Montrose County Commissioner wants less state restrictions after protests

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MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Montrose County Commissioners have asked for another variance from the Governor’s order, but in the midst of protests and a pandemic, one one of them says the Governor’s office is sending mixed signals.

After days of protests around the Western Slope and the state,
Montrose County Commissioner Roger Rash is calling out the state’s

“Safer at Home” order after Governor Polis showed support for those expressing their First Amendment right to protest.

“Why is it fair for them to congregate, but it’s not for a church or a business?” Rash said.

Specifically, his problem lies with the capacity caps on churches and restaurants. Both are allowed 50% of their capacity or up to 50 people.

“I think it’s just not fair, that one group can gather, and another cannot, and you have to be limited on the people you can have in your building,” Rash said.

Montrose County has asked for another variance to the Governor’s order, after their first one was granted at the end of May.

“I believe we asked for up to 175 if I remember right,” Rash said.
Public health officials are still keeping a close eye on the virus data.

“The virus is still amongst us. We have never said that it’s gone away, it is still here. We are overall much lower than we were in the early part of April,” said Joe Adragna with Montrose County Public Health.

According to the state health department, the county has 190 positive cases of the virus. As of last week, the county said 155 of those people had recovered.

“They should wear a mask, simple but effective interventions that will decrease the spread of the virus. By us community members doing our part, it allows us to get these variance applications,” Adragna said.

“I’m saying wear your mask, practice social distancing, but if you’re going to open things up for one group of people, you have to do it for the rest,” Rash said.

It’s still not clear when the county will hear back about that second variance request.



 
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