Friday, March 13, 2020

The latest cancellations/postponements due to COVID-19 in the Pikes Peak Region

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 12:53 PM

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
The latest announcements regarding COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus:

• Pikes Peak region school districts have announced an early extension of spring break as an active measure to limit spread of COVID-19. As part of this action, ALL student activities from March 14-27 are cancelled.

• The Space Foundation has postponed the Space Symposium set to open here on March 30.

• From Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, to the entire campus: (Short version: All cadets being sent home, except seniors who Academy officials hope to graduate in May.)
As you’re aware, many schools are closing due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. After much deliberation and discussion, we have made the conservative decision to begin an orderly dismissal cadet candidates at the prep school and four, three and two degrees. We will keep the first class cadets here. The goal of this action is to maximize the chances of graduating our senior class on time for our Air and Space Forces while ensuring the best possible care for the entire base populace.
click to enlarge Air Force Academy chapel - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Air Force Academy chapel
Ultimately, the deciding factor was recommendations from our public health officials and the inability to execute social distancing over 4,000 cadets here on campus. We did not make this decision lightly; we consulted with our medical professionals, sister service academies and local civic leaders, among others.

At this time, while we have multiple members of our base populace being monitored, we still have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at USAFA. Please continue to monitor the website http://www.USAFA.EDU/news/coronavirus for more information, and we will share more information as it becomes available.

Thank you for your continued leadership as we respond to this rapidly evolving situation.
• From UCHealth, about it setting up a drive-through testing station:
(March 13, 2020) – UCHealth has opened a regional drive-through center in Colorado Springs for individuals to be tested for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 ONLY if they have received a provider referral after meeting screening criteria and have a doctor’s order.
  • Courtesy UCHealth Memorial Hospital
The test-collection site is NOT a screening center for the public at large, and no doctors are on site. Individuals coming to this site must have an order from a physician or advanced practice provider who determined a need for testing via criteria set by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). “It’s important to understand that this site is for people who have met testing criteria, as determined by their provider,” said Dr. David Steinbruner, associate chief medical officer of UCHealth Memorial Hospital. “This effort is a collaboration with the state and county health departments to confirm or rule out COVID-19 cases and reduce transmission of the virus.”

The Colorado Springs site is at South Parkside Drive and Kidskare Point, one block east of Memorial Park. Individuals with a provider referral can come to the center at their convenience from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, starting on Friday, March 13. In addition to the provider referral, individuals who are referred by a non-UCHealth provider will need to bring a second form – specifically, CDPHE’s “Assessment of Patients for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)” – that has also been filled out by the provider. Patients who arrive without a form will need to acquire a form from a referring provider before UCHealth can collect a specimen

A copy of the form can be found here. Individuals also must bring a photo identification that matches the name on the provider’s order. All individuals will be checked for the proper paperwork before being allowed entry to the test site. The site is being operated with guidance from El Paso County Public Health. “Knowing that the majority of COVID-19 cases will have mild symptoms, we are appreciative of UCHealth’s proactive efforts in increasing local testing availability,” said Dr. Robin Johnson, El Paso County Public Health medical director. UCHealth encourages people who think they may have symptoms of COVID-19 to consider using Virtual Urgent Care, which will link them with a UCHealth provider via their phone, tablet or computer. The Virtual Urgent Care team has capabilities and protocols to virtually screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure, and if needed, refer patients for testing.

Patients can quickly set up virtual visits through the UCHealth mobile app or through the web site. Please visit for more information. For the most up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Colorado, visit the CDPHE’s web site at 

• From Colorado Springs Airport:
In response to many school closures and extended spring breaks the Colorado Springs Airport (COS) will offer 50 percent off long-term parking to college students starting March 13 through April 15, 2020.
click to enlarge NAT LAVIN
  • Nat Lavin
“We want to help eradicate some financial burden students may have while they attempt to return home,” said Director of Aviation, Greg Phillips.

In order to receive the discount, students must show a valid college ID upon their return. The discount may only be redeemed at a booth with a parking attendant and will not be valid at the automatic booths.

The daily maximum for long-term parking is currently $7. This discount will bring the rate down to $3.50 per day. For additional Airport parking information please call (719) 591-1293.
• Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC advises:
We’ll get right to it: unfortunately, we are canceling the following two events out of an abundance of caution to keep our community, especially our most vulnerable citizens, healthy and safe.

Chamber Connect on Thursday, March 19
Business After Hours on Thursday, March 19

We are closely monitoring local information from evidence-based sources, including El Paso County Public Health and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, so we can make decisions based on data and not fear. As such, these are the only events that we are canceling at this time. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and be in touch about future events.
• Rocky Mountain Vibes:
"Support Our Students" Food Drive
When: Monday, March 16th & Tuesday, March 17th
8AM to 4PM
UCHealth Park
4385 Tutt Blvd.
click to enlarge screen_shot_2020-03-13_at_12.43.48_pm.png
Help us support our schools! With school districts closing for 2 weeks, we want to be able to support students and families who may not be able to provide adequate meals while their children are out of school. In District 49, 3 total schools qualify as Title One schools meaning they offer a free and reduced lunch program. We want to be able to support these students and we are asking for your help!

All you have to do is grab some pre-packaged foods that kids can make on their own and drop them off at UCHealth Park Monday and Tuesday (March 16th & 17th) next week. That's it - we'll handle the rest.

Here is a really easy example of what you can include in your donation:

- 2 Individual Packets of Instant Oatmeal
- OR 1 Full Box of Cereal

- 1 Jar of Peanut Butter & 1 Plastic Jar of Jelly or Jam
- OR 2 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese
- OR 2 Cans of Soup or Stew

- 2 Granola Bars
- OR 2 Small Bags of Pretzels
- OR 2 Bags of Goldfish Crackers

- 1 Can of Peaches or Pears in 100 percent juice, not heavy syrup
- OR 1 Plastic Container of Applesauce
- OR 100 percent Fruit Snacks or Fruit Leather

- 1 Can of Green Beans, Carrots, or Corn
In addition, bishops of diocese in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Denver have cancelled all masses until further notice.

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