What the County's doing during this Crisis

La Plata County Commissioner Julie Westendorff explains how the county continues to provide services in creative ways during the epidemic while supporting the health department.

...
View Full Transcript +

HELLO AND WELCOME TO, WE ARE LAPLATA COUNTY TV TODAY. WE'RE HERE WITH COMMISSIONER JULIE WESTENDORF TO TALK ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF CORONA VIRUS, SPECIFICALLY ON COUNTY FUNCTIONS. BUT FIRST, CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW WE'RE WORKING WITH SAM ON BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH? SURE. A LOT OF FOLKS MAY NOT KNOW, BUT ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS OF COUNTY GOVERNMENTS IN A STATE OF COLORADO IS TO PROVIDE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES. LA PLATA COUNTY AND ARCH ALETTA COUNTY PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES THROUGH A CONTRACT WITH SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH. GREAT. SO WHAT IS THE COUNTY DOING TO SUPPORT THE PUBLIC HEALTH? WELL, UH, RIGHT NOW IT FEELS LIKE SAN JUAN BASIN PUBLIC HEALTH IS SUPPORTING US, BUT THEY'RE THE LEAD AGENCY IN OUR EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO THE COVEN NIGHT 19 OUTBREAK, A LIAISON WITH THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, CDPH G, AND THEN LAPLATA COUNTY HAS THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF HELPING WITH COMMUNICATIONS, LOGISTICS, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND ADVOCACY. SO WHAT SORTS OF THINGS ARE YOU ADVOCATING FOR?

SPEAKER 1: (01:04)
WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS YOU SHOULD EXPECT OF YOUR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THAT WE'VE BEEN PERFORMING IS BEING ENGAGED AT THE STATE LEVEL WITH THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, UH, COUNTIES ACROSS COLORADO. AND WE'VE BEEN ADVOCATING, FOR EXAMPLE, UH, THAT TEST KITS BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC IN LA PLATA COUNTY AS WELL AS JUST REMINDING THE STATE THAT THEY SHOULDN'T FORGET RURAL COLORADO. SO WHAT ARE THE COUNTY'S PRIORITIES IN RESPONDING TO THE COVET 19 PANDEMIC? WELL, AS ALWAYS LAPLATA COUNTIES, GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSE AND RESPONSIBILITY IS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE PLATA COUNTY AND OUR PUBLIC SAFETY AND HEALTH. ALL RIGHT. SO WHAT SORTS OF OPERATIONAL CHANGES HAS THAT MEANT FOR THE COUNTY? I THINK THE BIGGEST OPERATIONAL CHANGE FOLKS WILL NOTICE IS IF YOU HAVE COME TO A COUNTY BUILDING IN THE LAST TWO DAYS, YOU WEREN'T ABLE TO GET IN LIKELY WE HAVE CLOSED PUBLIC ACCESS TO COUNTY BUILDINGS, BUT WE ARE STILL PROVIDING SERVICES.

SPEAKER 1: (02:00)
OKAY, GREAT. SO HOW ARE PUBLIC MEETINGS THEN BEING HANDLED? WELL, PUBLIC MEETINGS HAVE BECOME A, AN INTERESTING CHALLENGE FOR US. WHEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETS, THERE IS ONE BOARD MEMBER IN OUR REGULAR CHAMBERS AND THE OTHER TO PARTICIPATE REMOTELY THROUGH AN ONLINE PLATFORM. THE PUBLIC ALSO PROMOTE, UH, PARTICIPATES REMOTELY THROUGH THAT PLATFORM AND FOR INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO DO THAT, THAT INFORMATION IS ON OUR WEBSITE, IN THE MEETINGS SECTION AS WELL AS PUBLISHED ON AGENDAS THAT ARE PRINTED. RIGHT. SO PUBLIC PARTICIPATION HASN'T DIMINISHED, IT'S JUST CHANGED. CORRECT. ALL THE SERVICES IN LA PLATA COUNTY CONTINUE, MOST OF THEM IN THE, UH, THERE MOST OF THEM, THEY'RE THE SAME SERVICES THAT WERE PROVIDED BEFORE. THEY'RE JUST BEING PROVIDED IN A DIFFERENT WAY. SO HAVE THERE BEEN ANY IMPACTS TO THE SERVICES THE COUNTIES PROVIDING? MOST OF OUR SERVICES ARE THE SAME AS THEY ARE. TYPICALLY, THEY MAY BE PROVIDED IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

SPEAKER 1: (02:55)
THE SENIOR CENTER IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO CONGREGATE MEALS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES. MEALS ON WHEELS ARE BEING DELIVERED AND ALSO FINGERPRINTING AT THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED FOR THIS PERIOD OF TIME. OKAY, GREAT. ARE YOU ANTICIPATING ANY ADDITIONAL CHANGES AS WE MOVE THROUGH THIS? I'M ABSOLUTELY ANTICIPATING CHANGES. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THOSE CHANGES ARE. UM, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1918 IN THE SPANISH FLU THAT LA PLATA COUNTY HAS HAD TO, UM, ADDRESS OR RESPOND TO AN EPIDEMIC LIKE THIS. UH, WHAT THE CHANGES LOOK LIKE FOR THE FUTURE. I CAN'T SAY, BUT THERE WILL BE CHANGES. WE'LL, WE'LL CONTINUE TO BE NIMBLE AND FLEXIBLE AND CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SERVICES THE BEST WE CAN. ALL RIGHT. WELL THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US. THANK YOU. BE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS. PLEASE MAINTAIN THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING. AND IF YOU DON'T FEEL WELL, PLEASE STAY HOME.


PAST DURANGO LOCAL NEWS STORIES

Need more  Local DURANGO News?

Copyright © 2020 Local News Network Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy
Become an Affiliate