Good morning and welcome to Montrose Fresh, from The Montrose Daily Press. It’s Wednesday February 3rd and we’re here with local news, events, announcements, and more that matter to us here in Western Colorado.
Today -- Governor Jared Polis announced the state is expanding the vaccination group to incorporate teachers and 65-69 year olds, starting on February 8th.
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But before we begin, -- as of last night search and rescue efforts were continuing for three of four people who were caught in an avalanche on Monday.
According to preliminary information from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, a group skiing in the backcountry triggered a large avalanche from a northeast-facing slope at about 11,500 feet.
Four people were caught, carried away and buried. The group located and recovered one person, who sustained minor injuries, but the other three remained unaccounted for. For the latest on this story visit us at Montrosepress.com.
The state shared a modified timeline for when groups of Coloradans are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference on Friday.
Governor Jared Polis said the prioritization list will likely change as changes occur with the state’s access vaccine and as changes occur with Centers for Disease Control guidance, data and science.
He also said it was an easy decision to say people ages 70-and-up to receive the vaccine first. And about 40% of people ages 70-and-up have been vaccinated already, but the state’s goal is to vaccinate 70% of that group by the end of February.
As healthcare professionals across the state continue to vaccinate people ages 70 and older, Polis announced the state is expanding the vaccination group to incorporate teachers and 65-69 year olds, starting on February 8th.
The vaccination of educators will include teachers, child care workers, paraprofessionals and staff who work in classrooms with children. That process is expected to take two or three weeks.
School districts will be the ones providing staff with details about vaccinations.
For those in the age 65-69 population, the signup process for the vaccine is similar to the process for people ages 70 and older.
They can sign up through a local healthcare provider or local public health agency. While people 65-69 can sign up now, Polis said that will not change the prioritization for people 70 and older. He also noted that when Feb. 8 arrives, vaccination prioritization will be randomized, meaning people who register now are not guaranteed to be one of the first people to be vaccinated.
Finally, Polis noted that essential frontline workers like grocery store workers will be included in a coming expansion scheduled to start through the employers on March 5.
Thanks for listening -- now, we’d like to take a moment today to remember the life of Robert Kerr who passed away at Montrose Memorial Hospital from complications of COVID-19. Bob spent his childhood in Michigan. Right after high school he joined the US Army and served from 1962 until 1965.
He lived in New Mexico, for 28 years and worked at the school doing maintenance and driving the bus, and also at the local Hospital. He then lived in Denver for 15 years before moving to Montrose in 2018 to enjoy the small town life. His favorite mode of transportation was his motorcycle, which he rode almost every day, rain or shine.
He retired in 2005 and loved nothing better than a bike ride and a cappuccino. He was a member of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church of Montrose. He was a humble, gentle, caring man who loved the Lord and made friends with everyone he met. He regularly attended AA meetings and talked easily with struggling people. He will be missed greatly. Thank you for taking a moment today to remember and celebrate his life.
Finally, although the pandemic has required students to adjust to new protocols from wearing face coverings and social distancing, the Montrose High School choirs have used technology to continue sharing their vocal talents. Here they are singing 'Rise Up In Festive Song’
That’s all for today, thank you for listening! For more information on any of these stories visit us at montrosepress.com.
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