Coronavirus news and updates from Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region, and elsewhere in Colorado and the U.S.
– Denver and Adams counties will officially move to Level 3, Safer at Home on Wednesday, raising a question as to how high school sporting events will be affected by the stricter virus guidelines, which limit outdoor gatherings of no more than 75, and sports to groups of 10 or less in Denver. Full story here.
– The number of new coronavirus cases in Colorado — at least, the number of cases tracked by the state health department — shot past previous high marks during a steady increase over the past few weeks, reaching more than twice the number in March and April. More here.
– Even if a 4th Judicial District Court judge agrees with state and local health departments that claim a religious organization in Teller County has not complied with pandemic-related public health orders and caused COVID-19 outbreaks, another large event at Andrew Wommack Ministries’ conference center in Woodland Park likely will go on as scheduled next week. Read more here.
– A second El Paso County high school has moved to online learning after an outbreak of COVID-19, as the county’s attorney is attempting to dispel what she said was “inaccurate information” that a gathering she held could be connected to the infections. Cheyenne Mountain High School notified families Saturday that it would be transitioning to online learning through Nov. 6 because of multiple positive cases of the virus. The school had four active positive cases as of Tuesday, Superintendent Walt Cooper told The Gazette. Read more here.
– A Colorado Springs public defender was found in contempt of court Tuesday after refusing to show up for a client’s trial, citing heightened risks from El Paso County’s surge in COVID-19 infections. Full story here.
– A new COVID-19 testing site opened in Fountain Tuesday. Insurance or doctor referrals are not needed to get tested, officials said in a news release. More details on that here.
– A coronavirus outbreak at the Aspen Living Center in Colorado Springs continues to grow weeks after it was initially reported, becoming one of the largest outbreaks among long-term care facilities in the city. Read more here.
– Eight El Paso County sheriff’s workers tested positive for COVID-19 in a three-week span this month — a 70 percent jump in infections among employees and the most significant outbreak since one that killed a 41-year-old deputy. Read more here.
– A health agency told Colorado Gov. Jared Polis that he does not need to quarantine himself after meeting with Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor’s office. Read more here.
– The coronavirus has a reductionist quality upon its victims. To die of it is to become a statistic. To die as a result of an outbreak is to become a separate statistic. Jayne lived 93 years. She raised five children, survived hurricanes in her hometown of Key West, Fla., and graduated high school at 16. She met her husband, Paul, in summer 1944, when he was a Navy pilot and she was home on summer break. They married in January 1945 and stayed married for 63 years. But like more than 2,000 Coloradans and 221,000 Americans, she is easily reduced to a blip on a map, an anonymized line in a spreadsheet. Read more here.
– During a summer like no other, Colorado’s signature thru-hiking destination proved busier than ever. “This pandemic year, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Bill Manning, executive director of nonprofit Colorado Trail Foundation. Then he and his colleagues saw what every Coloradan saw as COVID-19 induced cabin fever: packed trailheads everywhere. Read more here.
– As positive COVID-19 cases climb and the weather gets colder, Gazette editor Vince Bzdek wonders how we’ll cope with the “Pandemic Winter,” which means a return to indoor life, and a “surge in stress as we move from a coronavirus sprint to a marathon.” Read his latest column here.
– Lawyers and experts say there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding federal and state eviction protections issued to protect people who can’t pay their rent during the pandemic. Here’s a look at how these orders worked to prevent one Colorado Springs family from becoming homeless, and why lawyers and experts say the orders are so confusing. Read more here.
– El Paso County could see increased COVID-19 restrictions in upcoming weeks if the county does not curb the disease’s spread, officials said in a news conference Friday. Read more here.
– Rising hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have prompted the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to order limitations on gatherings in all counties at the “Safer at Home” status. People should not congregate in groups larger than 10 and from no more than two separate households. Read more here.