Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19 updates for March 20

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 4:31 PM

Colorado authorities didn't hold a daily briefing today, so as they say, no news is good news.

Except that the daily data report shows the number of cases in the state shot up by 31 percent from March 18 to March 19, growing from 277 to 363.

Deaths doubled from two to four. Hospitalizations increased and the virus has been identified in 24 counties, up from 22 counties on March 18.

The number of tests conducted rose by 25 percent, from 2,952 on March 18 to 3,680 on March 19.

Cases in El Paso County nearly doubled from 15 to 27.

Other developments:

• State and federal governments have extended the income tax filing deadline until July 15 from April 15.

• The Broadmoor announced it will close for more than two months, starting March 21, the Gazette reported. It hopes to reopen for Memorial Day weekend.

• The Gazette also reported that Pikes Peak region schools plan to reopen April 20.

• The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Colorado Springs announced it closed its doors on March 20. "However, rather than sending employees home unpaid, The Salvation Army will redeploy staff to help serve the community amid COVID-19 concerns," it said in a release. "Thrift store employees in Colorado Springs will be utilized to help sort through donations, help sanitize and clean our facilities, help the Colorado Kitchen staff in any way, and any other projects we may have to keep our community safe." In addition, the Salvation Army Colorado Springs remains open to help the community with food, shelter, and utility assistance. For help, 855-768-7977.

• Pikes Peak Regional Building Department will remain closed until at least April 6 and perhaps indefinitely.

Westword reports there's been a run on guns and ammo amid the COVID-19 outbreak, a phenomenon seen across the country.

click to enlarge UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central
• The Colorado Springs Health Foundation, the entity created with lease payments for city-owned Memorial Hospital, committed up to $500,000 for COVID19-related health needs in the Pikes Peak region. The first $250,000 will be donated to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation Emergency Relief Funds that support El Paso and Teller County nonprofit organizations addressing the virus and its impact. It's unclear exactly how the money will be doled out, but a news release said, "Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Funds allow individuals, businesses and philanthropic organizations to pool their collective financial support during times of a declared emergency. The funds are a centralized, streamlined way to offer emergency assistance to affected local nonprofit organizations during a time of crisis."

• UCHealth Memorial Hospital suspended activity at its drive through testing tent off of South Union Boulevard, citing a need for medical materials for other caregiving activities.

• Numerous restaurants across the region are offering curbside service. Local officials encourage residents who have the means to patronize local businesses, especially restaurants which have been hard hit by closure to dine-in business. Many wait staff, cooks and others survive on hourly wages and tips.

El Paso County courthouse - COURTESY COLORADO COURTS
  • Courtesy Colorado courts
  • El Paso County courthouse
• Operations at the District and County Courts in Colorado Springs have been curtailed to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus. Restrictions have been imposed on who may enter the courthouse at 270 South Tejon St. Entry is allowed only between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Go here for all the details.

• The state announced on March 20 that 39 cruise ship passengers who have been under U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) quarantine since their ship docked in California on March 90 are returning to Colorado. "As requested by Governor Jared Polis in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, all passengers returning to Colorado are asymptomatic at the time of travel," the release said. "If passengers were symptomatic in any way, they remain in federal care and will not be returning to Colorado at this time." The passengers were due in to Denver International Airport at 3:30 p.m. on March 20 and would not enter the main terminal. They will continue to self-quarantine at their homes, which are located in Aurora, Boulder, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Denver, Edwards, Ft. Collins, Greeley, Lakewood, Littleton, Longmont, Loveland, Westminster, Wheatridge and Windsor.

• Peterson Air Force Base opened a COVID-19 testing station on base for those who receive medical treatment at Peterson or Schriever Air Force Base. The goal is to limit the spread of the virus. To be tested, patients must first be evaluated by phone and meet criteria recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

• Colorado Springs City Council will hold its March 24 meeting online only starting at 10 a.m. Go to for information.

• In a rather ominous report, Newsweek explores how the military will intervene to control civil unrest if necessary during the virus pandemic. 

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