News Bites – October 14, 2021
COVID-19 Data Update:
*Total Cases: 36,674 (+1,122 from last week)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 1,687 (+32)
Deaths: 299 (+6)
7-day case rate per 100k: 273 (+61)
Hospital Utilization: 81%
ICU Utilization: 103%
7-Day test positivity rate: 8.3%
Risk Score: High
COVID patients in hospital: 84 (+16)
9.93% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.82% of reported cases. Of reported deaths, 26% were age 75 to 84 and 44% were 85 and older. 10 people in the county between the ages of 25-54 have died.
As of Monday, Oct. 12, there have been 451,372 doses of the vaccines administered in Larimer County. 73.6% of county residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
*Case data as of Wednesday morning.
Larimer County has established an equity, diversity, and inclusion advisory board.
The board will have nine members who will advise the Board of County Commissioners and other county staff to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are a central focus to all county activities, from hiring and employment to policies and management of resources. Board members will be individuals from advocacy organizations for underrepresented communities according to county staff.
The board of county commissioners unanimously voted 3-0 to form the board during a meeting last week. Additionally, the three commissioners will also sit on the board and function as liaisons. For other county boards, there has typically been one commissioner per board.
The Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission this week approved a final state senate plan and state house plan that the council will submit to the Colorado Supreme Court Oct. 15. The Colorado Supreme Court will issue an opinion no later than Nov. 15. The adopted plan can be viewed by visiting https://bit.ly/3FGbEZM and https://bit.ly/3FGAlp9. Once conforming changes have been made by staff, full downloads and reports of the final state senate and house plans will be available on the commission’s website.
The plans were approved in a unanimous vote for the senate plan and with a vote of 11 to 1 in favor of the house plan fulfilling the constitutional requirement that the final maps must be approved by a supermajority of eight of the twelve commissioners, including at least two unaffiliated commissioners. The commission approved the plans unofficially titled SA.016 and HA.015. It will now be titled the Final Approved Plan.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has selected specific deer and elk hunts for mandatory chronic wasting disease testing in 2021 to inform how and where to fight the spread of CWD.
Beginning in early October, CPW will be sending letters to Colorado rifle season hunters who have been selected for mandatory CWD testing. CPW will require mandatory submission of CWD test samples (heads) from all elk and deer harvested during rifle seasons from specific hunts to better evaluate the infection levels of CWD in herds. There will be no charge for mandatory testing.
A complete list of CWD testing submission sites along with hours and locations can be found on the CPW website. CPW is continuing the use of temporary CWD submission sites to assist those who are hunting in remote locations.
According to CPW, the results of mandatory testing are yielding new insights into varying infection levels in deer herds throughout Colorado. As of May 2021, CWD has been detected in 40 of 54 deer herds, 16 of 43 elk herds, and 2 of 9 moose herds. The estimated proportion of sampled animals that are infected (or disease “prevalence”) appears to be rising in many Colorado herds.
Testing in 2020
- 32 deer herds were included in mandatory testing
- Over 7,500 samples tested statewide (includes all species)
- CWD disease prevalence exceeds 5% in 22 deer herds
- 9 herds have disease prevalence between 5-10%, 6 herds have disease prevalence between 10-20%, and 7 herds have disease prevalence that exceeds 20%. When disease prevalence is 20%, it means 1 out of 5 adult males are infected
- Data collected from mandatory testing shows disease prevalence is 2-3 times higher in male deer than female deer
CPW is working to ensure the long-term health of deer, elk and moose herds. Over time, this means minimizing the number of animals that get infected and die from this disease. To date, management actions have been prescribed for 27 deer herds that intend to reduce infection levels to below 5%.
CWD is a prion disease that affects Colorado’s deer, elk and moose. The disease course generally lasts 2 – 3 years and is always fatal. Although there has been no evidence that CWD has been transmitted to humans, the Center for Disease Control, along with CPW, recommends that hunters not eat the meat of a CWD-infected animal.
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has chosen the week of October 11th to highlight how employers and workers can create workplaces inclusive to people with disabilities.
“When employers and workers create workplaces inclusive to people with disabilities, everyone benefits,” said Kristin Corash, Director of CDLE’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. “Research has shown that the benefits of hiring people with disabilities is good for business, the economy, and employee morale. And it’s important to remember that creating inclusive workplaces involves more than improving recruiting and hiring processes; it also requires reassessing access to promotional opportunities. During NDEAM, and throughout the year, we want employers to understand that they are uniquely positioned to lead the way in creating inclusive workplaces.”
Corash’s insights are supported by research: Accenture, a professional services company, found that employers who intentionally foster workplace environments inclusive to people with disabilities enjoy, on average, 28 percent higher revenue, double the net income, and 30 percent higher economic profit margins than those in their peer group. And the costs of hiring people with disabilities can be offset by tax credits and deductions, such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction, the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit, and the Disabled Access Tax Credit. Employers concerned about the cost of accommodations should also know that 60 percent of accommodations are free, and the rest average $500.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month comes at a time where people with disabilities are experiencing especially high rates of unemployment in the wake of the pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 people with disabilities had an unemployment rate of 17.9 percent, the highest rate in seven years. To put that number into perspective, it’s useful to compare it to the Great Depression, when the unemployment rate reached 25 percent. In comparison, people without disabilities experienced an unemployment rate of 8.31 percent in 2020.
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