Another Tuesday, another #Boulder city council meeting. It was supposed to be a study session, but due to scheduling conflicts, it's now a special meeting.
What does that mean? No open comment, but one public hearing on new rules for micromobility devices (scooters, e-bikes, etc.)

Basically, where they can go (sidewalks, paths, streets).
We've also got our monthly COVID briefing and then two study session items: the Rocky Mountain Greenway and East Boulder Subcommunity Plan
I'll go ahead and share the COVID presentation since we're getting started. You may have seen the headlines that Colorado is in a "fourth wave" of rising cases and hospitalizations.…
The data doesn't look as dire as the headlines, but it's easy to see why cases are rising when you look at this one stat: We're back to pre-pandemic levels of social distancing. (Which is to say, not much.)
Given that so many older adults are vaccinated, the increase in hospitalizations and cases has not led to more deaths — yet.

No deaths so far in April for Boulder County.
I'll let the experts take over from here. Those are just my casual observations as to what's interesting.
Lexi Nolan, the acting exec director of BoCo Public Health, is leading. Reminder that Jeff Zayach, who has been with us for the past year, retired last month.
"We are improving slightly" in terms of new cases, as is our positive test rate. (Back under 5%, which is where we want to be.)

Hospitalizations, however, are a worsening trend, Nolan says.
Another reason for the fourth wave: Variants, which are more transmissable, as Nolan says.

She's really burning through these slides.
All age groups had an increase in cases last week, Nolan says. This week's slowing of new cases has slowed across all age groups, too, according to Nolan. Decreased cases among 18-22 y.o. as well.
Nolan is talking in terms of weeks, which is how the data goes. But slightly unhelpful for you all, since you haven't heard an update in a month.
Testing is decreasing, which is not what we want, Nolan says. People should keep getting tested.

"Testing is really important right now as we see the variants working through the population."
Another reason to get tested: To make sure the case data is accurate.
No deaths in April, Nolan repeats. Only 1 in March. "That's wonderful news."
RE: decreasing social distancing: "People are getting very comfortable," Nolan says. True not only in BoCo, but in Colorado and across the nation.
Why this matters: "If we have significant masking restrictions lifted and policy changes" to reopen things "speedily" Nolan says, deaths WILL increase.
"We can control those additional deaths by delaying and slowing policy changes, just by one month," Nolan says.
That power will soon be in Boulder County's hands, as the state is switching away from controlling and setting policy and transferring that power to counties.
Hopefully someone on council will ask about that and we'll get more data. Haven't had much luck getting interviews or questions answered.
From BoCo Public Health, to be clear. Not council. They're still answering my calls.
"If the vax continue ... and we delay removal of mask mandate ... and we can delay significant dial changes for a month," Nolan says, we can prevent "a large number" of hospitalizations and deaths.
"This is a little bit of a race against the variants."
"Our strategy is to hold things down until mid-May when vax rates are significantly higher," Nolan says.
Trina Ruhland is going over the recent BoCo Public Health orders:
Masks still required indoor — NOT required outdoors, but still recommended
Statewide dial has been adopted by the county
State will "devolve" that on April 15, making it "guidance and not mandatory," as Ruhland says. So BoCo will be on its own — kind of. A multi-county area is adopting "very similar versions of this order locally."
On April 16, "we will most likely move to Level Blue" on the dial, Ruhland says. We will stay in yellow unless cases spike. But right now, "It looks very good for moving to Blue."
What does Blue mean? No restrictions on outdoor events. (You do have to submit plans for 500+ person gatherings to the county health folks, tho)
"On May 16, we will move to Level Clear — our new normal of no restrictions. Things will become guidance instead," Ruhland says.
That will stay in place until Aug. 16. Level Clear will be where we stay UNLESS "we see a large uptick" of hospitalizations, Ruhland says.
Yates q: In order to stay at Level Clear, we have to maintain 2 per 100,000 hospitalizations over 7 days, right?
Yes, Ruhland says.
Right now, 26 residents in BoCo hospitalized, according to data from the county.
Sorry, 24, not 26.
Another Yates q: What changes are there for restaurants under Level Blue vs. Level Yellow?
Ruhland: Outdoor should remain the same for restaurants. Indoor: We will go up to 100% capacity, with 6 ft. between tables. (Currently 50% capacity, up to 150 ppl, with distancing)
Wallach: What happens under Level Clear? And what standards are we using to move into that (and possibly back out of it)
Ruhland: The move to Clear on May 16 is automatic, unless we see an increase in hospital admissions. We'd go back to the normal dial if that happens, using current guidelines.
Second COVID presentation: Vaccinations.…
Just under 30% of BoCo residents are fully vaccinated; a further 23% have received at least one dose. So that's more than half (53%) with some level of protection.
As Nolan said earlier, even a half-dose is good. 80% effective. So please get vaccinated.
To be clear, those vax numbers are % of ELIGIBLE residents. Which is pretty much every adult at this point; a vax for pre/teens may be available in a few months, with younger kids later in the year.
"The point we're at today, it's something to celebrate as a community," says Chris Campbell.
BoCo is slightly above state and national avg. for vaccinations, according to the county.
The goal is 70% of eligible population vaccinated by mid-May with at least one dose, Campbell says. That would be around the time we move to Level Clear.
One of the highest counties in the state in terms of vax uptake, Campbell says.
Some areas of low vaccination: Longmont and CU zip codes, Campbell calls out specifically.
"We have worked very closely with CU," Campbell says. "They are very committed." Will continue to have clinics on campus for staff and students.
All Coloradans have become more willing to get vaccinated in recent months, including Latinx and Black residents. Survey done before vaccines' approval and then again in Feb. 2021
"There's work to be done," Campbell says. BoCo is conducting town halls (20 so far) and various clinics, outreach, etc. to educate folks.
Friend asks about the J&J vaccine being pulled (due to 6 blood clot complications in women): Can we give Pfizer and/or Moderna to ppl in the meantime and hope they come back? But if they don't, oh well... it's still more effective than the J&J one-and-done.
Campbell: We're going to stick with the current guidance that a two-shot regime is best. But if that vaccine doesn't come back online, we'll take another look.

