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Seniors, health care workers and other high risk workers in El Paso County will start receiving COVID-19 booster shots this week, amid a somewhat disjointed roll out of the next round of coronavirus prevention.  

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s embattled plan to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans faced its first major hurdle Friday as a government advisory panel met to decide whether to endorse extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

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There are now more students reading, writing and studying at the University of Colorado Boulder than there were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university announced Wednesday. 

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After a pandemic year, students across Colorado and the country share Duran’s struggles in figuring out a return to college life. And Colorado State University administrators share in the challenge other college leaders face trying not just to integrate those students this year, but also address the pandemic’s lasting impacts. 

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Gov. Jared Polis announced Thursday that students who get tested through the state’s free school COVID testing program will be eligible for a $25 gift card for the first test and $10 for each subsequent test. In addition, participating schools will get $2.50 for each test administered and reported to the state public health department.

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As cases of COVID in young children rise steeply, Colorado public health officials say it’s important to test all students and staff weekly to help reduce disease transmission. Colorado has allocated $173 million of federal relief money to provide schools with free rapid tests and help in setting up testing programs.

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The lack of school nurses is more severe than usual because of the fierce competition in the job market. “What we’re dealing with now is the shortage of human resources,” said Robin Greene, the director of nursing services for Denver Public Schools. 

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Wednesday it will provide an additional $7.6 million in public assistance funding to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for its COVID-19 response efforts.

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Five days after their peers in Douglas County made a similar move, Adams County commissioners voted Tuesday morning to opt out of a public health order requiring younger students and their adult staff be masked. But unlike Douglas County, the Adams County officials criticized the order's ability to let counties opt out at all.

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“I know that some people were waiting for full FDA approval to get vaccinated, and now that day is finally here and you can start the protection clock today,” the governor said in a release. 

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Patient volume at Children's Hospital Colorado has spiked in recent weeks, thanks to a combination of COVID-19 and unusually high rates of another respiratory illness typically seen in the winter. Officials with the hospital said they're concerned about the situation, particularly as schools reopen.

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The Tri-County Board of Health delayed its vote on whether to institute a mask mandate in area schools Monday night, after a wave of public comment and more than 90 minutes of deliberations.

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In accordance with the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Park Service will be requiring employees, the public, and contractors to wear a mask while inside of all National Park Service buildings, as well as in crowded outdoor areas managed by the department. This new mandate applies regardless of vaccination status and local transmission levels of COVID-19.

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Bioscience company Beckman Coulter Life Sciences will expand its footprint in Loveland with a new research and development building near the Colorado Regional Airport and almost 100 new employees.