Continued COVID-19 threat

Despite the encouraging news that two promising COVID vaccines are arriving at medical facilities across the nation, the threat of increasing deaths from this insidious pandemic virus will continue at alarming rates for many more months. National health experts predict, because of the tremendous production and logistic challenges, inoculation the US population, it will take until next summer before at least 75% eligible populations will receive the necessary shots.

This week the nation experienced highest infections and death rates since the onset of the pandemic. Over 320,000 people have died from the COVID virus at a stunning rate of 3,000 people per day.

We all must continue to follow the US Center for Disease Control and State and Tri-County Health Departments to continue to wear masks, avoid crowds, adhere to social distancing rules, and wash hands regularly.

The greatest threat to continue rising pandemic infections and death rates is complacency.

Protect yourself and other by wearing a mask and get your shots when available.

In Arapahoe County, the virus has killed over 500 individuals and our medical facilities are approaching capacity, treating severe coronavirus patients.

The pandemic places this nation’s economy at-risk of approaching a serious recession or depression. In Colorado, the hardest segments of the economy, is public facing businesses like restaurants.

To address these challenges, the Governor and the Colorado Department of Health and environment has established a program that will allow restaurants to reopen to indoor dining at a 25% capacity if it can be shown they meet certain conditions. Arapahoe County is currently working with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to authorize implementation of the new Five Star Program. If granted, businesses can apply to receive variances to reopen their dining rooms to reduced capacity operations.

Arapahoe County has also been given federal Cares funding to assist small businesses to cover business losses due to the COVID crisis. Contact the county at www.arapahoe gov.com/cares for information on the program.

While the encouraging news about the COVID vaccines break through, it will take months before they will be available to the public.

It is up to everyone to take personal responsibility to protect yourself and family from getting the virus.

Please wear a mask, stay away from large crowds, and wash your hands regularly. Your life and the lives of you family and others depend on these steps.

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