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Denver residents begin stay-at-home order

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Posted at 10:32 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 12:34:58-04

DENVER, Colo. - Wednesday marks the first full day Denverites will be under the city's stay-at-home order, which officially went into effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. as the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, continues to spread.

The Tri-County Health Department, which is the health department that covers Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas Counties, is expected to issue the same type of order on Wednesday morning to go into effect on Thursday. Boulder County and Jefferson County are expected to do the same.

As of Tuesday at 4 p.m., the state had tested 7,701 people in 35 counties. More than 900 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Eleven people have died.

Click here for the latest update on the number of cases, the age, gender and location of presumptive positive, indeterminate and confirmed cases from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Update: Tri-County Health Department officially announces stay-at-home order

Tri-County Health officials on Wednesday morning officially announced a stay-at-home order for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, beginning 8 a.m. Thursday and running through April 17. The order calls on residents to stay inside their homes, except for essential activities, such as work at an essential business, purchasing supplies to work from home, getting medical care, buying groceries and going to the bank.

Dr. John Douglas, executive director of Tri-County Health, said the goal is to slow the spread of coronavirus to help hospitals handle the surge of COVID-19 patients.

"It's not shelter in place, it's not lockdown," Douglas said. "It's stay at home."

Tri-County officials emphasized the need for continued social distancing. Dr. Bernadette Albanese, the medical epidemiologist for the health department, described the issue as an iceberg. High-risk patients who are hospitalized are the tip of the iceberge, Albanese said, but the bottom of the iceberg — the patients who might not be considered high-risk — is pushing up, with more severe cases and more hospitalizations, causing a strain on hospitals and health care providers.

Douglas said Colorado is likely weeks away from losing hospital capacity, if action isn't taken to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"Do we lose time with each day we fail to act? I think we do," Douglas said. "And that's why we're acting today."