Coronavirus In CO-March 31 Updates: 69 Deaths Statewide, And More

March 31, 2020
Virus Outbreak US TestingVirus Outbreak US Testing John Minchillo / AP
In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing at a laboratory in New York's Long Island.

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

Update: 4:25 p.m. 

---Afternoon Update From The State Health Department---

The latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) indicates 2966 known cases of COVID-19 across 50 counties in the state. That represents an increase of 339 known cases, and three new counties. 509 people are hospitalized and 69 people have died. There are 16 known outbreaks at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities.

The data is complete through Mon., March 30, and includes people who have had a positive test result, as well as cases where public health officials have determined infection is likely because someone showed symptoms of the disease and had close contact with someone who tested positive. CDPHE says the number of epidemiologically linked cases is a small portion of the reported cases.

In Southern Colorado counties, known cases of COVID-19 are the following:

  • El Paso – 286 (+41) 
  • Douglas – 141 (+22)
  • Pueblo – 21 
  • Chaffee – 17 
  • Teller – 7 
  • Elbert – 5 (+1) 
  • Baca – 3 (+2)
  • Costilla – 3 
  • Otero – 3
  • Kit Carson – 2 (+1)
  • Fremont – 2 
  • Huerfano – 1 
  • Crowley – 1 
  • Alamosa – 1
  • Lincoln – 1 
  • Las Animas – 0 
  • Custer – 0 

Morning:

The latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) indicates 2627 known cases of COVID-19 across 47 counties in the state. 414 people are hospitalized and 51 people have died.

The data is complete through Sun., March 29, and includes people who have had a positive test result, as well as cases where public health officials have determined infection is likely because someone showed symptoms of the disease and had close contact with someone who tested positive. CDPHE says the number of epidemiologically linked cases is a small portion of the reported cases.

Known COVID-19 cases in Colorado from state data released Mon., March 30, 2020Credit Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Known COVID-19 cases in Colorado from state data released Mon., March 30, 2020

In Southern Colorado counties, known cases of COVID-19 are the following:

  • El Paso – 245 
  • Douglas – 119 
  • Pueblo – 21* 
  • Chaffee – 16* 
  • Teller – 8 
  • Elbert – 4 
  • Costilla – 3 
  • Otero – 3 
  • Fremont – 2 
  • Huerfano – 1 
  • Crowley – 1 
  • Alamosa – 1
  • Baca – 1
  • Kit Carson – 1 
  • Lincoln – 1 

* Both Pueblo and Chaffee counties released new data during the day Monday, and the totals for those counties above reflect the information provided by the local county health departments and represents a slight increase over the current state tabulation.

---Local, Low Interest Loans Available For Small Businesses---

Small businesses in Colorado Springs and El Paso County affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for up to $25,000 in funds aimed at providing emergency financial relief. 

The low-interest loan program, called "Survive & Thrive COS," comes from the non-profit startup accelerator Exponential Impact, in partnership with the City of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation.

Hannah Parsons, board member of Exponential Impact, says because it is a local loan program, they're able to turn around funding within a week of application. And, she says, they're not asking for collateral. 

"Our goal is to make this no-barrier and get funding into the business hands as quickly as possible," she says.

High priority businesses include the food industry, retail shops, and other businesses that have been forced to close, are struggling to pay rent and utilities, and have had to lay off staff as a result of COVID-19.

"This is going to allow our local businesses to weather the storm, and when we are back, and we are going to be back, it's going to put them in a position to be able to thrive," said Bob Cope with the city's Economic Development department.

Business with the equivalent of 2-25 full time employees are eligible to apply. Funds will be distributed over a three-month period. The repayment process would span, at most, three years, with 0% interest and no payments required in the first year. Interest will increase by 1% over each of the next two years.

Funding for the program comes from investments by local leaders, organizations and business professionals. Parsons says they have more than $1 million committed for the program, with a goal of reaching $5 million committed as soon as possible.

---Artist Recovery Fund For El Paso And Teller Counties---

The Bee Vradenburg Foundation and Pikes Peak Community Foundation are coming together to help support individual artists and local creatives who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing stay-in-place order.

Artists who have lost work can apply for emergency funds aimed at covering basic human needs. Most grants will be roughly $500 to help cover the most urgent needs.