News Bites – June 17, 2021
Saturday morning around 8:15 a.m., a boater on Carter Lake notified the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office that he discovered what he believed to be a deceased individual in the waters of the lake. LCSO Deputies and Rangers responded to the location at Carter Lake and were able to recover and confirm the body of a deceased adult male.
The deceased male was removed from Carter Lake and efforts to positively identify him are currently underway. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident as an unattended death. The Larimer County Coroner’s Office is expected to release the male’s identity, cause, and manner of death after their investigation. This story will be updated online.
Berthoud has been under air quality alerts for the past two weeks as ozone levels along the Front Range have spiked above the federal health limit of 70 parts per billion.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issues “Ozone Action Day Alerts” in an attempt to inform the public and encourage changes that can help improve air quality. These include the request to limit driving of non-ZEV vehicles (i.e., gas or diesel) during the hottest parts of the day generally ending around 4 p.m.
The CDPHE states that when air quality reaches levels that require an alert there is an increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms and breathing discomfort in active children and adults and people with lung disease, such as asthma. They also state that adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
According to information from the federal government compiled by the American Lung Association, Denver ranked eighth-worst for ozone up from 10th place in 2020. Fort Collins ranked 12th. In the top 10 slots aside from Phoenix, Arizona in 5th and Salt Lake City, Utah which tied with Denver all the other top spots went to locations in California.
For Colorado air quality conditions, forecasts and advisories, visit: colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx
The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions are currently taking public comment for consideration in the development of their preliminary plans.
Carlos Perez, chair of the Colorado Independent Legislative Commission and an unaffiliated voter from Colorado Springs, notes the importance of public participation. “Redistricting occurs once every decade. The state has changed over the last ten years and so hearing from the public is an essential part of the process for creating fair maps that reflect those changes. The legislative commission is made up of ordinary voters and we are here to listen. We encourage everyone to let us know how the district lines should be drawn to best represent your community.”
Census delays interrupted the redistricting timeline in the state constitution, but the preliminary plan preparation is now underway. As directed by the redistricting commissions, staff will consider in the preliminary plans comments submitted through June 18 for Legislative redistricting. Congressional redistricting comments were open until June 13.
Comments may be submitted online by visiting redistricting.colorado.gov/public_comments/new. All comments are made public and can also be reviewed.
Staff will present the preliminary plans to their respective commissions June 23 and 28. The commissions will then present the plans at a series of public hearings throughout the state. Both commissions have approved a list of hearing locations and will convene jointly at each location to take testimony both in-person and remotely. While the exact schedule and venues are still being finalized, the public hearings will take place between July 7 and August 30, 2021.
Once Colorado receives census redistricting data, after August 16, 2021, the commissions will begin their consideration of final redistricting plans. Written public comments will remain open and available through the public hearing process and the consideration of final plans. The commissions will also conduct a second round of public hearings, one in each congressional district after plans have been completed using the final census data.
Beginning in June the state updated its definition of COVID-19 outbreaks. According to a news release from the CDPHE, the intention was to better reflect the current vaccine, testing, and disease transmission environment throughout Colorado.
“We’re starting to see population-level protection from vaccines, and that lessens the risk of disease transmission across the state,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, CDPHE.
In most settings such as schools, childcare settings, workplaces, events, dorms, and non-residential care settings that provide inpatient/outpatient services, the new outbreak definition is now five or more confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19.
Outbreak definitions will not change for residential health care facilities and correctional facilities, as outbreaks in these settings may have more severe outcomes. These settings will continue to adhere to the previous definition, which is two or more confirmed cases of the virus or one confirmed case and two probable cases constituting an outbreak.
If you lost a loved one to COVID-19, financial assistance is available for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January. 20, 2020. To apply contact FEMA at 844-684-6333 weekdays from 7 a.m. TO 7 p.m. Or search online for “FEMA Funeral Assistance” for more information. Application information will include personal information of the deceased along with documents including a death certificate and receipts for funeral expenses.
On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled the Delta variant of COVID-19 as a variant of concern. This variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and has displayed increased transmissibility. The Delta variant has been identified in 17 counties in Colorado to date and currently makes up the second-highest percent of variants in the state that have been confirmed through whole-genome sequencing, falling just behind the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7).
The CDC defines a variant of concern as: A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and environment states that anyone who is not two weeks past the last dose of their vaccination series is not considered fully vaccinated and should continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, wash their hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and limit social gatherings with people outside their households. Anyone who is unvaccinated and is exposed to a person with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 should quarantine.
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