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Colorado Edition: A Different Kind Of Outbreak

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Today on Colorado Edition: We explore how mask mandates are impacting companies across the state, and how they’re impacting tourist economies like Estes Park’s. Plus, we hear about the of role social media in small town communities, an outbreak of trench fever in the Denver metro area, and how COVID-19 pool testing works – and why Colorado won’t be doing it.

Mask Mandates And Colorado Companies

Last week, Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide mask mandate, announcing that face coverings will be required for anyone over the age of 10 to enter a public indoor space in Colorado. But he has largely left enforcement of the order up to individual businesses, towns and counties.   

Lucas High from BizWest spoke to us about what impact the mask mandate will have on Colorado companies.
 
A Conversation With The Mayor Of Estes Park

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise across the Colorado. State public health officials have warned about potential spread from out-of-state visitors, who may not be familiar with mask mandates like the one Colorado has. This is especially of concern in towns that bring in a lot of tourists — like Estes Park, known for being the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. To hear about how Estes Park is dealing with tourism during a pandemic, we spoke to the town’s mayor, Wendy Koenig.

Divisive, Yet Important: Social Media In Rural Communities

Morgan County currently has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 cases in Colorado. And as cases in this rural county on the Eastern Plains continue to grow, so does membership in a closed, county-wide Facebook group. Social media can play a critical role in informing, supporting and connecting smaller communities. But as KUNC’s Adam Rayes reports, it can also be a divisive platform.

Trench Fever Outbreak

Four cases of “trench fever” have been identified in Colorado since January. All four cases were found in people experiencing homelessness in the Denver area. Markian Hawryluk has reported on this outbreak for Kaiser Health News and joined us to discuss what he’s found so far. You can read Markian’s reporting on trench fever here.

How COVID-19 Pool Testing Works

COVID-19 testing facilities across the nation are experiencing backlogs and supply-chain shortages. One way to speed up testing and save resources is to pool samples. But the Colorado state health department says they’re not doing that. Our summer science fellow, Seré Williams, joined us to explain why.

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. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • "Fifteen Street" by Little Rock

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.

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Stories written by KUNC newsroom staff.