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5 Things You Need To Know - December 31, 2020

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Downtown Pueblo.
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Posted at 6:32 AM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 08:32:03-05

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Thursday morning.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.
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Polis asks state health department to move counties in Level Red to Level Orange on COVID-19 dial

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Wednesday night that he is asking the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move counties currently in Level Red on the state's COVID-19 dial to Level Orange as the number of cases and ICU capacity have seen a "sustained" decline over the past 13 days.

Polis said he is asking for the change to take place this coming Monday.
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Pueblo's COVID-19 curfew will expire on Jan. 1

The City of Pueblo will not be extending the COVID-19 curfew. Mayor Nick Gradisar announced Wednesday he will let the curfew expire at 5 a.m. New Year's Day. The mayor initially issued the curfew at the end of October, citing Pueblo at the time was "going in the wrong direction" when analyzing the number of positive cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations.
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New Year's Eve goes virtual, CDC offers ideas and guidance

New Year’s Eve fireworks, events and gatherings are going virtual this year, to slow the surging number of cases of coronavirus. This includes the iconic Times Square New Year’s Eve party, they have a Times Square Virtual New Year’s Eve app to play games and countdown to midnight. The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have bumped up after most holidays this year, including Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
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Colorado National Guard member first to have confirmed case of COVID-19 variant

State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said during a press conference Wednesday morning that along with the one confirmed case, there is another possible case. Both cases are Colorado National Guard personnel who were deployed to work at a nursing home in Elbert County. These two people were labeled COVID-19 positive in mid-December prior to the variant being discovered.
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Pueblo testing wastewater to alert neighborhoods of upticks in COVID-19

In Pueblo, city leaders are hoping wastewater testing combined with a new alert system will help their communities to better control the spread of COVID-19 as we head into the new year.

Testing for COVID-19 in our wastewater is a concept city leaders in Pueblo have been looking at for months. Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar says the city's testing and alert system rollout to help warn people about the presence of the virus in the wastewater in their neighborhoods will be one of the first efforts like it in the state.
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