Headlines August 31, 2021

Headlines August 31, 2021

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Tri-County Health Removes County Ability to Opt-out of Mask Mandates

The Tri-County Board of Health issued an order yesterday evening requiring masks for all individuals two years and older in schools and child care settings. The Tri-County Board also rescinded a policy it passed last November that allowed the counties of Douglas, Adams, and Arapahoe to opt-out of public health orders.

Recently, county commissioners from Douglas and Adams chose not to follow the Tri-County Health Department order that was issued August 17th requiring masks for kids 2 years and older.

As of last Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 705 people were hospitalized due to the virus, a level last reached on January 21st.

Colorado Board of Health Adopts Emergency Rule Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine for Healthcare Workers

Also yesterday evening, Colorado’s Board of Health adopted an emergency rule requiring employees of the state’s licensed health care facilities to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31st.

In an emergency session last night, Colorado’s Board of Health voted to require Covid-19 shots for staff who interact with patients at 3,800 licensed facilities by the end of October.

The new vaccine mandate applies to staff and contractors who interact with patients or clients in assisted living homes, nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, community clinics and other health care settings that are regulated by the board. The mandate does not apply to individual practitioners, doctors’ offices or urgent care centers. The rule requires health care facilities to hire only vaccinated workers after Oct. 31.

The mandate allows for individuals to seek medical or religious exemptions from their employers.

Currently, nearly 74% of the state’s eligible adults are immunized with one dose of the vaccine, with 65% of age 12 and up being fully vaccinated.

Secretary of State Files Lawsuit Seeking to Remove Mesa County Clerk from Election Oversight

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed a lawsuit yesterday to remove Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters from her role overseeing elections.

According to the Denver Post, Griswold can unilaterally require the supervision of Mesa County elections as she did earlier in August but needs a court order to remove Peters from overseeing them.

Peters is under investigation by the FBI and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office for allegedly allowing a security breach of election equipment and the subsequent online posting of election equipment passwords and hard drive images to right-wing blogs and social media.

Also yesterday, Mesa County Commissioners formally hired former Secretary of State Waye Williams as the county’s top official for the upcoming November elections. Williams will serve along Griswold’s pick for elections supervisor, Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner.

The Denver Post reports Griswold has also sought the appointment of Williams and Reiner in her lawsuit filed with the Mesa County District Court.

CU Police Replacing Criminal Citations for Low-level and First-time Offenses 

As an effort to prevent students from entering the criminal legal system, the University of Colorado Police Department will start giving administrative citations instead of criminal citations for low-level or first-time offenses.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, the process to change the citation policy began a year ago. Administrative citations will not be issued for repeat offenders or students accused of violent crimes.

Under the policy change, if students receive a low-level citation such as a minor in possession of drugs or alcohol, unlawful conduct, or fake identification, they will get a lesser fine and will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution instead of receiving a criminal court summons.

Gateway Segment of Peaks to Plains Trail Opens

The proposed Peaks to Plains trail, which will run 65 miles from the South Platte River to the foot of Loveland Pass, gained another built segment last week as Jefferson County Open Space unveiled a new 1.75-mile multi-use trail at the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon at the western edge of Golden.

The new segment includes 22,000 square feet of concrete sidewalk, stained a rust color to harmonize with the canyon’s surroundings, and has two new bridges over Clear Creek. The segment also includes access to the wooden water flume of the historic Welch Ditch.

According to the Denver Post, the next 3-mile segment for Clear Creek Canyon is in the design stages with groundbreaking expected to occur this winter.