CUSTER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Businesses in Custer County will now be able to operate at 100% capacity after county commissioners voted 2-1 to remove all COVID-19 restrictions.
This decision comes after Custer County Public Health Director Dr. Clifford Brown, said that it would be easier for the county to lift all restrictions rather than move on the COVID restriction dial from blue to green as hospitalizations in the county are down.
Since the start of the pandemic, Custer County, which has a population of about 4,700 people, has had 164 cases of Covid-19 and one reported COVID death.
“I believe we are being responsible,” board of health member Bill Canda said. “I also believe the health of this state, this county, is more than just keeping everybody away from COVID, it’s also building the economy, giving them a chance, and getting the mental processes going again for our people to become more active and more productive.”
Board of health member Tom Flower, who was the dissenting vote, said he thought the move to reopen was irresponsible for the health and welfare of the counties’ citizens.
“I believe as a member of the public health board our due diligence here is to err on the side of caution,” Flower said.
The board agreed to revisit the issue every two weeks to track hospitalization data.
Custer County, which is located west of Pueblo, will begin operating at full capacity immediately.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued the following statement:
“The state shares the goal of keeping things open and increasing capacity. As more Coloradans receive the lifesaving vaccine, especially our seniors 70 and older who represent 78% of COVID deaths in our state and do not yet have full immunity, we will be able to relax restrictions. We will continue the work to devolve more authority to local government as we make data-driven decisions that are best for our state and communities.
“When we announced Dial 2.0 we announced that Dial 3.0 was coming in the spring. We are expecting that in late March or early April. CDPHE will continue stakeholder engagement prior to this announcement. Earlier this week, CDPHE amended the dial PHO. A summary of changes can be found at that link.”