New Bites – January 13, 2022

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*Total COVID-19 cases: 58,871 (+5,780)

Total cases in Burgdorf: 2,697 (+276)

Death: 412 (+7)

7-day case rate per 100,000: 1,429 (+627)

Hospital utilization: 81%

Use of intensive care: 98%

7-day test positivity rate: 21.8%

Risk Score: High

Hospitalized COVID patients: 86 (+23)

15.94% of Larimer County’s population is believed to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus represent 0.70% of reported cases. Of the reported deaths, 25% were between the ages of 75 and 84, 21% were between the ages of 65 and 74, and 38% were between the ages of 85 and older. Twenty-five people from the county between the ages of 18 and 54 have died.

As of Monday, January 10, 589,156 vaccine doses have been administered in Larimer County. 77.5% of eligible county residents received at least one dose of the vaccine.

* Case data as of Wednesday.

On Monday, January 10 at approximately 2 p.m., the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a report from a suspicious white male at Family Dollar located at 8099 6th Street in Wellington. The man fled in a van after deputies arrived and a vehicle chase was initiated. The chase ended at East Mulberry Street and Interstate 25 at around 2:24 p.m. Initial reports said a deputy fired his weapon, striking the adult male suspect. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. The man was the only person in the suspect vehicle. No MPs were injured.

The Eighth Judicial District’s Critical Incident Response Team has been activated to investigate the shooting involving an officer.

The freeway was closed and traffic was diverted onto I-25 during the incident and subsequent investigation.

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City Star Brewing of Burgdorf is bringing artist Gamma Acosta back to town for this week’s Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition. Four years ago, City Star commissioned Gamma to paint “All In at City Star” in the tavern’s beer garden. The mural was created entirely freehand, using only spray cans on the 700 square foot concrete canvas. Gamma’s work is a hallmark of the decade-old craft brewery, admired by regulars and newcomers alike.

In the Colorado Snow Sculpting Competition, Gamma Acosta leads the team Frio Trio with Colorado-based tattoo artist Thyris Rodney. Together, they will sculpt one of Fickel Park’s 12 giant snow cylinders. Gamma’s experience in snow sculpting includes a snow sculpture he sculpted and spray painted for his 95-year-old grandmother to see through the window.

The snow sculpting event is part of the Burgdorf Snowfest and culminates on Saturday 15th January. The winners will compete in the US National Snow Sculpting Championship in Wisconsin.

For more information on the event, visit facebook.com/CoSnowSculptingChampionship.

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The U.S. Department of Education announced a 90-day extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through May 1, 2022. The extension will allow the Biden administration to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on student borrowers and to provide additional information. time for borrowers to plan for the resumption of payments and to reduce the risk of non-payments and defaults after the restart. The Department will continue its work to ensure a smooth transition for borrowers to repayment, including improving student loan servicing.

The pause on student loan repayments will help 41 million borrowers save $5 billion a month. Borrowers are encouraged to use the extra time to ensure their contact information is up-to-date and to consider enrolling in income-based e-debit and repayment plans to support a smooth transition to repayment. More information can be found on StudentAid.gov.

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In April 2021, the cities of Burgdorf, Johnstown, Mead and Milliken began working together to ensure better internet services for residents and businesses. At this point, the four cities have opted out of Senate Bill 152 (a bill that limits a local government’s power to provide or participate in the provision of advanced services, telecommunications services, cable television and/or broadband services) during their local municipal elections, completely opening up the possibility for each city to explore broadband opportunities. Berthoud specifically withdrew from SB 152 on November 3, 2020.

In October 2021, officials from the four cities received the results of the public survey with over 1,700 responses. This survey noted that area residents were limited in choice of broadband providers, area residents experienced (on average) slower upload/download speeds than the national average, and area residents and companies viewed broadband as an essential service. The study also determined that cities’ best option for broadband improvements is to partner with a new or existing broadband provider who will fund broadband improvements in all four cities. This option will have no financial impact on cities and should speed up public availability. Finally, the study identified three strong candidates to potentially provide broadband service in the four-city area.

The City of Burgdorf continues to work with the cities of Johnstown, Mead and Milliken to assess the three recommended vendors and opportunities for our region. Burgdorf’s board and staff consider improved broadband accessibility a priority as we approach 2022 and are working with the three cities to determine which option provides reliable, quality broadband service in our communities.

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Snowshoe walks led by Rocky Mountain National Park rangers will resume in January on the east and west sides of the park. Programs will be offered weekly, conditions permitting, until March 2022.

These programs last approximately 2 hours and are open to visitors ages 8 and up and at all levels of experience. Beginner snowshoers are welcome. There is no additional charge beyond the regular park entrance fee to participate.

On the east side of the park, starting Tuesday, January 18, ranger-guided snowshoe walks will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call 970-586-1223. Reservations can be booked up to 7 days in advance. Snowshoe walks usually fill up quickly, especially if the weather is expected to be warm and sunny. Snowshoes are not provided. Program participants will need to bring their own snowshoes or rent them from outside the park.

On the west side of the park, starting Saturday, January 22, ranger-guided snowshoe walks will be offered on Saturdays at 1 p.m. A ticket is required to participate. This free ticket can be picked up on the day of the walk at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Snowshoes are provided for use during the guided program.

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FEMA has approved more than $19 million in additional public assistance funding for the COVID-19 response in Colorado. The assistance was made available through a major disaster declaration issued on March 28, 2020. To date, FEMA has provided more than $1.6 billion in public assistance for the COVID-19 response from Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received $19,031,090 to contract communications services to educate the public about the COVID-19 vaccine. Assistance included translation and language services, media campaigns for information dissemination, temporary staff, disease modeling, general supplies and equipment, and contractor support for modeling efforts, assessments behavioral and advice/guidance.

For the COVID-19 response, FEMA has simplified the public assistance application and funding process to accommodate the scale of this event and to enable local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly. These refunds play a vital role as state, tribal and local authorities work tirelessly to help their communities.

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