DENVER – The formal transfer of certain COVID-19 services from the Tri-County Health Department to the new Douglas County Health Department will begin on Nov. 22 after the two sides agreed this week who will be responsible for which services.
The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) agreed to contracts with Jogan Health Solutions to provide services that include case investigation, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine guidance, outbreak services and case management for people who are isolating or quarantining, per the agreement.
The Tri-County Health Department will continue to administer vaccines and boosters at its clinics, posting the latest COVID data for Douglas County on its website, continue to update information on vaccine and testing locations, provide non-COVID-19 public health services for schools, child care facilities and businesses, and give resources and education to the Douglas County community, according to the TCHD.
“As we partner to create this smooth transition, we are confident that Jogan Health Solutions will effectively serve the Douglas County community,” said TCHD Executive Director Dr. John Douglas. “Our COVID-19 program staff has provided tremendous support to Douglas County residents over the past 20 months with a range of services: from working with long-term care facilities to schools and the community to help slow the spread of COVID-19. TCHD will continue providing all other public health services to Douglas County residents with the same dedication to excellence.”
The TCHD will also continue to provide other public health services to Douglas County through the end of 2022, per the earlier agreement.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said on Nov. 1 it was also assisting with the transition and was taking on some outbreak investigation and management duties.
A federal judge vacated a hearing that was supposed to occur in the ongoing lawsuit involving the DCHD public health order that allowed parents to opt their kids out of the Douglas County School District’s mask requirements without a doctor’s note. A judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the order from being enforced. The hearing was reset for Monday morning.
And on Friday evening the Douglas County Board of Health approved a revision to the original public health order which says it does not apply to the Douglas County School District in attempt to get in line with the federal court order.
“We amended our order to reflect what the judge has already decided and have removed enforcement of this order on the Douglas County School District,” the board said in a statement.
“We believe this is the most prudent decision at this time as it will: 1) Stop the clock on potential litigation costs associated with defending the order; 2) Allow the new school board to come into office with maximum flexibility as they determine the path forward to provide proper protections provided under state and federal law for all students and all teachers. Our Board of Health looks forward to meeting with the newly constituted Board of Education to discuss the best path forward and then move forward as a unified County.”