Longtime Colorado Springs fitness center shutters one of two locations | El Paso County Economic Indicators

A longtime Colorado Springs fitness center is shutting down one of its two locations, citing a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accolade Fitness announced on its Facebook page that its gym at 1785 S. 8th St. on the west side will close Sunday; that facility will be consolidated with Accolade’s location at 4390 Arrowswest Drive in northwest Colorado Springs, which will remain open.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unsound economic environment for our business,” Accolade owner Duane Johnston posted on Facebook. “We have been struggling for the past few months to operate two formerly thriving gyms.

Voluntary compliance urged as businesses expected to feel the pinch of new coronavirus restrictions

“By reducing our overhead costs into one gym only, we are confident that we can once again flourish and offer our members and guests the gym/fitness environment that they deserve,” he said.

Johnston, who launched Accolade in March 2009, and other company officials couldn’t be reached for additional comment.

The closing of Accolade’s west-side location comes as El Paso County moved Friday to a stricter set of capacity restrictions for several businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay open or close for good? Decisions weigh heavily on Colorado Springs restaurants and retailers

Gyms and fitness centers that had been operating at 25% capacity or 50 people are limited to 25% capacity and 25 people indoors, or groups of less than 10 outdoors.

Accolade’s website and Facebook page lay out options for members seeking refunds or who want to transfer to the Arrowswest facility. The business also plans an auction of fitness equipment Dec. 2 at the 8th Street location.

24 Hour Fitness closes one Colorado Springs location as part of bankruptcy filing

Accolade joins other fitness centers and gyms that have closed locations this year in Colorado Springs, also citing financial troubles because of the pandemic.

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Colorado governor quarantines after mayor tests positive

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is quarantining himself after learning that Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman tested positive for the coronavirus over a week after they appeared with other officials at a press conference, a spokesperson for the governor said Sunday.

In a statement, spokesperson Maria De Cambra said Polis would quarantine while waiting to hear from health officials investigating who else may have been exposed to the coronavirus about whether he should continue to isolate himself.

“He will be under quarantine until the health investigation is completed and he is informed. This is just another reminder of the need to cooperate with contact tracers, quarantine when needed, wear masks, social distance, and if you have any symptoms get tested,” she said.

Coffman, a Republican who previously represented a suburban Denver district in Congress for five terms, announced his diagnosis Sunday on Twitter. He said he came home from work Thursday morning not feeling well, thinking he had a very mild cold, but worked at home to be on the safe side. He said his symptoms cleared by Saturday and he got a rapid coronavirus test done on Sunday, assuming it would clear him to go to back to the office and resume his schedule.

“Unfortunately, the results of the test were positive. I will have to quarantine at home,” Coffman said.

Coffman and Polis attended an outdoor press conference on Oct. 15 to promote Colorado’s mail ballot system, which Coffman helped administer as secretary of state during the 2008 presidential election. Polis’ partner, Marlon Reis, current Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Denver Clerk Paul Lopez and state Sen. Julie Gonzales also spoke at the event. They stood staggered on a sidewalk near a ballot drop off box and each wore a mask until taking their turn to speak at the microphone.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises anyone who has been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to quarantine for two weeks. The risk of spread is considered lower outdoors.

Coffman’s diagnosis came on the same day as Colorado launched a statewide COVID-19 exposure notification system, in partnership with Google and Apple, that allows people to get smartphone notifications if someone they were near has tested positive for the virus. Users have to sign up to get notifications and users’ locations and identities will not be tracked, an announcement from Polis’ office said.

Citing a steady increase in Colorado’s coronavirus hospitalizations, state health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties. The state is at risk of exceeding the peak in hospitalizations seen in April by mid-November, according to a modeling report released the same day by the state health department and the Colorado School of Public Health.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems

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Colorado limits more gatherings as COVID cases spike

DENVER (AP) — Citing a steady increase in Colorado’s coronavirus hospitalization caseload, state health officials announced new limits Friday on personal gatherings of people from different households in more than two dozen counties.

An amended state health order affecting 29 of the state’s counties limits personal gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households. Gatherings of up to 25 people were previously permitted in those counties, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Personal gatherings in 30 other Colorado counties were already restricted to 10 people. No new limits were imposed for five counties with lesser caseloads.

The Department of Public Health and Environment said it took the action after investigators determined that COVID-19 cases associated with social gatherings and community exposure had been more common since July.

“We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the department’s executive director.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis appealed to residents to help stem what he called an alarming acceleration of new cases and hospitalizations. Upward trends in new confirmed cases and hospitalizations could strain hospital intensive-care capacity in December, the Democratic governor said.

There are roughly 1,800 intensive-care beds statewide for all health emergencies. More than three-quarters of those beds were occupied for all reasons over the week leading up to Monday, the state health department said.

The state reported 458 virus hospitalizations Friday. Health officials reported there were nearly 20 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents Friday, one of the highest, if not the highest, recorded rates of the pandemic.

More than 2,000 people have died of the virus in Colorado, which has reported more than 85,000 positive cases. The number of cases is probably higher because of a lack of testing and other reasons.

The coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

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Colorado resident, 20, with ‘mild’ coronavirus case later develops rare condition: officials

A 20-year-old Colorado resident who battled the novel coronavirus later developed a rare but serious condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), according to local health officials in the state. 

The resident, of Boulder County, suffered only mild symptoms of COVID-19 and “appeared to have fully recovered,” said county officials in a news release. But three weeks later, the resident fell ill once more — this time with “severe abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, and fever,” all of which are signs of MIS-C. 

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the condition among adults, drawing on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A). (iStock)

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the condition among adults, drawing on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A). (iStock)

Since the pandemic began, there have been various reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome, but most cases have occurred in children, which is known as MIS-C.

