Headlines Dec. 28, 2021
COVID Surge Causes Boulder Test Site Delays
The Omicron variant continues to sweep the nation, causing holiday flight delays, and in Boulder County, long lines at COVID test sites. The site at the Stazio ball fields registered a more than 300 percent increase in tests administered since mid-month. Boulder County health officials report a more than 150 percent increase in positive cases in the last week.
Amid the surge, the Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines yesterday to reduce the recommended isolation period of those infected from 10 to five days. Colorado officials quickly adopted the new guidelines. If symptom-free after day five, a mask is required for five additional days.
Even people exposed to COVID should follow the new guidelines, the CDC says. For those exposed who can’t stay home, officials say wearing a mask for ten days around others will help stop virus transmission.
5 Dead After Deadly Denver Shooting Spree
A suspect involved in a shooting spree in Denver and Lakewood was shot and killed Monday but not before killing five people and wounding at least three others. Officials say shootings took place in nine locations across Denver and Lakewood.
After the suspect shot and killed two women in Denver, police attempted to pull over the suspect. The suspect fired at police, disabled the police vehicle and continued onto the busy Belmar Shopping area in Lakewood. There, the suspect fired at pursuing police officers, got out of his car and ran into two businesses. In the Hyatt Hotel, he shot a hotel clerk before a Lakewood police officer caught up with the suspect. They exchanged gunfire that wounded the officer and killed the suspect.
Judge To Reconsider Truck Driver Sentence
A hearing on January 13 will reconsider the 110 year prison sentence of truck driver Rogel Aguilera Mederos. In an unusual move, First Judicial District Attorney Alexis King said that her office will likely recommend the sentence to be reduced to between 20 and 30 years. Mederos will be present at the next hearing, but will not testify. Judge A. Bruce Jones said families of victims and those who wish to testify on behalf of Maderos can testify.
Protestors have held multiple rallies at the Denver Capitol and almost 5 million petitioners asked Governor Jared Polis to step in and grant Mederos clemency. The now 26-year-old Mederos caused a deadly multi-car accident in 2019. Dozens of cars were ablaze on I-70 and four people died. Mederos was driving a semi tractor-trailer at 85 miles per hour and told investigators that his brakes had failed.
Grass Fire Blazes Near Chatfield Reservoir
Firefighters battled through the night to put out a grass fire that started Monday near Chatfield Reservoir in Jefferson County. The Oak Fire began near South Kipling Parkway and C-470. By late afternoon Monday, the fire had spread 150 acres. With heavy winds, officials called for residents to evacuate. As winds died down, they reversed the order. Officials say the fire has been reduced to hotspots, but smoke will likely still be visible today.