Headlines May 25, 2020

Headlines May 25, 2020

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On Sunday state health officials released guidelines on how restaurants can reopen for inside and outside dining. Curbside pickup and delivery is still highly encouraged by the Department of Public Health and Environment but any establishment that can adhere to the guidelines can open. However, the date they can do so has still not been set and it is expected that Governor Jared Polis will release details today.

The guidelines require that patrons in different parties be a minimum of six feet apart and tables need to be 6 feet or more apart to ensure proper distancing between diners from different parties.

All employees must wear face coverings and in between seatings, surfaces need to be disinfected. There are other parts to the guidelines such as not self-service stations or buffets.

Restaurants must have a system to monitor employees for possible COVID-19 symptoms and if there is a confirmed case, the business must contact and cooperate with health officials No more than 50 people or half of an establishment’s normal maximum occupancy would be allowed.

9News reports that after June 1, the governor’s office has said it will decide if summer activities and spaces like libraries can reopen using a modified version of safer-at-home restrictions.

In the City of Boulder officials are considering closing Pearl Street between  9th and 11th Streets to cars to allow restaurants to serve sit-down dinners outdoors.

The Boulder County Board of Health has extended an order requiring face coverings for every person other than those younger than 12 whenever in public in the county where social distancing cannot be maintained.  The order now runs until June 30.

Jeff Zayach the executive director of the county’s public health department told the Daily Camera that they have seen many instances where social distancing of six feet or more was not being followed, but they are seeing high rates of compliance with the face-covering order.

Officials reported yesterday that the number of coronavirus cases in Boulder County had increased by two while the number of deaths held steady at 59.  The number of deaths in the state rose by five.

On Friday about 50 cars with protesters circled the area around the immigration detention center in Aurora. The demonstrators honked horns and yelled about inmates being endangered by exposure to the virus.

The Sentinel reports that two detainees had been transferred to the Aurora facility both of whom have contracted COVID-19. The two were brought to the Aurora jail from the detention center in Sterling.

As of Sunday, one of the detainees was admitted to a local hospital where he is being treated.

Hundreds of detainees have been shuffled in and out of the Geo Group facility. The transfers have been a concern to U.S. Representative Jason Crow who sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this month calling for a halt of transfers to prevent spreading the virus.

U.S. representative Dianna Degette, a Democrat from Denver is concerned that the Post Office Service Distribution Center will remain open despite the threat of a coronavirus outbreak. Colorado Politics reports that the City of Denver Health Department ordered the center to suspend operations handing all the mail for Colorado and Wyoming after the state found multiple confirmed cases among workers there.

Degette wrote a letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan on Friday asking her to work closely with the Denver health department to resolve the matter in a responsible and public health-focused way. She also asked that the postmaster provide clarity on how their nation and regional offices are working to ensure the safety of each employee.

City of Denver officials said on Friday that they have linked a death to the outbreak at the distribution center. However, the Denver Post reports that the postal authorities are pushing back on that claim. The facility spokesperson said that the postal service will continue to operate and will not shut down in spite of the city’s order. It is not clear what authority would allow the city to shut down a federal facility.

Colorado Secretary of State Gena Griswold is advocation for Congress to act to support states getting the resources they need to expand voting by mail.  Griswold’s push comes in the wake of statements by President Trump that the method is subject to corruption and cheating.

The Denver Post reports that about a third of the states had contacted Griswold’s office for advice as they try to build their own systems before the November election.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the US cannot have all mail-in ballots and that it would be the greatest rigged election in history. Griswold responded in her own tweet saying that Trump’s statement was untrue and that the Director of Homeland Security has said that Colorado tops the nation in election security. She added that Trump was trying to use the epidemic to suppress voter turn-out in November.