DENVER (CBS4) – The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to increase in Colorado. On Thursday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 3,728 people have tested positive for the virus and 97 people have died in the state.

So far, more than 20,000 people have been tested for the virus in Colorado with cases confirmed in 51 counties. Since the outbreak began, 710 people have been hospitalized in the state.

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(credit: CDPHE)

CDPHE estimates the actual number of cases could be four to ten times higher than the confirmed cases, due to lack of testing. The state is also reporting 21 coronavirus outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities.

Gov. Jared Polis says the state is facing a shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Polis asked for 10,000 ventilators, two million N95 masks and more than four million pairs of gloves.

“We are facing a crisis-level shortage of these essential supplies to protect our health care workers and first responders,” Gov. Polis wrote. “Colorado’s COVID-19 death rate is rising faster than any other state right now; the pandemic is spreading so fast that lags in testing are masking the true conditions experienced by Coloradans across the state.”

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According to Polis, Colorado needs:

  • 10,000 ventilators, and associated equipment and pharmaceuticals
  • 2,000,000 N95 masks
  • 4,460,000 surgical masks
  • 720,000 gowns
  • 880,000 face shields
  • 4,300,000 pair gloves — small, medium, and large

Polis said Colorado needs help to bridge a gap until new manufacturing kicks in and new purchases arrive. CDPHE will update coronavirus data each day at 4 p.m. at covid19.colorado.gov/case-data.

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