SOUTHERN COLORADO — With so much information being announced daily about the COVID-19 pandemic, here is a review and preview of what is going on in Southern Colorado as it pertains to the virus:
Last week, Pfizer requested emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for use in for children in between the ages of 5-11. The vaccine was approved for children 12 and above on May 10 of this year, and the FDA fully approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in adults on August 23. If the FDA approves the emergency use request, children in that age group could be eligible to receive the vaccine by the end of October.
The FDA approved a new over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid test on October 4. The test is made by ACON laboratories, and it can deliver results in as little as 15 minutes. The company plans to produce 100 million tests a month by the year's end. This move will nearly double the at home testing capacity for COVID-19 in the United States.
Johnson and Johnson request authorization for a COVID-19 booster shot
Johnson and Johnson requested approval for a booster shot if its COVID-19 vaccine. This request comes as COVID cases have begun to decline after a spike in cases due to the Delta variant. While vaccination rates continue to climb, there are still 70 million Americans who remain unvaccinated.
In Colorado 90% of the state's ICU beds are occupied. This is the occupation rate of ICU beds since the beginning of the pandemic. According to data from UCHealth, 95% of those in the ICU with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
Hospitals and schools in Pueblo are limiting services as they face staffing challenges. Parkview hospital is delaying certain elective surgeries due to these shortages and a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Pueblo West High School was forced Thursday and Friday to close its doors to students as they struggle to find staff.
In an executive order signed this week, Governor Polis ended the temporary protections in place for renters. The move will shorten the period renters have to apply for assistance from 30 days to 10. The law does give renters some new rights, including new rules around late fees. State employees may also be disciplined now for refusing to comply with the vaccination mandate from the state.
Looking ahead this week here on News5.
Look out today for a story by Patrick Nelson on a new tactic employed by scammers on apps like Venmo and Zelle. Scammers are 'accidentally' sending money with fake credit cards through these apps, and after they ask you to pay the money back. However, since the credit card is invalid, it is really your money that is being sent back to them.
Air Force hockey play University of Denver Friday, and the state tennis tournament begins in Pueblo on Friday.
The Air Force Academy play their arch-rival the University of Denver in their home opener this Friday. They won their first game of the season 3-2 against Michigan State in overtime.
For tennis fans, the state's tennis tournament begins this weekend in Pueblo.
Chance of snow this week
Southern Coloradans should be on the lookout for potential snow and freeze this week. Residents in the mountains will see a higher chance of snow, but everyone in the Pike's Peak region could be affected by a freeze as winter weather moves into the region later this week.
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