Wednesday letters: Healthcare workers, and County can’t be trusted on oil & gas
Answer the call
Public health departments have used contact tracing for decades to fight infectious disease. It is now a very important tool, along with social distancing and masks, that are KEYS to halting the spread of COVID-19.
All you have to do is answer a phone call.
The more people who answer the call, the more lives and jobs in our area can be saved.
Early awareness helps you protect friends and loved ones from exposure. And early medical care can improve your outcome.
The people calling are part of the team of healthcare heroes working everyday to slow the spread so that you and others can get back to work and enjoy everyday activities. These public health nurses or community support workers are the same people who help with vaccines for children, WIC (Women and Infant Care), and vaccines for international travel. During the call, they will likely inform you they have received information from your healthcare provider or testing site that you tested positive or were exposed to the virus.
All of the information is kept confidential and individual information is not released publicly, under U.S. HIPAA laws and Colorado Statutes. No one will ask about your immigration status during testing, care or follow-up calls.
The sooner they can reach you, the sooner you can get advice, testing recommendations, and support.
I can only imagine how I would feel if I got a call telling me I tested positive or had been in close contact with someone infected—scared, shocked and maybe angry. I would also have lots of questions.
The good news is that these healthcare workers have answers to your questions such as:
How to apply for community resources.
How to monitor symptoms and when to contact healthcare providers.
How to deal with fear and anxiety while isolated or quarantined.
How to keep your family and contacts safe.
Let’s be prepared to do our part and answer the call if it comes.
GarCo cannot be trusted to handle decisions concerning oil and gas
In the Post Independent’s July 21 article concerning the intervention of conservation groups in a lawsuit against Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission, Garfield County’s oil & gas liaison Kirby Wynn claimed to be “perplexed” as to why “private entities” with “special interests” would be invited to the table to inform public policy. Mr. Wynn, here is your answer:
Garfield County has demonstrated time and again that it cannot be trusted to competently handle decisions concerning oil and gas. From wasting our public dollars on advocating for lax regulations, to approving the development of Pad A just hundreds of feet from homes, the Colorado River, and Battlement Mesa’s water treatment facility, county officials have chosen to sacrifice the health and safety of their people in support of a struggling industry that is threatening to take us with it.
When I joined Western Colorado Alliance, one of the groups that has intervened in the lawsuit, I was concerned about the impact of oil and gas development near my home and those of my neighbors. Within the Alliance, I found like-minded people in my community who are concerned about the effect that industrial activity has on people and the environment; it is precisely for this reason that I submitted a declaration supporting the intervention to the court. When people work together, they can stand up to “special interests” like the oil and gas industry.
So Mr. Wynn, to answer your question, organizations like Western Colorado Alliance are being considered because, unlike the local government which ostensibly exists to serve its people, we are the people, and we know that we deserve the same protections as all Coloradans. Even so, I expect that you will remain “perplexed” for the foreseeable future; after all, as Upton Sinclair astutely observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
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Velasco for workers