Letter: Health order takes county in opposite direction
The following is an appeal made to the director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which was sent last week.
Thank you for helping the people of Routt County back in December by urging our county commissioners to adjust their public health order to “orange plus.” This allowed much-needed relief to our community, especially our struggling restaurants and other local businesses in time for the holidays.
Unfortunately, we are in a similar dilemma now with a new public health order that imposes the following restrictions despite declining level determinant numbers and despite the new Dial 2.0 guidance:
• No personal gatherings with others that do not live with you in your residence. This rule also applies to lodging and restaurants.
• Office-based businesses must operate at 10%
• Restaurants with seating must keep contact tracing logs, only seat one household at a table, ask patrons to wear a mask when they are not actively drinking and eating, and introduce measures to limit the amount of time people are at restaurants.
• All businesses must send their updated mitigation plans to email@example.com.
Our current level determinant numbers are well within the Dial 2.0 parameters for orange and trending downward. More importantly, 63% of our citizens over age 70 have had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Ten percent have had two doses, and obviously, there are more to come with the prioritization of new shipments arriving. And with Phase 1B.2 of vaccine beginning Feb. 8, prioritizing pre-K through grade 12 educators, it’s time to get our children back in the classroom.
The newly implemented public health order takes Routt County in the opposite direction. Not only does it impose unnecessary and unreasonable restrictions on our community, the questionable constitutionality of the restrictions makes them unenforceable. This is especially true given a 99.97% survival rate for 80% of the community and no pressure on our local hospitalization resources.
It is time for Routt County to be moving in a direction that is consistent with state guidelines and with a reasonable, holistic approach that considers the physical, mental, educational and social health of our community, not to mention consistency with the U.S. Constitution. With another “nudge” in the right direction from you for our county commissioners, we might get there.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Routt County Republican Central Committee chair
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: