Coronavirus news and updates from Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region, and elsewhere in Colorado and the U.S.
The latest numbers from the state (updated Sept. 26):
•68,510 cases, including 6,931 in El Paso County
•878,021 people tested
•2,040 deaths among all cases, including 173 in El Paso County
•1,940 deaths due to COVID-19
– Restaurants and bars with food service are looking at how to keep business going once the weather turns cold. Colorado’s health officials announced guidelines on outdoor dining, including how restaurants and bars can continue to serve outdoors and still remain within the rules for dealing with COVID-19. The guidelines focus on temporary outdoor structures that will keep patrons safe from COVID-19, if not warm. More details here.
– COVID-19 has officially reached every county in Colorado as Kiowa County reported its first positive case Friday. Of the state’s 64 counties, Kiowa County was the last to report a confirmed case of COVID-19…Read more here.
– It’s a crisis on top of a crisis on top of a crisis. In an investigative series last year, a team of Gazette journalists found that nearly 450,000 Coloradans aren’t being treated for mental illness. In one study, Colorado ranked 48th out of 50 states in mental health services for children. And now coronavirus has made it all worse…Read more here.
– Four Academy District 20 high school students are in isolation after two students were confirmed positive for COVID-19. Colorado Springs School District 11 is delaying the start of in-person classes at its four traditional high schools for a week because of inadequate ventilation in the buildings. Read more here.
– The Garden Ranch Y in central Colorado Springs is shutting its doors for good, a permanent end to what once was believed would be a brief adjustment because of the coronavirus. Full story here.
– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently classified indoor haunted houses, where guests might be crowded together and screaming, as a higher risk activity that should be avoided.
But, the haunted attractions that have opened or are about to welcome guests are promising to keep visitors properly distanced and grouped by household. Haunted attractions also say they will enforce wearing masks and increase their cleaning regimes. Read more here.
– World leaders criticize the global response to pandemic. Read more here.
– A huge international study of a COVID-19 vaccine that aims to work with just one dose is getting underway as top U.S. health officials sought Wednesday to assure a skeptical Congress and public that they can trust any shots the government ultimately approves. Read more here.
– The Money Museum in Colorado Springs has reopened nearly six months after it was forced to shutter its doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, the American Numismatic Association said on Wednesday. Read more here.
– At University of Colorado Boulder, 1,198 students and 12 staff members tested positive for COVID-19. There are also 104 probable cases. This is the single largest outbreak in the state since the COVID-19 pandemic began…Read more here.
– Thousands more El Paso County residents are relying on food stamp benefits compared to this time last year because of the coronavirus. Amid the uptick in need, El Paso County Department of Human Services has opened a satellite location within the Peak Vista Health Center to serve residents of southeast Colorado Springs, who have seen the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county. More details here.
– Colorado is experiencing a “significant outbreak” of the virus among 18- to 25-year-olds, “the bulk of whom attend Boulder,” Gov. Jared Polis said during a news conference, referring to the nearly 860 on-campus diagnoses at the University of Colorado at Boulder since school began in late August. Read more here.
– The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended skipping some traditional holiday elements this year, including Halloween trick-or-treating, to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19. Read more here.
– State employees who make more than $50,000 a year will be required to take mandatory furlough days, unless exempt, in order to address Colorado’s budget shortfall, officials said Tuesday. Read more here.
– Colorado is preparing to launch a contact tracing app to aid the state in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
– In Colorado and beyond, it will be a season remembered for a brutal, unprecedented confluence: The COVID-19 pandemic raged on as a dual crises of race and natural disaster rose to meet it. Read more here.
– The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded $3.1 million to Colorado State University to produce strains of the novel coronavirus for use in a vaccine. Read more here.