Headlines April 22, 2020

Headlines April 22, 2020

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    Headlines April 22, 2020 KGNU News

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The group tasked by the state to figure out how to come into compliance with rules about air pollution is hoping that the working from home will continue when the state begins to reopen.

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission envisions that businesses might consider letting workers keep up the teleworking wave that has become the new normal.

Yesterday, the American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air Report listing Denver as 10th on its list of cities with the worst ozone pollution. The Front Range has long been on the EPA’s list of non-compliant areas for the pollutant.

Mike Silverstein, The Executive Director of the Air Quality Commission told The Denverite that people are learning to adapt to a work world that is remote – something the group would like to see continue even it if is just one or two days a week.  He said the time is ripe to push harder for a cultural shift.

The report from the Lung Association says that almost 9 percent of those in the Denver metro area – 300,000 people – suffer from asthma, not to mention other ailments and those living in poverty. The Association says there are plenty of reasons better air would benefit public health.

As the Governor’s plan to gradually reopen the state starts next week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said yesterday that at least 486 people had died from the coronavirus nearly 40 more than the total reported Monday. About 850 people were hospitalized with symptoms of the illness as of Monday.

More than a week ago, the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley announced that it was investing more than $1 million dollars in COVID – 19 testing kits for its employees. But Denver7 is reporting that promises by the company to provide testing have not been kept. Informed sources have said testing was stopped shortly after it started.

The state reports that at least 100 employees at the plant have tested positive for the disease, with four having died and two currently on ventilators.

The outbreak at the JBS facility attracted national attention on April 10 when Vice President Pence spoke about concerns during a White House briefing.

The state department of public health announced a two-week closure of the plant, but it is set to reopen this Friday.

Sylvia Martinez a spokesperson for Latinos Unidos of Greeley said that they can only assume the reason testing was stopped was that the company does not want the number to come out which would be bad PR. The state department of health, the Weld County department and JBS did not respond to the station’ request for information.

It was an unusual welcome last night for Boulder’s newest police chief. Maris Herold was greeted via video-conferencing when she joined Boulder City Council for its weekly virtual meeting. Boulder announced last month that it had hired Herold for the job, making her the city’s first female police chief. Herold said she was looking forward to her role, despite this being a strange time to be taking a new job.

Herold has more than 25 years in police work and previously served as the police chief at the University of Cincinnati’s Police Division.

A judge in Denver has ordered that the name of a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for Senate must be placed on the ballot even though she fell well short of the required number of signatures in her petition effort.

Michelle Ferrigno Warren has substantially complied with the Election Code’s signature threshold, the judge wrote in a 28-page decision. The judge agreed with her claim that the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented barriers to signature collection.

Including Ms. Ferrigno Warren on the primary ballot would mean three candidates will vie for the Democratic nomination to face incumbent Republican Cory Gardner. Andrew Romanoff and John Hickenlooper have already qualified.

Colorado Politics reports that Ferrigno Warren is a nonprofit leader and an immigration rights activist.

In a statement she said that the ruling ensured that they are one step closer to giving Coloradans choices that are not just between the establishment and a career politician.

The Secretary of State’s Office has not said whether it will appeal the decision.

Yesterday the Lafayette City Council unanimously approved extending the city’s moratorium on oil and gas operations for another six months.

Last November, the council had extended the moratorium until May 30th. The Daily Camera reports that city staff had said that proposed regulations on oil and gas are impacted by the ongoing rulemaking process of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. That process has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Staff said that extension of Lafayette’s moratorium will allow the time necessary to update regulations and will track Boulder County’s update of its land use regulation.


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Speaking this afternoon, Governor Jared Polis gave more details on the “safer at home phase” that begins Monday, April 27.

Personal service providers, like hair salons, will be able to reopen on April 27, but measures must be in place, for example, hairstylists must wear masks. Child care can restart on April 27.

Retailers can offer curbside pickup and then they will have the option to open May 1, Polis said, as long as they have social-distancing policies in place. Offices can reopen the following Monday, May 4, he said, although he added telecommuting should be maximized as much as possible, particularly with older employees. Restaurants and bars will stay closed initially but can continue to offer take out and they may be allowed to open in mid-May.

The Governor said people should still continue to stay at home except when you need to leave to go to work or get groceries. For those over 65 or with an underlying medical condition, stay at home except when absolutely necessary.

Governor Polis said that testing and containment has been a major focus of the state’s response, but he says it’s only one part of a four-part strategy including social distancing, additional protections for the most vulnerable and wearing face masks in public.

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    Headlines April 22, 2020 KGNU News




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