Headlines December 22, 2020

Headlines December 22, 2020

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COVID-19 Hospitalizations Dropping but Virus Continues to Disproportionately Impact Communities of Color

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are dropping, according to state data released Monday.  But health officials warned that it’s too early to let up on restrictions that limit the spread of the virus.   The Colorado Dept of Public Health and the Environment reported about 17, 600 new virus cases last week.  That’s the lowest level since October.  In Boulder County, the five-day rate for coronavirus positive tests is 3.8%–also the lowest number since mid-October.

The virus continues to have a disproportionate impact on people of color.  Of the 477 virus cases reported in Boulder County last week, 36% were Hispanic or LatinX people who make up less than 14% of the county population.  Health officials urged Coloradans Monday not to become complacent.  They emphasized limiting social gatherings during the holidays only to people within the same household…in addition to continuing to wear masks, maintain social distancing and wash hands.

The City of Denver Changed the Name of Columbus Park

The Denver City Council on Monday officially agreed to rename Columbus Park to La Raza Park. For generations, the Northside green space and community center has been called its unofficial name, La Raza.

The Denverite reports that Councilmember Amanda Sandoval headed up the signature-gathering campaign that helped change the name. Sandoval grew up attending graduations, summer solstice celebrations, and quinceañeras, which is the celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday, at the park.

The Sunnyside park was also the epicenter for the Chicano movement in Denver during the 1970s.

The park became a hangout spot for Chicanos to get jobs and discover their cultural identity.

The park’s sign was sometimes crossed off and tagged with its unofficial name, La Raza. La Raza, in its more figurative translation, represents the people.

Paid Family Leave for State Employees

State employees will have a new family leave option in January.  Gov Jared Polis announced Monday that the program will provide two weeks of paid leave to anyone who has worked for the State of Colorado for the past 12 months or more.   A statewide family leave program for everybody was approved by voters last month.  That program will not be fully implemented until 2024

Groups Appeal Ruling on Fracking Ban

Two environmental groups are appealing a Boulder District Court ruling against a ban on oil and gas fracking.  Longmont voters approved a ban on fracking back in 2012.  The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against the ban in 2016.   And a Boulder District Court judge also ruled against the ban in another case last month.  But an attorney for the environmental groups said Monday that new state rules on oil and gas development support the right of communities to ban fracking.  No word yet on when the Colorado Court of Appeals will take up the case.