Colorado health officials on Wednesday announced eight more deaths from the novel coronavirus, as the state surpassed 1,000 positive cases of the highly infectious respiratory illness sweeping the globe.
Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday also ordered the majority of Colorado’s 5.8 million residents to stay home beginning Thursday morning, the state’s most forceful attempt yet to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Nineteen people now have died from COVID-19 in Colorado with another 147 are hospitalized as of Wednesday. Health officials also announced nine outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities — places considered the most at-risk due to the virus’s impact on those over 60.
The 1,086 confirmed cases — including 174 newly confirmed Wednesday — come from 36 counties as officials have ramped up testing in recent days, particularly in rural areas of the state. Health officials say the actual number of people with the illness, however, is likely far higher.
The rising cases come as Colorado municipalities announced sweeping stay-at-home orders for millions of people Wednesday, with roughly half the state living under restrictive mandates by Thursday morning. The drastic efforts across the state are a desperate attempt by health officials and elected leaders to slow down the spread of the new coronavirus.
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Despite the unprecedented restrictions on people’s daily lives, health experts say the cases are likely to continue to go up in the short term.
Jefferson County’s public health director said Wednesday that the state is beginning to see exponential growth of new coronavirus cases as officials across the state plead with residents to take the outbreak seriously.
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