Governor Jared Polis has acknowledged that worrisome data related to COVID-19 is on the rise in the state, and the latest figures from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offer striking confirmation. The number of daily cases is now more than double the rates in mid-June.
Here are the latest figures from the CDPHE, updated at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 28:
310,883 People Tested
1,674 Deaths among cases
1,482 Deaths due to COVID-19
Note that the number of counties that clocked cases is up from sixty, where it had remained for weeks. As for outbreaks, they've increased by thirteen since our last update, on Wednesday, June 24, just four days earlier. The CDPHE had tallied fourteen new outbreaks during the entire previous week.
Not included in the summary above are daily case counts, which offer one of the best ways to track the novel coronavirus's ebbs and flows. On June 15, the CDPHE counted 128 new cases — the lowest number in this daily-count category since 120 on March 22, and exciting news for epidemiologists and the public at large.
But the cases began climbing shortly thereafter, and after a brief dip, they're up again: 274 on June 25, 272 on June 26 and 271 on June 27, the most recent date for which data is available.
While those recent daily case counts are more than twice as high as the tally on June 15, they're not setting new state records, as is happening in places such as Florida and Texas; Colorado's high-water mark thus far was 726 new daily cases on April 26. But the COVID-19 curve definitely isn't flat anymore in Colorado.
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The news isn't quite as dire when it comes to COVID-19 hospitalizations, in part because this stat, like virus-related deaths, is a lagging indicator given a typical incubation period of two weeks. But the 135 people currently admitted to a medical center for COVID-19 is up from 126 on June 27.
Polis isn't sitting idly while these figures rise. On Sunday, June 28, he announced that he'd signed five new executive orders necessitated by the pandemic.
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The first directs "Colorado Department of Human Services to access federal funds for child care services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure stability and consistency for child care providers and protect the vital role they play for children and families." The second concerns continuing tele-health services. The third keeps in place a previous order "concerning the temporary suspension of certain requirements preventing the issuance of marriage licenses." The fourth extends the suspension of assorted regulatory statutes. And the fifth does likewise with regard to suspending regs "concerning petition gathering for unaffiliated and independent candidates for office."
Later today, Polis will host five bill-signing ceremonies, all viewable on his Facebook page. This is the rundown from his office:
10:30 a.m.: Gov. Polis holds bill signing ceremonies for HB20-1119-State Government Regulation Of Perfluoroalkyl And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, SB20-026-Workers' Compensation For Audible Psychological Trauma, and SB20-057-Fire Prevention & Control Employee Benefits. Location: Fire Station 8, 3737 Airport Rd., Colorado Springs.
11:45 a.m.: Gov. Polis holds bill signing ceremonies for HB20-1184-Sunset Colorado Seed Act, SB20-002-Rural Economic Development Initiative Grant Program, SB20-030-Consumer Protections For Utility Customers, and HB20-1229-Peace Officers Standards and Training Board Scholarship Rural And Small Law Enforcement. Location: Musso Farms, 35779 Hillside Rd., Pueblo.
2:00 p.m.: Gov. Polis holds bill signing ceremonies for SB20-003-State Parks Improvement Appropriation, HB20-1403-Colorado Water Conservation Board Construction Fund Project, and SB20-201-Species Conservation Trust Fund Projects. Location: Fishers Peak — Exit 11 off I-25, Head South along CR 69.3 (the frontage road along the east side of the interstate) until the road ends at the gate. GPS Coordinates: 37.095153, -104.518671.
4:15 p.m.: Gov. Polis holds bill signing ceremonies for HB20-1366-Higher Education Funding Model, HB20-1109-Tax Credit Employer Contributions to Employee 529s, and SB20-095-Middle School Students Concurrent Enrollment Information. Location: Pueblo Community College, courtyard in front, 900 W. Orman Ave., Pueblo.
7:00 p.m.: Gov. Polis holds bill signing ceremony for HB20-1424, Social Equity Licensees In Regulated Marijuana. Location: Simply Pure, 2000 W 32nd Ave., Denver.
In the meantime, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Denver County Clerk and Recorder Paul López are preparing for the state primary, which takes place tomorrow, June 30. Click to receive information about where to drop off your ballot and polling place locations.