UPDATE 12/30/20 –
==Colorado is the first state to discover the new form of the virus in two residents (in Elbert County). Neither have been travelling outside the country.
==Colorado is moving into Phase 1B.
==115 skilled nursing facilities and 250 assisted living facilities have been visited with the vaccine for residents and any staff who wanted it. The goal is to get it done by the end of January.
==CHANGES to Phase 1B: now ADDED all people 70 and older; teachers, grocery store employees, postal workers and other frontline workers; essential officials in state government; and frontline journalists.
The state will work with local public health departments and employers about setting up programs to vaccinate frontline workers, teachers, grocery workers and state workers under Phase 1B. This may be done through your local county at a local pharmacy.
(Those between ages 65 and 69 are still on the Phase 2 list.)
==65,282 vaccine doses have been given to date. — The number nationwide is well below the Administration’s predictions (2 million vs 20 million by year’s end), but they hope things will speed up as procedures become better figured out.
Colorado – Good News and Bad News —
Good News: Same as last week (1) vaccines are being administered; this week #1 to: 34,000 health care workers; CO is getting delivery of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines starting next week; and (2) number of hospitalized are going down. We are at an improved 7.76% positivity rate. This takes us back to the rate shown around Halloween. (The goal is under five percent) Thanks for your help, folks, in slowing this surge.
The Bad News is that the death rate is going up, with 65 average number of deaths per day (up from 54 last week) as of 12/20/20
Lyons – as of Dec. 21–57 cases // up from Dec. 14—53 cases.
RESTAURANTS: 5-Star Certified Program
Last week Larimer County submitted application to the State for the “5 Star” certified business variance program, locally known as the Level Up Program. For this program to start, the application needs to be approved by the State and its regional COVID-19 case numbers need to continue to decline. It looks likely to be approved, so the county has already asked local businesses to complete the Level Up pre-application process. == As of this week, Boulder County is not yet eligible for the program, as it is determined to be “high risk” by the State. This Colorado program allows restaurants in “Level Red” counties to open as a “Level Orange” if they prove they can follow a list of strict health care protocol. The most difficult parts are having adequate ventilation, and conducting contact tracing.
In Colorado: 64,000 lost their jobs, with the majority being in the restaurant and hospitality sector.
24 percent of restaurants are in danger of closing within one month (CO Restaurant Association report).
Please remember to tip your restaurant worker generously, as they may not be working full time, and are also exposed to the public for days on end.
CONGRESS PASSES $900 Billion STIMULUS RECOVERY BILL 12/21/20:
A quick summary:
–It extends unemployment benefits, adds $300.
$284 billion –It revives the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept many small businesses afloat last spring.
$25 billion –Rental (apartments and homes) assistance, and extends moratorium on evictions to January 31.
–Aids in vaccine distribution.
$82 billion –Assistance for schools.
$13 billion –Food assistance.
–Individuals making $75,000 or less will get $600 stimulus, and $600 per child, per their 2019 Income Tax report.
==Remember this is a Stimulus payment which means it is not for your benefit necessarily, but to stimulate the economy – buy something to help businesses.
==The Census reports that 1/3 of all the homes in the country are behind on their rent or mortgage.
==Pause on student loans was already delayed till January 31 by the U.S. Department of Education.
The first doses of the vaccine are being given to frontline healthcare workers and at-risk patients at nursing homes. As of December 11, the first shipment was expected to be 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but was slightly reduced due to a federal government error. The second shipment next week will include Pfizer, but will add 95,600 of the Moderna vaccine.
In week one, 34,000 health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients and who are exposed to the virus as part of their job were vaccinated. Next are moderate risk healthcare workers and first responders. Then in spring, essential workers, with high exposure, like grocery store clerks, teachers, and meat plant packers. The federal CDC guideline recommendation is not mandatory, and states can decide what is best for their situation. For instance, the feds state the second round goes to those 75 and older, but Colorado says it will be for those 65 and over. This is subject to change.
There are a lot of general questions that you can find answers to on the State health pages, but briefly, in general, you cannot be forced to take it, it will not give you the virus, you will still have to wear masks until most people are vaccinated, and it will not cost you anything.
COMMON QUESTIONS AND LINKS
For more information about the virus, including common questions like: Do I have the flu or COVID? / How do I add my name to the Contact Tracing List? / Are there any countries doing worse or better than us? / What stores in Longmont have had outbreaks? / Are there any home testing kits being worked on? / go to our “Second Wave” article.
Phase 1A = vaccinating frontline health care workers with the closest contact to COVID-19 patients as well as residents and employees of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities.
Phase 1B = health care workers with less direct contact with coronavirus patients, workers in home health/hospice and dental settings, and first responders. 12/30/20 The state has added those 75 years and older.