News bites – September 2, 2021
*Total Cases: 31,195 (+772 from last week)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 1,429 (+49)
Deaths: 268 (+9)
7-day case rate per 100k: 210 (-17)
Hospital Utilization: 83%
ICU Utilization: 103%
7-Day test positivity rate: 6.8%
Risk Score: High
COVID patients in hospital: 83 (+18)
8.45% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.86% of reported cases. Of reported deaths, 26% were age 75 to 84 and 47% were 85 and older.
As of Monday, Aug. 30, there have been 416,897 doses of the vaccines have been administered in Larimer County. 71.4% of county residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This exceeds the county’s goal of reaching a 70% vaccination rate.
*Case data as of Wednesday morning.
Coloradans now have one less piece of paperwork they are required to bring to the DMV office due to a recent change in federal guidance regarding Social Security verification.
Coloradans can now provide their social security numbers verbally at driver license offices, and the DMV will continue to verify the information with the Social Security Administration to ensure the data matches. This will ensure SSNs are accurate and match information presented to the DMV.
The change in this part of the issuance process only affects those applying for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification cards and does not affect the other criteria to obtain a Colorado credential. For complete identification requirements, please visit DMV.Colorado.gov/identification-requirement-charts.
The DMV offers many online services, including license and ID card renewals, vehicle registration renewals, paying a traffic ticket, motor vehicle records, first-time vehicle registration and more.
On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at about 8 a.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 reports of an adult male floating in the water after he entered the lake to retrieve a boat drifting away from shore. As emergency crews responded, a passerby in a boat was able to transport the unresponsive male to the shore. CPR was started immediately but was unsuccessful and the male was declared deceased shortly after 8:30 a.m. Responding agencies included LCSO, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, Thompson Valley EMS, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. An unoccupied boat associated with the male was recovered and no other people are known to be missing.
The Larimer County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the identity, cause, and manner of death of the decedent.
Anyone who witnessed the incident who has not spoken to investigators is asked to contact Investigator Pete Mesecher at 970-498-5144.
Monday Larimer County submitted the first Recovery Plan Performance Report, required by the American Rescue Plan Act. The Recovery Plan Performance Report is required to be submitted annually by Counties with populations over 250,000. Larimer County is still in the initial stages of implementing the law.
Therefore, the Report largely describes the County’s public outreach process, which includes meetings with municipalities and community stakeholders, surveys of special districts, and an online tool that lets community members submit their priorities for use of the funds which can be found by visiting larimer.abalancingact.com/larimer-county-rescue-plan-act-simulation.
The Report and other information about the American Rescue Plan Act can be accessed by visiting larimer.org/budget/frf.
The State Board of Health has approved emergency rules requiring vaccination for staff in licensed healthcare settings. The Board met earlier this week to consider a request from Governor Polis to implement rules requiring licensed healthcare facilities to mandate their personnel — including employees, direct contractors, and support staff– who interact with individuals seeking medical care to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
At this time, approximately 30% of the healthcare workforce remains unvaccinated. With the rise in the delta variant and increased stress on the healthcare system, state officials say that ensuring that all workers in licensed healthcare facilities are vaccinated is one of the most effective means the state can take to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the most at-risk Coloradans and end this ongoing pandemic.
The vaccine requirement is limited to only those health care facilities that are listed in Colorado Revised Statute. The department does not have authority over individual health care practitioners or staff, nor does it oversee other settings where patients seek medical care including primary care offices and urgent care locations.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has extended public health order 20-38 to expire on October 1, 2021. The order further specifies hospital data collection on COVID-19 vaccination status to help public health more precisely track breakthrough cases.
“We continue to monitor hospital capacity closely. Between the unvaccinated and those under 12 years of age, adding additional measures and data help us further evaluate. We continue to stress the importance of getting the safe and effective vaccine to help protect Coloradans from serious infection. We’ve also added vaccination requirements for state contractors who enter state facilities,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander. “We support and fully expect local communities to take additional steps to protect their communities given the variability of disease transmission and vaccination across the state.”
Here is a summary of changes:
Community corrections programs and facilities are added to the list of entities that must require masking for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals.
