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The Review & Preview: What southern Coloradans need to know this week

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Posted at 5:45 AM, Jul 13, 2020

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:

The Review

Colorado governor doesn't rule out mask mandate but makes clear: 'Wear a damn mask!'

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis did not rule out a statewide mask mandate in a news conference Thursday but made clear in his plainest terms yet how he feels about Coloradans and visitors to the state wearing them: “Wear a damn mask!”

The governor’s exclamation came in response to a question about why he had not issued a statewide mandate for face coverings or masks, as have some other states in response to their massive spikes in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“If I haven’t been clear, I’m telling you to wear a mask,” Polis said after outlining that he feels he has been clear for weeks that all Coloradans should be wearing masks when indoors and when they can’t stay 6 feet apart from others and that he doubted anyone was waiting only on “a piece of paper” from the governor telling them to do so.

Find your district's Back to School plan in response to COVID-19

We have heard initial plans from some districts on reopening schools this fall with kids and teachers in the building. Most districts are still taking a wait and see approach on what school will look like.

There is still discussion on whether classes should be in some sort of hybrid mode or all in person. Districts have said their plan's priority will be to protect the health of students, staff, and teachers.

El Paso County Fair set to begin with limited access

Local fairs that are still happening are dialing back their plans and allowing for limited events. The El Paso County Fair will go on this year, but won't include rides, concessions, or events. It will also be closed to the public, with access limited to FFA and 4-H participants in livestock competition.

The Arkansas Valley Fair is also happening, but with modifications in place. 4H, FFA events, and Watermelon Day are on. The Demolition Derby, Carnival, and Parade have been canceled.

The Colorado Springs Western Street Breakfast has been canceled due to the pandemic, as has the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.

The Preview

Springs Councilman to introduce an ordinance for mask use

Colorado Springs City Councilman Richard Skorman plans to introduce an ordinance requiring face coverings in public places this week.

According to agendas posted on the City of Colorado Springs website, the ordinance will first be discussed at Council's work session Monday, July 13. It is also on the agenda for the regular meeting Tuesday.

The ordinance as it is written would require face coverings within the city "due to the public health emergency caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus" and provide penalties to those who refuse.

The Rebound Colorado

On Tuesday, Patrick Nelson brings you a Rebound Colorado report about contact tracing and how public officials are trying to find those who were exposed to COVID-19. He's also looking into how some people are falling for scams because of this. He'll show you how to know if you're talking to a real health official or a scammer.

Thursday, Patrick will introduce you to "Tutors for Change," a pair of college students in the Springs that are building a team to volunteer and offer online tutoring sessions to students in our area for just 99 cents.

Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo kicks off next weekend with restrictions

The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo may be canceled, but Westcliffe's annual Stampede Rodeo is still a go.

The event is set to kick off July 17, marking its 74th year. However, due to COVID-19, it's going to look a lot different.

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