Headlines July 8, 2020

Headlines July 8, 2020

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Residents in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties will be required to wear face coverings when entering indoor public spaces as well as in outdoor public spaces when social distancing can’t be observed.

The requirement comes after a 5-4 vote today by the Tri-County Health Department‘s Board of Health.

Municipalities within the three counties will have the ability to opt out. Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said Tuesday that he supports a mandate requiring face coverings, but he told the Aurora Sentinel that he would prefer keeping the Aurora Police Department out of enforcing the rule in favor of city code enforcement staff.

Today’s vote comes after data from the state health department shows growing numbers of coronavirus cases around the state.

Adams County has almost 4,500 cases, Arapahoe County has almost 5,500 cases and Douglas County has more than a thousand cases.

Statewide there are almost 35,000 confirmed cases.

The Tri-County face covering order is similar to mandates already in place in Denver, Boulder and other Front Range municipalities.

Boulder County Public Health on Tuesday issued a statement reminding parents that children older than two years of age should wear face coverings, noting that kids can carry and transmit the virus to others, including vulnerable adults. Public Health Executive Director Jeff Zayach said the county’s five-day average of new COVID-19 cases is back down to the low levels reported in late May.

According to Zayach, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts cases will continue to level off for most age groups.

Denver was second most gentrified city in the country between 2013 and 2017 according to a recent national study. San Francisco came first, followed by Denver then Boston, Miami and New Orleans.

The Gentrification and Disinvestment 2020 study was conducted by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition based in Washington DC.

It looked at 10,600 neighborhoods in cities around the country that had home values and incomes below the 40th percentile nationally. These were classified by the researchers as “eligible to gentrify.”

80 neighborhoods in the Denver-Aurora area met eligibility criteria and 22 gentrified during the study period.

The study found a stark racial divide in the communities with gentrifying neighborhoods overwhelmingly populated by people of color. The average minority population of the neighborhoods included in the study was 50%, but that figure rose to 77% in areas researchers determined to have gentrified.

 

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On Tuesday Gov. Jared Polis extended the state’s disaster emergency order for another 30 days. Colorado Politics reports that it is the fifth time he’s issued that order since March 10.

The extension comes as there is no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with outbreaks reported at more than 70 locations during June.

Last night on MSNBC, Polis said he worries about the growing outbreaks in Texas and Arizona, with people from those states traveling to Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports the average age of people in the state testing positive for the virus has dropped from the upper 40s in April to 32 years old now.

9News reports that age groups under 50 make up less than a percent of the statewide deaths; however, a state spokesperson said it’s only a matter of time before transmission in young people increases transmission in older and at-risk populations, because younger people are much less likely to show symptoms, and they can silently spread the virus.

Denver’s coronavirus testing site at the Pepsi Center closed its gates after noon yesterday as demand grew so high that city officials were concerned that lab capacity – which is already limited – would delay test results further.

The Denver Post reports that the early closure of the site is the latest indication that testing capacity in Colorado remains fragile with cases surging in parts of the U.S. and shortages of testing supplies nationwide.

Meanwhile, a new study shows that more than twice as many women than men dropped out of the labor force in Colorado as the pandemic forced business closures and layoffs earlier this year.

The state’s unemployment rate peaked at around 12% in April, and has since dropped to 10%. Colorado Politics reports that before the pandemic, the gap between male and female workforce participants was less than four percentage points. But now, the difference is greater than seven percentage points.

An author of the new report – done by the nonpartisan Common Sense Institute in Greenwood Village –  said one of the largest drops in the labor force was seen in women over the age of 35.

After a two-week break without meetings, Boulder City Council reconvened last night and received an update on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting local residents.

Boulder County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Zayach said the county’s five-day average of new COVID-19 cases is back down to the low levels reported in late May. According to Zayach, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts cases will continue to level off for most age groups.

The local health department issued a press release Tuesday reminding parents that children older than two years of age should wear face coverings, noting that kids can carry and transmit the virus to others, including vulnerable adults. Zayach said face coverings for children younger than 12 were not mandated at the start of the pandemic but they are nonetheless recommended.

The climate lawsuit filed by the city of Boulder, Boulder County and San Miguel County against giant oil companies will remain in state court.

The defendant oil companies had wanted to move the court to what they considered to be the more friendly federal courts. However, yesterday a federal appeals court denied the oil companies’ request, and so the case will stay in state court in Boulder.

The counties and the city are seeking damages from the oil giants for what they say are the effects of climate change.

Denver’s Climate Action Task Force released a lengthy report yesterday making a number of recommendations that could change the way life looks in the city.

The Denverite reports that the group urged immediate and decisive action to reduce the impact on the climate and to prepare for climate change.

Among the recommendations: homes and building should be retrofit to support energy efficiency, and there should be stricter requirements for new buildings. The bus system should be expanded, made fully electric and more affordable. There should also be an investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and an end to the use of natural gas for heating and cooking as much as possible. The recommendations are the result of months of meetings among Denver citizens appointed to the Climate Action Task Force.

In response to the report Denver Council President Jolon Clark said its’ huge and he thinks it’s an extraordinarily heavy lift, but he thinks anything less is a failure.

A deputy in the Denver Sheriff’s Department will lose four days of pay for using a chokehold on a jail inmate. Officials of the Department of Public Safety determined that Deputy Shawn Rhatigan used inappropriate force when he crossed his arm over an inmate’s neck while transporting him to a cell.

Denver Department of Public Safety administrators determined that Deputy Shawn Rhatigan used inappropriate force when he crossed his arm over an inmate’s neck while transporting him to a cell.

The Denver Post reports that the man was not injured and there are no reports he complained of not being able to breathe. He declined to be interviewed for the internal investigation.