Several jurisdictions throughout Colorado, including Monument and Douglas County, have recently declared they will be lifting all state COVID-19 restrictions on the county level, and are demanding …
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Several jurisdictions throughout Colorado, including Monument and Douglas County, have recently declared they will be lifting all state COVID-19 restrictions on the county level, and are demanding all businesses be allowed to open at full capacity.
Elizabeth trustees voted 4-3 at their March 9 meeting not to approve a resolution that would have called on the state and Elbert County to consider doing the same. Resolution 21R10 states “Whereas, the Town desires to encourage Governor Polis, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Elbert County Health Department to consider reducing restrictions in order to allow the maximum amount of flexibility for businesses, places of worship and governmental meetings.”
The proposed resolution declared that the town doesn’t support COVID restrictions that would be considered excessive and that would close businesses and churches or interfere with government meetings. Elbert County recently moved to blue on the COVID dial, which allows 50% capacity or 175 people in a restaurant, in-person learning and increased numbers at outdoor and indoor events.
Town Trustees Angela Ternus, Loren Einspahr and Tammy Payne, along with Mayor Megan Vasquez, voted against passing the resolution. Trustees Brett Wade, Ron Weaver and Linda Secrist voted to move forward with the resolution.
“There were many unknowns around the resolution that we were voting on,” said Vasquez. “And the negative impacts of the proposed resolution were too uncertain.”
Questions were raised during the meeting about whether or not authorizing businesses to open and defy state health orders would result in reduced funding from the state, which has been used to help businesses hit hardest during the pandemic.
Some attendees expressed concern about the timing of the resolution. With the county moving into the less restrictive blue level, and numbers of positive cases going down, some questioned if there was a need to take any action at this time.
According to Vasquez, the resolution could have created a division in the community.
“The resolution had the potential to create division amongst our community members, which is contrary to our goal as trustees to build community through our roles on the board,” said Vasquez.
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