Montrose County Applies for Second Data-Driven Variance 

Montrose, CO— The Montrose Board of County Commissioners approved a second variance application to follow different guidelines than the state’s Safer at Home and in the Great, Vast Outdoors Order. The application approval came today in a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. Following the meeting, the application is being submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Governor of the State of Colorado. The variance application seeks to allow the following: an increase in facility use from 50 percent to 75 percent occupancy load and up to 175 persons in a building; post secondary institutions to increase classroom size; opening of bars at limited capacity–75 percent of occupancy load, not to exceed 50 people; and unlimited outdoor gathering size as long as social distancing and other public health interventions (availability of hand hygiene products, mask use within six feet, and frequent cleaning of common touch surfaces) are followed.

“Hospital census remains low and capacity is high. We have seen just one confirmed COVID-19 hospitalization in the 18 days ending on June 2. Our overall community prevalence remains low with likely no more than 60 people actively infected. Our testing capacity remains strong,” said Montrose County Public Health Pandemic Specialist and Medical Adviser Dr. Joe Adragna, MD, MHA, MGH. “We are aggressive with suspected or confirmed outbreak sites to ensure all at risk in those setting are tested quickly and that operations are shut down or extremely limited so that adequate decontamination occurs. Further, we have not recorded a COVID-19 death since April 24.”

“Once again, this is a data-driven decision to help protect our businesses while maintaining public and community health,” said Commissioner Sue Hansen. “We have support of government agencies as well as the local hospital in seeking this variance. COVID-19 is going to be here for a while, and we need to get used to interacting and continuing to support our businesses with this present in our community.”

As a reminder, it is an application for a variance and still requires approval from the state. Businesses and residents should continue to follow state guidelines. To view the variance application, please visit here.