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:
Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order Wednesday that bans open fires statewide.
The purpose of the order is to help limit fire activity as four wildfires rage in the state, including the Pine Gulch Fire that is now the second-largest fire in Colorado history.
The restrictions outlined in the order include campfires, charcoal grill fires, explosives, and smoking unless you are in an enclosed space or at least 6 feet away from flammable items. Home barbecues, grills, public grills, and camp stoves are allowed for use.
On Thursday, the pace of positive COVID-19 tests reported in El Paso County dropped to 99 for every 100,000 residents.
Dr. Robin Johnson, Medical Director for El Paso County Public Health, believes this downward trend is the result of a broad mitigation strategy put in place earlier this summer when infections reached 157 cases per 100,000 residents.
One key part of the strategy was to make it faster and easier for people who think they may be sick to get tested.
Colorado’s executive order capping last call at 10 p.m. was changed to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 11 p.m., effective Saturday.
Polis said he was “hopeful” that the state could move the last call to midnight within a month and said it would be important for bars and restaurants to continue observing proper social distancing protocols.
“Hopefully it will provide folks with a little more breathing room,” the governor said of the change to 11 p.m.
More schools in the region got started last week.
Monday, two of the largest districts in southern Colorado return for the fall semester, District 20 and District 11.
On Monday, we resume our Rebound series as we work to come back from the pandemic in southern Colorado.
First up on Monday, Elizabeth Watts will take you to the Colorado State Fair. The fair gets underway Friday but with a lot of changes. She'll show you how the fair had adapted to the pandemic and is making accommodations to celebrate the hard work of the kids in 4H and FFA.
On Tuesday, Patrick Nelson will bring you the story of a group of seniors who are playing softball.
It's a story of inspiration that shows some of those in the older generations aren't letting COVID-19 slow them down.
Then on Thursday, Patrick will be speaking with mental health experts who have some advice on dealing with stress and self-care during these stressful times.
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.