News Bites – November 25, 2020
****A special legislative session has been called by Gov. Jared Polis set to begin next Monday. Topics will include a small business relief package with direct aid and tax relief, housing and rental assistance, support for child care providers, expanding broadband access to students and educators.
The session will start at 10 a.m. on that date and must run for at least three days. State lawmakers were set to convene on Jan. 13 for their normal legislative term.
“We are thankful that Gov. Polis recognizes that the limits of unilateral, executive action have been reached and we agree that involving the legislature is necessary to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic, educational, and other impacts stemming from it,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert in a written statement.
****Berthoud has had 311 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 61 from the past week. Larimer County as of Nov. 24, has had 8,608 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases which represent 2.37% of the population, this is an increase of 1,508 cases with an additional 531 suspected cases. 67 deaths are attributed to the virus, an increase of two from last week, and representing 0.78% of reported cases. Of those individuals who have been tested for the virus in the county, 5.3% have returned positive. There are 96 patients hospitalized in the county who have tested positive for the virus. Hospital utilization in the county is at 65% and 70% for ICU utilization. The 14-day case rate per 100,000 residents has reached 896.
Weld County has had 12,397 confirmed cases which is an increase of 1,911 from last week. The county has seen 123 deaths associated with the virus, an increase of 5 from last week. There are currently 299 individuals hospitalized in the county who have tested positive for the virus.
**** The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has moved Larimer County from Safer at Home Level 2 (Yellow) to Level 4 (Red) on Colorado’s Dial. The Larimer County Board of Health has voted to support this transition to Level Red. The move is a result of rapidly increasing COVID-19 case counts, positivity rates across all age groups, and significant impacts on hospital utilization within Larimer County over the past several weeks.
The Larimer County Health Department monitors case counts and positivity rates, along with hospitalization trends, to determine whether the spread of COVID-19 is rising. As of Tuesday, Nov. 24, Larimer County’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 11.2%. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients, hospitalizations overall, and ICU usage continues to increase here in Larimer County.
These changes officially went into effect Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m.
For a complete list of restrictions visit berthoudsurveyor.com/capacity-restrictions-for-colorado-covid-19-dial/.
**** Colorado business is showing more signs of a recovery from the COVID-19 economic slump, according to a new CU Boulder report.
The Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report is prepared by the Leeds Business Research Division (BRD) at CU Boulder. The report shows 38,678 new corporations, nonprofits and other entities filed initial documents with the secretary of state’s office in the third quarter of this year.
New entities filing to begin operations increased 24.3% year-over-year and 23.9% over the previous quarter. The increase bucks a strong seasonal pattern of declines in the third quarter.
More than 150,000 entities filed for renewals, an increase of 5.9% year-over-year. Trademarks (9.0%) and trade names (17.6%) also showed large increases from the third quarter of 2019.
Dissolution filings also rose significantly. However, businesses frequently file dissolution paperwork well after the business dissolves.
BRD monitors the secretary of state’s quarterly indicators because they are often an early indicator of jobs and business growth.
Colorado business leaders expect the economy to continue improving, according to the latest Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI). Panelists indicated they were on the pessimistic side of neutral but felt far better about the economy than they did at the beginning of 2020.
Colorado’s unemployment picture continues to improve, with a rate of 6.4% in September, compared to 12.2% in April. The state was still 134,300 jobs behind where it was in September 2019.
There are 79.2% fewer oil and gas drilling rigs in Colorado than there were in October of last year, according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count, which measures active oil and gas drilling rigs. The five active rigs remain unchanged from June.
Home price growth is slowing but still remains higher than wages and inflation, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
****Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park reopened earlier this week after being closed since Oct. 22, due to the East Troublesome Fire. All areas and trails east of Bear Lake Road have reopened.
Most areas west of Bear Lake Road remain closed including the Moraine Park Road at the junction of Bear Lake Road and the Moraine Park Campground. Trails that remain closed include the Fern Lake Trail, Cub Lake Trail, the Mill Creek Basin, Hollowell Park, and Bierstadt Trail.
The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park remains closed past the Grand Lake Entrance as does the North Inlet Trail and the Sun Valley Trail, due to the level of fire impacts and ongoing safety assessments.
Additional areas that will remain temporarily closed to park visitors on the east side of the park include Upper Beaver Meadows Road, the North Boundary Trail, the North Fork Trail, and Mummy Pass, Stormy Pass, Commanche Peak and Mirror Lake Trails. Park staff will continue to assess these areas for fire activity, safety and downed trees, being mindful of high winds that occur this time of year causing more trees to fall.
Approximately 30,000 acres or 9% of Rocky Mountain National Park has been impacted by the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires.
**** The Cameron Peak Fire damage assessment totals were completed by the Larimer County Damage Assessment Teams earlier this month. A total of 469 structures were impacted by the blaze that began Aug. 13 and remains at 92% containment.
- 461 structures destroyed (residential and outbuildings)
- 224 residential structures were destroyed and 4 sustained damage
- 220 outbuilding were destroyed and 4 sustained damage
- 17 business structures were impacted (Shambhala)
- 42 of the residential structures impacted were primary residences
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