CASTLE ROCK, Colo. Declaring that “this pandemic is over,” the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a resolution not to accept further Tri County public health orders from Friday.
The resolution essentially opens Douglas County’s businesses and restaurants to operate at full capacity. However, the state mask mandate and other restrictions that apply to indoor gatherings remain in effect. In addition, Douglas County School District still has to follow state guidelines.
The council passed the resolution as the state prepares for hand control of the electoral system and restrictions on the county’s local health departments Friday. Tri County Health, of which Douglas County is a part, implemented a two-phase plan, extending the current dial by one month after Friday. However, with the passing of Tuesday’s resolution, Douglas County will not participate in the health department’s post-state surveillance plan in the future.
Tri County Health, which serves Adams, Araphoe and Douglas counties, negotiated new terms with Douglas County in November, giving county commissioners the option to opt out of any public health orders they believe do not apply. are on the county.
The reasons why the commissioners voted to opt for further restrictions and reopen the province were cited in the resolution due to the 98% survival rate of COVID-19, the severity of the cases mostly affecting people aged 70 years and older and people with underlying health problems, and that more than 80% of people in that “vulnerable group” have been vaccinated.
Additionally, the resolution states that Douglas County had an ICU capacity of 26% on April 7, and that the 14-day moving average of county citizens’ hospital admissions per 100,000 residents as a result of COVID was less than two per day since early December.
Commissioner Abe Laydon brought up Hans Christian Anderson’s folktale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” as a way of describing how he believes further health restrictions in Douglas County do not match current data.
“Based on the facts before us today, I want the courage of that young child (in Anderson’s folktale), and that Douglas County is the first county in the state to say this pandemic is over,” Laydon said.
The data cited in the resolution and reiterated at Tuesday’s meeting appears to contradict what state health officials are seeing. They said the state is in a fourth wave of the pandemic on Friday, with more than half of new cases being caused by worrisome variants and with increasing numbers of cases and hospitalizations in people ages 18-50.
Gov. Jared Polis said Friday that it is currently “a time of great concern” for Colorado, with multiple factors peaking at the same time.
Colorado reported nearly 1,904 COVID-19 cases, 93 new hospitalizations, and a seven-day mean positivity rate of 5.62% on Tuesday, which continues to rise. There were also 494 hospital beds in use by confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.