and the state is taking the necessary actions to slow the spread of this disease.”

The Governor signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state from March 23 to April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to make every effort to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time while taking into account the needs of local communities. This order also directs the Commissioner of Education to issue guidance to support P-12 school systems in developing and implementing plans to assist families and students in accessing alternative learning, providing free and reduced lunch and breakfast, and offering waivers for instructional time as appropriate. Click here to read. 

“Protecting the health of all Coloradoans is our top priority, and moving to online learning and other ways to support learning at home is absolutely the right thing to do,” said Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We know school leaders, educators and families will have a lot of questions about how to support their students’ learning at home during this unprecedented time. The department is working on guidance and developing resources to support our schools and students, and it will be available very soon.”

The Governor also announced that he would be extending the suspension of downhill ski area operations through April 6. COVID-19 has spread throughout many mountain communities where ski resorts are located and this is a necessary step to help slow the spread of the virus. Last week, the Governor issued an executive order suspending ski area operations until March 22. Click here to read the order. 

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the Colorado Department of Public Health also issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people. Gatherings include community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals or any similar event that brings 10 or more people together. Click here to read. 

Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at www.HelpColoradoNow.org

________

Wednesday 3-18-20

Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties to host COVID-19 virtual town hall with Tri-County Health Dept.

COVID-19 Town Hall March 19

The March 19 event will provide the latest coronavirus news and best practices

On Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m.,Douglas, Adams and Arapahoe counties will host a COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall with Tri-County Health Department officials, county leaders, and subject matter experts from each county, to update participants about the latest developments in the coronavirus health crisis.

The virtual town hall will be aired live beginning at 7:00 p.m., on ArapahoeGov.com/townhall, as well as on the County’s Facebook page. The recorded event will be posted online following the meeting. Callers may also listen in and ask questions during the town hall by dialing1-855-436-3656, and County officials also will call its entire list of land lines and cell phones beginning at 7 p.m.

Tri-County Health Department officials will provide updates on the status of the virus in the three-county area, which serves more than 1.5 million residents. They will also provide information about proactive measures being taken to maximize community safety and other fundamental information such as: what is the transmission risk; what are the best actions individuals and businesses can take right now; what are the latest policy actions from state and federal officials, and more. The bulk of the session will be dedicated to taking questions from the tri-county audience. In keeping with the current social distancing guidelines, the representative from each county and from Tri-County Health will be participating remotely.

For more information about the event, visit ArapahoeGov.com/townhall.

Wednesday 3-18-20

Colorado State Health Department pursues strategic approach to testing 

in face of widespread COVID-19 transmission in Colorado

DENVER, March 18, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is pursuing a strategic approach to testing in the state to steward our state and country’s scarce resources in the face of widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in Colorado. CDPHE is sending testing resources to specific communities that have not yet had testing that will yield vital information about how the disease is spreading. There is unprecedented collaboration between state government, local government, and the private sector to increase testing capacity over the next few weeks. However, CDPHE is strongly advising the public: If you have symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath), don’t wait for a test to self-isolate.

The State is expanding testing to include a temporary site in Pueblo on Thursday, March 19. The Colorado National Guard and Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment are supporting these efforts. CDPHE also plans to send testing resources to other locations later this week. CDPHE is prioritizing testing in areas that have not been highly tested to better understand where the disease is occurring and respond. These sites will serve high-risk patients who have been pre-selected by area health care providers. They will not accept walk-up or drive-up patients. 

“We are prioritizing testing in certain areas in order to better understand where and how much transmission is occurring,” said Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist. “It’s critical that we are gathering data in all areas of the state, especially areas where there hasn’t been a lot of testing.”

The state health department is also strongly advising that if you have mild symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others. Call your health care provider only if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 and tell the dispatcher your symptoms. People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms will be tested right away. 

If you have mild symptoms, suspect you were exposed, and are either unable to get tested or waiting on test results:

  • Please stay home and isolate yourself until:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (without the use of medicine) AND
    • Other symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) have improved AND
    • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Anyone in your household you have had close contact with (within six feet for approximately 10 minutes) should self-quarantine for 14 days, even if you haven’t been tested for COVID-19.

