Category: Health

Petition asks the Mesa County Public Health Dept. to enforce mask mandate at Mesa Mall

A Move-On.org petition is asking the Mesa County Health Department to enforce the state-wide mask mandate inside the Mall.

The petition states,

Covid-19 is spreading fast and hard through Mesa County. Many people are still not taking the threat seriously. It is putting [Mall] employees, tenants, and guests at a ridiculously high risk of catching and spreading the virus. The effects are dangerous and deadly and we have a moral and social imperative to do what we can to keep each other safe. The Mesa Mall is responsible for the safety of those who enter it’s walls. If they can’t provide a safe place for people to work, shop, and visit, then they should shut down for the health and safety of our community.

A mask mandate is currently in place throughout Colorado to reduce the spread of the deadly, communicable Corona virus that is sweeping the country. It requires everyone 11 years and older to wear a face mask in enclosed public places. Masks are recommended anywhere people are sharing air.

How to effectively complain about businesses that aren’t enforcing the mask order:

State Senator Ray Scott refuses to wear mask in Village Inn, lectures waiter not to enforce rule, saying “WE make the laws”

State Senator Ray Scott, who has a track record of being rude to his constituents, getting sued by the ACLU for blocking constituents on social media and getting slapped with a formal ethics complaint, recently displayed his legendary hubris again after he refused to put on a face mask while inside a Village Inn restaurant in Grand Junction.

The story was reported by the Colorado Times Recorder on December 21.

According to the Times Recorder, the waiter approached Scott and told him that he would have to leave if he didn’t wear a mask inside the restaurant, Scott lectured the waiter by saying “Governors make rules, but WE make the law,” and explained the difference between a rule and a law. Scott then told the waiter he was being too “heavy handed” in enforcing the statewide masking rule.

The pitfalls of Mesa County’s “5 Star” Coronavirus protection program

Mesa County’s 5-Star program creates expectations that often aren’t met, and leaves it to patrons to police establishments for compliance, which can then lead to harassment, threats and intimidation against patrons who complain.

Mesa County has been touting it’s “Variance Protection” (“Five Star”) program as the key to keeping businesses open amid the pandemic, and while the goals of the program are laudable, the widespread lack of enforcement, particularly of masking requirements, can unfortunately create a climate of additional threats to patrons, and not just to their health.

Commissioners publicly urge Mesa County residents to wear masks

The unchecked community spread of Coronavirus, high number of hospitalizations and rising deaths from Covid-19 in the county has led the Mesa County Commissioners to finally issue a press release Nov. 13 urging all Mesa County residents to wear masks whenever they patronize local businesses, avoid close contact with others and avoid indoor gatherings. The release is headlined “Commissioners encourage community members to wear a mask.”

The Commissioners are now putting their support behind an all-out effort to raise awareness of the public health emergency the virus is causing in our community, get people to take the situation seriously, keep local businesses afloat and help our area avoid more mandatory closures.

Mesa County Commissioners John Justman, Rose Pugliese and Scott McInnis all urge Mesa County residents to wear masks at all times when patronizing local businesses.

Here is the Commissioners’ statement:

RN literally begs Mesa County Commissioners to urge public to wear masks, distance, avoid gatherings

Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N. begged Mesa County Commissioners on 11/9 to make a definitive public statement urging the public to wear masks, avoid gatherings and strictly follow other public health protocol to help rein in the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus in our community

A registered nurse openly begged the Mesa County Commissioners to make a statement telling people they need to wear masks when patronizing local businesses, maintain physical distancing and strictly avoid gatherings, to help rein in the area’s skyrocketing Covid-19 infection rate.

Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N., a retired Veterans Administration nurse, spoke to the commissioners in the public comment period of their Monday, 11/9 meeting (video, @ 1:02). Phillips spoke after Mesa County Public Health Department Executive Director Jeff Kuhr told commissioners about the dire situation the county faces from the ongoing uncontrolled spread of the novel Coronavirus. Dr. Kuhr told commissioners that last Saturday the county reached its highest new Covid case count in a single day: 180.

CMU President Tim Foster appears to have quietly un-endorsed Janet Rowland

Original endorsement ad Janet Rowland posted ad on her Facebook page that violated the Hatch and Fair Campaign Practices Acts. She later revised it to remove Foster’s title as President of CMU.

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) President Tim Foster appears to have quietly asked Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland (R) to remove any mention of his name from her campaign Facebook page, effectively un-endorsing her — a reversal of his previous whole-hearted endorsement.

