Corona Virus Update: March 21st

Polis announces more executive orders

COVID-19, a new form of coronavirus, is in Colorado. We’ll post updates here as we get them.


  • 363 cases in Colorado, 4 deaths. Get the latest from CDPHE.
  • 6 residents of an El Paso County senior living facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park has closed due to the virus.
  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced a $4 million relief fund for small businesses and artists. He also he has not placed the city under a shelter-in-place order yet, but he couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen within 48 hours.
  • All Colorado schools are closed through April 17.
  • Colorado launched the Help Colorado Now effort where Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.
  • San Miguel County has ordered residents to “shelter-in-place” and has enacted new widespread testing measures. Visit the county website for more information.
  • CHA said Colorado hospitals have moved from a mitigation response to a surge response. This means that hospitals have seen a marked increase in the number of patients presenting with respiratory illness who need hospitalization and further testing.
  • Health authorities are setting up drive-up testing locations in other parts of Colorado. The latest round of tests will be at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds.

SATURDAY, March 21 launches for Denver and Boulder area restaurants

Visit Denver, Boulder Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Eat Denver, and the Colorado Restaurant Association announced they have come together to create for Denver and Boulder area restaurants that are open for take out and/or delivery.

Restaurants can register for free and list current home or curbside delivery and takeout services that are available. Anyone looking for restaurants that are operating can search the listings by restaurant name, neighborhood or cuisine.

FRIDAY, March 20

Rocky Mountain National Park closed because of COVID-19

As of Friday, it’s the second national park to close nationwide for the same reason. Yosemite shut down earlier in the day.

The National Park Service announced the closure after the mayor of Estes Park, which neighbors RMNP, and Larimer County’s public health director sent letters to the Department of the Interior making the request.

Colorado’s other national parks continue to operate, as do state parks.

No visitors at UCHealth hospitals

UCHealth announced that they will not be allowing visitors in any of their hospitals or clinics. Patients in the maternity, NICU, pediatric and end-of-life care departments are exempt from this new rule.

Outpatient clinic patients will also be allowed one person to accompany them if needed for support.

UCHealth is also encouraging patients to call ahead if they are on their way to an appointment, emergency room or urgent care and have a fever, cold, or flu symptoms, or if they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Air Force Academy to limit base access starting Monday

The Air Force Academy announced Friday that they will start limiting access to those conducting official business only, starting Monday, March 23rd. According to the press release, base access will be limited to those who work or live on the installation or those accessing medical services.

“We have instituted numerous measures to minimize the risk of exposure due to activities here on base, but there remains significant risk to the staff and cadets from our ongoing exposure to the off-base community,” said Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy’s Superintendent. “While I know this is disappointing we all have to continue to work together and make sacrifices to protect the health of our personnel and the continued mission of the U.S. Air Force Academy.”

In addition to limiting access to the base, the north gate will now be open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily.

Wastewater agency asks customers to watch what they flush

As toilet paper becomes more and more scarce and people start to use alternatives, the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (MWRD) is reminding Denver area residents not to flush anything but toilet paper. In a post on its website, MWRD said that includes all types of wipes (even those that are labeled as flushable), paper towels, napkins and all other paper products, toilet bowl scrub pads and diapers. The post said those items should be placed in the trash instead.

MWRD said while products other than toilet paper can cause operational challenges for wastewater treatment facilities, they can also create blockages in residential pipes.

Colorado passengers from Grand Princess cruise ship come home

There were 43 Coloradans aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship and 39 of them are returning home Friday afternoon.

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