Testing completed at the State Laboratory will be prioritized in order to:

  • Identify and monitor for community transmission of COVID-19.
  • Investigate potential outbreaks in health care and residential facilities.
  • Ensure a safe workforce in health care and other facilities serving high-risk populations.
  • Test critically ill patients for whom commercial testing will not provide timely enough results.

As state epidemiologists keep a close eye on this rapidly changing situation, recommendations will change. At the beginning of any public health outbreak, it’s important to test and confirm individual cases. This information helps public health responders confirm when and where transmission is happening in a community. However, once community spread becomes more evident, public health moves away from diagnosing the illness in individuals and toward identifying community outbreaks. 

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

________

Wednesday 3-18-20

It's not a surprise but it is now official Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Rockies Spring Training complex in Scottsdale, is now closed. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has shut down operations there. Rockies player can no long voluntarily work out there. Players can go home or come to Denver to work out at Coors Field, which for now is still open for them.

________

The State of Colorado has this website: covid19.colorado.gov with direct information for Coloradoans about COVID-19.

Gov. Polis encouraging residents to to share photos or videos of themselves doing their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus by using #DoingMyPartCO.

Coronavirus Outbreak Grunge Background

Coronavirus Outbreak Grunge Background

Wednesday 3-18-20

Governor Jared Polis spoke at the state capitol on Wednesday. Here are his remarks.

Wednesday 3-18-20

The Colorado state capitol will be closed to the public indefinitely.

Major museums closed around the Front Range: Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Molly Brown House, Clyfford Still Museum, Museum of Art Fort Collins, Children's Museum of Denver and Lakewood Cultural Center.

_____________________

Tuesday 3-17-20

The State of Colorado launched a new website, tracing the state's coronavirus cases at covid19.colorado.gov.

The City of Loveland will close its offices starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 as part of its continuing effort to protect the community.

Colorado's second coronavirus death has been reported in Weld County.

The University of Colorado Boulder canceled its commencement ceremony, which was planned for May 7, 2020.

All events at City of Denver owned venues, including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, have been suspended through May 11, 2020.

City and County of Denver lifted time limits on metered parking but payment is required 8am-6pm.

Dumb Friends League still offering pet adoptions by appointment only. Visit ddfl.org

Douglas County Libraries closed all its libraries, effective today and until further notice.

Aurora Municipal Court and probation division at 14999 E. Alameda Parkway will be closed from Wednesday, March 18 - Friday, April 3, 2020.

Denver Golf facilities closing tomorrow Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

CDPHE: Drive-up testing today in Telluride for people who were identified beforehand. All other drive-up testing planned for High Country this week is pending.

Vail Resorts announced that it will close all of it's North American resorts and retail stores for 2019-2020 winter ski season due to the spread of the coronavirus.

_____________________

Monday 3-16-20 10:17 p.m. MDT

The Eagle County Sheriff Office says it is closing its administrative services until further notice.

From the Office:

Due to possible exposure of COVID-19 the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office will be closing its administrative services until further notice. Many of us will be working remotely to meet community needs and ensure that business continues as usual. We thank the citizens of Eagle County for their support during this time.

If you have any court orders needing executed during the next week please contact Jessie Porter at 970-328-8540 or at Jessie.porter@eaglecounty.us.

________

Monday 3-16-20 10:16 p.m. MDT

Update from FirstBank:

Maintaining the well-being of our customers, employees and communities remains our No. 1 priority. This is one of many reasons why FirstBank is closely monitoring the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), adhering to guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other health organizations, and implementing several sweeping changes to mitigate the spread and help those affected by COVID-19. 

We ask that you carefully review the information below as it may impact you. 

Banking From Home and At Your Convenience

We are taking all precautions necessary to ensure the health and safety of everyone. But please know we are here and available for you, our customers, in this unprecedented time. We take our role as a provider of essential services seriously and we are making every effort possible to offer services without disruption.

That said, we would like to encourage customers to take advantage of the many banking services we provide that don't involve stepping foot in a branch. 

