Some Colorado business offices open at half capacity; deaths rise to 851


DENVER  |  Offices in Colorado were allowed to reopen Monday with half the usual staff, and Denver’s mayor will let his stay-at-home order expire as the outbreak of the coronavirus eases in the state.

Mayor Michael Hancock’s order is set to expire at the end of Friday, and city leaders have scheduled a Tuesday news conference to discuss testing and contact tracing, and to provide guidance for reopening businesses.

Gov. Jared Polis said Monday that fewer people were being hospitalized with the virus, and he referenced Star Wars multiple times to remind people to wear face masks and to practice social distancing while out.

“May the Fourth be with you,” the governor said, using a catchphrase that is widely shared on May 4, the unofficial holiday celebrating the Star Wars movies. The phrase is a pun on the famous movie line, “May the force be with you.”

Polis showed graphics of a Darth Vader helmet and a 6-foot-long light saber to hammer home his point on safety precautions.

“Darth Vader would be very safe right now despite his preexisting respiratory condition,” Polis cracked.

Joking aside, the governor called the virus a “tricky, nefarious enemy” and reiterated that safety measures must remain in place as the economy ramps back up.

“We have to get this right as a state,” he said. “Having a humanitarian crisis and mass deaths on our hand is not a valid option, and preventing people from earning an income and destroying our economy is not a valid option.”

Monday statewide COVID-19 details

16,907 positive cases

2,838 hospitalized since March

689 currently hospitalized testing positive, 145 possibly positive

83,266 tested

442 people currently on ventilators, 1,082 ventilators available

163 outbreaks

851 deaths

Tri-County Health, overseeing Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, including Aurora, provides their own daily data:

5,128 cases

198 deaths

14 new hospitalizations, 2 of which were admitted to ICU

Polis said Colorado’s lab has distributed more than 22,000 testing kits across the state, but more are needed. He also called on large companies to check their employees’ temperatures and for people to report symptoms on an online tracking website “so we can catch those outbreaks in hotspots before they fill up our hospitals.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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