Moffat County Board of Public Health submits variance request to move into Protect Our Neighbor phase
The Moffat County Board of Health submitted a formal variance request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment during Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting with the Moffat County Public Health department. The board says it anticipates a 10-14 day waiting period before hearing back from CDPHE regarding its request.
If approved to move into the third and final COVID‐19 recovery phase, Moffat County will be permitted to return to activities at 50 percent of pre‐pandemic capacity, with at least six feet between non‐household members and no more than 500 people in one place at one time, according to a press release from Public Health.
The Board of Health also appointed Dr. Allen Reishus to the vacant Public Medical Officer’s position Wednesday, replacing Dr. Brian Harrington, who stepped down from the position last month.
Regarding the Protect Our Neighbor phase, the Board of Health says it is confident that now is an appropriate time to make this request due to Moffat County’s low positivity rate and low disease prevalence within the community.
The Board of Health emphasized during its Board of Health meeting that the request to move into the Protect Our Neighbors phase is to mitigate other social determinants of health are being negatively impacted by remaining under tighter restrictions.
Moffat County Public Health Director Kari Ladrow stated in the meeting that the Public Health Department is concerned with data suggesting there is a reluctance to seek routine medical care, depression associated with the pandemic, nutritional deficits cause by the economic downturn, and childhood adversity, to name a few.
Through a potential move into the third and final phase, the Board of Health believes that some of the negative impacts could be reduced while continuing to safely contain the virus as a community.
The Board of Health also says it will remain focused in its efforts to protect the most vulnerable populations in the county. Since mid-March, Public Health officials have implemented surveillance testing at Sunset Meadows Senior Apartment Living Facility, Sandrock Ridge Facility, Horizons, and other congregate facilities as needed. Public Health also works closely with the hospital and other medical providers to ensure access to testing is available to others within the community. Contact tracing will continue for all newly reported cases.
The latest variance request will not apply to critical businesses or child care settings which operate under their own specific guidance, according to Public Health.
In the Protect Our Neighbor application, counties must demonstrate a continued promotion of public compliance with state guidelines, a commitment to mask wearing in public settings and a plan for an increase of influenza vaccine uptake approaching flu season. If a county that has entered Protect Our Neighbors falls out of compliance with any of the metrics, they have a three week period to implement the containment plan and re‐establish compliance. If they do not re‐establish compliance at the end of the three week period, the local public health department must meet with CDPHE to determine if additional state or local action is needed.
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While the state of Colorado will receive much less in vaccines in the second major rollout than expected, Moffat County continues to roll along vaccinating community members with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.