Commissioners’ letter petitions Gov. Polis to reopen Garfield County

March 16, 2021

More than 25,000 vaccines have been administered in Garfield County

The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners has submitted a letter to Colorado Governor Jared Polis asking for the immediate adoption of a plan to fully and safely reopen the county. The letter cites the State of Colorado has not issued any guidance or criteria to indicate what reopening looks like, or requirements for any citizen or business.

In Garfield County there is a drastically reduced number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates, as well as an increase in vaccinations. The board has asked for restrictions on the local economy to end, and to allow members of the community to rely on personal responsibility to keep themselves and the community safe. The commissioners also cited that more than 40 percent of the county has been vaccinated.

“The board is concerned about ongoing business restrictions and closures, personal restrictions and harm to the county and public welfare due to overly broad state government action,” the letter notes. “What started as a need to severely restrict businesses and personal liberties for a short period of time to ‘flatten the curve’ and protect the hospital and health care system turned into more than 350 executive orders.”

More than 25,000 vaccines have now been administered in Garfield County and 82 percent of those are in those 70 years or older, helping to vaccinate many in the most vulnerable population. Current statistics are available on the county’s website. The county does not have the authority to allow businesses to fully reopen, which only the state can authorize.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s no doubt about that,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “Nineteen states have already reopened or have plans in place to reopen. It’s time for a plan that allows the State of Colorado and Garfield County to reopen.”

The letter was approved unanimously, 3-0.

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