Headlines November 23, 2020

Headlines November 23, 2020

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COVID-19 Updates

There was some good news on Sunday about COVID-19 infections in the state as the positivity rate from testing showed a decrease to just over 12 percent according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

But that rate is still way above the goal of 5 percent. As of yesterday, 1,539 patients are hospitalized in Colorado.

The Denver Post reports that testing sites in Denver are so swamped that public health officials are asking people who can safely delay getting tested to do so.

In addition, those who can get a private test should go that route, leaving the city’s four community sites for those with fewer resources.

The state announced late Friday that it is opening new testing sites in Golden and Lone Tree and will be operating mobile testing vans in various locations.

As of Friday 20 counties were moved to the red level of the state’s COVID-19 dial including  Boulder and all other counties in metro Denver.

The new Level Red bars personal gatherings of any size, forces restaurants to close indoor dining, limits office capacity to 10 percent, and recommends high schools and colleges switch to remote learning.

Boulder County on Sunday reported two new deaths and 159 new coronavirus cases. The University of Colorado had 13 positive tests on Saturday.

Governor Jared Polis said on Friday that what was always reasonably safe, is no longer reasonably safe, and that we are losing Coloradans every day to the virus.

He emphasized the importance of personal responsibility and suggested that the present challenges many small businesses face — laying off staff and cutting back capacity, if not closing altogether — are an unfortunate outcome of individuals’ lack of caution.

Weld County Commissioner Says No to Enforcement of Level Red Restrictions

Weld County is one of the 20 that have been moved to the Red Level, but the County Commissioners said Friday that they would not obey new restrictions.

In a news release, the Weld commissioners wrote that the county government will encourage residents and business owners to take individual responsibility and make decisions to protect themselves, their families, their community and their businesses.

The Denver Post reports that Weld County, in particular, has repeatedly chafed at instituting restrictions to curb the virus.

Governor Polis did not say how the state plans to address Weld County’s open flouting of the tougher, Level Red restrictions.

Emergency Alert Sent to Cell Phones Sunday

A COVID-19 safety alert was sent to some cell phones at 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning from the State Emergency Operations Center.

The alert targeted cell phones in counties that have moved to the red level meaning there is a “severe risk” of getting COVID-19 in those areas.

The state Joint Information Center said that the alert was to notify Coloradans about the direness of the COVID-19 situation in the state, with 1 out of every 49 people infected.

The Center said they need everyone to avoid gatherings outside their household including those for Thanksgiving. People should wear masks anytime they go outside their house; keep physical distancing of at least 6 feet from anyone they encounter.

Statue of Native American Woman to Be Placed at Capitol

Last summer, protesters at the State Capitol pushed over a Civil War statue, and now it will be replaced by a sculpture of a Native American woman mourning the atrocities of the Sand Creek Massacre.

The Denver Post reports that the Capitol Building Advisory Committee voted 7-2 on Friday in favor of the new sculpture after hearing from representatives of the tribes that suffered at Sand Creek 156 years ago.

Otto Braided Hair of the Northern Cheyenne and a descendent of survivors of Sand Creek told the committee, “They were wiped out. Their voices are no longer heard. Their wishes and concerns were no longer heard. Those are the people we speak for.”

The state Legislature now must determine how big the monument and its pedestal will be.

Park in Firestone Honors Two Men Who Died in Gas Explosion

There’s a new park in the town of Firestone that pays tribute to two men who died three years ago when an uncapped gas line caused an explosion of a house.

The Times Call reports that Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin were working in the basement when the explosion occurred. Erin Martinez, Mark’s wife and one of the couple’s two children were also injured.

The park is located where the destroyed house stood. The landscape includes native grasses and newly planted trees with numerous details woven in to honor Irwin and Martinez. They each have a side of the park, where people can see mementos to their lives.

Erin Martinez said she is super-excited that the park is built and done, and that it helps them to feel that Mark and Joey are a little more at peace. She added It puts a positive spin on something that was so ugly and tragic.