With so much information being announced daily about the COVID-19 pandemic, here is a review and preview of what is going on in southern Colorado as it pertains to the virus:
President Trump said Thursday that he would extend the deployment of the National Guard, which is helping in COVID-19 efforts in Colorado and around the country, into August following bipartisan pressure from Colorado’s governor and members of Congress, and from lawmakers across the country.
The Colorado National Guard has had hundreds of members supporting the state’s response, particularly in building up community testing sites and training civilians, providing logistical support for supply distribution, planning for the build-up of Emergency Operations Centers and supporting extra shelters for people experiencing homelessness. The National Guard has received widespread praise from state officials for its support.
Restaurants across the state were allowed to open at 50% of their capacity this week, without exceeding 50 people. Outdoor seating is encouraged. Bars will remain closed, and establishments that do not serve food will wait until June for an answer.
However, El Paso County had their variance for restaurants approved Saturday, meaning those establishments could have reopened before May 27. Under that variance, if an establishment has a retail food license, then they can operate. So, certain local bars and breweries can currently reopen along with restaurants, while following the guidelines set forth by local leaders.
El Paso County Board of County Commissioners approved two variance requests this week regarding places of worship and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
The "El Paso County alternative reopening plan" for places of worship and the zoo were approved unanimously by commissioners. All variances approved locally still need to be approved by the state government.
The county is seeking to reopen these places with specific guidelines in place.
Children's day camps and youth sports camps open Monday, June 1, but residential overnight camps will remain closed. Decisions will be made in mid-June regarding July and August overnight camps.
The Colorado Department of Human Services and local public health agencies will have the rights of approving children's residential camps that opt to open as day camps. Any sort of day camp (mobile, youth sports camps, outdoor camps, etc.) must abide by the guidelines outlined by the state.
A paid reservation system for the Incline is being supported by the Manitou Springs City Council as it works toward reopening the popular site.
Several groups, including the City of Colorado Springs, have voiced opposition to this proposal. The incline is owned by the City of Colorado Springs, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Springs Utilities. The City of Manitou Springs has a specific role related to enforcement a parking. Colorado Springs issued a statement this past week in response to the Manitou City Council's proposal of the reservation system.
Manitou will hold another City Council meeting this week to again discuss the proposal. A well-known local group, Friends of the Incline, are encouraging the council to reopen the site by Friday.
We'll keep you updated.
This week, News 5's Patrick Nelson will show you how horse therapy is helping people to Rebound.
People are turning to a new type of mental health therapy. It's actually a form of therapy veterans have been using for quite some time.
Tune in on Thursday to see this story.
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