DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Douglas County Commissioners will discuss a resolution next week to opt out of a Tri-County Public Health Order that continues restrictions under the COVID-19 dial framework. Gov. Jared Polis announced the dial will devolve on April 16 so that local health departments can make their own public health orders.

(credit: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)

TCHD issued a public health order on Thursday for a simplified version of the Dial in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties. The order will last until at least May 16.

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The new public health order will move the three counties to one level less restrictive than the level indicated by their metrics on April 15. So, if a county is in Level Yellow on April 15, they will move to restrictions under Level Blue.

The health department plans to implement “Level Clear” on May 16, which will remove capacity restrictions as long as hospitalizations remain low. Officials say the observation period under Level Clear will last through Aug. 16 and face-coverings may still be required during that time.

“As more and more of our residents are protected by one of the safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines now available, we are hopeful that we will be successful in our race between the emerging variant strains of virus and vaccination, and that we will be back to full re-opening in the near future,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.

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Dr. Douglas said TCHD may need to tighten restrictions if hospitalizations begin to increase in the future.

The Board of Douglas County Commissioners issued the following statement in opposition of the TCHD order:

“Douglas County will remain guided by accurate public health data, including high vaccination rates of vulnerable populations, coupled with low hospitalizations and deaths. These science-driven metrics balanced against job losses, business closures, and mental health consequences require that we exercise our local control authority on behalf of the people of Douglas County. We trust our citizens and businesses to think and act for themselves to protect their lives and livelihoods. In lieu of further orders, we will continue to encourage strong public health recommendations, good hygiene, and the choice to be vaccinated. Our Board will remain nimble and continue to monitor COVID-19 data trends daily, with the intent to collaborate with the State and Tri-County Health Department on prudent, science-based responses to those trends which best serve our citizens.”

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The Douglas County Commissioners will meet to discuss the resolution to opt out of the order on April 13 at 1:30 p.m.

Audra Streetman