COLORADO SPRINGS — 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:
El Paso County officials announced Friday the county has one week to submit a COVID-19 mitigation plan to the state health department and if it is not approved, the county will see further restrictions.
The county's status on the state's COVID-19 dial is at risk due to the rising numbers of COVID-19. As of Monday morning, El Paso County Health's data states the county has seen 252.5 positive cases per 100,000 people in a two-week period with a 6.24% positivity rate.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers began the press conference and said the next several weeks are critical to getting COVID-19 numbers to a manageable state.
"It's the small acts that can make a big difference," he said. "...Our community's health and economic vitality depend upon it."
Personal gatherings will be limited to 10 people or less from no more than two different households in the Colorado counties in any of the Safer at Home levels after the state public health department amended the Safer at Home public health order Friday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the new change comes as the result of the continued increase in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus in the state. There are exemptions for various types of industries contained within the order.
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction protecting two Colorado churches and their pastors from enforcement of the state's capacity limits and mask-wearing executive orders during worship services. Judge Daniel D. Domenico issued the order on Thursday as part of a lawsuit brought by the Denver Bible Church and the Community Baptist Church.
The litigation challenges the capacity limits placed on houses of worship for being more stringent than those allowed to other businesses. Additionally, many businesses are exempt from enforcing the mask order but churches are not.
Pueblo County has seen over 200 positive coronavirus cases in the last seven days. Now, October has the highest number of cases for the entire year and Pueblo is at risk of losing their variances, which would be another economic hit.
Up to this point, Pueblo has had a relatively low amount of COVID-19 cases in the community. Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks, numbers have taken a turn for the worse. As of Oct. 20, there were 413 positive cases reported, which is more than any month so far.
As schools continue to handle positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines, one big issue they're running into is the lack of substitute teachers.
Academy School District 20 says they have a large pool of substitute teachers, but when the district reaches out, they're finding some apprehension due to COVID concerns.
Pueblo's D70 also dealing with this issue, Vineland Middle School is just the latest school to have to stop in-person learning due to one positive case and a lack of staff. The district says it's been tough to find substitute teachers to cover both in-person and remote learning.
On Monday, we resume our Rebound series as we work to come back from the pandemic in southern Colorado.
Sadly, the divorce rate has skyrocketed during 2020. This week we'll be talking with experts about what to do if you and your spouse are struggling.
On Thursday, Elizabeth Watts will take you to the Juniper Valley Ranch off Highway 115. It's a family-owned restaurant that's been around since the 50s and has obviously seen a lot of changes over the years. The owners will talk about how they've been coping with the changes brought on by the pandemic.
With Halloween coming this weekend we'll also be looking at different ways families can celebrate the holiday while staying safe.
With The Rebound Colorado, 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 email@example.com with your suggestions, feedback, frustrations, ideas, suggestions, and anything else you need.