Colorado records 26 coronavirus deaths as positive cases jump by 344 to surpass 1,400 total

Colorado state and local health officials on Thursday announced at least 26 people in the state have now died in connection with the novel coronavirus, with more than 1,400 now testing positive for the highly infectious respiratory illness.

The new count of 1,430 total cases is a 344-case increase over Wednesday’s statewide total and includes 184 people who have been hospitalized for COVID-19. There have been nine outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

And more than 10,000 people have now been tested, as the state lab and private companies have increased capacity in recent days. The number of confirmed cases are still far below the actual totals, state health officials and Gov. Jared Polis have said.

The state confirmed a new total of 24 deaths on Thursday — up five from the previous day — with local health officials announcing two on their own. State data lags a day behind the actual numbers, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says on its COVID-19 webpage.

The deaths have impacted communities up and down the Front Range and into the high country. El Paso County has recorded seven coronavirus-related deaths, the most in the state, while Boulder and Pitkin counties on Thursday announced their first deaths related to the illness.

Pitkin County health officials identified the man as a 94-year-old with underlying medical issues who died in his home Tuesday in Aspen. The Boulder County resident was identified as a Lafayette resident in their 60s with underlying medical issues.

“Our hearts are heavy having learned of this first death in our community’s struggle against the spread of COVID-19,” Karen Koenemann, director of Pitkin County Public Health, said in a news release. “We especially want the family of the victim to know how sorry we are. We know our community will support each other with kindness and compassion in recognition of the significance of this loss.”

Thursday marked the first day of the state’s mandatory stay-at-home order, announced by Polis on Wednesday, which restricts movement for all residents who do not perform essential duties. Several counties — including Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties — on Thursday rescinded their own orders, alleviating any confusion residents may have about which order to follow.