Headlines August 4, 2021

Headlines August 4, 2021

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Denver Public Schools Will Require Masks for All 

Students, teachers, staff and visitors at Denver Public Schools will be required to wear masks whether or not they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

District officials announced yesterday that the mandate will go into effect August 9.

Denver schools employ nearly 14,000 and serves close to 100,000 students. Representatives of the teachers’ unions said they support the move.

On Monday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said he would require both city employees and those who work in private businesses to get vaccinated.

Masking Required for All at Nursing Homes

And yesterday Colorado officials announced that all staff and residents at nursing care facilities will be required to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status. Visitors too must comply.

In a release, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that testing will also be required for fully vaccinated individuals at residential care facilities who have had close contact with someone who was positive for the virus

CDPHE will continue to implement rapid testing for all unvaccinated staff and residents who leave the facility for longer than 24 hours.

Boulder County to Issue Recommendations Next Week 

In Boulder County, health officials are waiting until next week to issue an update in recommendations for masking.

In an email to the Daily Camera, Angela Simental of Boulder County Public Health wrote that the department has consistently recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors. Simental said that the department will issue its next round of recommendations next week.

Music Venues to Require Proof of Vaccination

Various music venues in the metro area will start requiring proof of vaccination beginning Saturday, August 7. The policy will apply to the Boulder Theatre, the Fox Theatre – both in Boulder, and the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins all of which are owned by Z 2 Entertainment.

As an alternative, a negative test result for COVID-19 within the last 72 hours will allow someone to be admitted.

The CEO for the company told Denver 7 that they need and want to protect their staff, patrons and artists, and their policy is a small step to keep the community safe and stay in business.

Boulder Voters to Decide on Extension of Infrastructure Tax

In November, voters in Boulder will decide whether to extend the city’s infrastructure tax.

The Daily Camera reports that yesterday the city council unanimously passed a measure asking whether the tax should be imposed for another 15 years. The proceeds of the three tenths of a percent sales tax funds transportation, construction and other capital projects.

In addition, Boulder voters will also be asked to approve a measure that would issue more than 100 million dollars in debt through a bond that would speed up the availability of funding.

Denver Bond Package Passes First Council Vote

In Denver, the city council approved a proposal by Mayor Michael Hancock to issue $450 million in bonds.

Colorado Politics reports it was the first of three required votes by the council before it can be put to Denver voters in November.

But there is continuing debate over whether the Mayor’s proposed National Western Center Arena should go forward.

In total, the bond will fund 80 infrastructure projects as part of Denver’s long-term COVID-19 recovery plan. The bond must be OK’d by the council to be added to the November ballot.

Currently, the projects will be split on the ballot into five questions, among them transportation, housing, and the arena.

The mayor’s plan for an arena would receive 35 percent of the total bond funding, and has been criticized by some saying the funds would be spent better elsewhere.

In a release, Councilmember Candi CdeBaca said that the arena will not directly meet the need of her constituents in Globeville, Elyria and Swansea and does not address any of the root problems there.

In addition, many council members were critical of the proposal because it does not include an improvement project at the central library branch.

Aurora Mayor Wants Council Vote on Camping Ban Despite Not Enough Support 

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman is proposing a revised camping ban in the city. However, the Sentinel reports that he does not have the support of enough council members to pass it.

Coffman claims his measure would be an improvement on the current system to abate homeless encampments. Despite knowing he does not have enough support the mayor said he would like to see a recorded vote anyway.

Coffman attracted attention earlier this year when he pretended to be unhoused and slept in encampments. He told a television reporter that the majority of people he met were substance abusers who chose sleeping in encampments rather than shelters in order to accommodate their addictions.

Denver Air Quality among Worst in World as Alert Issued for 30th Day in a Row

On Monday the air quality in Denver was among the worst of the world’s major cities coming in at 6th on the list [of bad air quality.] 9News reports that the level of about 120 was more polluted than Mexico City and Beijing.

Conditions improved briefly yesterday but will likely drop again today as a plume of wildfires smoke from California and the Pacific Northwest drifts into eastern Colorado.

And another air quality warning has been issued for the Front Range until 4 p.m. today.

According to KDVR, it’s the 30th day in a row with an air quality alert – the longest stretch since 2010. This year there have been 43 alerts in total, the same amount for all of last year.