Health department issues stay-at-home order extension for Adams, Arapahoe counties

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A stay-at-home order is being extended for both Arapahoe and Adams counties. It will last through May 8.

The Board of Health of the Tri-County Health Department approved a motion Friday afternoon to issue the local public health order.

Tri-County Health covers Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

Adams and Arapahoe counties have a combined population of nearly 1.2 million; Douglas County has about 350,000.

Douglas County was not included in the motion and will get to start reopening some of its business on Monday.

Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon was not surprised to learn his county was excluded from the motion.

“Douglas County is 47% open space,” he said. “I think we’ve been working really closely with our colleagues in Adams and Arapahoe counties, as well as the Tri-County Health Department, to try and develop a solution moving forward that really reflects each local jurisdiction.”

Douglas County has 414 positive COVID-19 cases to date.

Arapahoe County has 2,030 cases, the second highest in the state after Denver.

Adams County ranks fourth in the state, with 1,252 cases to date.

Arapahoe County Board Member Dr. Tom Fawell was the only one who voted against the motion — asking to focus on jurisdictions versus an entire county.

“We know where some hot spots are. I would think that we should try to address the hot spots, rather than the shotgun approach to the entire county,” Fawell said during a virtual board meeting on Friday.

TCHD Executive Director John Douglas says the “one-size-fits-all” approach is a more realistic solution.

“Given the time we had and the short duration of the order, we didn’t see how that could be operationally done in a way where that wouldn’t end up with more confusion and acrimony,” he said during the meeting.

Laydon said there are plans in place for Douglas County as it begins to reopen.

“We do have an operational plan that would include adequate case investigations, making sure social distancing would still occur, strong recommendations around masking, collaborations around hospitals,” Laydon explained.

One public official raised concerns about Douglas County businesses being inundated with customers from neighboring, more high-risk counties, come Monday.

Laydon says commissioners’ proposed plan has built-in flexibility.

“We can face forward or face backward if we see any kind of surge — whether it’s affecting the medical health professionals, or increase in death in or around the county. It’s designed with purpose with that in mind,” he said.

The public health order is expected to be drafted by Sunday.

The governor’s stay at home order is set to expire April 27.

Other metro-area counties with stay-at-home orders extended until May 8 include Denver, Jefferson and Boulder counties. Find a full list here.

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