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Pitkin County Health fails community

As cases of COVID-19 have started to rise, the community is accused of becoming complacent to the five commitments of containment. However, complacency can also be attributed to Pitkin County Health and their incompetence, which is disproportionally affecting our children.

To date we cannot get fast, effective, free testing anywhere in Pitkin County. Any reliable public health entity includes testing as part of its containment strategy for the pandemic. The argument that this is a rural community is negated by the fact that you can travel to Avon or Delta and get a reliable test.

During the last eight months, some businesses have thrived. Massive construction projects barely missed a beat (opening in late April). Construction was aided by the desire to fast track them so the county could recoup financial losses. Real estate sales recorded a record $1.5 billion in sales in the last three months. Bars were allowed to operate after multiple violations. Weddings/events violating health orders in size while taking place at indoor venues without permits. Minimal contact tracers who blame the community for not participating while they are overwhelmed and unable to do their jobs efficiently or effectively. Why have contact tracing, if one cannot get a test? Communication from the county website is more convoluted than ever. And why would they disband a taskforce that was dedicated to public health response?

Children do not contribute to the county coffers; therefore, they are not a priority. Most kids in our county have yet to return to school in person. According to PitCo Health, children ages 0-19 are a minimal part of the infection rate. Yet we are constantly being warned that the “return to school” is risky. Under guidance from PitCo health, the ARC closed immediately after one case of an adult. The ARC/AYC is one of very few public facilities that has provided a level of normalcy to our children and support for working parents. With its shoddy and chaotic response to processes, and lack of testing, PitCo Health gets a rating of 1 out of 10.

Joan Valentine

Aspen


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