Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 updates for the afternoon of March 23

Posted By and on Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 9:31 AM

click to enlarge ELENA TRAPP
  • Elena Trapp
By Zach Hillstrom

COVID-19 cases shot up across the weekend, with Colorado reporting 720 cases through Sunday, March 22 — up 22 percent from Saturday.

The number of people tested for the virus also jumped — from 5,436 tested through Saturday to 6,224 tested through Sunday — and 31 of the state’s 64 counties now have at least one confirmed case of the virus.

The third death from COVID-19 in El Paso County was recorded Saturday, March 21. The person who died was a man in his 70s.

A total of 72 people across the state have now been hospitalized and 7 have died.
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on Friday extending the state tax payment deadline from April 15 to July 15, giving Colorado taxpayers 90 extra days to complete payments without penalty.

On Monday in El Paso County, Assessor Steve Schleiker also extended the deadline for personal property declarations, moving the 2020 Personal Property Declaration Schedule filing from April 15 to Aug 1.

In the extension, Schleiker waves all penalties and possible arbitrary assessments for all El Paso County businesses for tax year 2020.

At the Capitol, a procedural vote was held Monday on Senate Republicans’ $1.8 trillion economic stimulus package to address the economic impact of the pandemic and failed for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The vote was 49-46, on a largely party line vote.

In other developments:
• Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced a new Public Health Order with explicit directions that all people in the city and county of Denver stay at home, and businesses implement work-from-home policies and delivery of goods to “the greatest extent possible.” The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday and continues through April 10. It may be extended, as needed. Liquor and marijuana stores with extreme physical distancing in place will be exempt, as will all constructions operations and projects. For additional information, including a full list of exceptions, visit denvergov.org

• The City of Colorado Springs’ Parking Enterprise will suspend enforcement of parking meters, time limited and non-metered parking areas, along with booting until Thursday, April 30. All parking meters in downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City will be free and without time limits. Structured parking will also be free. Enforcement will continue for: fire hydrant zones and fire lanes; “No Stopping” or “No Parking” zones; loading zones; ADA violations; Mountain Metro Transit stops; extended/overnight parking at meters; and special parking permitted spaces, among others.

• The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center announced Monday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is starting to distribute supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to help communities across the state respond to COVID-19. Colorado received:
- 49,200 N95 masks
- 115,000 surgical masks
- 21,420 surgical gowns
- 21,800 face shields
- 84 coveralls
The supplies will be distributed to every county health department and tribe throughout the state, prioritizing where “they are needed most.” CDPHE estimates the supplies are sufficient for approximately one full day of statewide operations.

• Centura Health announced it is partnering with nonprofit blood collection organization Vitalant to host mobile blood drives across the state. As a result of COVID-19, local blood centers are anticipating a 20 percent decline in blood donations this week alone, and a 35 percent decline in the coming weeks. “It is important to note that blood donation is not considered a large social gathering and individuals who are well and healthy can safely donate blood,” Centura Health announced.

• As the Senate continues to hash out a stimulus package, Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet signed onto a letter with other lawmakers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) urging them to support funding for K-12 students to have adequate home internet connectivity if their schools close due to the pandemic. The lawmakers specifically requested at least $2 billion in E-Rate funds for schools and libraries to provide Wi-Fi hotspots or other devices with Wi-Fi capability to students without adequate connectivity in their homes.

• Colorado Senator Jim Smallwood (R-Parker) announced Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

• Attorney General Phil Weiser released a statement Monday urging state courts to reschedule criminal trials to protect trial participants from COVID-19.

• CDPHE announced it is closing in-person services for its Air Pollution Control Division. The front lobby remains closed but customers can still email, call, or send mail to contact the division. For details visit colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/apcd


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