Headlines November 18, 2020

Headlines November 18, 2020

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Colorado Moves 15 Counties to Level Red Restrictions

By the end of the week Colorado officials will impose tighter restrictions on 15 counties, including much of the metro area, in an effort to curb the accelerating transmission of COVID-19. But the state is not ordering a lockdown.

The new public health restrictions in the 15 counties were announced yesterday. They will encourage, but not order, people to stay at home, while prohibiting all personal gatherings outside of an individual’s household, barring indoor dining at restaurants and moving last call for alcohol to 8 p.m.

Governor Jared Polis said that the state must act now to save lives and to avoid a shutdown or lockdown.

The Daily Camera reports that the state’s system of determining the appropriate response to the pandemic is changing. The updated Level Red now indicates the counties where there is severe risk of COVID-19 spreading rapidly, but still allows some businesses to remain open at very limited capacity. The addition of a new purple level on the dial will indicate when stay-at-home orders will be implemented.

State officials said that they are adding the new purple level in response to the out of control spread of COVID-19 across the state.

Boulder County Moving to Level Red

Boulder County is one of 15 that will be in the Red Level as of Friday, including Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, and six others in rural areas.

The new restrictions that go into effect at the end of the week require the following steps:

  • Personal gatherings of any size will not be allowed, which is a reduction from the previous 10 people from two households
  • High schools are suggested to use hybrid or remote learning.
  • Restaurants will have to close indoor dining instead of operating at 25% capacity or 50 people. Take out, curbside delivery or to go will still be permitted.
  • Outdoor, open-air restaurant seating is allowed with a group from one household
  • Office capacity moves down from 25% to 10%; with remote working still strongly encouraged
  • Gym capacity moves from 25% to 10% capacity.

Yesterday, Boulder County added another 208 coronavirus cases, bringing the county to 8,910 cases to date, and 108 residents have died from the virus. Currently, 91 people hospitalized — the largest single-day number recorded in the county.

CU Boulder transitioned to fully remote learning Monday, and Boulder Valley School District transitioned to fully remote learning Tuesday.

Perlmutter Tests Positive

In related news, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Democrat from Arvada, has tested positive for COVID-19. In a written statement Perlmutter said that as of now, he is asymptomatic and feeling good.

He is in Washington D.C. and will isolate in his apartment while working and voting remotely. Representative Perlmutter said that the diagnosis serves as a reminder of the importance to take the virus seriously and that he has been taking precautions over the last eight months.

Parents Sue Boulder Valley Schools Over Transgender Program

The parents of three students at elementary school are suing the Boulder Valley School District claiming that their constitutional rights to religious freedom have been violated.

The Denver Post reports that the parents, who say they are Christians, asked that their children be exempted from a presentation on transgender issues at Superior Elementary two years ago.

That presentation had been prompted by the bullying of a transgender student. School administrators planned to include a musical performance by Phoenix, Colorado’s Trans Community Choir, as well as videos on gender roles and related topics, followed by classroom discussion.

The lawsuit alleges the school district violated its own policies when administrators allowed the children to opt-out of only the musical performance, and not the videos and classroom discussion. The lawsuit also claims the district retaliated against the family by creating a hostile environment.

According to the suit, the family pulled their children from Superior Elementary and they are now being homeschooled or going to a private school. A spokesperson for the school district could not be reached for comment.