Headlines April 17, 2020

Headlines April 17, 2020

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    Headlines April 17, 2020 KGNU News

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The city of Aurora announced Wednesday that it will furlough 576 of its employees, in anticipation of a decreased budget as a result of the pandemic.

The Aurora Sentinel reports that most of the employees are seasonal or temporary workers who remain on payroll until April 25, but the city has yet to set an end date for the furloughs. The city’s budget is largely funded through sales taxes, but as a result of stay at home orders to limit shoppers, and the closure of non-essential businesses, the city anticipates coming up six percent short of its budgetary goals.

Aurora is by no means the only city to consider or implement furloughs in response to the pandemic’s economic impact. CBS Denver reported that the city of Boulder announced Tuesday that it will furlough 737 employees, effective this Sunday. Most of those are also seasonal or temporary workers, though it includes 175 of the city’s standard employees. And last week the city of Broomfield announced it will furlough 235 employees, beginning on April 21. The city of Denver has yet to announce any furloughs, though Mayor Michael Hancock has said that it remains an option if necessary.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Arapahoe County Fairgrounds will be converted into a temporary clinic for COVID-19 patients.

The massive event center on East Quincy Avenue, in east Aurora will provide non-critical medical care to COVID-19 patients and will open up additional bed space at increasingly crowded local hospitals.

The temporary clinic will open with enough space for 54 people. However, officials say that they may need to accommodate up to 150 patients.

The facility will be focused on those with COVID-19 who need non-critical care. Specifically, patients “who are ready to return to their original housing situation but are unable to do so because of their circumstances.” according to the Aurora Sentinel.

The site covers nearly 50,000 feet, and cost approximately $15,000 to equip the facility with cots and other equipment.

In order to be seen at the facility you must be recommended by a hospital. They will be taking zero walk-ins.

The center is prepared to start housing patients immediately.

 

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A motion was filed in Denver court this morning calling for an immediate hearing in a lawsuit that would require hotel and motel owners in the state to open rooms for those experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Plaintiffs in the suit include different advocacy groups from around the Front Range including Denver Homeless Out Loud.

Today’s motion says that since the plaintiffs filed the original suit on April 1, they have been contacted by various motel and hotel owners who say they are being prevented from offering accommodation to the homeless by local authorities. The suit is calling on the state health department to issue a state wide directive.

The Boulder County Public Health Department has identified a disproportionate number of Latinx residents that have tested positive or probable for the novel coronavirus.

The Daily Camera reports that nearly 14% of the Boulder County population are Hispanic/Latinx but nearly one third account for those who have been hospitalized during their covid-19 illness.

These disparities in Boulder County are greater than the disparities statewide where Hispanic/Latinx represent about 22% of the population and over 28% of covid-19 cases.

These numbers released Thursday is the first analysis of the coronavirus’s impact on the county’s population by race/ethnicity.

About 79% of the cases in Boulder County have a known race and ethnicity which is slightly higher than the state’s 75% of the reported cases.

County statistics show that 12 of the 15 deaths have been residents living in long term care facilities.

Thursday Statewide reported deaths are up to 374 and that over 8,500 people have tested positive. But the County and statewide numbers are believed to not show the true spread of the coronavirus due to the lack of access to testing and a lag in test results being recorded.

Protests are planned for this Sunday at the State Capitol in Denver with libertarian groups calling for an end to the stay at home orders.

The Denver Post reports that one event is called operation gridlock. According to a Facebook page for the event, it is co-hosted by the Libertarian party of El Paso. The event is asking people to drive to the Capitol in Denver and gridlock the roads in protest to the mandatory lockdowns. The page describes the stay at home orders as a violation of constitutional rights.

Another protest planned for later on Sunday is being organized by several local libertarian groups.

The Facebook page for that event says people will stand 6 feet apart and wear masks for everyone’s safety. They are calling for everything to open now.

The stay at home order started March 26, 2020 and lasts through April 26, 2020, however those orders may be extended or changed.

Earlier this week Governor Polis said that Coloradoans should expect some type of social distancing for months to come.

Yesterday state health officials said their goal is to increase testing, hinting that stay at home orders won’t be lifted until extensive testing is achieved throughout the state and the positive case count moves from a plateau into a decline.

The state health department said today that 100 ventilators were delivered from the federal government and distributed to 11 Colorado hospitals this week.

The ventilators were allocated to the State of Colorado from the Strategic National Stockpile.

According to state officials, the equipment will be moved to different hospitals based on the needs of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. At the end of the pandemic, the ventilators will be returned to the Strategic National Stockpile.

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