As part of our commitment to keeping you informed and empowered about what's going on with our state amid the pandemic. Every Sunday night our news team is bringing you a Review of stories that have happened in the past week and a preview of what's to come in the week ahead.
The week that was marked by a somber anniversary on Friday, one year since the first documented case of COVID-19 in Colorado. There was a statewide remembrance for the nearly 6,000 people who died as a result of the pandemic. But we also focus on those who have done so much to save lives and the progress we've made, particularly the vaccine development, to try and bring this to an end.
Speaking of which, a new phase of the vaccine distribution kicked in on Friday as well with 1B.3 people age 60 and up, agriculture and grocery workers, and people age 16 to 59 with certain medical conditions can receive the vaccine.
Governor Jared Polis has extended the mandatory, statewide mask mandate for at least another thirty days. As we saw a few states including Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arizona, cutting back or eliminating altogether mask mandates and other restrictions.
President Joe Biden's administration announced that the vaccine supply will be plentiful enough moving forward now. Officials envision the ability to vaccinate the entire country by the end of May now, instead of July. Governor Polis believes summer in Colorado will be "close to normal", because of more vaccines being available. In fact, 45,000 doses of the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine were distributed already in Colorado.
El Paso County announced that businesses that have received five-star variance can move to Level Blue on the COVID-19 dial now that the state has vaccinated at least 70% percent of the 70 and over population. Custer County has rolled back all COVID-19 restrictions, although there is opposition to that move. Businesses can continue to operate at less capacity if they so choose.
Looking ahead this week, the defense will begin calling witnesses in the Donthe Lucas murder trial in Pueblo. Prosecutors wrapped up their case on Friday, presenting evidence and expert testimony, but the body of Kelsie Schelling has never been found. We'll be at the courthouse all week. There is a good chance the case could go to the jury before the end of the week.
On Thursday, Elizabeth Watts will take us to a counseling center in Pueblo that's helping first responders and others yurn over a new leaf. She'll examine how much they've had to expand due to the pandemic and some coping skills to help us all rebound from the Coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, ballots go out for the city election in Colorado Springs. Our Alasyn Zimmerman is breaking down the races for us and other ballot questions with our voter guide.
And Sports Director Jake Gadon has his March Madness college basketball profile. University of Colorado Buffs star and former Colorado Springs high school player, Deshawn Schmidt, is looking ahead to his final tournament appearance as the PAC-12 tournament action gets underway.
With The Rebound Colorado, News5's team will be here to answer your questions, bringing you expert advice to balance the books, pay the bills, and rebuild savings accounts. E-mail us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, feedback, frustrations, ideas, suggestions, and anything else you need.