Headlines December 18, 2020

Headlines December 18, 2020

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Boulder County Provides Update on COVID-19

Boulder County on Thursday reported four new coronavirus deaths and 109 new cases. A county health department spokesperson said four people with COVID-19 died between Dec. 3 and Dec. 15. Their ages were in the 50s, 70s and 80s. Only one was a resident at a long-term care facility, but the number of cases within long-term care facilities has remained high. The four new deaths bring the county’s death toll to 163.

Colorado Restaurants Ease for Counties That Meet Requirements

Meanwhile, a program to allow restaurants to operate with fewer COVID-19 restrictions has been finalized by Colorado health officials. The program would apply to restaurants that meet health and safety requirements and are certified by their local public health agency.

The Denver Post reports that the so-called “5 Star Program” would give restaurants and other businesses the opportunity to operate under less-restrictive conditions, depending on their county’s level on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Restaurants in Level Red counties would only be eligible to be certified for the program if their county sees a two-week decline in cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations.

Each restaurant or business would still need to be certified, even if their county metrics meet those initial requirements. Only counties that reach Level Purple on the state COVID-19 dial would not be eligible for the program. No counties are on Level Purple. Boulder County remains at Level Red on the dial.

Colorado Leads States Suing Google

A coalition of 38 states and territories led by Colorado sued Google Thursday, alleging the Internet giant maintains its online monopoly through anticompetitive business practices.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia says Google has unfairly omitted other search engines from reaching consumers and has limited competition by refusing to allow its advertising tools to function with other search engines. A Denver Post report also says that Google wrongly pushed some rival specialized search websites from its top search results.

The lawsuit goes on to say that Google’s practices have made exclusive contracts with companies like Apple and Verizon to be the default search engine for their products. These contracts have made Google the default search engine on 80% of browsers.

Adam Cohen, Google’s director of economic policy, said that the lawsuit features meritless allegations and have been rejected by regulators and courts around the world.

The lawsuit follows a similar action Colorado Attorney General Philip Weiser and 45 other states took against Facebook last week.

Local Coroner Quits After Questions Raised in Elijah McClain Death

The Adams County Coroner says she won’t work with Broomfield in 2021 after city council members expressed “a clear lack of confidence” in her office for its handling of the Elijah McClain death investigation. In a letter to elected officials, Monica Broncucia-Jordan said she would not renew her contract with the city for the upcoming year – an agreement that has been in place for nearly 20 years.

In the letter, Broncucia-Jordan said she was never contacted by the mayor’s office or Broomfield City Council before December 10 to answer questions or concerns city leaders had about the coroner’s handling of the investigation into McClain’s death, which she said she only found out after reading an article in the media. Last Friday, the Broomfield Enterprise reported Councilman Deven Shaff had questions concerning the coroner’s role in the McClain death investigation. McClain, a 23-year-old Black man died last summer after the police in Aurora, restrained him with a chokehold that has since been banned.