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 biggest story: The governor and CHSAA came to an agreement on variances to allow fall sports, including football. Many southern Colorado schools have decided to participate in the revised fall season while others have opted to remain in the spring format. The schools have until this morning at 8 a.m. to make their decisions.
Each season will be structured the same and there will be a champion named in each season, according to CHSAA. The regular season will be a 6 plus 1 hybrid season meaning teams that make the playoffs will play the seventh game as a playoff game. Teams that do not make the playoffs can schedule the seventh game with another non-playoff team.
The playoffs will also feature an 8-team bracket by division, which is set and seeded by the CHSAA Seeding Index. Team schedules will be built out by CHSAA for all schools "due to the short amount of time" before the start of the season.
The Air Force Academy announced the football team will compete, at least, for the Commander in Chief's trophy and play against both Army and Navy. The rest of their football schedule in the Mountain West Conference is still up in the air, as other major conferences announced a change of plan and will now have fall football, including the Big 10 and the Pac-12.
Athletic Director Nathan Pine said the only fans allowed in the stadium will be cadets as the Academy remains closed to the public. Fans who have a Navy ticket have a few options moving forward: donating your ticket payment as a tax-deductible donation to the Falcon Athletic Fund, rolling over your 2020 season tickets to the 2021 season, or requesting a refund.
El Paso County reported that it had met key metrics on a new state "dial" system introduced that allows an increase in capacity limits for personal and professional gatherings, including restaurants and places of worship.
As numbers in a county improve, that county's dial moves one spot to the left, one step closer to the "Protect Our Neighbors" phase.
Counties would be able to move to a less restrictive level if they meet all the positive metrics for a two-week period. Counties would also have to notify the CDPHE and local health care providers when they believe they are eligible to move to a less-restrictive level.
But counties would move back to more-restrictive measures if they fall out of compliance with the metrics. They would have a two-week grace period, under the draft guidelines, to regain compliance with a metric, and if they do not, they would have a meeting with the CDPHE to determine the next steps.
We are seeing an increase in COVID cases, particularly among young people and on college campuses. On the CU Boulder campus, all students were asked to self-quarantine and they are running out of isolation beds.
The Boulder County Health Department said “the majority” of cases came in students aged 18-29 who live off-campus and who are attending large gatherings without face coverings and proper physical distancing measures.
The students who leave their self-quarantine were asked to wear face coverings at all times.
“Self-quarantine should last for 14 days, continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020. This recommendation is not an emergency order; however, more stringent and mandatory restrictions will be imposed if students do not comply and break the transmission cycle,” BCPH Executive Director Jeffrey Zayach wrote in a letter to CU students.
But the chancellor, in a letter sent to students, told them the university would be enforcing this measure. Students found in violation of the measures could face exclusion from campus, probation—which can impact future study abroad or attending graduate school—and suspension from the university pending adjudication, the letter states.
The state is also seeing spikes at CSU Fort Collins and Regis University in Denver.
Another petition drive was approved to recall Gov. Jared Polis for his handling of the pandemic with more than 600,00 signatures needed to be verified by November.
“We’re on the clock,” said organizer Greg Merschel, who's behind the Recall Polis petition this year. A different group — which Merschel was a part of — tried to recall the governor last year and failed, so why is he trying again this year?
“The same reasons, except people are probably more upset now. Executive order after executive order after executive order. He’s ruling the state by executive order. He’s usurping the legislature,” Merschel said.
Today, News5's Jessica Barreto will show some fun ways to welcome in fall with your family. She's checking in with a local school and sharing their fall craft and activities ideas, especially when some fall traditions may be looking a lot different due to the pandemic.
On Tuesday as we work to rebound from the pandemic, News5's Patrick Nelson has help for the unemployed and how to nail the Zoom job interview.
A lot of people trying to find work right now and having those virtual conversations to try and score the paycheck. He has how you can conquer some of the challenges and situations that a Zoom interview may have.
Then on Thursday, Patrick shows us how you may want to clean your social media act in order to get that job. Experts show us the pros and cons of our online identities and how to improve them before it's too late. We'll have these stories and so much more coming up on News5.
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 email@example.com with your suggestions, feedback, frustrations, ideas, suggestions, and anything else you need.