Leaders of several of the largest hospitals and clinics in Northern Colorado sent a letter Saturday to Weld County commissioners urging them to reconsider their “safer-at-work” plan.
The letter, obtained by 9NEWS, outlines concerns from the health-care leaders that reopening businesses in Weld County too soon and too quickly could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases that could overwhelm hospitals and clinics.
“Opening too soon or without a staged plan will negate the community, individuals, and businesses’ hard sacrifices to-date and lead to widespread, severe illness that our healthcare system cannot handle. The resulting deaths will be tragic,” the letter says. “… We can rebuild business – we cannot replace lives that are lost. We implore you to reconsider your ‘Safer-at-Work’ plan. Please lead a staged, slow opening of the economy.”
The letter is signed by: Margo Karsten, Banner Health’s western region president; Hoyt Skabelund, CEO of Northern Colorado Banner Health hospitals; Kevin Unger, president and CEO of Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, and UCHealth Northern Colorado; Marilyn Schock, president of UCHealth Greeley Hospital; Mitzi Moran, CEO of Sunrise Community Clinic; and John Santistevan, president and CEO of Salud Family Health Centers.
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The Weld County Board of Commissioners and the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment dubbed their strategy the “safer-at-work” plan, in clear contrast to the “safer-at-home” plan that Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced last week.
Polis’ option calls for a gradual reopening of businesses throughout the state. Beginning on Monday, for example, retail businesses can offer curbside service. Elective surgeries can begin again, and salons can re-open with strict protocols. Restaurant dining rooms will remain closed.