COVID-19 roundup for May 4: Virus’ daily growth rate continues to decline

Many Colorado businesses that closed during Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home executive order began to reopen Monday as the state continues its transition to phase 2, the safer-at-home period.

Business offices were able to reopen at 50-percent capacity today, but all businesses are being encouraged to let employees telecommute.

Child care facilities were also allowed to reopen as long as they follow safer-at-home requirements, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings and minimizing time spent away from home.

Polis gave an update on the state’s response at a press briefing today and said the growth of COVID-19 cases in Colorado is continuing to decline. The daily growth rate dropped to 1.4 percent on Sunday and the hospitalization rate dropped to a daily growth of .1 percent.

“We’re glad things are moving in the right direction,” Polis said. “But that also means there are still coronavirus cases in Colorado being rushed to the hospital every day. Some will walk out on their own two feet — and tragically, some will not. And this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future in Colorado, the United States and across the world.

“We need to exercise caution in our everyday lives to do the best we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in a sustainable way that will last many months.”

Polis also unveiled a new interactive map of community-based testing sites that local public health departments have set up across the state.

The state, according to a statement from the governor’s office, has been providing guidance and supplies to help local public health agencies stand up these testing sites, “which are especially important in rural areas of the state where private providers are limited in number and capacity.”

There are currently 20 sites listed on the map and the tool will be updated as more are brought online.

As of May 4, Colorado had recorded 851 deaths from COVID-19. Statewide, the case count stood at 16,907, with 2,838 hospitalizations. The CDPHE summary only includes data through May 3.

CDPHE’s data shows El Paso County cases at 1,005, with 76 deaths

Polis has cautioned that the state’s actual number of cases is likely significantly higher.

In other developments:

The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center is hosting Friday Lunch Series to help regional small businesses “improve recovery and resilience” as part of its Small Business Response efforts.  The free online webinars run 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The next webinar, Navigating Online Sales, is scheduled for May 8. Other scheduled topics in the series include: 

      • May 15: Top 5 Ways to Stay Resilient
      • May 22: Recruiting and Retaining Employees

For more information and to register, visit the SBDC Facebook page and website. Other workshops and resources are listed. All workshops are free for the month of May.

The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management is collecting data to help inform needed recovery initiatives for businesses, nonprofits, religious organizations, local government and special districts throughout El Paso County, the agency said Monday.

Reporter

Zach Hillstrom is a Colorado Springs native and graduate of Colorado State University-Pueblo. He has worked as a reporter for Southern Colorado print outlets since 2015.