Concerned Larimer County parent writes a thorough and informative letter to the Public Health Director in Larimer County, urging them to answer for their blatant bureaucratic overreach. Check out her letter and response from Larimer County Public Health. Share your thoughts in the comments!
Date: Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 11:46 PM
Subject: Board of health questions
To: Bernard Birnbaum <[email protected]>, Brian DelGrosso < >, Janna West < >, Jennifer Lee < >, Teri Olson <, Tom Gonzales <[email protected]>
My name is T. I am a resident of Loveland. I have some questions about the decisions made where schools are concerned and really overall.
1. In Larimer county we have a population of nearly 300,000. We have had 51 deaths since March. That is 0.017% of the population. Why are we still locked down? Businesses are suffering, the economy is suffering, suicides and depression are rising. How is this about health? I’m sure more people have died from a host of other things than have from covid. There is more to health than not catching a virus. We have always been exposed to viruses and will continue to live with viruses forever. We cannot hide from them.
What is your scientific evidence that we must stay locked down?
2. Why can’t kids who are part of a pod at school, remove their masks inside that pod while at their desks. If someone were to get covid in that pod, you would insist on isolating the entire pod anyway because the entire pod is exposed to the germs of the others in that pod which indicates that masks don’t work very well. Masking children is Barbaric and equivalent to bullying and slavery. A child’s growth involves finding their own identity. Masking them will stunt this growth and could have irreparable emotional and psychological damage for years to come. There is ample evidence that kids have a low infection rate and when they are infected they don’t have symptoms. Without symptoms, you’re less likely to spread it. Asymptomatic spread is always possible For any virus but it is the lowest form of spread so why are kids masked? I could argue the same for everyone but I’ll save that for another day.
What scientific evidence leads you to mask children under 10 at school or while in specific pods over 10 at school?
Thanks in advance for your response.
Thank you for your email and your questions.
The state and local Stay-at-Home orders reduced activities associated with community spread of COVID- 19, including close person-to-person contact outside the household. We do continue to have restrictions in place for businesses and activities, however, the Stay-at-Home orders were lifted in May. These measures help protect the public’s health by limiting potential exposure to the virus and reducing community transmission of COVID-19. Local public health departments in Colorado are required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to ensure that those restrictions are communicated to residents and enforced. In May, we applied for and received a variance to allow businesses to reopen earlier and with fewer restrictions than the rest of the state, and Larimer County continues to be in the least restrictive Safer at Home phase, which is Level 1 in Colorado’s Dial Framework. The state considers three criteria in order to move counties between more restrictive or less restrictive levels. These are the 14-day average cases per 100K residents, percent positivity, and hospitalizations. You can refer to the local Data Dashboard to see more about those metrics.
Masks are required in schools for students ages 11 and older. Again, local public health departments are required to follow the Colorado Department of Public Health requirements, which are that face coverings over the nose and mouth be required for students ages 11 years and older, including during in-person instruction (including sitting at desks) unless the student has a medical intolerance, disability, or education reason for not wearing a mask. Covering noses/mouths and physical distancing significantly decreases risk, but similar to wearing a helmet while playing football or wearing a seatbelt in a car, they do not eliminate risk entirely, so temporary classroom closures may still occur even if everyone follows all of the precautions. You can find more information from the CDC here, including a list of scientific evidence for the use of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
om Gonzales, MPH, REHS
Public Health Director
Department of Health and Environment 1525 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524