Headlines June 1, 2021

Headlines June 1, 2021

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New COVID Order Takes Effect Today

In COVID news – an order issued by the state health department Monday says those planning large indoor events with more than 500 people no longer need the state’s approval. The amended order from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment goes into effect today as transmission of COVID-19 and hospitalizations due to the disease level off. The order is scheduled to expire July 1. The health department order still encourages individuals to remain at least six-feet away from non-household contacts, wash their hands, and wear a face covering to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. The order also requires masks for people who are not fully vaccinated in jails, prisons, K-12 schools, childcare facilities, camps and medical facilities.

State Parks Pass May Get an Overhaul

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would change the way annual state park passes are distributed. Legislation proposed would add a fee to a vehicle’s yearly registration. The driver could then pay for the pass, called the “Keep Colorado Wild Annual Pass,” along with their registration instead of having to go directly through Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The bipartisan group of bill co-sponsors say the state experienced a significant increase in the number of visitors last year and it’s been a challenge for Parks and Wildlife to keep up with the number of people visiting Colorado’s 42 state parks. A similar system in Montana has brought the annual state park pass fees down to $9 annually.

Heat Deaths Linked to Climate Change

The Associated Press says more than one-third of the world’s heat deaths each year are due directly to climate change. The AP, reporting from recent research, said it was the first study to detail climate change-related heat deaths now, rather than in the future. Scientists took observed temperatures and compared them with 10 computer models simulating a world without human caused climate change. By applying to the individualized heat-death curves from 732 cities, the scientists then calculated in the extra heat deaths from climate change. Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin said that this credited study directly answers the question of people asking for proof that manmade climate change is affecting people globally. The journal Nature Climate Change said that researchers looked at heat deaths in 732 cities around the globe from 1991 to 2018. They calculated that 37% of the deaths, about 9,700 people a year, from just those cities were caused by higher temperatures from human-caused warming. The highest percentages of heat deaths caused by climate change were in cities in South America. Sao Paulo, Brazil averages 239 deaths a year. New York City topped U.S. cities with 141 heat caused deaths per year.

Warmer, Dryer Weather Ahead for Front Range

The exceptionally rainy month of May is behind us but the National Weather Service tweeted that the Denver area has officially gotten nearly four inches of rainfall this month. And as unlikely as it may seem, that’s more than Seattle and Portland combined. This is one of top 20 wettest Mays on record for the Denver/Boulder area, but it’s a different story on the Western Slope, where conditions remain abnormally dry, creating concerns after the 2020 wildfire season. Above 9,500 ft. over the weekend – snow was reported and after opening for the season last Friday, Trail Ridge Road had to be closed due to snow.