Coronavirus In Colorado: March 16 Updates

March 16, 2020
Virus Outbreak US TestingVirus Outbreak US Testing ANDEW HARNICK / CDC/AP
This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus.

This post will continue to be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available.

Update - 5:00 p.m.

The state health department says there are 29 new positive cases of coronavirus in Colorado, bringing the total to 160. There is no county data available yet to show where those cases are located. 

In an afternoon address, Gov. Jared Polis suspended dine-in service for all bars and restaurants for dine-in service and places where large number of people can gather like gyms, casinos, and DMV offices. 

Earlier in the day, the state health department announced the agency has brought in 50 new nurses. The nurses come from Freedom Health Care Staffing Company and will start by staffing testing sites and health care facilities.

Update- 12:00 p.m.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers has declared a State of Emergency for the city in response to COVID-19, effective at 10 Monday morning.

In a statement, Suthers said it gives the city its best ability to respond to the pandemic by making Colorado Springs eligible for federal relief funding and it provides the mayor the authority to enact rules that can be put into place quickly as the situation evolves.

"This should not be cause for further alarm," Suthers said. "But a signal that our city continues to monitor the situation and respond in a prudent, efficient effective manner in constant coordination with our partners at El Paso County Health and El Paso County."

Original post--5:30 a.m.

State health officials Sunday "strongly advised" anyone who lives in or visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, or Gunnison counties within the last week to minimize contact with other people, regardless of any symptoms of coronavirus. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is encouraging this action for two weeks, regardless of any symptom development.

CDPHE continues to encourage people across the state to practice social distancing—staying at least 6 feet from others—and to avoid gatherings, social or otherwise, to help slow the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the suspension of gatherings of 50 or more people over the course of the next 8 weeks.

This graphic from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment illustrates the concept of social distancing.Credit Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
This graphic from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment illustrates the concept of social distancing.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should call a health care provider before seeking care, according to health officials.

Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. The most vulnerable people to severe illness are older with chronic medical conditions, though people older than 60 and those with chronic conditions are also at a greater risk.

As of mid-day Sunday, there were 131 total positive cases in the state, including one additional case in El Paso County. In Southern Colorado, that brings the total number of cases to four in El Paso County, one in Pueblo County, and eight in Douglas County.

The counties with the most cases are Denver with 24, Eagle with 22, and Arapahoe with 15.

El Paso County health officials continue to reach out to anyone who may have visited the Colorado Springs Bridge Center from late February through early March and may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Those people should call their health provider immediately.

The statement was issued Saturday and comes after Colorado saw its first death Friday as a result of the new coronavirus, an El Paso County woman in her 80s who had underlying health conditions. 

The woman attended games at the center between Feb. 27 and March 3.

Health officials continue to stress the importance of good hygiene, including frequent hand washing, wiping down surfaces, and covering coughs and sneezes.

Visit CPR's FAQ on the new coronavirus