Your COVID-19 Update March 23

Sisters find moments of comfort and togetherness during this time of uncertainty. Bonnie Hunter and her sister Beth talk on the phone as they view each other through the lobby window at Valley Manor Care Center. Volunteers of America senior living and care communities are taking unprecedented action to ensure the health and safety of residents and employees — one of the measures is the restriction of visitors into the care center. 

• Current data:

The state reports: 7 deaths; 720 cases; 72 hospitalizations; virus confirmed in 31 counties (at last report, two in Montrose County); 6,224 people tested; five outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities. Note: Data reflect information available as of 4 p.m. the day prior, Sunday. The information is subject to change, as more tests take place.


• The Montrose Community Recreation Center is until at least March 27, as is the Field House.

• The City of Montrose buildings and facilities are closed. The municipal election will take place as scheduled on April 7, but by mail or ballot-drop into the secure box outside of the Montrose County historic courthouse on South First Street.

• Montrose County buildings are closed to the public.

• Montrose Regional Library District, including the bookmobile van, are closed. More:

• Valley Symphony Association has suspended its season.

• Hot lunches served Monday - Friday at United Methodist Church, through Shepherd’s Hand, are suspended, as the church has halted in-person gatherings there. Shepherd’s Hand founder Garey Martinez says he will be making additional food available through his commodities distribution at Cedar Creek Church at 222 S. Townsend Ave. This is available Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with Saturdays recently added. Homeless individuals can also pick up packs of foods that do not require cooking.

• The Lighthouse emergency overnight shelter is self-quarantined; no new guests are being allowed.

• Haven House Transitional Living Center is self-quarantined.

• The Mexican American Development Authority is closed to foot traffic.

• The Town of Olathe has locked its public buildings and is conducting business by phone. Employees are still working and Olathe police officers remain on patrol. Payments can be placed in drop boxes. Reach the town at 970-323-4357 or dispatch, 970-249-9110.

• In compliance with a state order, Montrose Memorial Hospital has canceled non-urgent elective surgeries in order to conserve medical supplies needed to combat COVID-19 and personal protective equipment for employees. The change does not apply to urgent surgeries and life-saving operations will still take place as needed. The non-urgent elective surgeries are canceled until at least April 14.

•The Gunnison Ranger District of the Gunnison, Uncompahgre and Grand Mesa National Forests closed March 20 to walk-in traffic and will not hold in-person meetings until further notice. Inquiries may be made by calling 970-641-0471.

• Delta-Montrose Electric Association will now hold virtual meetings in lieu of in-person board of director meetings. The public can join the first virtual meeting March 24, at 3 p.m, by emailing for instructions, or by calling 970-240-1262. DMEA earlier closed its offices to public traffic and suspended all residential, small commercial and agriculture service disconnections for non-payment. That is also the case for DMEA’s subsidiary, Elevate Fiber. Members experiencing financial hardship need to contact DMEA immediately. Its offices are closed to the public. Reach them at 877-687-3632.

•Uninsured Coloradans can enroll in Connect For Health Colorado’s public health exchange for a special two-week period due to the outbreak; this enrollment period ends April 3. The exchange is where people can sign up for coverage in the marketplace and see whether they qualify for subsidies. See or call 855-752-6749.

•Energy Outreach Colorado has released additional funds to help agencies across the state that assist people who have trouble paying their energy bills or heating their homes. Call 1-866-432-8435 or visit

•The Small Business Administration is able to make loans to small businesses and nonprofits for purposes such as making payroll and satisfying bills; loans come with repayment options of up to 30 years. Visit for more information.

• By state order, all bars, restaurants, coffeehouses and gyms are closed. Many Montrose eateries and coffeehouses are making pick-up window options available and residents are encouraged to support local businesses. Additionally, nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors, spas and similar businesses have been ordered to close.

• All schools.

• Risk reduction: Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick. Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.

•For more information about COVID-19, visit and check out the “CONTACT INFORMATION” box on the right side, which lists official websites, a link to the CDC, frequently asked questions, and the state hotline, 1-877-462-2911. There are also links to more localized information from Montrose County, the City of Montrose and the school district.

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