Colorado Officials Ask Older Residents to Keep Staying Home



Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Feds tell states to share education funding with private schools .... Pennsylvania environmental enforcement down … Weekend fire at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco will devastate the seafood industry.

Public health officials in Colorado warned older residents that they should continue social distancing precautions into the summer months, releasing a new model that shows the state’s hospital capacity to deal with serious coronavirus cases could be overwhelmed by the fall without people taking these steps. “If only half of older adults adopt high levels of social distancing under a 55% social distancing scenario, the state is at risk of exceeding hospital capacity this summer,” says a report by the University of Colorado School of Public Health. What this means is that older people need to reduce their social interactions by more than half, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado’s state epidemiologist. Dr. Jon Samet, dean of the public health school, said the state’s previous mandates requiring people to stay home, which began being gradually lifted this  month, have curbed the spread of Covid-19, the respiratory illness that can be particularly dangerous to older people. But he emphasized that without people continuing to personally limit their movements the intensive care unit beds in hospitals could be overwhelmed. “The most vulnerable need to take measures to protect themselves,” Samet said. [Denver Post; Colorado Sun]

EDUCATION FUNDING | In a letter to state education chiefs, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos emphasized that she expected federal money to help schools pay for coronavirus-related expenses should be shared with private schools. “The CARES Act is a special, pandemic-related appropriation to benefit all American students, teachers and families. There is nothing in the act suggesting Congress intended to discriminate between children based on public or nonpublic school attendance, as you seem to do. The virus affects everyone,” she wrote. [New York Times]

PENNSYLVANIA ENVIRONMENT | Pennsylvania’s agency that oversees environmental enforcement made 37% fewer inspections in the weeks after the state’s coronavirus shutdown than during the same timeframe last year. [Grist]

FISHERMAN’S WHARF FIRE | A fire in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf over the weekend is estimated to have caused millions of dollars in damage. The fire is expected to have a major impact on the city’s seafood industry, as fishermen who account for two-thirds of the city’s fresh seafood stored their equipment there. [San Francisco Chronicle]

VIRTUAL SUMMER | The city of Chicago launched a virtual summer program for kids and teens to provide them with remote activities, events, and art initiatives. “Every young person in Chicago deserves to explore their passions in youth-centered, out-of-school experiences,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. [WBBM]

Laura Maggi is the managing editor at Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.

NEXT STORY: A City Looks to Expand Its Virus Tracing Workforce in Distressed Neighborhoods