Headlines December 15, 2020

Headlines December 15, 2020

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First  Coronavirus Vaccine in Colorado Given Monday Afternoon

With cameras clicking and Governor Jared Polis by his side, a Northern Colorado health care worker on Monday became the first Coloradoan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kevin Londrigan—a respiratory therapist at UC Health hospital in Loveland—got the first shot.  133 health care workers received the first of two injections of the Pfizer vaccine Monday.  The second shot is given three weeks later.

The vaccine was given emergency approval just three days ago by the Food and Drug Administration.  The state says initial shipments provide enough vaccine for 46,800 people to receive the first dose.  But it’s not clear how much more vaccine will be available over the next few months.  Another vaccine, developed by Moderna, is expected to also receive emergency FDA approval this week.

Boulder County added 11 new deaths and 82 new cases to their virus count

Monday marks Boulder County’s first double-digit recorded deaths from the virus. The Daily Camera reports this means 154 residents of Boulder County have died from the virus, and over 13,000 residents have tested positive for the virus.

Boulder County Public Health spokesperson Chana Goussetis said that the 11 deaths reported Monday involved people whose ages ranged from their 60s through 90s. All but two were residents of a long-term care facility.

The number of people currently hospitalized peaked on Nov. 30 at 131, and from there slowly decreased to 66 people hospitalized Dec. 8. But since then, the number is again trending upward.

County data shows that over 240,000 residents have been tested for the virus, and the current five-day average of positive tests is 5.2 percent, which is down from 7.2 percent reported last Monday. The five-day average of new daily cases is the lowest it’s been since Oct. 30.

Jail Inmates Sue Over Lack of Coronavirus Protections

Inmates at the El Paso County jail filed a class-action lawsuit Monday. The suit alleges jail staff failed to properly protect people and that staff put inmate lives at risk by not providing masks.  A coronavirus outbreak last month at the jail infected more than 900 of the 1200 inmates in the facility.

The Denver Post reports that inmates were not given masks until after the early November outbreak.  The El Paso County Sheriff’s office oversees the jail.  The suit also alleges that staff failed to separate sick inmates from others and provided little medical treatment.  The suit was filed on behalf of the inmates by the American Civil Liberties Union and three private attorneys.  It also alleges that the sheriff’s office had the money to deal with the virus because it received over $15 million in federal money targeted for COVID-related projects.