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Timeline of major developments as coronavirus spreads in Colorado

Jennifer Hefty
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 3:55 PM EDT May 10, 2020

Since the first case of the new coronavirus was found in Colorado at the beginning of March, life has changed rapidly. 

If you’re having trouble remembering what happened on what day, you’re not alone. Below you can find a timeline of major developments as COVID-19 has spread in the state. 

This page will be updated as new information is available. 

Coronavirus in Colorado: Timeline of events

March 5, 2020: Colorado confirms its first two cases of coronavirus in the state.

March 9: The first case of COVID-19 in Larimer County is confirmed, a Johnstown resident who is a health care worker.

March 10: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis declares a state of emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak.

March 11: The University of Colorado and Colorado State University announce plans to move classes online after spring break.

March 12: One week after the first case was announced, Colorado COVID-19 cases reach 49.

March 13: President Trump declares a national emergency; Polis bans large gatherings of 250 people or more; Poudre School District announces an extended spring break; Northern Colorado governments declare emergencies. Colorado sees its first coronavirus-related death. 

March 14: Polis orders the closure of all downhill ski areas.

March 17: All Colorado bars and restaurants are required to suspend dine-in services, only allowing for takeout and delivery. The order also includes closure of gyms, theaters and casinos. Larimer County restricts events to 50 people or less.

March 18: The Colorado health department issues a public health order limiting all gatherings to no more than 10 people. Polis suspends in-person schooling through mid-April.

March 19: Polis orders the postponement of all elective and nonessential surgeries and procedures. The governor also orders the closure of nonessential personal service facilities, like hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage businesses and spas. Two weeks after the first case was announced, Colorado cases reach 277, with 4 deaths.

March 20: Rocky Mountain National Park closes to visitors.

March 21: The Larimer county health department issues an order that requires short-term lodging to close and for visitors to vacate the premises. 

March 22: Polis issues an executive order requiring noncritical workplaces to reduce in-person workforce by 50% and implement work-from-home capabilities. Polis also issues an order limiting evictions, foreclosures and public utility disconnections and expediting unemployment insurance claim processing. 

March 23: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announces a stay-at-home order for Denver residents through at least April 10.

March 25: Larimer County issues a stay-at-home order, effective until April 17. The county’s order is shortly followed by a statewide order from Polis, lasting through April 11. Larimer County records its first coronavirus-related death.

March 26: Three weeks after the first coronavirus case was found in Colorado, statewide cases reach 1,430 with 24 deaths.

March 28: President Trump grants Colorado’s major disaster declaration, freeing up additional federal funding and supplies.

April 1: Polis extends Colorado school closure, suspending in-person learning until April 30.

April 2: Poudre School District and Thompson School District announce that in-person learning will not resume this school year. Four weeks after the first coronavirus case was found in Colorado, statewide cases reach 3,728 with 97 deaths.

April 3: Polis advises all Coloradans to wear cloth masks or face coverings if they go out in public — including walks and to grocery stores. Polis also extends sales tax and property tax payment schedules.

April 6: Polis extends the state’s stay-at-home order to April 26. 

April 8: Larimer County extends its stay-at-home order to April 26.

April 9: Statewide cases reach 6,202 with 226 deaths

April 16: Statewide cases reach 8,675 with 374 deaths; 859 people are currently hospitalized.

April 20: Gov. Jared Polis outlines plans to reopen Colorado after the stay-at-home expires, calling the new model ‘safer at home.’ Some businesses are allowed to begin phased-in openings on April 27, May 1 and May 4. Gyms, nightclubs, restaurants and schools remain closed. Gatherings of more than 10 are still prohibited.

April 23: Statewide cases reach 11,262 with 552 deaths; 873 people are currently hospitalized.

April 27: Colorado’s stay-at-home order expired and a “safer at home” order went into effect, allowing non-essential business to offer curbside pickup and delivery and real estate showings to resume under new guidelines and more.

April 30: Statewide cases reach 15,284 with 777 deaths; 756 people are currently hospitalized.

May 1: Personal services and in-person retail resume under the state ‘safer-at-home’ guidelines. The city of Fort Collins issues an order rquiring residents to wear face coverings inside most buildings. 

May 3: Larimer County issues an order requiring residents to wear masks in places of business. 

May 7: Statewide cases reach 18,371 with 944 deaths; 628 people with confirmed cases are currently hospitalized. 

Editor’s note: As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, we don’t want you to panic. In fact, quite the opposite. That’s why the Coloradoan is committed to providing you with accurate, up-to-date information so you can make informed decisions on issues affecting you and the people you love. As such, this story, and many others, are being provided free for all to read. Help us continue this important work by subscribing to the Coloradoan. 

Jennifer Hefty is an editor at the Coloradoan. Reach her at or follow her on Twitter @jenniferhefty. Support her work and the work of the Coloradoan’s 15 other journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.

This content was originally published here.