Coronavirus, Mesa County, Sherrie Peif

Mesa County: ‘We will not shut down;’ commissioners demand meeting with Governor Polis

UPDATE — Saturday, Mesa County Commissioner said Gov. Jared Polis had reconsidered rescinding Mesa County’s Five Star Program and will allow the program to continue and businesses to remain open under Mesa’s new ‘Level Red’ designation. The meeting demanded by commissioners will not take place.

GRAND JUNCTION — Mesa County has become the second county in less than a few hours to say no to Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) notice to change their level of COVID-19 response.

According to Commissioner Rose Pugliese, CDPHE notified Mesa County today that they needed to shut down the county. Pugliese said that is not going to happen, and the board has demanded a meeting with the Governor on Monday during their regular scheduled meeting.

The order was an expansion of the previous decision to take Mesa County to the “red” level on the state’s color-coded dial in response to levels of Coronavirus. Mesa had developed a program called the five-star program that allowed waivers from state orders to businesses if they were able to meet a certain level of “best-practices” and other criteria showing they were being responsible in trying to slow the spread of the virus.

Initially, those businesses were going to be able to stay open under the “red” designation, but CDPHE notified Mesa they would have to close as well. That is when commissioners said they would not comply.

Earlier today, Weld County released a statement that they would not enforce any mandates from CDPHE or Polis.

Pugliese told Complete Colorado that they had not heard back from the Governor’s office as of this publication, and that they want it Monday so the public and media can be there, but that Mesa County will not be shutting down.

“CDPHE just told Mesa County to shut down,” Pugliese said. “We said, no. Commissioners have demanded a meeting with the governor and our board on Monday. We are not shutting down.”

Complete Colorado will continue to follow this story.

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