Graph of cumulative Mesa County Covid cases shows where county is headed

Graph showing the number of Covid-19 cases in Mesa County Covid over time, from March 1-July 31, 2020. The Mesa County Health Department does not have a graph like this on its Coronavirus information web page. The steep rise in cases recently is telling. (Chart credit: Tim Kozak)

Whether through oversight or intention, the Mesa County Health Department does not have a graph of cumulative cases of Covid-19 on its website, but such a graph can give a clear picture of how well or how poorly our county is doing in preventing spread of Corona virus, and show us where we are going under the current conditions. This chart provides that missing information.

Local tire business circumvents public health mask law

Commercial Tire Service

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Commercial Tire Service at 725 23 1/2 Road has found a way to circumvent the Colorado’s recent public health order mandating everyone wear a face mask in indoor spaces to help stop the spread of the deadly Corona virus: They tacitly suggest with a sign at the entrance that everyone entering the business can simply claim they have an undisclosed medical reason why they can’t wear a mask.

Commercial Tire Service has a sign in their front window that says:

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS

Those in our state government have ordered all persons entering indoor facilities to wear a mask. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you are exempt from the orders. Due to HIPAA and the 4th Amendment we cannot legally ask you about your medical condition. Therefore, if we see you without a mask, we will assume you have a medical condition. We welcome you inside to support our business.

Gov. Polis issues mandatory state-wide mask order. Here’s where to report businesses that don’t obey it.

Governor Jared Polis issued an order effective at midnight last night mandating every Colorado citizen over 10 years of age to wear face masks when doing business in public indoor places. The order says that no business serving the public in a public indoor space “may provide service to a customer, or allow a customer to enter or move within that indoor space, unless the customer is wearing a face covering.”

Seeking to quell partisan bickering over the order, Polis said,

“The virus doesn’t care what political party you belong to. The virus doesn’t care what belief system you have. The virus doesn’t care. The virus is the virus and it is a threat to every single one of us.”

Under the conditions immediately predating the mask rule, if nothing was done, Colorado was on a trajectory to exceed the number of intensive care beds available by September.

NEJM video shows how wearing a face mask reduces the spread of Corona virus


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a video showing how face masks reduce the spread of airborne droplets  emitted when people speak and shout, giving a graphic representation of how mask-wearing works to reduce the spread of Corona virus, the novel deadly virus that currently no prevention, no treatment and no cure.

In the video, “Visualizing Speech Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” a person in a darkened room says the phrase “Stay healthy” repeatedly in varying volumes while neon lasers light up the droplets coming from his mouth.

After watching this video, imagine standing without a face mask and speaking while you look over the produce in the grocery store, or order food from a menu, for example. This video shows how droplets fly from people’s mouths when they speak, and shows how people spread the virus to others.

Flouting mask policies in Mesa County rampant as Covid-19 cases spike

Parents with multiple children in tow at a local City Market, all defying best practices including the mask-wearing rule, and also violating recommendations to have just one person do the family’s grocery shopping to minimize potential exposure to the deadly Coronavirus.

As America reaches 111,375 deaths from Covid-19, more than any other country on Earth, stores in Mesa County are posting signs at their entrances variously begging, threatening and warning patrons not to enter without a face mask. The mask-wearing policies are aimed at protecting the community from another shutdown by preventing the spread of Covid-19, the highly communicable, deadly novel coronavirus that has no known prevention, treatment or cure. The policies are also meant to protect grocery workers who are putting their lives on the line and endangering their own families every day to fulfill our community’s need for groceries and services. At least 68 grocery store workers across the country have died so far from Coronavirus, and that statistic was last updated on May 21.

But no one is enforcing the rules.

Gov. Polis issues order allowing businesses to deny service to people without masks

Home Style Bakery is taking advantage of the Governor’s executive order and banning people from their store who are not wearing masks to protect against the spread of the deadly Corona virus.

On June 4, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order allowing Colorado businesses to deny service to anyone not wearing a face mask to protect against transmission of Corona virus. The order is aimed at reducing the unchecked spread of the deadly virus, which has no prevention, no known treatment and no known cure.

The order gives

…”discretion to employers and operators of places of public accommodation, and those authorized on their behalf, to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering.”

The state has been struggling to re-open its economy while keeping the  virus in check. If the number of cases in the state increases, it could force the state into another “lockdown,” or forced closure of businesses like we experienced for the first month of the pandemic.

