Hello and good morning, folks. In case you weren’t quite sure, it is, in fact, Monday morning. How was your weekend? Did you spend it in line outside a grocery store like it was a hot night club or making your own facemask (with or without sewing) or getting creative with your pantry? No matter how you spent it, I hope you either got some much-needed rest from your job if you’re still working or figured out how to make it feel a little special if you’re on pause.
The Sun had a busy weekend, including publishing a major investigation into Colorado’s nursing homes, so let’s just cut to the chase.
Let’s sew buttons on this headband, shall we?
Layoffs and furloughs are hitting local news in Colorado and around the country. If you and your family are stable, you can help keep news flowing when it’s needed most by becoming a member of The Colorado Sun for as little as $5 a month. Click here to show your support.
CORONAVIRUS IN COLORADO
- AT LEAST 28 NEW DEATHS OVER THE WEEKEND: El Paso and Weld counties are now each reporting more than 20 deaths. Jefferson and Denver counties are close behind with more than 15 deaths each. >> STORY
- MAP: While the urban counties continue to see the most deaths, looking at our map, you can see that the number of deaths has started to move into rural areas like Montezuma and Garfield counties. >> MAP
- WEAR A MASK: Gov. Jared Polis has asked all Coloradans to wear cloth-based masks when they leave home. Why? Mostly to protect other people in case you’re a carrier, but also to block large infected particles. Here are guidelines (including the fact that you need to wash your hands immediately after and wash your mask). >> STORY
- WORKER IN STATE’S EMERGENCY CENTER TESTS POSITIVE: A worker in the space where Gov. Polis briefs members of the media tested positive for coronavirus, but emergency staff said the worker did not interact with the governor or media. >> STORY
- LARGE DISTRICTS CANCEL IN-PERSON SCHOOL: For the rest of the year, Denver, Jeffco, Douglas County, Cherry Creek, Aurora and most other urban districts have canceled in-person learning through the end of the year. >> STORY
In one senior care facility in Greeley alone, at least six people have died of COVID-19 complications. And a major investigation by The Colorado Sun revealed that nearly one-third of the state’s deaths through Friday were among residents of nursing homes and senior centers. Jesse Paul, Jennifer Brown and John Ingold have more, including how they found these numbers and why there could be many more unreported fatalities. >> STORY
Colorado unveils plan for how doctors will decide who receives life-saving coronavirus treatment — and who doesn’t
From John Ingold’s story, which includes some explanation of the new standards:
Here’s a hypothetical scenario that, very soon, may not be hypothetical at all in Colorado: Two patients arrive at a hospital emergency room, both gravely sick from the new coronavirus, both needing a critical-care bed.
But, in the crush of patients, there’s only one bed available. So, who gets it?
On Sunday, a special committee of Colorado doctors and public health experts unveiled their plan for how hospitals will make that decision as they fill up with patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. >> STORY
Colorado’s efforts to scale up PPE production are being tangled in federal red tape, certification process
It’s no secret — personal protective equipment is the most valuable resource for front line workers. And as supply chains get muddled with federal intervention, Colorado manufacturers and makers are trying to make what we can. Moe Clark has the story on who is already working, where the shortages are and why regulations are keeping some of the new materials out of the hands of those who need them. >> STORY
How the closure of two Vail restaurants shows coronavirus’ domino effect on the food-service economy
“We are OK for a while, but I’m not sure who can hang on for four months or six months or whatever.”
Matt Morgan, owner of the Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard restaurants in Vail Village
The coronavirus pandemic is exposing not just shortcomings in America’s health care system, but also just how deeply interdependent the different parts of Colorado’s economy are. Jason Blevins has a deep look at Vail Village and how agriculture, tourism, dining and more are cross-connected — and what people fear about an extended shutdown. >> STORY
“If it gets into the prison systems, I don’t know how they’re going to control it.”
Becky Trammell, Ph.D., associate dean of Metropolitan State University
- “PIECEMEAL” CORONAVIRUS APPROACH IN JAIL: From The Colorado Trust: There are about 20,000 adult prison inmates in Colorado (1/5th of them older than 60). Daliah Singer has more on the lack of a blanket guidance on how to prevent infection. >> STORY
- NEW POLICIES TO PROTECT GRADES FOR STUDENTS: Some students are struggling with online learning, so districts are working to make sure that GPAs don’t crash this semester. Erica Breunlin has more. >> STORY
- CLOCK TICKING FOR CITIZEN BALLOT MEASURES: There isn’t much time left to get ballot measures on the November ballot, but gathering signatures isn’t exactly feasible during coronavirus. John Frank has more on what the rules say. >> STORY
- ABORTION-LIMITING MEASURE FALLS SHORT — FOR NOW: The group pushing a proposal to ban abortions after 22 weeks doesn’t have enough signatures to get on the ballot, but has time to get more. >> STORY
- AUTHORITIES ACCUSE STEPMOM OF LYING IN 11-YEAR-OLD BOY’S DEATH: A new court document shows that authorities believe Letecia Stauch killed her stepson Gannon Stauch and then concocted a variety of stories to mislead investigators. >> STORY
The Opinion Page
Columns from around the state.
