Denver Post top stories for Dec. 21-27, 2020

The arrival and distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines in Colorado this month bring the end of the coronavirus pandemic into focus for the first time, even if we may get through much of 2021 before seeing real impacts from widespread immunity.

With that in mind, The Denver Post today begins publishing a series of stories that examine some of the lasting changes COVID-19 is triggering, actions born out of the need to slow the spread of a deadly virus that will remain part of our everyday lives long after the pandemic ends.

We open the Life After COVID series with a look by reporter Jon Murray at what some of things that might well outlast the pandemic, from wearing masks in public when you’re sick to the increased use of videoconferencing in lieu of in-person appointments and meetings. Plus, experts weigh in on what we can learn from the aftermath of the 1918 flu pandemic.

On Monday, business reporter Aldo Svaldi examines how remote work will become the new normal for many employees and businesses. We’ll continue throughout the week with stories on cultural changes, how sports could look different going forward, and what sort of long-term impact the pandemic is expected to have on education.

This year brought great change to Coloradans’ lives, and while 2021 offers the promise of controlling the virus, some of its impacts on society may linger for years to come.

— Matt Sebastian, The Denver Post 

Life after COVID: Some pandemic-induced changes may persist

Colorado’s two In-N-Out locations declared COVID-19 outbreaks as 80 employees test positive

In-N-Out Burger’s two newly opened Colorado restaurants each have active COVID-19 outbreaks with 80 staff members having tested positive for the virus between the two locations, according to state data.

The wildly popular fast-food chain debuted in the state on Nov. 20 with locations in Aurora and Colorado Springs; each now have coronavirus outbreaks among employees, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Read More …

As some counties wait, Summit County reopens scores of restaurants under Colorado’s new Five Star program

Within 24 hours of Colorado announcing a new path to reopening restaurants to indoor diners, Summit County deployed newly minted inspectors throughout its mountain towns to make sure tables were 10 feet apart, registration sheets were ready to go and ventilation systems were pumping fresh air through buildings.

By Monday morning, 134 restaurants in Summit County were approved to reopen their indoor dining areas under new — but more rigorous — guidelines created through the state’s Five Star State Certification Program. Read More…


  • 18 Douglas County restaurants resume in-person dining after receiving Five Star program approval

$64,000 air ambulance tab highlights limitation of Colorado surprise billing law

When a doctor told Toni Stammler her 4-week-old son Milo needed urgent surgery because only one of his lungs was functioning, there was barely time to pack a bag — let alone try to shop around.

An air ambulance carried Stammler and Milo from Montrose to Centennial. Milo did well after the surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Stammler and her husband, Peter, expected their insurance would cover much of the cost, since they’d already spent most of the $10,000 annual out-of-pocket maximum their plan required.

Then the bill came in the mail. It was nearly $82,000. Read More…

Gov. Jared Polis pardons Balloon Boy’s parents, grants clemency to 20 others

Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday pardoned the parents behind the 2009 “Balloon Boy” hoax, saying Richard and Mayumi Heene have suffered enough since claiming their 6-year-old son was trapped inside a silver saucer-shaped helium balloon that had flown away from their Fort Collins home.

Speaking from his Gainesville, Florida, home, Richard Heene told The Denver Post that until Wednesday afternoon, he and his wife hadn’t heard anything about their year-old pardon application. But then he received a call from an unknown number Wednesday, let it go to voicemail and heard the message from the governor’s office. Read More…

Once the king, cash losing a little cachet when it comes to buying a Denver home

Homebuyers who showed up with cash have long had an advantage in beating out the competition, but their grip on the market could be slipping.

Seattle-based brokerage Redfin estimates that 15.2% of all home sales this year in metro Denver went to buyers who paid all-cash, down from their 17.9% share last year and the high of 2012, when one in five home sales went to all-cash buyers. Read More…

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