News Bites – October 7, 2021
*Total Cases: 36,674 (+806 from last week)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 1,655 (+30)
Deaths: 293 (+7)
7-day case rate per 100k: 212 (+16)
Hospital Utilization: 77%
ICU Utilization: 94%
7-Day test positivity rate: 7.6%
Risk Score: High
COVID patients in hospital: 68 (-3)
9.93% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.80% of reported cases. Of reported deaths, 26% were age 75 to 84 and 45% were 85 and older. 9 people in the county between the ages of 25-54 have died.
As of Monday, Oct. 4, there have been 445,775 doses of the vaccines administered in Larimer County. 73.3% of county residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
*Case data as of Wednesday morning.
From now until Oct. 18, the I-25 North Express Lanes Project will require multiple closures.
- Starting Monday, Oct. 11, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., there will be a full closure of eastbound and westbound Weld County Road 46 at I-25 to install new bridge girders for the bridge at I-25. Drivers will detour on Colorado Boulevard to the east or Weld County Road 7 to the west, to travel north to CO 60 or south to Colorado Highway 56/Weld County Road 44.
- From Monday, Oct. 11 at 8 a.m. to Friday, Oct. 15 at 5 p.m., there will be a full closure of Larimer County Road 16 at I-25 to install new drainage pipes. Drivers will detour on the Frontage Roads to E. CR 14 or CO 402.
Keep your eyes on the sky this month. There are two active meteor showers going on right now – the Orionids and the Draconids. The Draconids will peak around Oct. 7 or 8. The Orionids are set to peak from Oct. 20 to Oct. 21 but a full moon may present issues with visibility on that night. The Southern Taurids following along soon after and are set to peak from Nov. 4 to Nov. 5.
Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park closed for the season to vehicles Monday, Oct. 4. The road will be closed to all uses through Friday, Oct. 8, for park staff to conduct road maintenance and culvert replacement. Old Fall River Road will reopen temporarily to bicycles, leashed pets and walkers for Saturday, Oct. 9, through Monday, Oct. 11. Starting, Tuesday, Oct. 12, Old Fall River Road will close again to all uses for continued road maintenance through Friday, Oct. 15. On Saturday, Oct. 16, the road will reopen to bicycles, leashed pets and walkers through Nov. 30. Leashed pets and bicycles are only allowed on the road, not on side trails. On Dec. 1, the road will revert to trail status and bicycles and leashed pets will not be allowed on the road.
A timed entry permit reservation will not be required to enter the park after Oct. 11. The system which was reinstated beginning at the end of May and utilized during 2020 will come to an end for the season. Whether or not the permit will be required in 2022 has not been confirmed.
The Office of the District Attorney announced a significant expansion of diversion opportunities for adults in Larimer and Jackson Counties.
The DA’s office was one of the first in Colorado to offer a targeted adult mental health diversion program in addition to their long-running juvenile-specific diversion program. Beginning Oct. 5, 2021, they will also offer a new diversion program for all adults with qualifying offenses.
Diversion programs aim to provide individuals with the opportunity to take responsibility while emphasizing personal growth and harm repair in the community. Under this new program, District Attorney staff will proactively screen misdemeanor and petty offense cases for eligibility before a defendant’s first appearance in court. The program allows some people with mental health issues to receive treatment in lieu of prosecution and potential jail time. Courtroom Deputy District Attorneys will also refer cases to the program, including some low-level felonies. High-level felonies, traffic, but domestic violence offenses are not eligible for the program.
Program participants will meet with a diversion coordinator to discuss the terms of their diversion agreement. Those who successfully complete the program will have their criminal case dismissed and will be eligible to have the case sealed.
“Expanding our diversion offerings benefits the accused as well as the criminal justice system. Qualifying individuals are held accountable without experiencing the lasting consequences of a guilty plea. This allows us to focus limited prosecutorial, court, and probation resources on more complex cases.” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Axmacher in a statement from the office.
FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks announced its upcoming Good Business Contest. The contest is designed to reward businesses that have continued to make a positive impact on their customers, communities and employees, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. An internal judging panel will select 10 winners to receive $5,000 in prize money and $1,000 to be donated to a nonprofit of their choosing.
“The past 18 months have been trying times for the small business community, and yet, we’ve never been more inspired by their actions and the resiliency these companies have shown,” said Kevin Classen, President at FirstBank. “Understanding what small businesses mean to the economic environment, we want to give something back to the companies who have done so much for their teams, customers and communities.”
The bank is launching the Good Business Contest to recognize small businesses with outstanding spirit in Colorado, Maricopa County, Ariz., and Riverside County, Calif. Contest submissions will open on Oct.1, at 8 a.m. MT and be accepted through Oct. 22, at 6 p.m. MT. Following a weeklong judging process, winners will be notified privately in early November and announced publicly on Friday, Nov. 5.
Entry into the contest is open to both FirstBank customers and non-customers. To enter, businesses should:
- Visit efirstbank.com/GoodBusiness or efirstbank.com/BuenNegocio
- Submit a 250-500 word write-up showcasing how their business has gone above and beyond in the past year-and-a-half
- Submit a high-resolution logo and 1-3 images that showcase their business in action. For example employees at work or volunteering, images of the space or customer experiences
For more information, including the official contest rules and entry guidelines, visit efirstbank.com/GoodBusiness or efirstbank.com/BuenNegocio.
Larimer County Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally has been appointed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs to serve on the Colorado Forest Health Council.
The council advises the governor through the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Colorado General Assembly on issues, opportunities, and threats to Colorado’s forests.
McNally has extensively volunteered her time with nonprofit organizations in a variety of outdoor, recreation, and natural environments maintaining trails, open spaces, and parks, in addition to helping with the restoration of riparian projects and trail mitigation projects for Larimer County Natural Resources.
The council was previously housed at the Colorado State Forest Service, but during the 2021 Colorado Legislative Session, has been given a broader focus and more diverse membership with 26 members statewide, the result of the passage of Senate Bill 21-237.
The broader focus of the council includes improving forest health in Colorado through integrated, science-based methods, collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, non-profits, and private partners. Specific areas include wildfire mitigation, restoring ecological health, safeguarding water supplies, protecting recreational opportunities, and adapting to climate change.
In recognition of the significant contributions of Colorado’s workers with disabilities, Governor Jared Polis signed a proclamation declaring October Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM), whose 2021 theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.”
“As the state continues its economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic, this year’s theme is especially appropriate,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). “As CDLE’s mission is to promote a thriving employment environment with opportunities for every Coloradan to prosper, it speaks to the critical need for intentional inclusion in all of our recovery efforts.”
Now in its 76th year, DEAM raises awareness of issues affecting disability employment and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy leads the month’s efforts, but, as their website notes, “its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year.”
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