Headlines – December 8, 2021

Headlines December 8, 2021


[Download Here]

Wastewater In Boulder County Shows Omicron Variant 

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Boulder’s wastewater system. However, it does not currently appear to be widespread. 

At a news conference yesterday, Rachel Herlihy, the state’s epidemiologist said that, while the testing of wastewater cannot determine how many people may be infected, the results suggest that it is more than one person with some low level of community transmission.

And while the Omicron variant doesn’t appear to be causing more hospitalizations where it was first detected in South Africa, Herlihy said it seems to be spreading more rapidly than the Delta variant.  

Data for the state’s COVID-19 cases seem to be up and down—yesterday the number of those hospitalized rose to over 1,400 after falling for about a week. Herlihy said it’s not known yet if there was a short-term effect from Thanksgiving gatherings.

Herlihy also said that those Coloradans who get a COVID-19 vaccine booster are nearly 50 times less likely to be hospitalized after contracting the disease compared to those who are not vaccinated. 

Other data also shows the booster is having a clear impact on the virus. In September and November, those who got the booster in Colorado were 2 and half times less likely to test positive than those who were fully vaccinated but did not get a booster.

Douglas County School District Gets Rid Of Mask Mandate 

Early this morning the Douglas County School Board voted to get rid of its mask mandate. 9News reports the vote was 4 to 3. About 100 people had signed up to comment on the requirement, most of whom were against it. The board listened for about 3 hours before taking a vote.

Aurora Council Conservatives Defy Mask Mandate At Swearing In

The new Aurora City Council was sworn in on Monday evening, in which conservatives now have the edge. While the city’s elections are technically nonpartisan, The Sentinel reports that the Republican members chose not to wear masks in defiance of the mandate that is currently in place.    

Some of Aurora’s council members have written a letter urging the city to opt out of the mask mandate from the Tri-County Health Department.  

New Farm Policy Approved by Boulder Commissioners

The Boulder County Commissions approved an amended policy about its farmlands yesterday. The unanimous vote came after months of debate and revisions.

The Daily Camera reports that the updated policy allows genetically engineered sugar beets and corn to be grown on county land. While economically viable substitutes for GMO crops have been considered, the county needs more research to find alternatives.

In addition, the new policy says that farmers should phase out neonicotinoid pesticides beginning on December 31. The new policy will not apply to all farmers and the city will review exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Commissioner Marta Loachamin said that she believes the county’s farmers have to be supported because they are the experts in the industry and have a deep connection to the land they care for daily.


Griswold Asks For Security Funds

Colorado’s Secretary of State is asking for funding from the legislature because of threats to her and her staff from people who believe President Biden stole the 2020 election. Jena Griswold wants $200,000 annually for guards and monitoring, according to The Colorado Sun. 

The secretary of state has appeared recently on national television criticizing Republicans who question voting systems and attack the results of the last presidential election. 

The money Griswold is requesting would be used mostly to track threats on social media platforms and to provide guards for her and her staff at public events.

Perlmutter Frustrated Over Senate Dropping Pot Banking Proposal 

U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, from Jefferson County, is expressing his frustration over the Senate’s failure to pursue a bill that would allow marijuana businesses access to the banking system. 

CBS4 reports Perlmutter has spent years trying to get the Safe Banking Act passed. He says marijuana businesses are vulnerable to violent criminals because they have to use cash-only transactions.  Perlmutter’s proposal was dropped from the federal defense spending bill yesterday. He vowed to continue fighting for it. 

CU History Professor On Jeopardy 

A professor at the University of Colorado Boulder will appear this week on the popular game show, Jeopardy. Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders, started teaching History at the University of Colorado Boulder in August, the first Black person in the department.    

She has now taken part in the show’s first ever professor’s tournament, which was taped earlier. Lawrence-Sanders said in a release from the university that it was a dream come, but also very nerve-racking. She said she prepared by watching old episodes every night. 

The tournament began airing Monday and Lawrence-Sanders first appears on the show tonight on KDVR.