New Videos - press link here

37970

Colorado’s county-level COVID restrictions a result of politics, not just data, officials say — today

b9575f8e4b31d6c0bf0c0946dcdf15aa

- Data Covid-19 USA -    World | Coro­na News | Break­ingnews | Tech­nol­o­gy | Sport | Gam­ing | Per­sons | Lifestyle | Pic­tures | Videos | Down­load | Upload | Nat­ur­al | Busi­ness | Shop | Healt | Forums |


Images or Post and Videos — press here

Colorado’s COVID-19 restric­tion dial is designed to be data-dri­ven and bina­ry. If a coun­ty cross­es cer­tain thresh­olds that indi­cate wors­en­ing spread of the coro­n­avirus, tougher restric­tions fol­low via an order from the state.

But data and inter­views with coun­ty health offi­cials and polit­i­cal lead­ers through­out Col­orado reveal that the dial sys­tem turns out to be high­ly nego­tiable, deliv­er­ing cit­i­zens and busi­ness­es a patch­work of reg­u­la­tions informed part­ly by data and part­ly by pol­i­tics.

A per­son can run errands in two coun­ties with rough­ly sim­i­lar virus met­rics and expect dif­fer­ent lev­els of pro­tec­tion because of dif­fer­ences in rela­tion­ships between the state and local offi­cials in those coun­ties. The rules are dif­fer­ent not only for retail­ers but for oth­er busi­ness­es, schools and pri­vate gath­er­ings.

The state recent­ly revised its COVID dial to cre­ate a new, not-quite-stay-at-home lev­el of restric­tions — the new Lev­el Red. Lev­el Pur­ple was added to the top of the dial. Colorado’s Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health and Envi­ron­ment on Tues­day named 15 coun­ties that are mov­ing to red Fri­day: Adams, Ara­pa­hoe, Boul­der, Broom­field, Clear Creek, Den­ver, Dou­glas, Jef­fer­son, La Pla­ta, Logan, Mesa, Mor­gan, Routt, Sum­mit and Wash­ing­ton.

Five more were added late Thurs­day: Alam­osa, Otero, Prow­ers, Pueblo and Weld. Those coun­ties reach Lev­el Red on Sun­day.

That means they must sus­pend in-per­son din­ing and heav­i­ly restrict capac­i­ty inside offices and gyms, among a slew of oth­er require­ments.

The revi­sion of the dial to cre­ate Lev­el Red was itself indi­ca­tion of the elas­tic­i­ty of the rules: If the state had strict­ly fol­lowed the dial in recent weeks, many coun­ties would already be under stay-at-home orders. By revis­ing the dial, the state pro­tect­ed coun­ties from a full lock­down.

Ray Beck, a coun­ty com­mis­sion­er in Mof­fat Coun­ty in north­west Col­orado, said that hours before those 15 coun­ties were named, his com­mis­sion spoke with the staff of Gov. Jared Polis. He described it as a pos­i­tive, col­lab­o­ra­tive inter­ac­tion.

“The governor’s office was encour­ag­ing us to go to red,” he said. “I asked if we could go to orange (the lev­el below red) instead, because red pret­ty much shuts us down. They said, ‘Yeah, that’s an option.’”

Mof­fat bor­ders Routt Coun­ty, and the state’s COVID dial site shows that the two are at rough­ly equal lev­els on the three indi­ca­tors the dial relies upon: inci­dence of new COVID cas­es, per­cent­age of pos­i­tive results over 14 days and hos­pi­tal­iza­tion rate over 14 days.

Routt’s mov­ing up to red, and Mof­fat isn’t.

Said Routt Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er Beth Melton, “I don’t think there’s much about this pan­dem­ic response that hasn’t been influ­enced by pol­i­tics in some way.

“My expe­ri­ence and the con­ver­sa­tions I’ve had with the state are that they believe — and I think under­stand, right­ful­ly so — that if there’s a sit­u­a­tion where local elect­ed offi­cials dis­agree with what they have done, that puts them in a sit­u­a­tion where the mea­sures tak­en are not going to be as effec­tive,” she said.

