Headlines January 14, 2021

Headlines January 14, 2021

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Fifth Case of New COVID-19 Variant is Resident of Boulder County

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday reported that the state’s fifth case of the new COVID-19 variant is a Boulder County resident in their 20’s.

Boulder County Public Health has reported a downward trend with 152 new COVID-19 cases and one new hospitalization.

Boulder County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Zayach said that the expected spike caused by New Year’s has not appeared yet but the county will wait until later this week to make a full comment because of possible delays in reporting.

There have been over 12,000 Boulder County residents receiving one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while a little over 2,000 have received the full course of both doses.

Changes have been made in the way the state of Colorado will be distributing the vaccination. The last report had the age for the vaccination as 70 and up but following changes in federal guidance it is lowered to 65 and up.

The Denver Post reports that Governor Jared Polis said the state still wants to focus on age in prioritizing vaccine distribution, given how older Coloradans have died from the novel coronavirus at a higher rate.

Colorado officials expect to receive 70,000 doses of vaccine each week, which includes the doses that go to long-term care facilities.

State Legislative Session Begins With Talk of COVID Business Relief

The Colorado General Assembly opened its 2021 session Wednesday. But because of the pandemic, they will only meet for three days before adjourning until mid-February.

One of the bills they plan to pass this week is an adjustment to pandemic relief for businesses. In a $300 million state stimulus package put forward last month, there was $4 million earmarked for minority-owned businesses. But a white Colorado Springs resident who owns a barbershop sued the state in federal court asserting that it’s unconstitutional to exclude businesses from the program on the basis of race. Lawmakers had argued that special assistance was needed due to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on people of color. Some observers say the fact that the Democrat-controlled legislature is advancing a bill to open up the program to white-owned businesses indicates they think the state would lose in court. But Democrats say they just don’t want the lawsuit to hold up delivery of aid to small businesses.

Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise

Pedestrian deaths in Colorado almost doubled over ten years, according to a new report from AAA Colorado. The automobile assistance group says that from 2009 to 2018, there was an 89% increase in Colorado pedestrians killed on roadways. That’s much higher than the 55% increase nationwide during the same period. The most common location for pedestrian deaths is in the middle of a block on a major arterial roadway. The report says darkness and alcohol are both significant factors in many pedestrian deaths.

CU to Resume In-Person Classes in February

In-person classes will return to the University of Colorado Boulder in mid-February, according to a letter sent by campus officials Wednesday. Students will be able to move back into dorms by appointment beginning on February 7th. CU’s spring semester begins today with online classes only. CU Boulder will also require weekly coronavirus testing for all on-campus students, staff, and faculty. A university spokesperson told the Daily Camera that the campus can process 20 to 25,000 virus tests per week.