CDPHE taking over some COVID-19 services in Douglas County

DENVER — Tri-County Health Department is no longer providing some services to Douglas County, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The CDPHE confirmed that, beginning Monday, its teams would be conducting COVID-19 case investigation and contact tracing for high-risk populations. Outbreak investigation and management is also transitioning from the TCHD to the CDPHE.

The TCHD will still be responsible for investigating cases and contacts prior to Nov. 1.

Initially, the TCHD was supposed to continue providing public health services to Douglas County through 2022. Douglas County commissioners and the TCHD signed an agreement in September for those services to continue.

However, Denver7 obtained minutes from the TCHD’s Monday’s meeting that said “cessation of Covid related services (investigation, testing) to DougCo could occur as early as November 1, 2021”

Becky O’Guin, a spokesperson for the TCHD, said in an email that the department was continuing to work with the newly-formed Douglas County Health Department, but their recent public health order was causing difficulties.

“The decision to remove one of our best tools—quarantine of exposed persons—for responding to COVID-19 through the recent Douglas County Board of Health Order makes it difficult for us to continue to provide COVID-19 services,” O’Guin said in the email.

Douglas County Commissioner George Teal previously confirmed discussions were underway about transferring COVID-19 response services to Douglas County by Nov. 8. Teal said the county was asking for more time in light of a judge’s recent ruling to issue a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the county’s order that allowed the option of opting out of mask mandates.

Douglas County decided to withdraw from the TCHD in September and form its own health department due to ongoing differences in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since Douglas County withdrew, Adams County has also voted to withdraw from the TCHD.

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