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The latest around Colorado and the world

– A government watchdog says nearly 1.1 million relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people in the government’s coronavirus aid program. .

– Initial claims for regular unemployment fell below 10,000 for the first time in three months with 9,882 claims filed the week ending June 20th, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

There were also 10,385 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed for the same week. Over the past 14 weeks, a total of 466,645 regular unemployment initial claims have been filed and a grand total of 588,988 claims, including federal PUA benefits.

– Here’s what’s on tap at drive-in movie theaters around Colorado this weekend. .

– The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.0% rate in the first quarter with a much worse decline expected in the current three-month economic period, which will show what happened when the pandemic began spread across the U.S. .

– With growing outbreaks of COVID-19 in several Colorado counties, Gov. Jared Polis pleaded with Coloradans to avoid big 4th of July gatherings. .

– A coronavirus resurgence is wiping out two months of progress in the U.S. and sending infections to dire new levels across the South and West, with hospital administrators and health experts warning that politicians and a tired-of-being-cooped-up public are letting a disaster unfold. .

– There are now 2,380,065 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 121,932 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The latest COVID-19 numbers in Colorado (Updated on June 24):

– 31,155 confirmed cases, including 2,173 in El Paso County

– 5,375 hospitalized

– 293,284 people tested

– 1,667 deaths among cases, including 120 in El Paso County

– 1,457 deaths directly attributed to the coronavirus

– 337 outbreaks

– Cherwell Software is converting its annual conference, scheduled for October at Gaylord Rockies Resort in the Denver area, to a virtual format due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

– Museum lovers across the Pikes Peak region are slowly regaining access to their beloved artifacts, antiques, artwork and history. This month El Paso County commissioners approved a variance that would allow the organizations to reopen with limitations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Read more here. 

– Eagle County public health officials are investigating a cluster of 11 positive COVID-19 cases among teenagers in the Roaring Fork Valley but have been hampered by lack of cooperation in some cases. .

– The New York City Marathon scheduled for Nov. 1 was canceled Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. .

– Colorado Rockies players Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani have all tested positive for coronavirus following recent workouts at Coors Field, major-league sources told The Denver Post. .

– The 2020 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, is falling victim to COVID-19. Its cancellation marks the first year since 1972 the event has not taken flight. Locally, a decision about the Colorado Springs Labor Day Liftoff in Memorial Park is to be finalized by mid-July. .

– Ten nonprofit arts organizations in El Paso and Fremont counties received almost $60,000 in COVID-19 relief funding from Colorado Creative Industries. .

– For Coloradans who have been hospitalized because of COVID-19, outcomes have been slowly but steadily improving: Fewer of those hospitalized are being put on ventilators and the mortality rate for those requiring hospitalizations is coming down. .

– Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he is cautiously optimistic there will be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021, but warned that the next few weeks will be critical to tamping down coronavirus hot spots around the country. .

– Denver Nuggets All-Star center Nikola Jokic tested positive for the coronavirus while in his home country of Serbia, ESPN reported Tuesday. Jokic is asymptomatic and expected to return to the United States and the Nuggets later this week. .

– A driver’s license will cost nearly $3 more next month, as the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles increases its licensing fees by 10% due to shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic. .

This content was originally published here.