Need an abortion in Grand Junction? Here is information.

If you are pregnant and looking for an abortion in Mesa County, you may find that information about abortion services is very hard to find here. Local obstetrical practices don’t mention abortion on their websites and may not even offer abortion services. The “Pregnancy Center” is one of many fake health clinics that lure women by promising free services, like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and “counseling,” but their real purpose is to shame and guilt women out of getting abortions. The closest provider of safe medical abortions is 90 miles away in Glenwood Springs.

But don’t despair.

Thanks to the internet, there are now options for women to access abortion services no matter where they are.

County Commissioner Candidate Janet Rowland endangers public health with misleading, Q-Anon-linked posts on social media

Rowland posted this article from a media outlet based in Luxembourg to support her view that there is no significant risk of catching Coronavirus from grocery shopping. The findings of the German doctor cited in this article have not been published in any peer-reviewed journal. Meanwhile, least 30 grocery workers in the U.S. have died from Coronavirus so far. 3,000 more are out sick with coronavirus symptoms.

Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland (R) has been posting misleading information about Coronavirus on her campaign Facebook page that is linked to the nutty beliefs of the conspiracy theory QAnon, and that contradict the messaging of public health authorities telling people what they need to do to stay safe and minimize spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Western slopers who fail to grasp danger of Coronavirus are threatening public health

Post on the Grand Junction Community Message Board on Facebook yesterday by Anita Heffalump, who has since changed her name on Facebook to “Anita Hippogriff”

 

Local resident Anita Heffalump alarmed members of the community yesterday by posting an event on the Grand Junction Community Message Board Facebook page that urged people to physically gather to protest public health authorities’ stay-at-home order aimed at protecting people from the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus currently has no no treatment, no cure, no immunization available to prevent it, and is killing people throughout the globe at an alarming rate. The only tool available to reduce transmission of the new virus and save lives during the pandemic is to distance ourselves from each other by staying home as much as possible.

As many as a third of responders to Daily Sentinel survey fail to grasp the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic

Daily Sentinel poll

The Daily Sentinel published results of a non-scientific online poll today asking readers for their opinions of the ongoing stay-at-home order due to the Coronavirus pandemic. About 72 percent of people said they agree with the order and are obeying it. Twenty one percent say they’re following the stay-at-home order even though they think it’s “over the top,” and 7 percent say they are not following the order at all because they think it’s “too extreme” or “unnecessary.”

This means about a third of people in our area aren’t really grasping the seriousness of this pandemic.

That’s scary.

It took a pandemic to stop open burning in Mesa County, as public officials finally recognize it as a public health threat

A “controlled burn,” started by a person with a permit, got out of control on March 5, causing $5,000 worth of damage and endangering nearby residents

The Mesa County Health Department suspended residential open burning in the county indefinitely on March 18 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

No doubt tens of thousands of valley residents are greatly relieved.

The Health Department explained the ban by saying:

COVID-19 is a lower respiratory illness impacting residents with underlying medical conditions, more severely than other groups. This decision was made to ensure the best possible air quality for residents in high-risk categories, and to ensure our medical community has enough resources to care for the patients impacted by COVID-19.

The last-century scourge of open burning is halted at last, at least for awhile

Mesa County’s spring burn season — a throwback to a time when this area was predominantly agricultural — runs from March 1 through May 31. Every year like clockwork, as soon as the weather warms up and people start getting outdoors, they find their springtime ruined by plumes of smoke that give them sore throats, burning eyes, runny noses, headaches, asthma attacks, and exacerbate their lung conditions. Beautiful spring mornings are soon fouled by smoke drifting across the valley, forcing people to close doors and windows and grab their inhalers.

Grand Junction family doc starts Facebook page to answer questions about COVID-19

Dr. Elvi Whiteford

Dr. Elvi Whiteford of Appleton Clinics has started a Facebook page called “Medical Providers Keeping GJ Educated and Supported,” where people can go to get authoritative answers to questions about the COVID-19 virus and efforts to cope with the pandemic.

Dr. Whiteford is a family medicine doctor who was born and raised in Grand Junction. She got her M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 2000 and has practiced here since 2008. She set up the Facebook page as an educational forum where people can get the most accurate, timely and factual medical updates on COVID-19. The page does not seek donations or take requests for care, but rather is just a place to get authoritative, science-based answers to questions and share the most up to date information possible.

Here is an example of the kind of questions Dr. Whiteford is getting, and the answers she is giving: