Headlines – November 15, 2021

Headlines November 15, 2021

Listen:

[Download Audio]

Vaccinations Mandated for Large Events in Metro Counties 

Beginning this Friday, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced an order that people attending large, indoor events in the Denver metro area must be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The order applies to Boulder, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield and Jefferson counties. 

The mandate covers anyone 12 or older that attends an event with 500 people or more, including concerts, bars, receptions, seated auctions and dance halls. The order does not extend to houses of worship.  

The order is the latest response to a surge in COVID-19 cases that has the potential to overwhelm the state’s hospitals. As of Friday, nearly 1,500 people were hospitalized with the virus, with limited available beds across the state. 

In a release from CDPHE, Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy said that she is grateful that the governor and the state are taking this common-sense step to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Polis Urges Vaccinations But Dodges Mask Mandate Question

Yesterday Colorado Governor Jared Polis pleaded with people to get vaccinated. Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Polis said that the state’s high vaccination rate has meant that drastic measures, such as those taken last year, do not become necessary. 

As of Friday, nearly 80% of those eligible to be vaccinated had received at least one dose. The state, however, is nearing its worst peak of the pandemic. 

The governor added that it’s no longer a pandemic for those who are vaccinated. However, for the unvaccinated, this is the most dangerous time no matter where you live. The governor did not answer questions about implementing a mask mandate for the state.

CU Boulder No Longer Will Permit Personal Exemptions From Vaccinations 

The University of Colorado Boulder announced Friday that it will no longer allow students, faculty, or staff to opt out of being vaccinated against COVID-19 for personal reasons, other than medical or religious exemptions. 

The Daily Camera reports CU based its new policy on President Joe Biden’s order in early September that requires federal employees to get vaccinated. As a recipient of federal funding, CU qualifies as a federal workplace in which employees may not opt out of vaccinations because of personal exemptions.

Until now, students, faculty, and staff could submit personal exemptions. About 400 employees and 2,000 students had done so. With the revised order, they will need to get shots by January 1, or apply for a new type of exemption. 

New Rules Issued for Farm Workers

The state has issued new rules for agricultural workers that will put Colorado in the top 6 states in the country for overtime conditions. Biz West reports that The Department of Labor and Employment’s new regulations include protections against long workdays of 12 and 15 hours. It also includes revised rules involving water, shade, and extra breaks during heat. According to a release, lawmakers made the rules after hearing from workers, employers, and the public. 

Bedrooms Are For People Asks Council to Suspend Enforcing Occupancy Limit 

The organization known as Bedrooms Are for People, whose initiative to increase occupancy limits in the City of Boulder was defeated, is now hoping to work with the new city council. In a release issued this morning, Bedrooms Are for People said that they are asking the council to suspend enforcement of the current occupancy limit on unrelated people living together. However, according to the organization, the previous council rejected a recommendation from Governor Polis that municipalities suspend or eliminate restrictions on occupancy.

Denver Library Renamed for Native American 

A library in Denver has been renamed for a Native American who was a tireless advocate for American Indians. The library is now named the John “Thunderbird Man” Emhoolah Jr. Branch. The Denver Post reports that Emhoola died in April at the age of 91. He was Kiowa and Arapaho, and a descendant of survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 during which about 200 people were killed by militia from what was then the territory of Colorado. The branch library had been named for William Byers who was the founder of the Rocky Mountain News. The paper defended the massacre and called for the “extermination” of Native Americans, according to the Denver Public Library.

Winter Park Acknowledges It’s On Ancestral Native American Ground

The Winter Park Resort in the mountains, has acknowledged that it is located on ancestral land of Indigenous people. A statement from the Park says that it honors the land on which it operates as the homelands of the Northern Arapaho, the Cheyenne, and the Ute. Denverite reports however, that the statement does not address the genocide or theft of land and does not explain why the land is no longer possessed by Native Americans. The Native Governance Center, a nonprofit that works to strengthen Indigenous nation procedures, said that the past should not be sugarcoated, and that terms like genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land and forced removal should be used. The Park said that it plans to host events with Indigenous people and collaborate with tribal leaders to bring more Native youth into winter sports.