News Bites – January 13, 2022
*Total COVID-19 Cases: 58,871 (+5,780)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 2,697 (+276)
Deaths: 412 (+7)
7-day case rate per 100k: 1,429 (+627)
Hospital Utilization: 81%
ICU Utilization: 98%
7-Day test positivity rate: 21.8%
Risk Score: High
COVID patients in hospital: 86 (+23)
15.94% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.70% of reported cases. Of reported deaths, 25% were age 75 to 84, 21% were 65-74 and 38% were 85 and older. Twenty-five people in the county between the ages of 18-54 have died.
As of Monday, Jan. 10, there have been 589,156 doses of the vaccines administered in Larimer County. 77.5% of eligible county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
*Case data as of Wednesday.
Monday, Jan. 10 around 2 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office communications center received a report of a suspicious white male at Family Dollar located at 8099 6th Street in Wellington. The male fled in a pickup truck after deputies arrived and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. The pursuit ended at East Mulberry Street and Interstate 25 at approximately 2:24 p.m. Initial reports indicated one deputy fired their weapon, striking the adult male suspect. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. The male was the only person in the suspect vehicle. No deputies were injured.
The Eighth Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team was activated to investigate the officer-involved shooting.
The interstate was closed and traffic was diverted on I-25 during the incident and the subsequent investigation.
Berthoud’s City Star Brewing is bringing artist Gamma Acosta back to town for this week’s Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition. Four years ago City Star commissioned Gamma to paint “All In at City Star” in the taproom’s beer garden. The mural was created completely free-hand, using only spray cans on the 700 square foot concrete canvas. Gamma’s work is a main feature at the decade-old craft brewery, admired by regulars and newcomers alike.
In the Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition Gamma Acosta leads team Frio Trio along with Colorado-based tattoo artist Thyris Rodney. Together they will carve one of 12 giant snow cylinders in Fickel Park. Gamma’s experience in carving snow most notably includes a snow sculpture he carved and spray painted for his 95-year-old grandmother to view outside her window.
The snow sculpting event is part of Berthoud Snowfest and culminates on Saturday, Jan. 15. The winners will go on to compete in The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship in Wisconsin.
For more information about the event visit facebook.com/CoSnowSculptingChampionship.
The U.S. Department of Education announced a 90-day extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. The extension will allow the Biden Administration to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on student borrowers and provide additional time for borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and reduce the risk of delinquency and defaults after the restart. The Department will continue its work to transition borrowers smoothly back into repayment, including by improving student loan servicing.
The pause on student loan payments will help 41 million borrowers save $5 billion per month. Borrowers are encouraged to use the additional time to ensure their contact information is up to date and to consider enrolling in electronic debit and income-driven repayment plans to support a smooth transition to repayment. More information can be found at StudentAid.gov.
In April 2021, the Towns of Berthoud, Johnstown, Mead, and Milliken began working together to secure better internet services for residents and businesses. At this point, all four Towns have opted-out of Senate Bill 152 (a bill which limits a local government s authority to provide, or participate in the provision of, advanced services, telecommunication services, cable television services, and/or broadband services) in their local municipal elections, completely opening up the opportunity for each Town to explore broadband opportunities. Berthoud specifically opted-out of SB 152 on November 3, 2020.
In October 2021, officials from all four Towns were presented with the findings of the public survey with over 1700 responses. This survey noted that area residents were limited in choices of broadband providers, that area residents experienced (on average) slower download/upload speeds than the national average, and that residents and businesses alike considered broadband an essential utility. The study also determined that the Towns’ best option for broadband improvement is to partner with a new or existing broadband provider that will fund broadband improvements across all four Towns. This option will not impact the Towns financially and is expected to expedite availability to the public. Finally, the study identified three strong candidates to potentially provide broadband service to the area of the four Towns.
The Town of Berthoud continues to work with the Towns of Johnstown, Mead, and Milliken to assess the three recommended providers and opportunities for our area. The Berthoud Board of Trustees and staff consider better broadband accessibility a priority moving into 2022 and are working with the three Towns to determine the option that provides reliable and quality broadband service in our communities.
Rocky Mountain National Park’s Ranger-led Snowshoe Walks will resume this January on both the east and west side of the park. Programs will be offered weekly, as conditions allow, through March 2022.
These programs are approximately 2 hours long and are open to visitors 8 and older and all experience levels. Beginning snowshoers are welcome. There is no additional fee beyond the regular park entrance fee to participate.
On the east side of the park, beginning on Tuesday, January 18, ranger-led snowshoe walks will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 pm. Advanced reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call 970-586-1223. Reservations can be booked up to 7 days in advance. Snowshoe walks typically fill quickly, especially if the weather is forecast to be warm and sunny. Snowshoes are not provided. Program participants will be required to bring their own or rent snowshoes outside the park.
On the west side of the park, beginning on Saturday, January 22, ranger-led snowshoe walks will be offered on Saturdays at 1 pm. A ticket is required to participate. This no-cost ticket can be picked up on the day of the walk at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Snowshoes are provided for use during the guided program.
FEMA has approved more than $19 million in additional Public Assistance funding for the COVID-19 response in Colorado. The assistance was made available under a major disaster declaration issued March 28, 2020. FEMA has provided more than $1.6 billion in Public Assistance for Colorado’s COVID-19 response to date.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been awarded $19,031,090 million to contract communication services to inform the public about the COVID-19 vaccine. Assistance included translation and language services, media campaigns for the dissemination of information, temporary staffing, disease modeling, general supplies and materials, and contractor support for modeling efforts, behavioral assessments, and consulting/guidance.
For the COVID-19 response, FEMA has simplified the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and to allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These reimbursements play a critical role as state, tribal, and local officials work tirelessly to assist their communities.
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