Coronavirus In Colorado-Fri., April 17 Updates: State Nears 400 Deaths Due To COVID-19

April 17, 2020
Dunes, Medano Creek, and San Luis ValleyDunes, Medano Creek, and San Luis Valley NPS/Patrick Myers / National Park Service
Dunes, Medano Creek, and San Luis Valley

This post will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Update-7:10 p.m.

---Long-Term Care Facilities To Develop Isolation Plans---

As part of his regular updates on the state response to COVID-19, Gov. Jared Polis Friday announced that he and the state health department are requiring long-term care facilities to develop detailed isolation plans by May 1.

The announcement comes as new state data shows 100 outbreaks of COVID-19 in such facilities statewide.

Gov. Polis also said he is deploying the Colorado National Guard to conduct testing at the three largest nursing homes in the state, and that he is now requiring workers at critical businesses to wear non-medical masks or face coverings while at work as well as gloves if provided by the employer.

Additionally, Polis is establishing the COVID Health Equity Response Team to help ensure equity as a factor in decision-making and transparency in racial and ethnic data, among other things.

Update-4:00 p.m.

---Updated Data From The Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment---

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows 9047 known cases of COVID-19 in the state. That includes both positive tests and people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive and is exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

1755 people are hospitalized and 391 people have died. Additionally, Pueblo County health officials announced an additional death there that may not yet be reflected in state data; in Chaffee County, is reporting a total of two more deaths that may not yet be reflected in state data.

There are 100 known outbreaks in at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities. 43,307 people have been tested according to the state, but not all negative tests may be represented in that number.

Data is complete through Thurs., April 15.

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

  • El Paso – 705
  • Douglas – 353
  • Pueblo – 84*
  • Chaffee – 57*
  • Elbert – 20
  • Teller – 18 
  • Kit Carson –13
  • Baca – 10
  • Fremont – 9
  • Alamosa – 7
  • Otero – 6
  • Costilla – 3
  • Las Animas – 3
  • Custer – 2 
  • Crowley – 2 
  • Lincoln – 2
  • Huerfano – 1
  • Prowers – 1
  • Kiowa – 0 

*The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment and Chaffee County Public Health and Environment are reporting data not yet reflected in the state tabulation.

Additionally, Colfax County in Northern New Mexico is now reporting four total cases of COVID-19.

---Pueblo County Receives Ventilators---

Pueblo County has received 10 ventilators as part of a shipment of 100 that the state received from the Strategic National Stockpile. 

Parkview Medical Center is one of 11 sites around the state that has received ventilators, though health officials in Pueblo County say they can be moved based on the needs of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

In a press release, Randy Evetts, public health director for the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, said they currently have enough ventilators available in the community, "but it's beneficial to have additional ventilators should we get a surge in critical patients."

Other Southern Colorado facilities receiving ventilators from this shipment are the San Luis Valley Medical Center in Alamosa (5) and Memorial Central in Colorado Springs (5).

Additionally, Pueblo health officials are reminding residents of the importance of wearing face masks when outside to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

---Critical Baby Items Come To Catholic Charities---

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado Family Connections is set to receive a "very large shipment" of critical baby items from FEMA through the state Department of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood.

According to Catholic Charities, the shipment will include 200 cases of formula, 566 packages of diapers, and 1269 packages of baby wipes. A delivery date of the items has not yet been confirmed.

The items will be shared with partner agencies and Catholic Charities will begin distributing the items directly to families in El Paso and Douglas counties.

Families in El Paso County who need this help should fill out a form available here.

---State Health Department Launches Symptom Tracker---

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is launching a pilot version of a symptom tracker. According to CDPHE, it's a short survey designed to track symptoms of COVID-19, even if the reporting person is unable or does not need to get a test.

The goal is to help public health officials track early warning signs that an outbreak could be imminent in a given area or region.

The symptom tracker is available here.

---Testing In El Paso County Expands---

UCHealth, in coordination with El Paso County Public Health, is expanding testing to include anyone who may be experiencing symptoms, which includes fever, cough or shortness of breath. The site is located one block east of Memorial Park at South Parkside/KidsKare Point and is open from 9-5 Monday through Friday.

Additionally, Peak Vista has opened a drive-through COVID-19 testing site for symptomatic people aged 12 and up. No doctor referral is required.

The site is at Peak Vista's Academy Campus, located at 3205 N. Academy Blvd and will be open Monday through Friday, 10-2, depending on test availability.

Original post:

---Great Sand Dunes Closes---

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is closed.

The closure comes at the request of the Alamosa County Public Health Department and includes all public access points, park roads, and backcountry access. 

In a press release, park superintendent Pamela Rice said they agree the closure is in the public's best interest and that an increase in visitors means they can no longer mitigate the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. 

The park remains closed until further notice.

---Fort Carson Soldiers Return From Washington State---

Fort Carson soldiers deployed to Washington to assist with that state's response to COVID-19 are returning to the Mountain Post. 

Around 200 personnel with the 627th Hospital Center went to Washington state late last month to assist in routine and emergency medical care so that local community medical staff could focus more on the response to the novel coronavirus. 

Speaking through a mask, Commander Hope Williamson-Younce says it won't be "business as usual."

"We are in a high state of alert and readiness, and we are postured to deploy in a moment's notice again on behalf of the nation," Williamson-Younce said.

According to Fort Carson, those returning will immediately self-quarantine for two weeks, but will remain on a 48-hour standby to enable deployment elsewhere. No new assignments have been publicly announced.

---Latest Data From The Colorado Department Of Public Health And Environment---

Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows 8675 known cases of COVID-19 in the state. That includes both positive tests and people who have been in contact with someone who tested positive and is exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

1693 people are hospitalized and 374 people have died. There are 93 known outbreaks in at residential and non-hospital healthcare facilities. 41,830 people have been tested according to the state, but not all negative tests may be represented in that number.

Data is complete through Wed., April 15.

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

  • El Paso – 689
  • Douglas – 329
  • Pueblo – 78*
  • Chaffee – 56*
  • Elbert – 17
  • Teller – 17 
  • Kit Carson –13
  • Baca – 10
  • Fremont – 9
  • Alamosa – 7
  • Otero – 5
  • Costilla – 3
  • Custer – 2 
  • Las Animas – 3
  • Crowley – 2 
  • Lincoln – 2
  • Huerfano – 1
  • Prowers – 1
  • Kiowa – 0 

*The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment reported 63 cases of COVID-19 in the county, which includes three cases not reflected in the state data due to the collection period. Chaffee County is also reporting data not yet reflected in the state tabulation.

See yesterday's updates here.