May 28, 2020 NEWS


Colorado Dept of Education

The Colorado Department of Education released new guidance Tuesday to help school districts prepare to reopen for the fall semester amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but stopped short of confirming in-person classes will happen. The Department of Education looked at approaches by other countries and collaborated with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local superintendents to draft the guidelines. The guidelines cover a range of issues, including how to safely reopen a facility, how to deal with a positive case of COVID-19 and how to properly disinfect shared spaces and supplies.

La Junta pool

The City of La Junta is looking into the practicality of opening up The Wipe Out swimming pool at 1190 US HWY 50. City Manager Rick Klein hopes to hear word on the feasibility of doing so he said, at the city council meeting. But unique challenges are posed by the pandemic that the city will need a game plan for.

Las Animas WildFire

A wildfire that scorched 11,818 acres in southeastern Colorado over the past week is mostly contained thanks to rain and cooler weather. The Cherry Canyon Fire in Las Animas County was 80% contained according to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. Lightning sparked the fire on May 20 in canyonlands about 10 miles northwest of the town of Kim.A spat of rain and hail as well as cooler temperatures helped firefighters control the fire, according to a news release from the division. The county remains under a fire ban, like many other Colorado counties and State fire authorities hope broad fire bans will limit the number of wildfires this season.

Colorado Relief Fund

Last week, Gov. Polis and the Colorado COVID Relief Fund announced the third round of grants given to Colorado organizations working with those who have been impacted by the coronavirus. So far the Fund has distributed $805,800 through 37 grants to organizations serving the Eastern Plains. Grants have been disbursed to organizations located in 56 counties in Colorado. With requests totalling over $56 million, state grants have covered a total of $11 million. The Fund is currently in the fourth round of grant review and will continue taking applications for the fifth round, the deadline is May 30th.


Finney County remaining in phase 1.5

Rural communities in southwestern Kansas have the most positive coronavirus cases in the state. The KS Department of Health and Environment confirms more than 1,400 people have the virus in Finney County. The board voted to keep the county in phase 1.5 until at least the end of this month. Governor Kelly announced this week she’ll lift most COVID-19 orders for Kansas, giving the control back to individual counties. Health experts say the high numbers in places like Finney and Ford Counties, are mostly coming from densely populated work spaces, like the meat packing plants.

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