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:
Proclaiming a downward trend in statewide COVID-19 numbers, Gov. Jared Polis announced this past week that more virus-related restrictions will be eased under what he calls the "protect your neighbor" phase of reopening Colorado.
Communities must qualify to enter this phase by demonstrating that they are reducing the spread of the virus and are effectively responding to outbreaks and contact tracking.
"From the very start, we knew we live in a big, diverse state. I was proud that we were the first state to allow for local flexibility through the variance process. It's great for areas with a lower virus count. Now, I feel we can take it further, tailoring solutions at the local level," Polis said.
Under the new guidelines, indoor spaces, including bars, are allowed to open at 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer, according to the guidelines. Restaurants reopened last month and have been able to serve alcohol, but bars that don't offer dining have been limited to takeout, such as beer sales or cocktail kits from a brewery.
Several other guidelines will be included in the relaxed measures:
— Residential summer camps will be allowed to have up to 10 children indoors and up to 25 children outdoors.
— Certain large facilities, such as houses of worship and event and conference spaces, will be allowed to have up to 100 people in the same room, depending on the size of the room. Venues over 5,650 square feet can open up to 25% capacity or 75 people, and venues over 11,300 square feet will be allowed up to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Polis said the event space guidelines are aimed to provide more flexibility for conference, receptions and similar indoor events.
The Colorado State Fair will look a little different this year, but it is continuing as planned with some modifications, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
The fair, which is scheduled for Aug. 28 through Sept. 7, will have modified activities after a vote made by the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority Tuesday.
The "Colorado State Fair Reimagined" will still uphold social distancing measures, and it will also still offer some competitions, and limited food and vendor booths. The amount of people that can attend the fair is still being determined.
After weeks of massive demonstrations in Colorado following the death of George Floyd and several other Black Coloradans, and 16 days after the measure was first introduced in the legislature, Colorado became the first state in the nation since the demonstrations began to pass a sweeping police reform and accountability measure into law Friday when the governor signed Senate Bill 217.
Lawmakers moved quickly to pass what they regard as the most important bill of the legislative session after they returned to work following a pause due to the novel coronavirus outbreak right after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
The bill eventually drew wide bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and even drew support from Colorado law enforcement organizations.
Looking ahead for you to the first full week of summer and that state is gearing up for 4th of July festivities. We aren't going to be seeing the big shows of past years but there will be celebrations across the state.
News5 also continues to listen to your questions, concerns, and tell your stories. We are following you through unemployment, changing business models, and a new way of life for so many. We'll be telling your stories this week highlighting the innovation and perseverance of so many of you.
These stories are all part of our The Rebound Colorado as we work to get Colorado back to work, find ways to help you manage the stress, make ends meet, and follow-up to see if tax dollars allocated to help are going to the right place.
One of the industries that's been impacted by COVID-19 closures and changes is the wedding industry, which is usually booming this time of year in Colorado.
Monday, Elizabeth Watts will bring you a story looking at how some wedding professionals are paving a new way forward and staying afloat.
News 5 is embarking upon a new journey with all of you in The Rebound Colorado. Our will be helping you connect with job opportunities. News 5'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.