  • Through online banking or our mobile app you can:
    • Send, receive and request money quickly and securely using Zelle®*
    • Deposit checks using Mobile Deposit on our FirstBank app
    • Pay and schedule bills
    • Freeze, replace or report lost or stolen debit and credit cards
    • Update your personal contact details 
    • View account activity 
    • Check account balances
    • Transfer funds between accounts, etc.
    • Watch our Mobile App video to learn more.
  • You can also use one of our many ATMs to deposit and withdraw funds.
  • Access customer service through our 24 Hour Telephone Banking Department.
  • Or make deposits in our night depositories at any of our branch locations.

While we've decided to temporarily suspend operations at some locations due to staffing challenges associated with school and daycare closures, most branches are continuing to operate under normal business hours, and our customer service telephone line will continue to be staffed with real live humans. Please check information on FirstBank's branch status page to locate an open branch nearest you.

Customer Relief Program 

We recognize the coronavirus is causing serious monetary implications for families. We are extending financial flexibility for customers who have been placed in quarantine due to potential exposure and whose employers do not offer paid leave for these circumstances. If you are taking unpaid time off due to quarantine, and as a result, are facing financial hardships, FirstBank is offering: 

  • Fee Refunds: Fees such as Non-Sufficient Fund (NSF) fees, overdraft fees, Visa card fees and early withdrawal fees, etc., will be waived or refunded for impacted customers. If related to their quarantine situation, customers may also be able to avoid transactional fees for bank offerings such as wire transfers, cashier's checks or money orders.
  • **Zero Percent Interest Rates: The bank will reduce interest rates on credit cards to 0 percent and cash reserves to .001 percent for a one month period, as long as the impacted customer contacts FirstBank prior to April 15th to request the lowered rate. Impacted customers, who do not currently have a credit card or cash reserve line, can apply and will be provided the same offer, pending they meet the bank's credit requirements. 
  • One-Time Omitted Loan Payment:Customers in quarantine and on unpaid leave may have the ability to skip one payment on their personal loan or mortgage upon request. Please contact customer service to find out if you qualify. 

If you are experiencing other financial hardships related to COVID-19, please contact us (1-800-964-3444; option 0), so we can work with you individually. 

How We're Keeping Our Employees Healthy (and Customers Safe)

Our cleaning procedures for all FirstBank branch locations are in line with the CDC's recommendations. Additionally, we are following the CDC's guidance on social distancing (the practice of creating space and isolation between people to minimize the spread of disease). We've been separating teams and having portions of our departments work remotely or in separate buildings. We're also expanding the company's remote working capabilities.

Most importantly, we've instituted an Emergency Sick Leave policy. This means employees who are infected, suspected of infection, in quarantine and who are not able to telework or work due to school/daycare closures can receive full paid leave for up to two weeks. We are committed to working with our employees should they need more time for recovery and quarantine. 

FirstBank is also cancelling all business-related travel, trainings, and other large gatherings or events. Other meetings are being handled through teleconference or video conferencing. 

These changes are not only the right thing to do for employees, and subsequently, customers, but they're imperative to limiting transmission of the virus.

Avoiding Coronavirus Scams

Like with any major news event, it's important to safeguard yourself from opportunists and scam artists that use these situations for malicious intent. For more information about coronavirus scams, please read this alert from the United States Secret Service.

Stay Updated

For the latest information about coronavirus, visit the CDC's resource center.

FirstBank will also continue to provide needed updates as it pertains to our operations or services. You can also call us - day or night - at with any questions or concerns you may have.  

Sincerely, 

FirstBank

________

Monday 3-16-20

Colorado Governor Jared Polis spoke at the state capitol on Monday. He ordered the closing of restaurants (for on-site dining only; delivery and take-out still ok), bars, gyms, theaters and casinos, effectively immediately and lasting for 30 days.

This is all an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Check the link on the KOA Facebook page below to access the Governor's full remarks, courtesy of our partners at KDVR Fox 31, or check a portion of the audio.

________

Monday 3-16-20

Tattered Cover bookstores to temporarily close all locations on Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m. MDT.