Reiterates that schools must report cases and outbreaks and comply with local and/or state public health requirements, as applicable, for case investigation and disease mitigation, including isolation and quarantine as clarified in accordance with existing law.
CDPHE may require counties whose resident hospitalizations threaten to exceed 85% of hospital or hospital system capacity to report additional data and consult with CDPHE regarding disease mitigation strategies.
Patient age and vaccination status is included as elements of hospital data reporting.
Modified hospital ICU bed reporting requirements to differentiate between adult and pediatric beds.
Added vaccination requirements for state contractors who enter state facilities.
According to the Colorado State Patrol speeding continues to be a leading causal factor for fatal and injury crashes across Colorado for incidents investigated by the CSP, including those involving our youngest drivers.
In fact, speeding was in the top two for accident causal factors of drivers between the ages of 16-21 years old in both 2019 and 2020. In addition, speeding took the top two spots for citations issued by the Colorado State Patrol during this same two-year period for these drivers.
- Speeding: 10-19 miles over the posted speed limit. (combined two-year total: 12,592)
- Speeding: 20-39 miles over the posted speed limit. (combined two-year total: 7,078)
Despite thousands of tickets, Colorado roadways are still experiencing motorists of all ages traveling higher than the posted speeds and putting lives at risk. “As younger drivers gain confidence, we often find speed becoming an issue, so parents who monitor this behavior while explaining the importance of posted speed limits can help” explained Colonel Matthew C. Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.
Teen and new drivers do not have the experience necessary to recognize and react appropriately to dangerous situations, making speeding even riskier for them, their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians around them. This has prompted the Colorado State Patrol to launch a summer-long education and awareness campaign to the public focusing on speeding drivers.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure they are following the law and not exceeding safe and prudent speeds, however, parents and other adults can play a role in guiding appropriate driving principles. This includes lowering speeds in neighborhoods, school zones, construction zones, and poor weather or road conditions, as posted speed limits are designed for clear, dry roadways.
“Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior,” explains Colonel Packard. “Talking to your young driver regularly about rules and responsibilities as well as setting a good example makes an impact.”
AAA Colorado, the state’s largest not-for-profit organization, today announced it has joined with New Day Hydrogen (NDH) to lead the way in bringing hydrogen-powered trucks and consumer vehicles to Colorado.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), like battery-electric vehicles (EVs), produce zero emissions out of the tailpipe. Unlike battery EVs, FCEVs take only a few minutes to fuel up, are largely unaffected by cold temperatures, and can scale efficiently – allowing for both consumer trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tow trucks.
“Adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology will help Colorado reach its carbon-reduction goals, as fuel cell electric vehicles offer vehicle owners the same performance and experience as their current vehicle,” said New Day Hydrogen’s Chief Executive Officer Seth Terry, “with no lost time to charging, and no range anxiety.”
Under the agreement, AAA plans to introduce America’s first hydrogen-powered tow trucks and other emergency rescue vehicles in Colorado. New Day Hydrogen will provide the fuel to support these vehicles by designing and constructing stations to create hydrogen fueling by electrolysis, a process that creates emissions-free hydrogen from water and renewable energy, such as solar and wind power.
In time, those stations can open up to other fleet users and the general public – paving the way for FCEV adoption among Coloradans.
All told, transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants in Colorado and across the country. Hydrogen infrastructure will play a critical role in reducing those emissions, especially in Colorado – where we’re lucky to have a consistent supply of green energy on our grids and where motorists regularly choose to drive all-weather, all-terrain vehicles across long distances.
Major automotive manufacturers – such as Toyota, Hyundai, General Motors, Ford, among others – already have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the market or are working to develop these transportation options in America and internationally. In California, for example, there are already more than 8,000 FCEVs on the road.
“As the organization that popularized the automobile more than a century ago, AAA has an unmatched record of leading the charge for new transportation technology,” said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA. “In working to roll out America’s first hydrogen-powered emergency rescue fleet, we’re confident we can fundamentally change the mobility landscape yet again as we address climate change by increasing consumer choice. Long a center of environmental innovation, Colorado’s the perfect place to start.”
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