March of 2020: the month everyone’s plans for the foreseeable future collapsed in real-time. Now, a full year later, we reflect on the major events that guided Colorado during the COVID-19 pandemic, even if only to recognize how warped our perception of time has become.
Hover your mouse over each date for details, or view the full timeline below.
The Early Pandemic: January 1 – March 30, 2020
March 5: First cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado.
March 9: First case of COVID-19 identified in Larimer County.
March 10: Colorado declared a State Of Emergency.
March 11: The same day Colorado State University announced an extended spring break, the World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic, meaning it’s reached worldwide spread.
March 13: Fort Collins and Larimer County both proclaimed local emergencies. Colorado reported its first COVID-19 death.
March 16: In the middle of spring break, CSU declares that they are going online for the remainder of the spring semester.
March 22: CSU identified its first COVID-19 case. Without regular campus operations, that would remain one of only of a handful of CSU cases for several months.
March 25: Colorado Governor Jared Polis implemented the state’s first and only statewide stay-at-home order. Larimer County also issued a similar order, the same day the county had its first COVID-19 death.
The First Wave: March 31 – June 1, 2020
Peaks: 27 deaths in one day, 527 new cases in one day
April 22: Colorado passed 500 COVID-19 deaths.
April 27: Colorado moved to safer-at-home status.
April 28: The U.S. passed one million COVID-19 cases.
May 5: Fort Collins City Council instituted the mask-wearing ordinance that is still in effect today.
June 5: CSU announced zero tuition increase for the 2020-2021 school year, amid massive budget shortfalls due to the pandemic.
The Second Wave: July 7 – Sept. 9, 2020
Peaks: 17 deaths in one day, 697 new cases in one day
July 16: Gov. Polis instituted a statewide mask order which is still in place today.
July 20: Fake restaurant listing possibly led by CSU students perpetuates racism toward Asian communities using COVID-19.
July 27: CSU’s first major outbreak was recorded, with 17 cases coming from athletics training and Greek life housing. Several student athletes also accuse CSU of covering up coronavirus cases among athletics.
Aug. 24: CSU fall classes began with an equal mix of in-person, remote and hybrid classes.
The Third Wave: Sept. 13 – Present
Peaks: 116 deaths in one day, 6,036 new cases in one day
Sept. 15: Colorado introduced the COVID-19 Dial that shows the health status of each individual county and determines their level of operating capacity.
Sept. 25: CSU students in Braiden and Summit Hall are ordered to quarantine, the first residence hall quarantine. Nine students tested positive.
Oct. 1: CSU developed and launched their now ubiquitous saliva screening test.
Oct. 30: CSU announces that spring break in 2021 will be pushed back four weeks.
Nov. 4: CSU does away with the daily symptom checker, replaces it with the COVID-19 reporter
Nov. 12: CSU clocks 59 cases, the highest number of reported cases in one day.
Nov. 20: Colorado adds another level to the state’s COVID-19 Dial.
Jan. 19, 2021: CSU spring classes began online, transitioning to in-person and hybrid classes within the next few weeks.
Feb. 1: Colorado passed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths.
Feb. 12: CSU President Joyce McConnell announced that Fall 2021 classes will be in-person.
Feb. 22: The U.S. passed half a million COVID-19 deaths.