Thursday, July 2, 2020

COVID-19 roundup for July 2: Polis urges Coloradans to have a safe 4th of July

Posted By on Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 5:12 PM

Governor Jared Polis urged Coloradans to wear masks, follow social distancing requirements and wash their hands frequently this 4th of July holiday weekend.

“Whether Coloradans are enjoying our great outdoors or having a cookout, people should celebrate this 4th of July by staying on the trail that leads to suppressing the virus and rebuilding our economy,” Polis said in a statement today. "That means wearing masks, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, and avoiding risky activities.

“This Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom that so many fought to gain, but with freedom comes responsibility, so please exercise personal responsibility, use common sense, and err on the side of caution,” Polis said.

Here are a few guidelines from the state:

Make it safer: If you choose in-person activities, keep it small, keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently and wear a mask. Consider a smaller gathering than in years past, and try to stay outside where transmission of coronavirus is less likely. Don’t be afraid to change your plans if you feel uncomfortable about the risk.

Know before you go: Check fire bans and local COVID-19-related rules at your destination. If you plan to play in the great outdoors, be prepared with appropriate supplies. Just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean we can ignore other safety rules.

Prevent fires: It’s fire season, and this year we need to be even more careful. We want to prevent situations where people have to evacuate their homes, firefighters have to deploy to camps, and smoke worsens summer air quality, which would be bad in the middle of a pandemic where the disease attacks the respiratory system. Skip the fireworks and campfires this year.

Have safe family cookouts and gatherings:
Summer gatherings should look different this year. Keep your distance and keep gatherings small. Have fewer interactions with fewer people and stay safe by wearing a face covering, remaining 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands frequently. Being outdoors is ideal — you have the benefit of climate and sunshine to modify or decrease transmission.

Learn more about the risks and benefits of everyday activities.

Colorado logged 33,352 COVID-19 cases
as of July 1, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Throughout the state, 5,527 people have been hospitalized. There have been 1,521 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,701 deaths of people who had the disease but whose deaths may have been attributed to another cause.

El Paso County continued to see an uptick in new cases reported daily that began June 5, with 46 new cases reported July 1 and 35 new cases reported July 2. In all, there have been 2,519 cases reported in the county, 310 hospitalizations and 121 deaths as of July 2, according to El Paso County Public Health.

The U.S. Congress voted June 30 to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.

Less than four hours before the program was scheduled to end, and with more than $130 billion in loan money remaining, the Senate extended the application period through Aug. 8.

The House passed the extension July 1, and the bill is awaiting President Trump’s signature. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) is seeking additional flexibility and relief for small businesses under the PPP program.

The Paycheck Protection Program Extension and Modification Act of 2020, introduced yesterday, would allow businesses that have already received a PPP loan to apply for a second loan. It would also extend the deadline to apply for PPP loans through Dec. 31.

“The Paycheck Protection Program is an essential lifeline for workers and small businesses in Colorado to get through the shutdowns across the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gardner said in a news release.

The bill will allow those who took PPP loans to survive the initial shutdowns to get a second PPP loan "to make it through the new, targeted closures," he said.

The bill text is here.

On July 2, Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Gardner introduced the Timely and Effective Systematic Testing (TEST) Act — sweeping legislation to strengthen the nation’s health preparedness efforts for COVID-19 recovery and future pandemics. The bill requires a plan for diagnostic testing and public health system integration to better detect infectious diseases, prevent outbreaks and avoid future economic shutdowns related to pandemics.

The senators worked with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, to develop this legislation.

“In order to combat COVID-19 and safely reopen our economy at the same time, we need a nationwide, coordinated system to track cases,” Bennet said.  “The TEST Act would help integrate local and federal reporting systems by breaking down current silos to better monitor COVID-19 cases and virus outbreaks. This bill builds on my proposal to create a Health Force to bolster public health infrastructure and train Americans to fight this virus, and would ensure all levels of government have the best systems to report data. The TEST Act will help instill confidence in the economy as we start to reopen.”

The TEST Act:

  • Integrates existing disease detection systems and expands capability to conduct and report rapid and accurate diagnostic tests in order to better prevent the spread of a disease. This includes federal coordination with state, local, tribal, and territorial health officials.
  • Strengthens the nation’s commitment to public health preparedness by making conducting and reporting on rapid and accurate laboratory tests for diseases a top priority within the National Health Security Strategy — the nation’s strategic plan to identify, prevent and address public health threats and other emergencies.
  • Provides grants to state and local public health departments to support testing and reporting capacity.
  • Maintains all health information privacy laws and patient protections.
  • Establishes strict congressional oversight to ensure success.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Top Topics in The Wire

Local Government (8)

Health (6)

Politics (2)

Military (2)

Environment (1)

All content © Copyright 2020, The Colorado Springs Independent

Website powered by Foundation