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Colorado Edition: The True Toll

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage
The Colorado state Capitol.

Today on Colorado Edition: We hear what Colorado’s new state budget will mean for education and take a look at how school districts are making back-to-school decisions. Plus, we’ll learn about how the COVID-19 death toll is measured, and who might be missing from the count.

The Impact Of Budget Cuts On Education

This week Gov. Polis signed what he says is the most difficult budget in state history because of the impacts of COVID-19. When it goes into effect July 1, Colorado’s public schools will see the biggest hit, with more than $500 million missing from their budgets. KUNC’s Scott Franz reported on what this means for school districts moving forward.

What Will School Look Like In The Fall?

One question that’s been raised a lot over the last few months of the pandemic is what will school look like next fall? As we get closer to the start of a new school year, schools are releasing plans, some of which raise more questions. Erica Meltzer, bureau chief at Chalkbeat Colorado, joined us with some answers.

How The COVID-19 Death Toll Is Measured

Colorado has seen more than 1,400 deaths from COVID-19. But tracking the death toll of something like the coronavirus has its challenges. After all, what if someone dies without knowing they have COVID-19? Or what if someone puts off going to the hospital for a heart attack out of fear of getting the virus? Should those deaths be included in the official tally of the pandemic? 

Markian Hawryluk, the senior Colorado correspondent for Kaiser Health News, joined us to discuss his recent reporting on the COVID-19 death toll.

Weld County Announces New Health Department Director

Weld County has announced a new deputy director for its Department of Public Health and Environment. In a press release, the Weld County board of commissioners said Mark Lawley will manage the day-to-day supervisory operations of the department, while the ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be handled by health department staff with the Emergency Operations Center. Lawley has been serving as the interim deputy director for the past month, since the previous director, Dr. Mark Wallace, retired at the end of May. Colorado Edition recently covered the change in direction at the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment. You can listen back to that special episode here.


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. We get production help from Rae Solomon. 

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 8:30 a.m.

Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.