Headlines May 6, 2020

Headlines May 6, 2020

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    Headlines May 6, 2020 KGNU News

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Boulder County transitions into a safer at home phase starting this Saturday as the stay at home order expires Friday night. Boulder County Public Health Director Jeff Zayach told city council last night that face masks would still be required in public for everyone over the age of 12 where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. He reminded residents that droplet transmission of the coronavirus is possible when a person is in close contact with someone who has respiratory symptoms.

In addition to wearing face coverings, starting Saturday residents are being asked to limit social interactions as much as possible and continue social distancing. Zayach warned those requirements will likely last quite a while.

Speaking this afternoon Governor Jared Polis said that it is extremely likely that the coronavirus had been circulating in Colorado long before the first official case was actually confirmed.

Governor Polis reiterated the need for people to only go out in public when needed, to wear a mask in public and to maintain social distancing.

As the state transitions into the safer at home phase Governor Polis said people should significantly reduce their personal contacts with other people. He said people should have just a third of the social interactions that they would have had in January of this year.

921 Coloradans have died from COVID-19.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife have extended indefinitely the current ban on camping in Colorado state parks.

The ban began six weeks ago and has been extended until further notice.

CPW said the decision was based on Colorado’s Safer at Home guidelines, along with advice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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Most of the metro area will join Denver in allowing stay-at-home orders to expire on Friday.  Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield and Jefferson Counties will begin to follow Governor Jared Polis’s statewide “safer-at-home” approach.

Yesterday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock held a news conference detailing the path forward saying that businesses can begin to reopen this Saturday.

Mayor Hancock said that while many places will be able to open this weekend, several will still be subject to closure including cinemas, music venues, libraries and recreation centers.

Hancock said that there’s no schedule currently for restaurants and bars to reopen.

The Denver Post reports that restaurant owners have expressed uncertainty about reopening at half capacity or at all this month, citing worker health and safety as their top concern.

Starting today in Denver all customers at grocery stores will be required to wear masks.

Boulder County officials believe that enough progress has been made in response to COVID-19 to the point that the county can transition to the safer at home standards on Saturday.

Last night the Longmont City Council voted to give preliminary approval to an ordinance that would give the city manager authority to require people to wear face masks or other protective gear during an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city manager would have the authority to exceed orders such as that by the Boulder County Board of Health which requires anyone older than 12 to wear masks when in public and social distancing cannot be maintained.

The only no vote against the measure was cast by Mayor Brian Bagely. The Times Call reports that Bagley expressed frustration with what he claims is a lack of data and conflicting advice from health experts.

Other council members noted that while restrictions aren’t easy, wearing facial coverings can prevent inundating hospitals with people who have caught the virus from someone not wearing a mask.

The Longmont ordinance will now be scheduled for a public hearing and final action on May 19.

Workers at Denver Health are recruiting fellow employees to form a union in order to obtain better benefits and workplace conditions.
According to a statement from the Communications Workers of America, the movement to unionize has dozens of nurses and bedside employees already on board.

The Denverite reports that hospital workers at Denver Health have been energized by unpaid leave, and the lack of protective equipment which has caused unsafe conditions.

Workers have also been sparked by the revelation that executives were getting large bonuses during this COVID-19 time.

Members of the movement to unionize are remaining anonymous for now because they don’t want to risk losing any hours; but they plan to go public in about two weeks.

Crews from the city of Denver are returning this week to areas in the Five Points neighborhood where clean ups were conducted last week.

The Denverite reports that a spokesperson for the city said the earlier effort removed a significant amount of trash, even though officials did not require people to move, only asking them to do so voluntarily.

This time the city will require people to move themselves and any of their belongings out of the area being cleaned.

The city spokesperson said that notices were posted yesterday for the cleanup that is set to start tomorrow.

She added that they will have outreach teams on-site to connect people to resources and services.

Last week advocates for people experiencing homelessness said the cleanups endanger health under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, and they can scatter people which can cause them to lose touch with service providers.

On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ordered that no juries will be assembled before July 6 for safety and health concerns. The order said that until further action by the Chief Justice state courts are to continue to operate on an emergency basis.

Some of the functions that will continue are those essential for public safety, health and welfare including matters such as domestic abuse civil protection orders, and child dependency and neglect cases.

In other action yesterday, the state high court removed another Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from the June primary ballot.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Lorena Garcia, a community organizer, will not be allowed to participate because she did not collect enough signatures to get on the ballot. The Court overturned the decision of a trial judge who said that the corona-virus had created an impossible burden for signature collection.

The Supreme Court ruled that the judicial branch does not have the authority to rewrite the election code.

The Colorado Sun reports that Garcia is vowing to challenge the ruling in federal court.

The decision to take Garcia off the ballot comes a day after the Supreme Court removed nonprofit leader Michelle Ferrigno Warren from the ballot for failing to collect enough signatures.

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