Coronavirus cases in Colorado: Death toll rises to 842 people Sunday

Lab-confirmed coronavirus cases in Colorado rose to 16,635 Sunday, and 842 people have died after contracting the virus.

More than 700 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 54 people have been discharged from hospitals or transferred to a lower level of care in the last 24 hours, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which releases the data daily.

Although COVID-19 causes only mild symptoms in many patients, others become seriously ill and some die, particularly those who are older or who have underlying health conditions. The novel coronavirus is more contagious and more deadly than the seasonal flu, data shows.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Colorado is estimated to be several times higher than the cases confirmed by testing, due both to asymptomatic carriers of the virus and limited testing. The state is tracking 163 outbreaks at nursing homes, prisons, plants and other group settings. But officials have said the early exponential spread of the virus in Colorado has slowed.

The state is beginning to reopen, with personal services like hair salons opening Friday, along with other retailers, who could have customers in stores on Friday as long as strict social distancing was in place.

On Monday, offices can reopen with half-staff and childcare providers can reopen with some restrictions. The loosening of restrictions does not apply in places that have local stay-at-home orders, like Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Gilpin, Jefferson and Pitkin counties.

Residents who are still under local stay-at-home orders must follow the more restrictive local rules, most of which are in place until at least May 8.

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