Headlines May 5, 2020

Headlines May 5, 2020

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    Headlines May 5, 2020 KGNU News

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Mayor Michael Hancock this afternoon outlined the next steps for businesses and retail establishments who will begin to open up this Saturday, following the expiration of the city’s Stay At Home order.

Hancock said measures like special hours for vulnerable populations will be introduced as well as, six feet of physical distancing between people, symptoms and temperature checks, and frequent disinfecting of common spaces.

Mayor Hancock said that while many businesses will be able to reopen this weekend, several will still be subject to closure. These include restaurants and bars, except for curbside pick-up and delivery; gyms, yoga and fitness studios; music theaters and concert venues; outdoor recreation facilities like children’s playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts; libraries and recreation centers. Large gatherings of 10 or more people will still be prohibited through May 26 as per the state’s order.

Starting tomorrow, residents in Denver will be required to wear facemasks while in businesses, retail establishments or at bus stops.

Advocates for the homeless in Denver are criticizing plans to have private security guards patrol the newly established overflow shelters. The Denverite reports that the city has hired 21 guards from the company Allied Universal Security to patrol the emergency coronavirus shelters at the National Western Complex and the Denver Coliseum.

Westword reports that in 2018, two guards working for that security firm pleaded guilty to beating up an African American man in the bathroom of Union Station in Denver. A lawsuit filed against Allied says the victim sustained a permanent brain injury as a result.

While the guards at the shelters will be unarmed, concerns are being raised about their presence impacting privacy and safety of those seeking shelter.

The Denverite reports that the contract with the security company states that the guards will check bags, support enforcement of shelter rules, patrol the area for drug and alcohol use, and guard areas from unauthorized entry. Guards will be posted around the shelter, including near the showers. The contract is worth $4 million and runs through June 1st with an option to extend it to September.

Members of local homeless advocacy groups and members of Denver faith groups are speaking out against the contract saying the shelters are already over-staffed and those seeking shelter are over-controlled.

Boulder County announced today that it will not extend its stay at home order beyond May 8th and instead the county will move into a safer at home phase.

In a statement today, Jeff Zayach, the Executive Director of Boulder County Public Health, said that he feels comfortable moving forward to the more relaxed Safer-at-Home phase on May 9 since progress has been made on testing access and staff has been added for contact tracing. Zayach also added that the county has been working with the business community to develop social distancing requirements.

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Beginning May 9, every person older than 12 years of age will be required to wear a face covering when in public anywhere in Boulder County, where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. The public order, which stays in effect until Tuesday, May 26, includes some exemptions, including people working alone in an office, anyone whose health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering, and children aged 12 years and younger.

Residents of Denver will also have to wear facial coverings in public starting this Wednesday, May 6th.

This is part of the city’s transition from a stay at home order, which is due to expire this Friday.

Residents and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside of, or waiting in line to enter, certain businesses, facilities or locations.

These include any retail or commercial business, at a bus stop or facilities offering health care services.

The Colorado legislature will NOT hear a bill that would have provided a type of public-option health insurance program in the state. The sponsors of the measure announced in an op-ed in the Denver Post on Monday that they were withdrawing the bill because of the corona-virus pandemic.
The move to withdraw the bill comes at a time when tens of thousands of Coloradans have lost health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also comes just days after another bill was withdrawn by Democrats. The Family Leave Bill was also withdrawn at a time when tens of thousands of workers in the state are grappling with little to no paid sick leave amidst the pandemic.

In Monday’s op-ed, the sponsors of the Colorado Health Care Option bill said that their decision to withdraw the measure during the pandemic is “… an unwelcome coincidence that saw the very people struggling to afford health care be the first ones hit by a life-threatening health care pandemic.”

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that Michelle Ferrigno Warren won’t appear on the state’s Democratic primary ballot in the senate race because not enough valid petition signatures were gathered.

Colorado Politics reports that Warren is an immigrant rights activist. She told the paper at the start of her campaign that she wanted to raise the profile of that issue as part of her campaign. Yesterday’s ruling reverses an April 21 ruling by a Denver District Court judge, who determined Warren collected a sufficient number of signatures given difficulties her campaign encountered amid the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Colorado Attorney General’s office has cited three businesses in Colorado for selling COVID 19 tests that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Times Call reports that two of the businesses are in Boulder and Fort Collins.

Cease and desist letters were sent to Red Tail Wellness in Boulder and the Functional Medicine Center. in Fort Collins for selling COVID-19 antibody tests that were not approved by federal regulators, along with overstating their effectiveness. According to a statement made by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, “It is a violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to falsely claim these tests are FDA approved or to withhold details about the known limitations of the tests. These misrepresentations can endanger individuals and public health as well as lead consumers to pay for non-existent benefits.”

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