What you need to know Thursday about COVID-19 in Colorado: More than 29,000 people tested

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The spread of coronavirus in Colorado has slowed significantly as the state begins to see the effects of the stay-at-home order.

Graphic courtesy CDPHE.

WHAT TO KNOW THURSDAY:
- An additional 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.click here for more on that story.
- In total, more than 127,000 claims have been filed in Colorado in just three weeks.
- According to the state, the hardest hit group of people are those in the food and lodging industry- more than 12,000 restaurant and lodging workers have filed for unemployment in Colorado so far.

WHAT TO KNOW WEDNESDAY:

-Colorado is getting a helping hand when it comes to ventilators. President Donald Trump announced 100 ventilators would be sent to the Centennial State. Click here for more on that story.

-A 21-year-old college student may be the youngest person to have died from complications tied to COVID-19 in Colorado as of Wednesday. Cody Lyster played baseball for Colorado Mesa University. He was in Aurora when he passed away. School officials do not believe he contracted the virus while on the school's campus. He was pursuing his degree in criminal justice.

-A new testing site opened up in Colorado Springs for first responders. Click here for more on that story.

-Pikes Peak Workforce Center is holding a virtual job fair through April 30. Click here for more on that story.

-100 American Airline flight attendants tested positive for COVID-19. Click here for more on that story.

CORONAVIRUS IN COLORADO BY THE NUMBERS (4/8 4 p.m.):
(These numbers are based on the state website, which updates at 4 p.m. daily. To avoid confusion, we will only be updating these once a day, in line with the state's site.)
CASES: 5,655 cases
- EL PASO COUNTY: 472 (30 deaths +2 from 4/7)
- PUEBLO COUNTY: 48 (3 deaths)
- FREMONT COUNTY: 4
- TELLER COUNTY: 12 (1 death)
(All other counties can be viewed by clicking here and scrolling down.)
HOSPITALIZED: 1,162
COUNTIES: 54
PEOPLE TESTED: 29,199
DEADLY CASES: 193 (+14 from 4/7)
OUTBREAKS: 44 at residential and non-hospital health care facilities
The state added this data likely does not reflect the actual number of cases. Gov. Jared Polis also says there are probably thousands infected who have not been tested.

HEADLINES FROM TUESDAY

Tragically, Pueblo County reported its third death related to COVID-19 on Tuesday. A 59-year-old man, who had previously been reported as a positive case in Pueblo County, passed away. An additional positive COVID-19 case of a 28-year-old female was also announced for Pueblo County bringing the county's total to 46 confirmed cases.

Fremont County reported its first outbreak tied to a long-term care facility in Canon City. Two residents at Canon Lodge tested positive for COVID-19, 21 residents tested negative and there were 12 pending tests as of Tuesday afternoon.

Watch an update from the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County at the top of this article from Tuesday afternoon.

The stay-at-home order went into effect March 26, 13 days ago as of April 7. There was always going to be a lag time between the implementation of the order and evidence of its effects. In a primetime address to the state Monday night, Gov. Jared Polis announced new COVID-19 cases were doubling every six to seven days.

"A silver lining is just beginning to emerge in Colorado. The data tells us we are starting to make progress. At the beginning of the crisis, the number of positive cases in Colorado was doubling every one and a half days. Today, the number of positive cases is about doubling every six to seven days. That means the virus is beginning to slow.

"This is a remarkable achievement by you, the people of this state, and I want to thank each and every one of you who's been taking this seriously and staying at home. You're truly helping to turn the tide against this deadly virus."

Polis cautioned that far from letting up on what's been working, it's now time to dig in and continue what's been working.

"We need to keep up the good work for a while longer so we can eventually return to a level of normalcy in our economy and our society."

As expected by many, Polis extended the stay-at-home order two weeks beyond the original end date of April 11. It'll now end on April 26, a few days less than the federal guidelines for social distancing, which goes until April 30.

"The data tells us staying at home is our best chance to avoid the deaths of thousands," Polis said. "If too many people get seriously ill all at once, our health care system won’t have the capacity to handle all those sick patients."

Polis said he would extend the stay-at-home order beyond April 26 if the numbers began trending in the wrong direction again. He was open to ending the order sooner if and only if there was a safe way to do so.

"I know we all want this to end as soon as possible, but if the choice is between a temporary shutdown and a catastrophic loss of life -- the choice is clear."

More things to know Tuesday:

- The governor said the state was "moving Heaven and Earth" to make sure health care workers have supplies such as masks and gowns, and that patients have enough hospital beds and ventilators. Even with the slowing down of new cases, Colorado is expecting a surge of patients in hospitals in the coming days as some of those already ill worsen.

- 11 News sister station KCNC spoke with a respiratory therapist who explained how ventilators work for COVID-19 patients and why they are so critical for the small percentage of coronavirus patients whose symptoms are severe enough to require one.

- A Colorado Springs medical group says they have the ability to test for coronavirus and have four locations available for any ages. Click here for more information on who can get tested, how it works, and how to make an appointment.

- A doctor from Evergreen is showing signs of improvement after receiving plasma from a patient who already recovered from coronavirus. The doctor is the first COVID-19 patient to receive a plasma treatment.

RESOURCES FOR COLORADANS DURING OUTBREAK

- For information and resources on COVID-19, El Paso and Teller County residents can call 719-575-8888 seven days a week. Monday through Friday, the line is available from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Weekends, calls will be taken between 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

- The state has a toll-free hotline CO HELP for general questions about COVID-19. That hotline can be reached at both 303-389-1687 and 877-462-2911.

- Those needing assistance with financial services, food, clothing and household needs, mental health, and more can call 211.

QUICK LINKS TO CREDIBLE SOURCES:
- Click here for the El Paso County Public Health COVID-19 website

- Click here for the CDPHE COVID-19 website. The website includes a lot of answers to frequently asked questions from across the state.

- Click here for the CDC COVID-10 website