News Bites – September 30, 2021
*Total Cases: 35,868 (+836 from last week)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 1,625 (+33)
Deaths: 286 (+1)
7-day case rate per 100k: 196 (-59)
Hospital Utilization: 84%
ICU Utilization: 108%
7-Day test positivity rate: 7%
Risk Score: High
COVID patients in hospital: 71 (+3)
9.71% 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, Sept. 29, there have been 439,828 doses of the vaccines administered in Larimer County. 73% 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.
A post made on Snapchat that referenced violence aimed at Berthoud High School resulted in an investigation to the validity of the claim.
A report was filed early Thursday morning to the state’s Safe2Tell phone line, an anonymous way for situations related to schools to be conveyed to law enforcement and the school district. After an investigation by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office it was deemed the threat against the school was not credible.
Precautionary sweeps of the campus were made by law enforcement that meant students and staff members were unable to return to the building for several hours. Once the safety sweep was complete, classes resumed as scheduled.
Tuesday Governor Polis gave an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an overview of the state’s plan to administer booster shots and provided information about Colorado’s COVID-19 testing efforts. Governor Polis was joined by Dr. Emily Travanty, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Laboratory Services Division, CDPHE.
“Colorado has one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the country, and our case numbers are moving in the right direction with a slight downward trend and that is a result of the work of Coloradans,” said Governor Polis.
Polis also provided an update on the wildfire situation near Silverthorne. As of Tuesday, the fire has grown to 80 acres and additional mandatory evacuations have been ordered. An evacuation shelter is in place at Summit Middle School.
Additionally, Colorado DFPC multi-mission Aircraft flew over the fire overnight on Tuesday, confirming that no homes have been destroyed.
Also discussed during the press conference was the rollout of the Pfizer vaccine booster shots for those who are eligible and previously received a Pfizer shot. Per CDC recommendations, those aged 65 and older, and adults 50-64 years old with an underlying medical condition are eligible to receive a third dose. Additionally, the CDC has authorized the Pfizer booster for those aged 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities, those 18-49 with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, or Down syndrome, among other conditions. Those aged 18 to 64 who work in high-risk settings including correctional facilities, health care, grocery stores, among other settings, are also eligible for a Pfizer booster.
Overall, Coloradans who were vaccinated as part of Phase 1B and earlier with the Pfizer shot are eligible for their Pfizer booster, which is still free and requires no ID or insurance to receive. Polis continues to encourage the CDC to authorize a booster shot for all Coloradans who have already received a shot and to approve both a Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shot.
Dr. Emily Travanty, Ph.D., Scientific Director, Laboratory Services Division, CDPHE, provided an overview of Colorado’s COVID-19 testing program. Colorado’s state laboratory has significantly scaled its capacity to process COVID tests, with an average processing capacity of 39,000 tests per day, up from 160 tests per day at the beginning of the pandemic. Colorado can offer free testing to anyone at over 110 testing sites across the state. On average, Colorado is averaging 39,415 tests per day across these sites.
“Testing overall is an important tool. We are proud to offer free community testing, testing in schools, and at-home rapid testing to Coloradans. Each program adds a layer of protection in our communities to identify cases quickly and stop them from spreading,” said Dr. Travanty.
Per Governor Polis’ urging, the State Board of Health now requires the vaccine for Colorado health care workers. As of Tuesday, more than 1,100 health care workers in extended care facilities are vaccinated. Health care workers that fall under the mandate have until the end of October to become fully vaccinated.
For the first time in four years, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased when compared with the previous year’s statistics, according to FBI figures released this week. In 2020, violent crime was up 5.6 percent from the 2019 number. Property crimes dropped 7.8 percent, marking the 18th consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.
Colorado saw the number of violent crimes spike to its highest level in the past 25 years exceeding the national rate for violent crimes for the third year. Homicides, although below the national average increased by 28% between 2019 and 2020.
The 2020 statistics in the U.S. also show the estimated rate of violent crime was 387.8 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 1,958.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 5.2 percent nationwide when compared with the 2019 rate; the property crime rate declined 8.1 percent nationally but rose 8% in Colorado.
According to information provided by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point in August to 5.9 percent. This marks the first time since March 2020 that the state’s unemployment rate has been below six percent. The national unemployment rate also declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.2 percent.
Colorado’s labor force decreased by 2,300 in August to 3,193,200. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force was 68.3 percent last month. The state continues to experience a faster rate of recovery in the participation rate than the U.S.
The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 4,700 in August to 3,004,200, which represents 64.2 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado has one of the highest employment-to-population ratios in the nation, ranking 7th in July.
The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in August were: Pueblo (7.9%), Huerfano (7.8%), Las Animas (6.8%), Fremont (6.5%), and Adams (6.2%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s August unadjusted rate of 5.4 percent.
Fall foliage map shows you the best leaf-peeping in the state
Autumn has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. What better way to spend the cool, crisp days of fall than to visit your favorite national forest or national grassland? Numerous opportunities exist to hike, bike, or view the fall colors from the comfort of your own vehicle. Visit the Rocky Mountain Region’s website for up-to-date information on the changing foliage to help plan your travel route at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/r2/fallcolors.
Here are some of the more common deciduous trees (those that turn color and shed their leaves in the fall):
- Quaking Aspen – These are usually found in clusters of yellow and gold at higher elevations and sometimes cover entire hillsides where disturbances such as forest fires have allowed them to grow in full sunshine. Aspens grow in clones that reproduce by sprouting from their roots, making aspen groves one of nature’s largest living organisms. Different clones in aspen forest stands may have slightly different timing when their leaves change colors, and some clones turn different shades of yellow to orange. Please enjoy these beauties without being tempted to carve your initials into the soft white bark since such injuries can lead to diseases that shorten their life.
- Rocky Mountain Maple – These can resemble a multi-stemmed shrub or a small tree and generally grow five or six feet tall. Look for these at low to mid-elevations in rocky areas, along stream banks, in canyons, or on moist slopes. Their leaves turn yellow and sometimes orange to bright red in the fall. Dry some of the brightly colored leaves between the pages of a book and you will be able to enjoy the colors of autumn well into the winter months!
- Cottonwood – We have two types in the Rocky Mountain Region, both live near rivers and lakes at different elevations. The plains cottonwood with large wide leaves grows in the plains and foothills and narrow-leafed cottonwoods grow in higher elevations. Look closely to spot animals or birds near the cottonwood trees since these are favorable habitat for wildlife! Their leaves generally turn bright yellow in the fall.
- Willow – These can resemble a small tree or shrub and generally grow in thickets along riverbanks and in moist areas. They are also a favorite for wildlife. The leaves turn yellow in the fall.
- Alpine tundra – The miniature plants that grow above treeline on the very fragile alpine tundra create a beautiful mosaic of oranges and reds in the fall. Look closely but be careful not to trample these little gems – some tundra plants take several hundred years to grow just a few inches.
Enjoy your fall foliage tour and be sure to know before you go!
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