From Tattered Cover:

Greetings Wonderful Customers, 

Due to the public health crisis, and out of concern for our customers and staff, Tattered Cover is closing our Colfax Avenue, Historic LoDo, Union Station, and Littleton (Aspen Grove Shopping Center) locations as of 6:00 p.m. today. We will reassess the situation in two weeks, and make a decision about re-opening or extending the closure at that time. And of course, during this time, all previously scheduled events are canceled. 

We will, however, continue to serve you through our website, TatteredCover.com. Any order over $10 will be shipped for free via USPS media mail. We are also working on a plan to allow you to pick-up books curbside at specific TC locations on a limited schedule. The website is available to you 24/7.

And really, has there ever been a better time to stack up on good books to read?  

We are also going to take tomorrow, March 17, and work out a schedule to staff phones at certain locations as well. While we will not allow customers in the store, and will not open our cash registers, we will be able to accept credit card payments online or over the phone and walk books to your car. 

If you have already paid for a book, or have a book on hold, we'll contact you over the next few days to determine whether you would like that book shipped, or would like to make arrangements to pick it up curbside. 

While we know we're doing the right thing for our staff, customers, and the community, it was not a decision easily reached. Bookstores are low margin businesses, and closing for any extended period of time will impact not only the health and well being of Tattered Cover, but our individual employees as well. We will share information in the coming days on how best to use our website -- as well as some recommended reading, and possibly even information on some remote, digital-only events -- and how you can continue to support the store in the uncertain days ahead. 

In the meantime, know that you, our customers, are in our thoughts, and that we stand with you in the face of the crisis, even if we can't be in the same room. 

Stay tuned for more, and as always, thanks for supporting Tattered Cover.

Len & Kristen

________

Monday 3-16-20

Denver Zoo to temporarily close on March 17. This from the Zoo.

DENVER ZOO TO CLOSE ON MARCH 17

The Zoo Will Close to Guests Following Updated Guidance from the CDC and

State of Colorado; Continue to Provide Excellent Care to 3,000 Animals

March 16, 2020—Based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Colorado restricting public gatherings of 50 or more people, Denver Zoo will close to the public at 4 p.m. today. All scheduled events and programs, including spring break camps, Up-Close Animal Encounters and community outreach programs, will be cancelled or rescheduled to a later date. The Zoo will continue to assess the situation, and reopen and resume normal operations at the appropriate time.

Denver Zoo is electing to close out of an abundance of caution and to do its part to help protect the community from further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Starting on Tuesday, March 17, the Zoo will enact new operational procedures that will close its gates to guests, but enable its operations staff to continue to work onsite to provide vital care to its nearly 3,000 animals and infrastructure. This includes the Zoo’s dedicated caretakers, nutrition specialists and veterinarians, who will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for all animals onsite.

The Zoo invites the community to continue to experience, explore and learn about wild animals online through its website and social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Visitation, Programs and Events

  • The Zoo will close to the public at 4 p.m. on March 16, 2020. Zoo leadership will continue to assess the situation and recommendations from local, state and federal officials to determine the appropriate time to resume normal operations.
  • Tickets purchased for canceled spring break camps, Up-Close Animal Encounters and outreach programs will be refunded. Refunds can be obtained by calling the Zoo’s Guest Care Center at 720-337-1400 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
  • The free day on Thursday, April 9 is postponed and will be rescheduled.

Animal Care and Operations

  • Animal Care professionals will continue to provide vital nutritional, medical, emotional and physical care to the Zoo’s nearly 3,000 animal residents around the clock.
  • Guests can donate to help offset the cost of care for our animals during this time by visiting www.denverzoo.org.

________

Monday 3-16-20

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser issued the following statement to businesses.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Attorney General Phil Weiser urges businesses to refund or credit cancellations due to coronavirus

The safety of our community must be our priority

March 16, 2020 (DENVER, Colo.) —Attorney General Phil Weiser released the following statement applauding event organizers, airlines, hotels, and other businesses that have displayed good corporate citizenship by refunding consumers or issuing credit for cancellations made with the safety of our community in mind:

“Coloradans have canceled sporting events, vacations, and even wedding gatherings for the sake of their health. Their actions promise to slow the spread of the coronavirus and save lives. I applaud Governor Polis’s leadership during this public health emergency and am proud of how Coloradans are rising to this challenge.

