News Bites – November 12, 2020
****On Monday Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in partnership with BioNTech a German biotech firm that had previously been working with Pfizer on a flu vaccine, announced that an early analysis of the coronavirus vaccine they have been developing has shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among people who have no signs of prior infection. The news is a breakthrough in a pandemic that began nearly a year ago and with such a high success rate is showing great promise.
In a press release Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO said, “Especially today, while we are all in the midst of a second wave and many of us in lockdown, we appreciate even more how important this milestone is on our path towards ending this pandemic and for all of us to regain a sense of normality. We will continue to collect further data as the trial continues to enroll for a final analysis…”
Based on current projections the company expects to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
The company is expected to file for U.S. emergency authorization this month to begin distribution.
****On Friday, Nov. 6 Larimer County was placed by the state at Level 2 (Yellow) on Colorado’s Dial framework, which standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level. The Dial is a tool for counties to use to make life during the pandemic more sustainable, allowing counties to balance, to the greatest extent possible, controlling the virus with their social and economic needs.
Although some restrictions may vary depending upon the industry or location, the main differences between Safer at Home Level 1 (Blue) and Level 2 (Yellow) include the maximum number of attendees at indoor events and worship services being reduced from 175 to 50 people, gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 people and attendees at restaurants decreases from 175 to 50 (or up to 100 if the space has adequate social distancing).
****State health officials are continuing to warn Coloradans that COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state. The latest modeling report from the CDPHE shows that if Colorado remains on the current trajectory, we will likely surpass the April peak in hospitalizations for COVID-19 by mid-November, which exceeded 900 in one day. To help slow this trend, Coloradans have been told to avoid gatherings, stay home when they’re sick, wear a mask, wash their hands, physically distance, and enable the CO Exposure Notifications on their cellphone.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Gov. Jared Polis said, “Let’s stop this bloodshed. All that’s being asked of you is to delay your social plans with people outside your household for the next few weeks. Let’s do this Colorado.”
As of Wednesday morning, Colorado had a total of 114,709 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,311 deaths attributed to the virus. The state positivity rate which the World Health Organization has said should stay below 5% to contain community spread has jumped to 10.86%, the highest it has been since May 25. The highest positivity in Colorado was April 19 when a 22% rate was reported.
****Berthoud has 194 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 39 from the past week. Larimer County as of Nov. 11, has had 5,442 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases which represent 1.52% of the population, this is an increase of 826 cases with an additional 518 suspected cases. 63 deaths are attributed to the virus, an increase of four from last week, and representing 1.16% of reported cases. Of those individuals who have been tested for the virus in the county, 4.2% have returned positive. There are 57 patients hospitalized in the county who have tested positive for the virus. Hospital utilization in the county is at 73% and 66% for ICU utilization.
Weld County has had 8,370 confirmed cases which is an increase of 1,301 from last week. The county has seen 108 deaths associated with the virus, an increase of five from last week. There are currently 199 individuals hospitalized in the county who have tested positive for the virus.
As of Wednesday morning, Colorado had a total of 138,427 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,201 deaths attributed to the virus. The state positivity rate which the World Health Organization has said should stay below 5% to contain community spread is now 12.30%, the highest it has been since May 25. The highest positivity in Colorado was April 19 when a 22% rate was reported.
****Ent Credit Union announced a $50,000 donation match campaign for the local United Way’s Larimer County Fire Recovery Fund through the end of November. Though recent snowfall has greatly aided the efforts of firefighters in the area, multiple fires continue to present a danger to structures, residents and firefighters alike throughout the impacted areas. The Recovery Fund will allow United Way of Larimer County to respond to emergency needs and prepare for future potential flooding in the area, both now and in the months ahead.
To qualify for the matching donation through Ent Credit Union, the United Way of Larimer County encourages you to visit https://impact.uwaylc.org/EntFireRecoveryMatch to make your donation online. Donations are also accepted via postal mail to United Way of Larimer County, Attn: Ent Match, 525 W Oak Street, Suite 101, Fort Collins, CO 80521.
****November marks the kickoff of the 2021 Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program LEAP that helps families, individuals, and older adults pay a portion of home heating costs through a federally-funded, one-time heating assistance benefit.
Applications and assistance are available Nov. 1 through April 30 for qualifying households in all 64 Colorado counties. Individuals can apply for assistance at local county offices, online at Colorado PEAK, or by calling 1-866-432-8435. The added options have increased access for individuals, seniors and low-income families.
To qualify, a household’s monthly income must fall within 60% of the state median income level. Single resident households with a monthly income of $2,619 or less and households of 4 with a monthly income of $5,038 or less may qualify for assistance.
Applicants must pay home heating costs directly to a utility company or landlord. Payments are usually made directly to the primary heating vendor. The household must contain a resident of Colorado and at least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S.
Other benefits can include repairs and replacement of a home’s primary heating system.
For application questions, information about eligibility or the LEAP program, visit colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.
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