ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – More change could soon be on the horizon for the Tri-County Health Department. The Adams County Board of Commissioners plans to give notice to TCHD about its intentions on leaving the group.

Douglas County commissioners voted to leave the agency in September after months of contention.

Commissioners in Adams County plan to bring up a resolution at its Oct. 26 public hearing. The county says it will remain with TCDH through December of 2022, as it’s legally obligated.

(credit: CBS)

Then, the next month, the county will start using its own health department.

Commissioner and Board Chair Eva Henry says Douglas County’s decision forced their hand.

“Douglas County’s decisions left us no choice but to reevaluate the future of public health services in Adams County,” said Henry in a news release. “As a result, Adams County must determine the best option to move ahead for a health board and services provided to residents.”

County leaders say they will ensure health care and services will not be disrupted.

“During this transition, the focus will always remain the health and well-being of our residents,” said Henry. “This new structure gives us an opportunity to focus on the specific needs of our residents and invest dollars in the areas that need it most.”

Soon after news of Adams County departure was released, Arapahoe County, the only remaining county in TCHD, released this statement:

The Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners is saddened that our neighboring counties have chosen to end the productive 55-year partnership with the Tri-County Health Department. Arapahoe County residents will continue to receive all existing Tri-County public health services uninterrupted during the transition. We have already begun to explore future options to continue delivering quality public health services and will begin developing the necessary transition plans as we form our own public health department. The Board intends to do what it can to support the many dedicated employees of Tri-County Health throughout this process.

In August, TCHD issued a face mask mandate for everyone in schools and childcare settings regardless of vaccination status. That public health order also prevented individual counties – Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas – from opting out of public health orders.

Danielle Chavira