Health and Safety will be a top priority for the Forward Together Safely process
Beginning on Monday, June 1, additional Boulder County services will be reopening in-person to the public with new health and safety guidelines in place. Other county services will still be provided online only as the health and safety of staff and the public are the top priority for county leadership. Those in-person services generally have legal requirements or have been suspended entirely since mid-March, i.e., immunizations. For most in-person services, access will be limited to appointment only.
Boulder County has named the effort to respond to this next phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic – Forward Together Safely. During this phase, the county is ensuring safety, equity, sustainability, and clear communications to employees and the public about the slow return to in-person services. The county wants to emphasize that entering the Forward Together Safely phase does not mean that response to and prevention of the further spread of COVID-19 is winding down. The experts at Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) are maintaining their incredible work to address the pandemic at the local level and the public should continue to follow public health orders.
“We have had amazing employees who remained in place at our facilities and maintained incredibly important onsite duties while adapting to new health and safety procedures,” said Commissioner Deb Gardner. “We are so grateful to those employees who were already on-site each day, and to the next phase of employees coming in to join them.”
County leadership has adopted a tier system to sustain virtual work as much as possible in keeping with the state of Colorado’s Safer at Home guidance. Tier 2 services will be provided beginning Monday, June 1. The tiers and their descriptions are as follows:
Tier 1 – maintained regular operation throughout pandemic response
Services and functions that must be done in-person and could not be suspended during the incident. This includes life safety and other services that have continued throughout the response to COVID-19. Examples of Tier 1 functions include jail services, the Coroner’s Office, epidemiological teams, snow removal, and more.
Tier 2 – will return in some capacity to on-site operation on June 1
Services and functions that need to happen in-person and have been suspended or significantly reduced during the COVID19 incident. These services must begin in-person operations as soon as possible. Services and functions include life safety, human services, and other services that have statutory requirements. This also includes seasonal maintenance and field work that allows private-sector essential activities to continue.
Tier 3 – will return in some capacity to on-site operation in the next two to six months
Services and functions that are best done in-person that have been delayed or reduced during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but do not need to resume in-person operations urgently. The timeline for resuming the services or function in-person will vary based on the type of service and the current public health guidelines. Examples of Tier 3 functions include in-person public hearings, routine maintenance at Housing Authority properties, and more.
Tier 4 – these functions can successfully operate off-site for the foreseeable future
Services and functions that can be done remotely for an indefinite period and do not need to return to in-person operations except on limited occasions. Examples of Tier 4 functions include purchasing, some HR and IT functions, and some engineering functions.
To ensure adequate health and safety precautions, many services will only be offered on certain days of the week. Employees will be working in shifts to maintain low numbers of people in each location, and will be wearing masks and, in some case gloves, when interacting with the public. The public is encouraged to see a list of available in-person services beginning on June 1 and plan accordingly for limited hours and availability. Members of the public over the age of 12 are required to wear face coverings when entering county facilities and masks will be provided for those who do not have one.
Many physical changes are taking place in these public facilities including plexiglass screens, hand sanitizer stations, or staggered seating areas, setting up reservation systems for the public, and increasing cleaning schedules.
In addition to Tier 1 services that have been open to the public throughout the pandemic, most county services are available online and can be found at www.boco.org/OnlineServices.
“As we move into this new phase, we recognize that there will be some concerns and stumbles along the way,” County Administrator Jana Petersen said. “With clear communication, patience and understanding, we will get through these temporary restrictions together. Thank you to everyone for adapting to these changes and working together to move Forward Together Safely.”
For questions about the available services or to voice concerns about the Forward Together Safely process, please fill out an online form www.boco.org/FTSComments.