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.