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Colorado Edition: Separated But Not Separate

Esther Honig

Today on Colorado Edition: We’ll learn about the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado’s nursing homes and in the meatpacking industry. Plus, we'll hear how farmers are impacted by the outbreak. We'll also hear from a local bagpiper, and from a cyclist who had to cancel a round-the-world trip.

Long-Term Care Facilities Hit By Outbreak

Nursing and residential health care facilities have been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Based to available numbers, about 40 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in Colorado have occurred in such facilities. KUNC’s Michael de Yoanna has been looking into this distressing trend, including large outbreaks at care centers in Greeley and Aurora, and he joined us to explain what’s going on, and what’s being done to protect residents.

COVID-19 and Meatpacking

One of northern Colorado’s largest employers temporarily shut its doors this week in an attempt to contain a rapidly growing outbreak of COVID-19. The closure of JBS USA’s Greeley meatpacking plant was directed by state and local public health officials. There have been two deaths and hundreds of workers and their family members have shown symptoms of the disease.  KUNC’s Luke Runyon has been following the developments at the facility and he joined us with the latest.

Bagpiping At The Moon?

In times of distress a quote from Mr. Rogers often comes up: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."

In a recurring segment we're calling "The Helpers," we talk with people doing just that, to find out more about what they're doing — and why. Today's segment is on Bradley Maston, a pastor from Fort Collins who is using music as a way to bring his community together while keeping a safe distance.

KUNC's Stacy Nick produced this segment.

Farming And The Coronavirus

Although larger metro areas so far have been bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s rural areas are not immune. That includes Colorado’s farmers and ranchers, who are concerned about the impact on their livelihoods. On the verge of spring planting, KUNC’s rural and small communities reporter Adam Rayes looked into this industry that relies heavily on not growing too little or too much product to make a profit.

Bike Touring

COVID–19 is disrupting our lives in ways both big and small. There’s the impact to our health and the economy. But it’s also affecting the fun things in life. Weddings, sporting events and long-planned vacations and even round-the-world bicycling trips. Nate Hegyi reports for the Mountain West News Bureau.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs.

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.