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:
First and foremost, the new 2.0 statewide COVID-19 dial was introduced Friday, which moved most counties across southern Colorado into the Yellow category and Pueblo into the Blue. These changes allow more indoor capacity.
The 5 Star variance program was approved for El Paso County this week, another positive step for local businesses that take advantage of its benefits. All of this is happening as the positivity rate and COVID-related hospitalizations are trending down, the number of deaths are flattening and vaccinations are on the rise.
The conflict between El Paso County and the state health department came to a head after accusations by the governor and state health department, unfounded it turns out, that vaccines in El Paso County were just sitting on shelves and we were not receiving our fair share. That appears to have changed with thousands more doses on the way this coming week, which will be distributed to healthcare providers across the Pikes Peak region.
Gov. Jared Polis this last week personally began the delivery of quick, home COVID-19 testing kits that will be used primarily by educators across Colorado. As they are now ready to start getting vaccinated, nearly 600,000 vaccines have been administered statewide, a quarter of a million to the 70-and-older category where an estimated 60% of that group has received at least one shot.
Nationally, the Biden administration, it appears, moving forward on the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package without Republican support.
The Donthe Lucas murder trial resumes in Pueblo. He's accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Kelsie Schelling. Our Colette Bordelon will be in the courtroom and will have updates on News5 each day.
On Thursday, a protest is planned at the District 49 board meeting. It's because a teacher was reprimanded by the district for violating policy for including Black Lives Matter in a lesson. The protest is organized by the empowerment solidarity network to show support for the teacher and denounce systemic racism.
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