EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- One week. That's how long El Paso County leaders have to develop a COVID-19 mitigation plan or risk having further restrictions imposed by State officials.
On Thursday, El Paso County Commissioners along with County Public Health officials had a meeting with Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to discuss how to reduce the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Commissioner Mark Waller says their conversation with the governor's office was frustrating to say the least.
“Quite frankly it didn’t go as well as we would have liked it to have gone,” Waller said.
When asked if they could have more time to come up with a mitigation plan, Waller says the State turned them down. Now, they only have a few days to come up with a mitigation plan.
"They said listen, If we like the mitigation plan, we'll move forward and maybe we won't engage in restrictive behavior. If we don't like the mitigation plan, we'll engage in more restrictive behavior for you moving forward," Waller says.
If the plan is not approved by the State, then El Paso County will go from "Safer at Home" level one to level three. This means a lot of businesses like gyms, retail shops, and indoor events will be reduced significantly. But Waller says the County faces a unique challenge.
"We're not seeing our numbers creep up in one particular area so it's not like we can just send school kids home and shut down schools or shut down restaurants or do something like that," Waller says. "We've just sort of seen this overall creep." Adding they don't want to place restrictions if it's not scientifically proven to reduce the numbers.
"I don't think we should engage in some sort of shotgun approach to this where we just say, 'we don't know if this is going to help, we hope it does but we're just going to limit all restaurants from now on,'" says Waller. "To me that is just not the responsible thing to do.'