The syndrome is an inflammatory condition that is similar to Kawasaki disease, which causes swelling in arteries throughout the body. Many children with MIS-C — which causes inflammation in the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs —  have either been infected with the novel coronavirus or had been exposed to someone with a COVID-19 infection, health officials have sad. MIS-C can also cause persistent fever, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, among other symptoms such as a red tongue and eyes.


However, earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the condition among adults, drawing on reports of 27 adult patients to describe a new, similar condition known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A).

“Findings indicate that adult patients of all ages with current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop a hyperinflammatory syndrome resembling MIS-C,” the authors wrote at the time, adding that measures to limit COVID-19 spread may help prevent MIS-A.


The Colorado patient required hospitalization and intensive care before they improved and were eventually discharged from the hospital. However, “while most young adults experience mild symptoms from COVID-19,” officials warned, “this case is an example of how the disease can progress and how little is known about the long-term impacts of the illness.”


“I hope sharing the information about this patient’s experience will help others to better understand how serious COVID-19 can be, even for young people,” said Dr. Heather Pujet, an infectious disease doctor at Boulder Community Health, in a statement. “The patient became extremely ill very quickly with multi-organ system involvement; they fortunately recovered after a period of severe illness. However, this should serve as a warning for the younger people in the community to please not disregard their own personal risks with COVID-19.”

“Much remains unknown about how this condition develops, but it’s related to the body’s attempts to fight an invader,” added Dr. Sam Dominguez, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s

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Colorado Among States With Lowest Childhood Obesity Rates

Colorado is among U.S. states with the lowest rates of childhood obesity, says a new study released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to this year’s State of Childhood Obesity report, about 1 in 7 children nationwide are considered obese — or about 15.5 percent.

At No. 45 in the nation, our state falls lower than the U.S. average. This year’s report says roughly 10.9 percent of Colorado children ages 10 to 17 are considered obese.

“Childhood obesity remains an epidemic in this country,” Jamie Bussel, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in a release. “We must confront these current crises in ways that also support long-term health and equity for all children and families in the United States.”

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The focus of this year’s report, according to a release by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is prioritizing childhood health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In the study, researchers say the pandemic and ongoing economic recession have worsened many of the broader factors that contribute to obesity, including poverty and health disparities.

Emerging research links obesity with increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including among children. Evidence from other vaccines also has led some experts to predict that a COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective in those with underlying medical conditions such as obesity.

The pandemic also exacerbates conditions that put children at risk for obesity.

School closures have left millions of children without a regular source of healthy meals or physical activity. In addition, millions of caregivers have lost income or jobs, making it more difficult for families to access or afford healthy foods.

To determine the most recent childhood obesity rates, the foundation used data from the 2018-19 National Survey of Children’s Health, along with information collected through a separate analysis conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The report also highlights the obesity rates in younger children, high school students and adults. Here’s a look at how Colorado rates:

  • Children ages 2 to 4 (participating in WIC — the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program): 8.1 percent, or 50 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • High school students: 10.3 percent, or 43 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Adults: 23.8 percent, or 49 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Adults with diabetes: 7 percent, or 50 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

  • Adults with hypertension: 25.8 percent, or 50 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Here are a couple findings of note from this year’s report:

  • Childhood obesity is more prevalent in children of color: About 11.7 percent of white children are considered obese. Rates are significantly higher for Hispanic (20.7 percent), Black (22.9 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (28.5 percent), and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander (39.8 percent) children.

  • Income also

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Colorado Announces Its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan | Colorado News

By PATTY NIEBERG, Associated Press/Report for America

DENVER (AP) — Colorado on Friday released its distribution plan an approved coronavirus vaccine when it becomes publicly available as the state faced a deadline to submit it to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The distribution plan prioritizes three groups of people for the order in which people in those groups will be eligible to get vaccines. The first group of recipients is broken down into three levels of prioritized people and the second has two levels.

In the first phase, the priority recipients will be assisted living facility workers, home health care workers and outpatient pharmacists. Next are police officers, firefighters, public health workers and corrections staff. The third level of vaccine recipients are nursing home and assisted living patients.

During the second phase, vaccines will be given to homeless people living in shelters, adult group home residents, workers such as ski industry and agricultural employees who share living spaces, students living in dormitories, essential workers such as grocery store workers, teachers and child care workers and employees of businesses such as the meat-packing sector where workers are in close proximity to each other. In the second part of this phase, people who are over age 65 or have certain health risks will get vaccines.

When all of those people have been given an opportunity to get the vaccine, the final phase starts with vaccine distribution to adults ages 18-64.

Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly — two companies working on separate COVID-19 vaccines — reported they were pausing clinical trials of the vaccine because of safety concerns.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that the company’s announcements highlight the uncertainty over the timing for when a vaccine will be ready and which company will have one approved for widespread public use.

“What we do know is we won’t initially get enough doses to cover the entire population and the people of Colorado deserve to know the process of how those initial doses will be prioritized,” Polis said.

Colorado is experiencing its biggest rise in coronavirus since late May — with over 1,000 newly confirmed cases in three days and more than 350 hospitalizations over the last week.

Polis estimated that about one in every 260 Colorado residents is infected with the coronavirus and urged residents to social distance and wear face coverings.

The spike lead Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to announce stricter city mask mandates and to limit group gatherings from 10 to five.

Masks were previously required for people inside public places but must now be worn outdoors, with exceptions for people outside alone or with people from their own households.

City officials warned tighter restrictions could be imposed on businesses and indoor and outdoor activities if the upward COVID-19 trends continue.

Hancock called the coronavirus trends in Denver concerning and added that the increase in average daily cases is “higher than we’ve ever been over the course of this pandemic.”

The new measures

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