“To do their part, businesses can act responsibly by providing refunds or credits to consumers who will not be able to use their services, whether hotel reservations, airline travel, or other areas where accommodations can be made. I commend the many businesses that have already taken the lead by honoring the need to curtail travel and large events. For those who have yet to do so, I would strongly encourage them to act quickly. As for any businesses that promise refunds or credits and fail to deliver on such promises, we will quickly investigate any such conduct and be ready to take action to protect consumers.

“Finally, I recognize that this public health emergency is hurting businesses and their employees, especially Colorado’s small businesses. We all need to pull together to support one another and we stand ready to consider appropriate measures to support those who are hurt during this crisis.”

Last week, Attorney General Weiser issued a consumer alert warning Colorado residents about scams and extreme price gouging—raising the price of goods or services to an unfair or unconscionable level. The Attorney General’s office continues to work with Amazon and others to address complaints of extreme price gouging. The attorney general has broad authority under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to protect consumers from unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive acts or practices.

If you notice any scams, fraud, price gouging, or other attempts to take advantage of Coloradans during this public health emergency, contact Stop Fraud Colorado at 800-222-4444 or www.StopFraudColorado.gov.

For the most accurate, up-do-date information about the coronavirus, go to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the World Health Organization websites.

Monday 3-16-20

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced important updates to the City and County of Denver's response to COVID-19 including restaurants and bars in Denver will be closed to the on-site dining starting March 17 and last for approximately 8 weeks, all gatherings 50 people or more will be cancelled or postponed and gyms and theaters are not under the closure order at this time.

Denver Botanic Gardens - at the request of the City and County of Denver and the State of Colorado, Denver Botanic Gardens locations indefinitely.

BOULDERBoulder - With the dynamic situation, the race has been rescheduled to this fall. If you have already registered for the 2020 race, your registration package will be honored to the new date. 

-----------------------------------------------------

Friday 3-13-20

Colorado now has its first coronavirus death. A woman in her 80's has passed away in El Paso County.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has closed Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Coliseum, the McNichols Building and the Denver Performing Arts Complex. for the next 30 days. In addition, all city recreation centers and libraries will close starting on Monday and will remain closed until further notice.

Governor Polis says there are now 72 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Colorado. Of those, eight are hospitalized and three are in critical condition. The governor says the first death in Colorado is inevitable. He says it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands of Coloradans will get the virus. For most it will be like the cold or flu but for the elderly and medically compromised persons it can be very serious.

The Governor has ordered a ban on all gathering of more than 250 people unless it can be shown that people can be kept at a distance of six to eight feet apart.

The Governor wants the state to be prepared for a surge in cases that could stress hospitals and clinics. He's ordered the Department of Regulatory Services to immediately license persons in Colorado who have medical certifications they've earned in other states. He is also asking retired medical professionals and people now working in other fields, who are still certified, to contact former employers and let them know they are ready to help.

The Governor says Colorado is a national leader in testing.Our state has tested ten percent of all the people who have been tested in America.

Polis is also urging neighbors to help neighbors. For example, you can drop groceries on the porch for elderly neighbors who may be shut in as they try to avoid getting the virus.

The Colorado Department of Health drive up testing center in Lowry is closed today because of cold and wet weather. Those conditions compromise the protective gear worn by halth workers.

Schools all over the Metro Area are closed for the time being. Some of them won't be returning to normal operation until early April.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's drive-thru testing site is open from noon until 2 p.m. today. That's after the site was jammed up yesterday.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment now reports 49 presumptive e positive cases of coronavirus. That includes 11 new cases identified yesterday. 350 people have been tested by the state lab since February 28th

Governor Jared Polis spoke this week, saying we are at a tipping point for the illness in the state. There are precautions being taken. Polis has warned at-risk age groups may want to take another look at travel into the high country. Nearly a third of all cases in the state are centered in the Aspen area, which is considered a hot spot.

(Photo: Getty Images)

103.5 The Fox · Denver, Colorado's Classic Rock

Listen Now on iHeartRadio

outbrain pixel