New Bites – July 23
By Amber McIver-Traywick
**** Larimer County Public Health was notified over the weekend in writing by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that the uptick in daily case counts in Larimer County has put the variance that gave the county more freedom in its COVID-19 regulations at risk.
Larimer County is required to create a mitigation plan to show how the county will decrease and stabilize case counts. The plan was completed on Monday and requires strong community enforcement and compliance plans for face coverings, social distancing, and following the required guidelines for businesses.
A revocation of the variance could potentially impact restaurants and breweries, places of worship and public gathering sizes. In a press release from the LCDHE it was stated that, “It is always the hope of LCDHE that there is no rollback and that businesses are not closed again in Larimer County, but the revocation of the local variance from the state would not give the county a choice.”
Face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and frequent cleaning all help slow the spread of the virus in the community. Through the county’s contact tracing, it has become apparent that much of the spread is connected to large gatherings. Recently, residents have become less cautious, and are not following the guidance in Larimer County. Cases have continued to rise to reflect that.
14 other counties were also notified as counts have risen across the state.
****Berthoud has 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19 an increase of 9 reported cases in the past week. Larimer County as of July 21, has had 1138 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 340 suspected cases. 31 deaths are attributed to the virus, one additional death from last week. These numbers mean that one in 308 residents of the 350,362 total residents of Larimer County have now tested positive or are suspected of having the COVID-19 virus. The risk score, which takes into account data elements in real-time, including hospital capacity and new cases, puts Larimer County at medium risk. The main reason for the ranking this week is due to the number of new cases the county has been recording over several 24-hour periods. Some of the highest daily counts came on Monday when 33 new cases were confirmed and Wednesday 23 new cases were confirmed. The County reports that there have been 11 days out of the past 14 with 15 or more new reported cases. There are still 11 patients hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus in the county. Of those individuals who have been tested for the virus in the county, 3.6% have returned positive.
Weld County is considered at a high incidence rate as they have reported greater than 100 new cases of the virus over the past two weeks (July 7 to July 20).
The State of Colorado is reporting that there have now been 41,059 reported cases of COVID-19 resulting in 1,763 deaths as of July 21.
****On Tuesday, July 21, Governor Jared Polis announced a state-wide mandate that “last call” for alcohol sales in Colorado will be at 10 p.m. for the next 30 days. The governor called the measure “a short-term public health necessity” linking the rise of COVID-19 cases in the 20-29 age group with drinking and socializing. Bars serving food may stay open longer but drinks will not be available 10 p.m. and later.
**** U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced that 27 hospitals in Colorado will receive a combined total of $142,001,885 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support providers who have cared for a high-number of COVID-19 patients with their COVID-19 response.
“Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are working tirelessly on the front lines of this pandemic to keep us safe, and I’m pleased to see more than $142 million delivered to hospitals across Colorado to combat COVID-19,” said Senator Gardner. “I will continue fighting to ensure our frontline first responders have the resources we need to get through this crisis together.”
Locally UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland received $6 million and UCHealth Longs Peak in Longmont received $3 million.
This funding is provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act and is in addition to the $25 billion for Medicaid providers and $53 million awarded to 10 Colorado hospitals in June, $51.8 million provided to support nursing homes in Colorado and protect residents from COVID-19 in May, $288 million for Colorado providers in May, the $159 million provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May, more the $11.7 million provided by HHS to Colorado community health centers in May, and the more than $10 million provided by the CDC in April to increase Colorado’s testing capability, as well as the initial $361 million for Colorado providers in April.
**** Wallethub, a financial planning website, published the results of research they sponsored that found Colorado currently ranks fifth compared to other states for having the highest number of restrictions in place pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only states, according the specific parameters the study looked at that rank higher than Colorado are Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California which was No. 1 on the list.
Several states have seen an uptick in positive cases of the new coronavirus and are choosing to pause their reopening progress with some local areas choosing to close once again with stay at home orders in place.
Wallethub said that to determine the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions they compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 18 key metrics. The data set ranges from whether child-care programs and restaurants have reopened to whether the state has required face masks in public and workplace temperature screenings.
****What have people been doing since the pandemic took hold in the U.S.? According to HighSpeedInternet.net people have been streaming a lot of entertainment. Since the pandemic, Netflix has added 15 million subscribers worldwide, which is more than double the onslaught of subscribers the company expected to net during this time. Worldwide, Netflix now has 182 million subscribers.
In China media consumption has increased by 63% since the outbreak began, Italy increased by 55% and the U.S. has increased by 48%. Nearly 50% of Americans have purchased streaming subscriptions during the pandemic.
Since the pandemic, Netflix has added 15 million subscribers worldwide, which is more than double the onslaught of subscribers the company expected to net during this time. Worldwide, Netflix now has 182 million subscribers.
Viewers have binge-watched 4,422 minutes of The Office amid the height of stay at home orders. On average viewers watched 10 episodes of ‘The Office” every day which means they went through all nine seasons in just 18 days. Before the pandemic, people consumed an estimated 2.7 hours of TV daily, compared to the eight hours they’re watching now.
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