"What we see is they're all incredibly effective vaccines."
Nolen: We receive allocations from the state as first and second doses, so it's difficult to shift. That may change in the future.
Also, Nolen says, it's not a direct comparison between efficacy of the vaccines, because they were tested under dif circumstances. The flu shot, in any given year, has much lower efficacy than any of these three vaccines.
Friend: "I'm not impugning that vaccine." Just asks about strategy.

Points out that oral contraceptives cause blood clots at a higher rate than this vaccine.
Should clarify that I just looked at the Zoom again and saw that Nolen's name is with an E not and A. Apologies for that misspelling in all previous tweets.
Young: Have there been staffing challenges at these vaccine sites? (She's heard from folks that there are.)
Campbell: "I think we're doing OK in terms of staffing, but as we get spread thinner with more and more clinics, it is challenging." We're training volunteers, working with community ambassadors. "We feel OK about it."
Nolen: We are hiring additional nursing staff. "We hear you and we're on it."
That's all for this COVID briefing.
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More from @shayshinecastle

14 Apr
There are some topics that every city reporter in Boulder has to cover at some point. Rocky Mountain Greenway is one of those, and it's up next. My time has come.…
(The other is also topical now, FasTracks, but thankfully I can rely on CPR for excellent coverage of that.)
What is the Rocky Mountain Greenway? A connector from Front Range trails to RMNP.

27 miles of trails built so far in JeffCo, Adams; trail nearly to Rocky Flats
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14 Apr
Next up: East Boulder subcommunity planning. I didn't take notes on this one (sorry!) but here's the presentation.…
I'll try and tweet extra much to make up for this.
Not sure exactly when we last visited this. The most recent thread I have is from Sept. 2019(!)
Read 81 tweets
14 Apr
Next up: Micromobility. Also, which wheels go where? (Scooters, e-bikes, etc. on sidewalks, paths, streets)

Staff presentation…
Counsil last visited this topic in October…
The rules being suggested tonight, if adopted, will go into effect in a couple weeks
Read 50 tweets
7 Apr
Last item is board and commission appointments.

Kevin Mahoney, who was killed in the King Soopers shooting, had a seat on the Beverage Licensing Authority. That seat will be left open for a few months, then filled.
BOZA had a member step down, so a former member will be reappointed.

Council's pick for WRAB could not take the seat (personal reasons) so the sole other applicant will be appointed.
Also on the Beverage licensing Authority, a former member will re-up. But Kevin Mahoney's seat will stay vacant for a bit still; this was a different seat.
Read 8 tweets
7 Apr
So apparently #Boulder's tribal consultation is tomorrow. It's not on any calendars and I didn't get a link; I think in the past only part of it was open to the public.
You can learn more about the tribes on whose land Boulder sits in this presentation:…
Read 17 tweets
7 Apr
OK, this is a revisit of Boulder's lobbying agenda. We last visited this Nov. 17.

You can read my thread here:…
Or, since you probably only care about SB-62, you can read my story on it here. Boulder is the main source of opposition to this; Boulder's lobbyists are certain it will pass anyway.…
If you're interested, you can see a full list of CO bills Boulder is weighing in on here:…
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