“I can appre­ci­ate their efforts to have these deci­sions to be col­lab­o­ra­tive with the coun­ties,” Melton said, but added, “a piece­meal or patch­work kind of approach to this is unlike­ly to be effec­tive, and I think it’s crit­i­cal that the state move those con­ver­sa­tions for­ward as quick­ly as they can.”

Last week, the Gree­ley Tri­bune detailed a call between state offi­cials includ­ing Polis and Weld Coun­ty com­mis­sion­ers. If the direc­tor of the Col­orado Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health & Envi­ron­ment direct­ed Weld to move up the dial, one com­mis­sion­er report­ed­ly said after the call, “Tell her no.”

Weld Coun­ty was not among the first 15 coun­ties mov­ing to Lev­el Red, even though it’s in the red zone on two of the three dial indi­ca­tors. Boul­der, Broom­field, Clear Creek, La Pla­ta, Logan, Routt and Sum­mit coun­ties were in the first group despite hav­ing just one red indi­ca­tor each.

It’s not coin­ci­den­tal that Boul­der Coun­ty, unlike Weld, has wel­comed the tougher restric­tions, said Chana Gous­setis, spokes­woman for Boul­der Coun­ty Pub­lic Health.

“I don’t know if there are rea­sons why, but from what I’ve heard, it sounds polit­i­cal,” she said. “It’s very frus­trat­ing for us at a local lev­el for things to not be applied equal­ly. When we have some­one in anoth­er coun­ty say­ing, ‘Well, I don’t have to do it, it’s real­ly, real­ly dif­fi­cult for us.”

The upshot of a patch­work approach, Gous­setis added, “is increased trans­mis­sion, of course.”

“We’re very con­cerned about neigh­bor­ing coun­ties not hav­ing the same rules. It doesn’t work if we don’t all do it,” she said.

The Col­orado Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health & Environment’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion office did not grant The Den­ver Post an inter­view for this sto­ry. But in an email state­ment, it indi­cat­ed move­ment on the dial can be sub­ject to nego­ti­a­tion, not just data.

“We are still in talks with sev­er­al coun­ties regard­ing where they fall on the dial,” the email stat­ed.

Polis has not addressed the dis­crep­an­cies in how the dial is applied. What use is the dial if the state doesn’t enforce it con­sis­tent­ly, The Den­ver Post asked him in an inter­view last week. He did not direct­ly answer the ques­tion, instead dis­cussing var­i­ous pre­cau­tions he hopes cit­i­zens take to pro­tect them­selves and oth­ers.

Pueblo Coun­ty was not among the 15 named Tues­day, but it was one of the coun­ties the state was “in talks” with. The coun­ty was one of two in Col­orado — Adams being the oth­er — that was in the red zone in all three indi­ca­tors on the dial as of Thurs­day.

Asked why Pueblo wasn’t includ­ed on the ini­tial list, Sarah Joseph, spokes­woman for the coun­ty health depart­ment, said, “I don’t think we under­stand. I was talk­ing to some of my col­leagues, oth­er com­mu­ni­ca­tors through­out Pueblo Coun­ty, and we were try­ing to under­stand how this works.”

Again, it seems no coin­ci­dence that Adams moved up the dial first even though Pueblo’s num­bers were sim­i­lar­ly high. The Den­ver metro area coun­ties have most­ly been more wel­com­ing of a tougher approach.

“For us, it is clear: We need more restric­tions,” said Adams Coun­ty Com­mis­sion­er Emma Pin­ter. “We’re red on all three met­rics, and I’m get­ting con­stant calls from nurs­es, folks that work in hos­pi­tals, that things are ten­u­ous at best.”

Elis­a­beth Lawrence, a Sum­mit Coun­ty com­mis­sion­er, not­ed that her coun­ty ear­li­er this fall went above and beyond the restric­tions the state imposed, lim­it­ing gath­er­ings to six peo­ple while the state’s rec­om­mend­ed num­ber was still at 10. Though she believes bold action is need­ed now to pro­tect the econ­o­my and pub­lic health, she said it’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly a bad thing for the dial to have some flex­i­bil­i­ty to it, par­tic­u­lar­ly to accom­mo­date coun­ties that have their own, tough reg­u­la­tions in place.

