TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2020

Vehicles wrap around the Bellco Bank on Havana Street, March 30, 2020.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

DENVER | The Colorado death count attributed to COVID-19 rose to 69 today, up from 51 Monday.

Two new outbreaks in non-hospital residential settings were reported Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 16.

This is the round-up made available by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 4 p.m. March 31.

Colorado Case Summary 
2,966 cases
509 hospitalized
50 counties
16,849 people tested
69 deaths
16 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

— SENTINEL STAFF


A participant takes a very smoky puff from a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at 4/20 event from last year (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

AURORA | This April 20, blaze it – from bed.

With social distancing the norm and mass gatherings outlawed, events celebrating the unofficial marijuana holiday 4/20, or April 20, are next on the chopping block.

Boulder-based dispensary network Terrapin Care Station announced Tuesday all 4/20 marketing efforts and events are off, including at its Aurora location near the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and South Kingston Street.

The dispensary chain had slated promotions, sponsorships and events to celebrate 4/20. Dispensaries are considered “essential” enterprises and can still operate during the state’s stay-at-home orders.

But discounts are still on at Terrapin for cannabis consumers plagued by economic hardships, spokesperson Peter Marcus said. Discounts can be at least up to 20 percent retail price.

That may be some consolation for area stoners bummed out the annual Mile High 420 Festival that takes over Denver’s Civic Center Park is also canceled for the year.

Add public cannabis culture to the list of pandemic casualties.

— GRANT STRINGER, Staff Writer


Volunteers with the Healthy Roots Food Clinic pack and distribute tots bags full of food to community members in need, March 30, 2020, outside of Paris Elementary School.
Photo by Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado

AURORA | Early data about social distancing measures made to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus show it’s likely working, Gov. Jared Polis said during a news conference on Monday. But state leaders and health professionals are still “chasing the ghost.”

Positive COVID-19 cases are now doubling every five days, compared to every every two days, Polis said. Colorado has confirmed more than 2,600 cases across the state, though actual numbers are likely much higher due to the limited number of tests that have been available. 

Currently there are more than 400 people hospitalized in Colorado because of the virus. 72 of those are at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. Dr. Marc Moss, a pulmonary physician, said 33 of those patients are on ventilators.

Monday pandemic data for Colorado

2,627 cases
414 hospitalized
47 counties
15,364 people tested
51 deaths
14 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities

State officials have not provided data about how many of those hospitalized were released.

Moss said the hospital currently has enough ventilators and personal protective equipment, but more people are being admitted to the hospital than are recovering and being released.

“We’re only at the beginning of this crisis,” he said. 

Polis said the state is tracking traffic across the state’s major highway systems to determine whether people are really following the state stay-at-home orders. There’s been a 60 percent reduction in road traffic in the last few days compared to four weeks ago, he said. Polis said he’d prefer that reduction be closer to 70-80 percent. 

Polis said it’s important to keep those social distancing practices up to keep “delaying the peak” of hospital visits because seeing the impact is delayed multiple days, as the virus is still transmittable before symptoms start showing.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer


AURORA | The state’s Bustang routes have been temporarily canceled to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

The buses typically make travel between cities, like Denver and Colorado Springs, easier for public transit commuters, especially those who live outside the Denver metro region.

The suspension is set to last until April 11.

“We must do everything we can right now to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew in a statement on Sunday. “Minimizing travel between communities is one important piece of our fight against this virus, and so we are suspending our intercity bus service.  Please stay at home whenever possible and comply with the governor’s Stay-At-Home order in full.”

The Regional Transportation District is still operating bus and rail routes as mostly normal for now, but is expected to reduce service beginning on April 19. 

“The intent is to run the COVID-19 Service Plan only as long as necessary, and eventually build service to the May Service Plan,” the agency wrote on its website last week. “RTD’s commuter rail lines — University of Colorado A Line, B Line and G Line — will continue to run at current service levels, because they are operated by Denver Transit Partners, a private concessionaire.”

That reduced service plan is available here. The R Line is slated to operate every day on a supplemented Sunday schedule, with service every 30 minutes between 5 a.m. and 11p.m., according to RTD.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer