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Colorado shifting focus away from pandemic response and towards economic recovery

The end to pandemic-era emergency orders signals a change of focus in Denver
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:24 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - As previously reported , the governor’s office is shifting its focus away from pandemic response and towards economic recovery and vaccination. Gov. Jared Polis’s Executive Order 2021-122 said that Colorado should focus on “building back stronger from the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Not too much is going to change in Mesa County. According to Mesa County Public Health, for example, the coronavirus vaccine is going to remain available to those who want it.

According to MCPH spokeswoman Stefany Busch, “Locally, we want people to know that the end of those executive orders in that emergency health declaration, it does not impact access to vaccine. Vaccines are still plentiful, COVID vaccine is still plentiful in Mesa County. It’s still free, regardless of immigration status, income, and insurance.”

With the end of emergency executive orders put in place during the pandemic, a change in focus in Denver is coming through. Gov. Polis explained that, “I’m ending the health emergency for Colorado, and refocusing our pandemic response to prioritize recovery and vaccination efforts. That means, getting more Coloradans back to work, allowing our state to recover faster by ending the health emergency declaration, and focusing on recovery and vaccination.”

The Chamber of Commerce says that Grand Junction and Mesa County are ahead of the curve. According to the Chamber, economic recovery has been the focus here for months. Chamber CEO Diane Schwenke is encouraging the public to shop local and support small Grand Junction and Mesa County businesses.

Schwenke expressed that, “in Mesa County in particular, we have been kind of focused I think, all of us in the business community and the economic development community on recovery and resurgence and continuing to grow our economy for at least probably the last six months.”

According to Schwenke, Grand Junction regional airport having such a busy month in June is a sign that the area is well on its way to recovery from pandemic lows. Schwenke said that last month was the airport’s busiest month on record.

According to the Chamber, sales tax numbers in the county are also indicating steady recovery.

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