Thursday, June 11, 2020

COVID-19 roundup for June 11: Polis says virus transmission at recent protests "almost a certainty"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 5:11 PM

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pummel of the U.S. economy, and the S&P 500 plunged nearly 6 percent Thursday, according to The New York Times.

The one-day decline is the sharpest in three months.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 1.5 million workers filed unemployment claims last week — the fewest since the crisis began but still significantly higher than normal.

In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis held a press conference Thursday to provide an update on the state’s response to the pandemic. Polis addressed the possibility that statewide protests against police brutality might lead to increased transmission of the virus.

“It’s almost a certainty there’s some transmission at those large gatherings,” Polis said. “What we don’t know is: Is it tens of people, or hundreds of cases that arise from people who weren’t able to avoid the physical proximity as they participated in those?”

Polis said data showing whether the gatherings led to an increase in transmission will likely emerge “any day now.”

Polis reiterated the importance of Coloradans remaining vigilant in their efforts to reduce its spread.

“The mask-wearing, the efforts of social distancing — those are incredibly important,” Polis said. "We’ve made so much progress, we want to maintain that progress. We don’t want to backslide like some other states have.”

Polis also announced the Can Do Colorado Community Challenge, an extension of Can Do Colorado, which spotlights and supports businesses that are finding creative ways to serve their customers safely, implementing teleworking and reducing in-person interactions during the pandemic. The challenge, according to Polis’ office, “calls on local governments and businesses to continue finding safe and sustainable opportunities to jumpstart the local economy and implement these practices until a cure or vaccine is created."

Through Wednesday, Colorado has recorded 28,647 cases of COVID-19, with 1,339 deaths directly attributed to the virus and 1,583 deaths in which decedents tested positive for COVID-19.

El Paso County has accounted for 1,907 of those cases, and 100 deaths in which the decedent tested positive for COVID-19.

In other developments:

- The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center’s Business Continuity Program has teamed with El Paso County Public Health to offer a virtual town hall on important topics related to COVID-19 on June 12.

Business professionals are encouraged to join the session, which will address variances, resources and guidelines that impact the business community. Dr. Leon Kelly, deputy medical director of El Paso County Public Health; Lori Seago, legal counsel for El Paso County Public Health; and Keith Siemsen, environmental health division director for El Paso County Public Health, will begin the session with a behind-the-scenes look at the variance process, legal interpretations and an overview of resources. Participants will be able to ask questions in the second portion of the event.

The town hall is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. Register online at: pikespeaksbdc.org/what-we-do/programs/disaster-relief.

- The Colorado Tourism Office has released a new animated video as part of an initiative promoting responsible travel and encouraging visitors to “show care” for the destinations they travel to, as well the people who live there.

The 1-minute "Care for Coloradans" video features a host of animated Colorado creatures sharing steps to keeping everyone safe.

The Care for Coloradans initiative also includes a new Responsible Travel edition of the "Are You Colo-Ready?" brochure, as well as a poster that will hang in all Colorado Welcome Centers. The materials were prepared with input from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and outline five critical components of safe travel, including physical distancing, facial coverings, cleanliness, staying home when sick and being aware of local guidance. All materials are being shared in a toolkit for use by anyone or any organization in Colorado.

- The Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management is asking community members to make and donate cloth gowns, due to a shortage. The gowns will be distributed to local nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Those who would like to make cloth gowns to donate may use this pattern.

Donations can be dropped off Tuesday and Thursdays from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, 3755 Mark Dabling Blvd.
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