Coronavirus In Colorado, March 27 Updates: Pueblo Sees First Death, & More

This post will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Updated 4:30 p.m.

The latest information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 1,734 known cases of COVID-19 in the state. That number includes people who have tested positive as well as those who are highly likely to have the virus based on their symptoms and contact with another person who tested positive.

The new number represents an increase of 304 over the day before, where known cases totaled 1,430.

Additionally, 239 people were hospitalized, and 31 people have died as a result of COVID-19.

The data from the state is complete through Thurs., March 26.

In Southern Colorado, counties with known, positive test results:

  • El Paso – 160 (an increase of 23 since yesterday)
  • Douglas – 79 (an increase of 12)
  • Pueblo – 6 (an increase of 3)
  • Kit Carson – 2 (an increase of 1)
  • Otero – 2 (an increase of 1)
  • Teller – 7
  • Chaffee – 5
  • Elbert – 3
  • Huerfano – 1
  • Fremont – 1
  • Crowley – 1

Updated 3:55 p.m.

Gov. Polis Urges Strict Social Distancing Practices To Slow COVID-19 Spread In Latest Press Conference

Gov. Jared Polis discussed the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado and urged strict social distancing practices in a press conference Friday afternoon. Through various presentation slides, he showcased the predicted impact of COVID-19 based on social distancing practices.

"What drove me to immediately take these measures was this data," said Polis, referring to his recent Stay-At-Home Order which went into effect Thursday morning.

"The goal of the Stay-At-Home Order is to bring down how contagious the virus is as much as possible, save lives, and return to normalcy," he said.

He said the state has around 1,849 ICU beds and around 900 of those have been designated for patients with COVID-19. The goal is to add 1,000 additional beds by May, and 5,000 additional beds by the end of the summer.

Without any social distancing practices, he estimated that the peak need for ICU beds in June could reach 11,600, far beyond capacity.

At the moment, Polis said the state has around 900 ventilators, and will need around 7,000 for COVID-19 patients.

"We want to prepare for the worst realistic scenario and we hope we can be effective," said Polis. 

He said strict social distancing ensures the quickest possible return to work, productivity, and social and economic normalcy.

Morning Update

---Pueblo Health Officials Announce First Death Associated With COVID-19---

The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) is confirming the first death there as a result of COVID-19. In a release, the department says an 81-year-old woman died. No further information was made immediately available.

"This is a tragic loss of life and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family," said Randy Evetts, public health director at PDPHE in a statement. "This unfortunate loss highlights the seriousness of this virus. Now more than ever, we want to remind our residents to protect yourself, your family, and the community."

Health officials are working to identify anyone who may have had close contact with the woman.

It is unclear if her death is reflected in the current statewide count of 24 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

---More Testing Kits Come To El Paso County---

The state health department is distributing 4500 testing kits to health departments in Larimer, Mesa and El Paso Counties, aimed at testing first responders and health care workers.

The goal is to help bolster medical capacity and they will be given to workers who show symptoms. Anyone who tests negative will continue providing medical care and public safety services.

The kits come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

---Gov. Polis Signs Executive Orders---

Gov. Jared Polis signed two more executive orders Thursday, one aimed at allowing some state agencies to extend the expiration dates for certain licenses and other documents, like state park passes, commercial drivers, and licenses for health care facilities. You can read the full order here.

The other order updates protocol for state prisons and community corrections facilities. According to the governor's office, the order provides flexibility to corrections facilities and suspends certain requirements. You can read the full order here.

---Latest From The State Health Department---

New data from the state health department shows 1430 know cases of the new coronavirus in Colorado, which includes those who have tested positive as well as those where there's a high likelihood that an untested person has COVID-19 due to their symptoms and close contact with someone else who has tested positive.

The new number represents an increase of 344 over the day before.  

Additionally, 184 people are hospitalized, and 24 people have died as a result of COVID-19.

The data is complete through Wed., March 25.

In Southern Colorado, counties with known, positive test results:

  • El Paso – 137
  • Douglas – 67 
  • Teller – 7  
  • Chaffee – 5
  • Pueblo – 3* 
  • Elbert – 3
  • Kit Carson – 1 
  • Huerfano – 1 
  • Fremont – 1 
  • Otero – 1
  • Crowley – 1 

* = The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment said Thursday that two more people had tested positive for the new coronavirus. They are not reflected in the data released Thursday by the state.