Like so much of our society, Colorado’s communities of faith have felt the sharp sting of the coronavirus pandemic.
Denver-area churches, synagogues and mosques report contributions are down in this time of great need, fueled both by their inability to bring people together for large-scale services and the fact that so many of their congregants have seen their own lives upended by the virus’s grave economic toll.
Today, reporter Tiney Ricciardi takes a closer look at how Colorado’s houses of worship are grappling with this threat to their fiscal well-being, which has left some cutting staff and budgets, and others scaling back key community programs.
But there is hope, too, in faith, and metro-area religious leaders are finding innovative ways to connect with their communities remotely, employing high-tech solutions that may well outlast the pandemic itself.
And there is an urgency to stay intact, as one rabbi told Ricciardi, to ensure these houses of worship are there to welcome their congregants back when it’s once again safe.
— Matt Sebastian, senior editor/enterprise
Coronavirus is taking a financial toll on Colorado’s houses of worship. But religious leaders still have faith.
Five in-depth looks at Colorado in the age of coronavirus
Colorado doctors and researchers are studying whether fluids donated by people who recovered from the new coronavirus could give others a better chance of surviving, although one doctor warns that it isn’t a long-term solution.
The experimental treatment involves giving plasma — the liquid part of blood — from COVID-19 survivors to people who are seriously ill from the new coronavirus. The idea is that the antibodies in the survivors’ plasma will give a boost to sick patients’ immune systems. Different antibodies react to a specific type of virus, bacterium or toxin, and some can neutralize their target, while some signal other immune cells to eat the invader. Read more from Meg Wingerter
Of the more than 350 bills left on the vine when Colorado paused its legislative session March 14, perhaps none is more relevant now than the one that attempts to tighten vaccine exemptions in an effort to boost the state’s worst-in-the-nation child immunization rates.
“I think it couldn’t be more clear now that vaccinations save lives, ensure the ongoing health of the community,” said Republican state Sen. Kevin Priola of Brighton, a sponsor of the bill. “And we see the role that prevention plays in keeping our economy strong.” Read more from Alex Burness
As coronavirus deaths become political flashpoint, Colorado changes how COVID-19 fatalities are publicly reported
Colorado’s health department changed the way it publicly reports coronavirus deaths Friday, introducing a second category of fatalities after its methods came under scrutiny — including by a state representative who’s calling for the agency’s chief to be investigated.
How COVID-19 deaths are counted has become politically divisive, with critics claiming the numbers are inflated and medical experts saying deaths may actually be undercounted. Still, the number of deaths is a crucial data point that informs public understanding of the pandemic’s severity and health officials’ response to the crisis. Read more from Jessica Seaman and Alex Burness
A Colorado nursing home devastated by coronavirus ordered PPE that never arrived. FEMA got blamed, and things got messy.
On April 24, Shelly Griffith received some bad news via email.
The CEO of the Eben Ezer Lutheran Care Center outside Fort Morgan desperately needed more personal protection equipment, including gowns, masks and sanitizing wipes, which she expected to arrive that week in a nearly $15,000 order being shipped from China. Read more from Sam Tabachnik
Its spring seasons canceled at the end of April by the coronavirus pandemic, the Colorado High School Activities Association is already looking ahead to what it can to do resume athletics and activities next school year.
To that end, the association has created a task force to discuss when, if and how those programs can return to high schools throughout the state. Read more from Matt Schubert
A few more important stories from the past week
+ 125 Colorado breweries are all making the same beer to raise money during the pandemic
+ The near future of Colorado’s restaurants could depend on our biggest asset: the outdoors
+ Frodo Baggins for president? Colorado argues electors’ freedom before U.S. Supreme Court
+ Colorado universities coming to aid of undocumented students, others not eligible for federal coronavirus stimulus
+ Camping can resume at Colorado state parks. Here’s what you need to know.
+ Antisemitic incidents in Colorado continue to rise as attacks against American Jews reach all-time highs, new report shows
+ More symptoms, no slam-dunk drugs: What we now know — and still don’t know — about the coronavirus
+ Coloradans recovering from addiction fight isolation during coronavirus pandemic
+ Colorado water roller coaster leads to drought, fire risk and weaker-than-average streamflow
+ What might college in Colorado look like this fall? Mix of in-person and online, single dorm rooms, spread-out desks
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