Experts answer questions in COVID in Colorado: One Year Later panel


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — One year after the first coronavirus cases were detected in Colorado, FOX21 brought back a panel of local experts to answer your questions about the pandemic.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, El Paso County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson, Cheyenne Mountain District 12 Superintendent Dr. Walt Cooper, and UCCS economics professor Dr. Tatiana Bailey were on hand to answer your questions about how to move forward from this pandemic.

Watch each video to hear their answers.

Part 1

Mayor Suthers — What has the city of Colorado Springs learned in the past year due to COVID-19?

Dr. Johnson — What has the health department learned in the past year due to COVID-19?

Dr. Cooper — What has the school system learned in the past year because of COVID-19?

Dr. Bailey — What have we learned about our economy when faced with a pandemic?

Mayor Suthers — Where does the city stand on removing mask ordinances like Texas and Mississippi have made moves to do?

Dr. Johnson — Is the infection rate really going down, or are we just testing less?

Dr. Cooper — What precautions are still in place at schools now that you have returned to in-person learning?

Dr. Bailey — From an economic standpoint, how would you assess the current landscape?

Mayor Suthers — There is nothing below Level Green on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Have the governor, state department of health, and county and city leaders looked forward to or discussed ending restrictions?

Dr. Johnson — What would you tell people who are hesitant to get the vaccine?

Dr. Cooper — Will quarantine rules continue to be the same in schools?

Dr. Bailey — Which sectors of the economy are likely to recover the fastest? Slowest?

Part 2

Mayor Suthers — How did you balance the role of government versus civil liberties when it comes to restrictions? Would you have done anything different?

Dr. Johnson — Do you still need to wear a mask after getting the vaccine?

Dr. Cooper — How were we able to pretty much keep kids in person at schools here in El Paso County, while many parts of the country can’t seem to figure it out?

Dr. Bailey — The pandemic didn’t seem to slow down the booming housing market. What do you attribute this to?

Mayor Suthers — What are you doing to make sure Colorado Springs is getting its fair portion of the vaccine?

Dr. Johnson — Why is Colorado using age as a higher priority for vaccination, versus job status? People who are able to stay at home are being given priority over essential workers. I’m a veterinarian. We are part of the public health sector, and yet we are still not eligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Cooper — How do you feel about the CDC’s guideline that states teachers can return to in-person learning without receiving the vaccine? And is there a plan to get them vaccines?

Dr. Bailey — Last year when you were with us, you talked to those worried about retirement, telling them to stay the course and not change anything. What would you say to those people now?

Part 3

Mayor Suthers — How did the pandemic impact the tourism industry? What is being done now to promote tourism when things get better?

Dr. Johnson — If you’re over 70 and have not been notified for your vaccination and they start adding groups, is the system weighted to prioritize the first eligible groups?

Dr. Cooper — What have been some positive things that have been created in schools because of COVID that will be continued?

Dr. Bailey — What does an economic crisis like this do for income inequality?

Dr. Johnson — How does the healthcare system bounce back from the pandemic?

Dr. Cooper — How do schools move forward to everyone returning to classes?

Dr. Bailey — How does the economy continue to recover?

Mayor Suthers — How does the city of Colorado Springs move forward from here?

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