Den­ver May­or Michael Han­cock went as far last week as to call the dial — pre-revi­sion — “archa­ic” and not reflec­tive of all that the state and its coun­ties have learned and improved upon since the pan­dem­ic began.

But Han­cock said he’s also con­vinced that stricter rules are need­ed now in Den­ver, and he joined Polis for a press con­fer­ence announc­ing the new Lev­el Red.

Though there are many offi­cials who share Hancock’s gen­er­al mind­set on dial flex­i­bil­i­ty, there remains sig­nif­i­cant con­cern about just how flex­i­ble it seems to have got­ten.

“The data is there, and that can­not be argued with,” Lawrence said. “But I believe some coun­ties are inter­est­ed in fight­ing against that.”

Sub­scribe to bi-week­ly newslet­ter to get health news sent straight to your inbox.

X ZKIr90MWE - Colorado’s county-level COVID restrictions a result of politics, not just data, officials say - today

Press me - I want to write a comment here! - press me


Last Feeds of US

US soldier prevented mass murder — Thalys rescuer does not feel like a hero

Holocaust denied again — Haverbeck has to go back to prison

MG ZS EV — Electric Volkswagen from China

well its been a great day today

Today (Dec. 4, 2020): US Navy Send its Most Powerful Amphibious Assault ship to South China Sea


Huawei

Hearing in Michigan — Giuliani presents babbling witness

More and more Republicans are turning away from Donald Trump, but the elected US president is not giving up. How ...
Read More
Jefferson-Park-39Back-the-Blue39-rally-draws-hundreds-of-supporters-counter-protest

US soldier prevented mass murder — Thalys rescuer does not feel like a hero

In France, the former US soldier Spencer Stone and two of his friends are celebrated as heroes for preventing a ...
Read More
Joe-Biden-aventaja-a-Donald-Trump-segun-una-encuesta-de-Noticias-Telemundo-Noticias-Telemundo

Holocaust denied again — Haverbeck has to go back to prison

A few months after her release from prison, Ursula Haverbeck has to start another prison sentence. The 92-year-old is undoing ...
Read More
Belarus

MG ZS EV — Electric Volkswagen from China

The traditional British brand MG was sold to China years ago. In 2021, however, a car will be launched on ...
Read More

All Categorys

Absentee Voting Appointments and Executive Changes Arizona Armenia Army Aviation Azerbaijan BAE Systems Barr, William P Barrett, Amy Coney Biden, Joseph R Jr Black People Breaking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention China Clinical Trials Computers and the Internet Conservatism (US Politics) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (2020) Coronavirus Covid-19 Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus Risks and Safety Concerns Deaths (Fatalities) Debates (Political) Democratic Party Deutschland Disease Rates Donald Trump drone Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Elections, House of Representatives Elections, Senate F-35 Fashion fighter Florida France future Georgia Germany Harris, Kamala D helicopter Israel Italia Justice Department Lockheed Martin Marines Maritime Security Masks Michigan missile Nagorno-Karabakh Navy News news archive e check auto New York City Pence, Mike Pennsylvania Pfizer Inc Photo Plugins Politics and Government Polls and Public Opinion Presidential Election of 2016 Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Transition (US) Press Releases Quarantines Republican Party Rumors and Misinformation Russia Second Breaking Senate Senate Committee on the Judiciary Shutdowns (Institutional) Sony Playstation 5 States (US) Supreme Court (US) tank Trump, Donald J Trump Administration Trump Coronavirus Positive Result UK Ukraine United States United States Economy United States International Relations United States Politics and Government USA USAF Vaccination and Immunization veterans-us Video Videos-in Voter Fraud (Election Fraud) Voting and Voters White House White House Coronavirus Outbreak (2020) your-feed-healthcare