Headlines – November 11, 2021

Headlines November 11, 2021


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Polis Calls For 300 To 500 Additional Hospital Beds

Governor Jared Polis is calling for healthcare providers in the state to expand hospital capacity by 300 to 500 beds because of an ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.Colorado is currently one of the hardest hit states in the country and is predicted to exceed hospital capacity by year’s end. 

The Denver Post reports new modeling shows over 2,000 people could be hospitalized with the virus across Colorado by year’s end, a number surpassing the peak of 1,847 hospitalizations in December 2020. State health officials delegated authority over public health measures like mask mandates to the counties over the summer and have not indicated they will take back those reins soon.

DPS To Start Thanksgiving Break A Day Early 

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero made the announcement yesterday after hearing testimonies from teachers, staff, parents and students. The Denver Gazette reports Marrero says teachers are feeling post-pandemic fatigue as they take on actions beyond their work.

Marrero also encourages families to take advantage of the free day to get their child vaccinated against COVID-19. He acknowledged the challenges staffing shortages have created and also that more teachers are frequently calling in sick because of COVID-19-related issues.

Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association, agrees with the district and is happy that they are prioritizing the health and wellness of its teachers and staff as they report being exhausted and overwhelmed.

Staffing teachers isn’t the only shortage affecting schools. A lack of bus drivers, food staff, school nurses and custodians have forced the district to transition three of its schools to remote learning this week. They encouraged parents to call their schools for information about remote learning.

 DPS’s Thanksgiving break was scheduled to begin on Monday November 22. The break will now start on Friday, November 19.

Denver Plastic And Paper Bag Fees Brings In Over $575,000

Denver’s 10-cent fee for paper and plastic bags generated more than $575,000 in revenue for retailers and the city during the first three months of the ordinance. Retailers keep 4 cents from every bag sale and the city pockets the rest. 

Axios Denver reports city officials estimated the city uses $80 million bags per year and that the city’s new bag fee would conservatively lead to a 50% reduction and $4 million in yearly revenue. Under the current revenue pace, about $1.4 million dollars is expected for a full year, representing roughly an 83% reduction in bag consumption. 

Judge Denies Request To End Mask Mandate For Gunnison Watershed Schools.

 A District Court judge in Gunnison has denied a restraining order that would have temporarily ended a mask mandate for schools in the Gunnison Watershed District. Four plaintiffs, including three parents, requested that the District temporarily end the mandate while the lawsuit against the District proceeds.  

After a hearing last Thursday, Gunnison District Court Judge J. Stephen Patrick wrote in his conclusion, “The parenting decisions for 3 children cannot supersede the importance of health, safety and welfare of all students, staff and faculty.”

The suit, filed in October, alleges the school district overstepped its authority and broke its own procedural rules when it implemented masks in September. The case is still pending.

Masks were required following an outbreak of COVID-19 at schools. COVID rates in Gunnison County have since fallen.

Veterans Day Activities 

The City of Longmont is hosting a Veterans Day parade starting at 11:11 AM today in downtown. The parade route will begin on Eighth Avenue, head south on Main Street to Third Avenue. It will return north on Coffman Street with the conclusion at Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Avenue. 

At the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, over 6,000 glass luminarias will be lit this evening and into the weekend honoring Colorado residents killed in action since the Centennial state joined the union in 1876.

According to the Aurora Sentinel, the “Light Their Way Home” event is in its sixth year and the display, along with the memorial, will be available to the public from 5 PM to 8 PM starting tonight, and on Friday and Saturday evening. 

United States Representative Jason Crow and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman will attend a brief ceremony today, on Veteran’s Day, to kick off the memorial’s events. More information is online at ColoradoFreedomMemorial.org 

Today Is Deadline For J&J Shot For Full Vaccination By Thanksgiving

Today, November 11th, is the last day that people who wanted to be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving, November 25, can get their Johnson & Johnson shot. If they want to be vaccinated by Hanukkah, on the 28th, you have a few more days. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reminding Coloradans to get their COVID-19 vaccinations in time to achieve the best protection over the upcoming holiday season.