Post Premium: Our best stories for the week of April 20-26

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, a coalition of Colorado journalists already had been discussing ways to better serve the public by collaborating and sharing stories. Sunday’s 1A story (also featured prominently on our website) is an early result of that effort.

On April 16, reporters from 22 news outlets set out to record what a day was like for Coloradans in the midst of the coronavirus. Stories came in from around the state, stories of hope, kindness, resilience, and yes, fear.  I described in my recent newsletter to all of you the difficulties of reporting and photographing stories while respecting the needs to be distant from others. That was a challenge for this effort, too.

In many cases, we asked the people who agreed to share their days with us to record a video diary that we could use. In other cases, we were able to be there in person.

The project was the brainchild of Eric Gorski, a former Denver Post reporter who is now a managing editor for Chalkbeat, an online news organization focused on education.  Eric also took on the daunting task of writing the story, picking through dozens of submissions to create a narrative about a day in this state.

Organization of the project fell to Laura Frank, a former Rocky Mountain News reporter who went on to become a national leader in online investigative news and, until recently, was vice president of journalism at Rocky Mountain PBS. She is leading the project for the Colorado News Collaborative, or COLab, a nonprofit aimed at supporting and strengthening the state’s news ecosystem.

The stories included in this project are just a tiny, representative sliver of what is going on in Colorado today. Everyone has a story to tell about how they’ve struggled and adapted over the last few weeks and History Colorado wants to capture yours for their archives.

You can learn more about how to submit a written, verbal or video diary here: Learn more and share your story.

— Lee Ann Colacioppo, Editor of The Denver Post

Colorado COVID-19 diaries: A day in the coronavirus pandemic

Journalists from multiple news organizations collaborated to describe life on April 16. Read more…

Colorado Democrats “cautiously optimistic” about “safer at home,” despite concerns over rollout

When some of Colorado’s Democratic lawmakers found out about Gov. Jared Polis’s decision not to extend the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order and instead allow certain types of businesses to soon begin reopening, they were frustrated.

“The biggest concern was we didn’t know what it meant,” Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg said. “I think the governor’s office would be the first to say the governor struck a confusing tone on Monday.”

Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, said the governor was “probably desperate” for positive news, as everyone is, when he announced the shift to “safer at home” at a news conference Monday. The announcement came a day after a protest of the governor’s stay-at-home order at the state Capitol, which may have contributed to the confusion, Fenberg said. Read more…

RELATED: Colorado’s new safer-at-home phase is not a grand reopening, Gov. Jared Polis says

Coronavirus fears causing patients to delay care for other ailments, hospitals report

The mood switched quickly in the Medical Center of Aurora’s emergency room.

One moment Dr. Frank Lansville, medical director of the emergency room, was exchanging pleasantries with a few colleagues in a hallway with a cheery “Hello, wonderful people.”

The next, a “code blue” call sounded over the intercom and the staff shifted into high gear. Read more…

RELATED: PHOTOS: Inside the ER at Medical Center of Aurora during the coronavirus pandemic

Colorado’s coronavirus death count falls slightly as state removes duplicates from database

Colorado health officials on Saturday revised the state’s coronavirus fatality numbers, decreasing by two the number of people who have died from complications of the COVID-19 respiratory disease.

On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported a statewide total of 674 deaths as it tallied older cases that had not yet been added to the state database.

But that number dropped to 672 on Saturday, with health officials saying that when they entered old data into the system, there were 29 duplicates, which now have been removed. Read more…

RELATED: From caution to defiance, Colorado counties differ on whether to accept shift to “safer at home”

“My body, my choice”: Inside Colorado’s growing anti-shutdown movement

Joe Oltmann, of Castle Pines, is the 45-year-old CEO of a data company. He’s also a leader and financier in the nascent but growing movement of Coloradans demanding an end to stay-at-home orders.

“I recognize there is a risk and I recognize people could get sick,” Oltmann says of reopening the state’s economy. “Those are all things I recognize. But I also recognize that hunger can kill people. Despair can kill people.”

“If I choose the wrong way and it ends up killing me, I’m sorry, but I made a choice. I took all the information that I did know and I made an educated choice affecting me, while at the same time respecting that other people deserve the right to feel safe,” he said in an interview over Zoom on Wednesday.

Impatient frustration at the state’s stay-at-home-order, which boiled over last weekend at a Capitol protest, simmered under the surface for much of April. But even beyond that protest, criticizing the government’s shutdown is becoming conventional wisdom among leading Colorado Republicans, and a rallying cry in a Democratic-led state. Read more…

RELATED: FAQ about Colorado’s stay-at-home order

Volatile days ahead for Colorado’s Front Range housing markets

Anyone wanting to buy or sell a home in metro Denver this year needs to buckle up and prepare for a wild ride in the months ahead.

“Our forecast suggests the housing market recovery will look like a “flying W,”  with an initial sharp drop this spring, a noticeable rebound in the summer followed by another dip in the fall, and on a final solid road to recovery by spring 2021,” predicts Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist with Haus, a startup that co-invests in homes with individuals. Read more…

RELATED: Tenants mostly catch up on April rent, but May payments are just around the corner

+ As coronavirus precautions shift from government order to individual choice, how will Coloradans live?

+ Climate warming may hit Colorado River Basin farmers hardest as shrinking snowpack leads to less irrigation water

+ Crime dips dramatically in Denver during coronavirus, but some offenses are on the rise

+ Residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities now account for 64% of Colorado’s coronavirus deaths

+ “It’s the virus’s world”: The balancing act of reopening Colorado without widespread testing

+ Construction speeds up on I-70 and I-25, but other Colorado projects may be doomed by coronavirus

+ FAQ about new “safer at home” phase of Colorado’s coronavirus response that begins tomorrow

+ EPA officials defend their role amid rollbacks as agency hits 50: “Expect continued improvements” in Colorado

+ Reopening restaurants next month is too risky, owners say

+ Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder and Jefferson counties join Denver in extending stay-at-home orders to May 8

See more great photos like this on The Denver Post’s Instagram account.

RELATED: See more photos from Evelyn Berkey’s 100th birthday party

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