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Another Tuesday night, another #Boulder city council meeting. Follow along if you've got nothing else to live for.
I imagine my tweets will be lacking their usual zip, because tonight we've got the Marpa House landmarking (yawn) and hemp regulations (double yawn) and the standard COVID update, which will at least be informative if it's not interesting.
Actually it's not fair or accurate to say Marpa House will be a snooze. I read the emails council received, and there was one from a survivor of sexual abuse and assault from within Shambhala, asking them not to landmark a place where so many women and children were raped.
So it's more angst than tiredness that is evoked when I think of it. But like a powerless angst, bc I know it will get landmarked, and I can't imagine how I'd feel if the place where I was raped got landmarked.
So yeah, with that cheery start to the thread, welcome to city council coverage! Everything is awful!
Like this: 43 new cases in long-term care facilities since last week.

BoCo Public Health today, in its announcement that it will lift stay-at-home orders May 9, cautioned that, because we're testing more, case counts are going to climb.
Instead we should be watching hospitalizations, which have remained stable. More on that later.
Some council members have begun using virtual backgrounds. So that gives me a little bit of a chuckle.
Getting started. Nagle is absent.
COVID update is first. Here's the presentation:…
Well, actually, a reminder of the rules first because we have open comment and a public hearing tonight. Should be fun.
Jeff Zayach, head of BoCo Public Health, here. Reminding ppl of the news about the stay-at-home order expiring May 9 and the face covering requirement for anywhere you can't maintain 6 feet of distance. Goes into effect the same day, through May 26.
"There has been a pretty significant debate with face coverings," Zayach says. He will address.
"We have got to the place we're at today bc ppl were willing to follow and support the orders that were in place. I know this has been extremely difficult ... it's been horrible not only from the ppl we've lost but the ppl who have had to endure."
Roughly 4,500 tests in BoCo right now. By next week, Zayach says, we'll be able to graph our total tests per day: 150 per day right now. "That number is increasing pretty significantly."
Will be able to reach our target in the next 6 weeks, Zayach says.
Zayach: "As we test more, we're going to find more positives. .... As many as 1 in 2 ppl are asymptomatic."
BoCo has 26 staff today to help with contact tracing; roughly 21 caseload per person. We need .75 FTE per case (full-time employees)
So maybe the caseload wasn't per person...? Idk.
Anyway, Zayach says we can go up to caseload of 35.
"We know these cases may go up and down in the weeks ahead. Until we have a vaccine, we know we'll be living in the social distancing scenario."
Zayach: "Hospitalizations are stable and they continue to be stable."
"As we go into an environment where we're lifting orders" and have more ppl in stores, etc, "we want to make sure we have social distancing guidelines in place that are really clear" to businesses.
400 biz have engaged with county around this, with Chamber's help. "We are in a very good place," Zayach says. "I feel very confident about that."
RE: face covering order: We're at 75% social distancing. Safer at home is more like 60-65%. "We know from the modeling we can't drop below 50% .... until we have a vaccine."
"So we felt it was important, and I've received a ton of feedback" from ppl saying 'You went too far' and 'You didn't do enough.'

"There is not solid evidence on either side of this and at what level face coverings reduce the amount of spread."
Zayach: "What we do know" is that nearly all health experts agree that face coverings will block the large particles of COVID-19. Very important when you can't maintain 6 ft. of distance.
BoCo, Larimer and Denver county also pursuing face covering orders.

"We feel it's extremely important that we are doing everything we can," Zayach says.
"It's going to be up to all of us to be able to keep the spread under control as we move forward."
"Masks are not a panacea," Zayach says. Don't touch your face; wash your hands, stay 6 ft apart.
"The purpose of the mask is for me to protect you and you to protect me."
I'll share my favorite explanation of this concept. I found it quite convincing.
Moving on to the data: "Lots of effort" in focus on long-term care facilities, Zayach says. Local team working with state.
Zayach: "Once we have cases inside these facilities, it's difficult to control the disease." State is helping test the 50% facilities that *don't* have cases, so they can ID asymptomatic patients so it doesn't spread.
Boulder is now behind Longmont, Louisville and Lafayette in cases per capita.
Most of the local cases are 20-29 y.o. (113 cases) and 50-59 y.o. (110) but hospitalizations and deaths are concentrated among older adults.
"We're seeing more person-to-person" transmission among family members and care facilities, Zayach says.
Racial disparities have persisted and worsened. To address this, community-wide testing in Lafayette is ongoing, Zayach says. "We know the impact is unequal at this point."
We are really flying through this presentation.
Hospitalizations: "We see a pretty steady decline from that peak" in mid- to late April, Zayach says.
Some new slides here on hospital supply availability. "We're ... not seeing any issues that are becoming problematic for the hospitals in our county," Zayach says.
"We really are seeing a sustained decline" in hospitalized patients, Dr. Robert Vissers, BCH CEO says.
Again thanks the community for adhering to orders.
Still huge declines in non-COVID ppl coming to the hospital. 60% fewer cases of stroke/heart attack symptoms in April than usual, Vissers says. That's improving a bit but still indicates ppl are avoiding coming in.
BCH has had 43 COVID patients to date
33 were released
7 died, most from long-term care facilities
Average length of stay: 8 days
But someone just left Sunday who had been there 44 days so.... yikes. Imagine that bill.
10% of admitted patients end up on ventilators, "significantly lower than we're seeing nationally," Vissers says, as is BCH's 25% deaths following ventilation.
No one under 30 years old has been admitted.
Vissers: We're moving toward being able to do 200 tests per day.