- Columnist Diane Carman on mail-in voting: “Colorado, the ‘gold standard’ in safe, accessible voting must lead the way for the nation”
- Columnist Mario Nicolais: “As Holy Week begins, we are not lost or alone in the wilderness”
- Columnist and attorney Craig Silverman: “How could America be so inept in the coronavirus times? It starts at the top”
- Denver Board of Education treasurer Angela Cobián: “Do what’s best for all Coloradans by protecting our immigrant community”
- Communications consultant (and former spokesman for Colorado’s health insurance exchange) Luke Clarke: “Looking beyond COBRA for health coverage in the days of the coronavirus”
WRITE ON, COLORADO
Stories, thoughts and essays from authors, thinkers and readers like you.
Head to coloradosun.com/writeon to see all of our Write On entries and get instructions on how to submit your own.
- Metro State assistant professor Steve Krizman: “Amid the coronavirus shutdown, I went on a walk for sanity. I got a dose of reality.” (Editor’s note: This was one of the most popular links on coloradosun.com this weekend.)
- Denver’s Nicky Lee on having to say goodbye to her father via FaceTime: “Selfishness during a pandemic may have killed my father. It shouldn’t have ended this way.”
- Boulder’s Trevor Yčas: “After the pandemic’s pain, we’ll be presented with incredible possibilities”
- Westminster’s Hannah Miller: “The coronavirus has given birth to new social phenomena. I made a list.”
- Writer Maddy Butcher of Mancos: “Even with orange juice, the coronavirus has turned my thought process into a baggage carousel”
- Denver’s Janet Tamaren: “When I got the flu in 1968, I had no idea how deadly it was. Maybe that was good.”
- Telluride Daily Planet associate editor Suzanne Cheavens has the first of several poems in today’s batch: “Every day I wake up and think, ‘Oh, yeah. This is is still happening.’”
- George Wallace of Fort Collins with some long-form verse: “The birds remind us that even in times like this, the natural world is all around”
- Colorado Christian University professor Susan Delaney Spear with the blues: “Colorado Covid Blues”
The Colorado Report
THE BEST JOURNALISM FROM IN AND AROUND THE STATE
// “Big T” aka Rev. Terrance Hughes, the Denver pastor who contracted COVID-19, is still fighting for his life, according to The Colorado Independent, but doctors hope to wean him off a ventilator this week. >> The Colorado Independent
// A Denver-based hedge fund shorted the stock market just before it’s historic plunge and saw 40% gains, in shades of “The Big Short.” >> Business Insider
// DID YOU KNOW that Coors has a well-regarded ceramics business in addition to beer? Coorstek, which helped the brewery stay afloat during Prohibition, is now working to create parts for ventilators. >> 9News
// Faced with shortages of some basics like flour and oats in Grand Junction’s supermarkets, shops like Main Street Bagels are now selling their bulk items directly to consumers (along with their bagel sandwiches). >> CPR News
// Denver has closed down some streets to allow for more space for cyclists and pedestrians to socially distance, and RTD has suspended all fare collection and is letting passengers load via the rear doors to protect drivers. >> Denverite, CPR News
// The federal government is intervening and outbidding states like Colorado which have secured their own ventilator supplies — even as the Trump administration is telling states they are “on their own” for supplies. >> The Denver Post
THE WEST & BEYOND
// Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, said last week that the federal stockpile of ventilators was “our stockpile” (meaning the federal government’s) and not for states, contradicting the stated purpose of the Strategic National Stockpile. In a turn straight out of Orwell, language on the stockpile’s website was changed to match Kushner’s statements. >> Vox
// This is a really good investigation into how the Trump administration, the CDC and other institutions wasted time or just plain failed to act during the crucial first months of the pandemic. >> The Washington Post
// As stay-at-home orders become the norm around the country, an analysis of location data shows that the ability to stay at home and practice baking or setting up a home office is a luxury not available to the country’s poorest citizens. >> The New York Times
We know these are confusing times. If you ever have a question or want to reach out with a tip, send us an email to email@example.com. Readers can be our best eyes and ears as to what’s happening in communities across Colorado.
Stay inside. Stay sane. Stay safe.
See you on Wednesday.