"If you have some symptoms and you're concerned you might have coronavirus, please contact a provider" or go to and schedule an appointment.
Wallach asking about transmission rate.
Zayach: "We are not tracking that." Governor is at the statewide level.
Vissers: "I don't think we have enough general testing to tell."

We do track "doubling time" — how many days does it take for population testing positive to double?
It was 1.5-2 days in March, Vissers says. Now we're at 15-16 days, so we can tell it's "significantly slowed."
Apparently I missed that we're getting drive-thru testing soon-ish
Vissers: As we expand capability, testing will become available to those who are asymptomatic, community members and ppl who haven't been referred by providers. I can't tell you when that will happen.
Friend: "I'm sure it's going to feel like beating a dead horse," but does county mask order apply outside?
And therefore trails, streets and sidewalks
Zayach: "If you can't maintain 6 ft of social distancing, that would be the time you would want to wear a mask. That's going to be more important indoors than outdoors."
The likelihood of exposure and risk of transmission passing someone on the street outside, closer than 6 ft, is very low, Zayach says.
"Those fines that are in the order ($5,000 max) are the maximum mandated by statute. We would not obviously want to be putting ppl in jail for not wearing masks."
Zayach: "We're taking a very progressive and forward-leaning social media campaign around masks. We do feel masks are one important tool, but they're not the panacea."
"We want ppl to really take responsibility. That's how we've been successful to this point."
Zayach: "It's going to help our biz stay open, it's going to help us stop the spread of this disease."
Zayach: "If you're on trails and it's tight, we would want ppl to wear masks."
Friend: When will we be reopening restaurants?
Zayach: It won't be before the end of May. The governor's team intends to keep watching data through then.
Young asking about testing criteria.
Vissers: Next step is to extend it to anyone with symptoms in the community. "It's not far from there" where we start testing asymptomatic people.
Zayach: That includes our Latinx population, for example. We're spreading out capabilities geographically as well. Western Boulder County is the most challenging, but we're working on it.
When we move to testing those without symptoms, Zayach says, we'd start with ppl who have had contact with COVID in some form.
Weaver: "I think it's likely we will adopt the county order but keep part of our current order in place" to require facial coverings indoors. Any objection?
Zayach: No. I would support that.
Weaver: How are we going to handle enforcement as we move into safer at home?
Zayach: We'll have to work through this. We're still not sure what all municipalities are doing. County has a centralized call center; we'll figure out how to route reports of violations.
City Attorney Tom Carr weighing in: City has its own email address to report complaints/violations. Carr has been manning that.
Weaver and Zayach clarifying: All retail sales establishments will be open May 9 for customers to go inside.
Weaver: What triggers would cause you to look at going back to stay-at-home orders?
Zayach: "If we started to exceed numbers of daily cases so we couldn't do followup investigations for contact ... or surges in hospitals."

There's an early surveillance system going in place at the end of the week.
"As we start to see things happening in that early warning system," we can break it down geographically and maybe do more targeted enforcement, education, orders, etc.
Learned a new phrase tonight: "ground truth"
As in Zayach saying, "we're in regular contact with our hospitals so we'll be able to ground truth" some of those early warning indicators.
That's all from Vissers and Zayach. We'll move into the city's COVID stuff now.
Brautigam addressing how Boulder will re-open.
From slide 27, a chart of what's open or not. Massage therapists will open May 9, but "non-therapeutic massage" will not.

Is... is that supposed to mean, like, sexy massages? I'm confused.
Boulder as a city is moving to safer at home May 9, then Phase 2 tentatively on June 1, in which some city facilities and services re-open.
The city has a recovery manager! It's Pam Davis. She's talking now.
She is leading 5 different inter-departmental recovery teams, focused on different aspects (operations, finances, equity and I missed the other two)
Amanda Cole, who is the operational recovery lead, is explaining the city's four-phase reopening approach.
We've already been over the first two: phases 3 and 4 include, respectively: reopening facilities and services with restrictions for vulnerable populations, and then "new normal" where public health guidance isn't needed.

Both those are TBD.
Looks like the library will reopen May 18 as a "call
center w/ patron carryout of held items by appointment during limited weekly hours"
Weaver q: We have a county order that more or less says you need a face covering if you can't maintain 6 ft of distance on trails. Will we be changing our signage to reflect that?
Dan Burke, OSMP, field that one: "Absolutely. We are in the process this week of new sign designs."
This applies to multi-use paths as well, obvs. Signs are being installed there, too.
Wallach: Some hair salon workers have asked us not to open up, bc they don't feel safe. How are we balancing those concerns?
Brautigam: We made the decision to go with the governor's order and the county's stay-at-home extension.
"We're not contemplating a new order that would prohibit nail or hair salons from opening," Brautigam says
Wallach: Will we have any special requirements to keep workers safe?
Brautigam: The order does. We're not doing anything above and beyond that.
Except for the face covering requirement.
Brockett: Governor has been very clear that no one can be compelled to go back to work if they feel unsafe, or can't get childcare, etc.
That's the end of the COVID stuff. Heading into open comment now; I'll start a new thread.

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