Friday, April 10, 2020

Palisade Plunge Work Continues Through COVID-19 Pandemic

Steady progress on the Palisade Plunge Trail continues. This week, crews realized that portions of the trail that were initially thought to be an easier section to cut trail on, are actually on bedrock covered by a couple inches of dirt and loose shale.

The warmer weather is starting to bring out summer creatures.

Work crews describe breaking through the bedrock with pickaxes and rock bars as reminiscent of work chain gangs would perform.

Crews break through bedrock with hand tools.

Some crew members have begun hiking over four miles while hauling approximately a hundred pounds of gear and power tools to get to their job site.

Crews report that even with power tools when breaking through bedrock sections, they are only averaging about four to six feet, an hour.

While tackling these strenuous conditions and steep slopes, crews managed to finish another 950 feet of new trail, leaving them at milepost 28.18.

A Palisade Plunge crew member hikes over four miles while hauling approximately a hundred pounds of gear and power tools.

To date, a total of 12.64 miles of trail has been completed, and a total of about 0.19 miles of rough-cut trail is left to be hand finished. This leaves just over four miles to go before completion of phase one of the trail. Phase two will begin this year, weather permitting.

Week 29: steady progress on the Palisade Plunge Trail continues.

Community Development Staff Make Cloth Masks for Colleagues

Mesa County Community Development Support Services staff are being proactive and taking action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This week, they made masks for co-workers who interact with the public. Those masks are going to building inspectors, planners, as well as for themselves, as public-facing frontline staff.

Mesa County Public Health is asking everyone to wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are challenging to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Read more about cloth face-covering guidelines, here.

Rose Tafoya wraps up the pattern cutting for the face masks.
Vicki Audino does some sewing.
Tori Kittel has moved from her computer to a sewing machine.
Tori Kittel modeling a face mask she made at home to try one of the patterns being used.

Melisa Boyles is hard at work, sewing a cloth mask. 
Mesa County Community Development Departments (Building, Code Compliance, OWTS, and Planning) are operating with modified services to reduce in-person contact and to provide a safe working environment for both customers and staff.

The following are the most efficient ways to connect:
  • Email communication is encouraged for all divisions at
  • Building & OWTS Inspections - Activate the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system by dialing 970-256-1564.
  • Mesa County Central Services Lobby (MCCS) - The Community Development front counter is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, no appointment necessary.
Please call 970-244-1636 or visit for more information regarding services.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Clean Hands Count, Says Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)
recommends hand washing first and hand sanitizing second, in
CDC campaign graphic
place of washing if that is not possible.

According to the CDC, washing your hands is the first line of defense against preventing disease. Clean Hands Count is a campaign kicked off by the CDC and is critical now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDC has posted some hand hygiene research and other informative data. One website posted a homemade recipe for hand sanitizer, here.

While this information can help, it should not be used alone or as a sole means of defense against the COVID-19 virus. Instead, in conjunction with staying home, limiting trips to run essential errands, and other local, state, and federal guidelines and recommendations.

For local COVID-19 information, visit

For state COVID-19 information, visit

Criminal Justice Services Department Pandemic Response

The Criminal Justice Services Department (CJSD), which includes Residential Community Corrections, Pretrial Services and Summit View Treatment Programs, update their Pandemic Response Plan each fall. The plan consists of inventorying supplies, screening all client intakes for symptoms, educating program clients and staff, updating a staff contingency plan, and assessing emergency response for any serious increase during flu season or our current situation with the COVID-19 virus.

CJSD is working closely with Mesa County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Safety to implement our pandemic plans in accordance with the best information and practices that are currently available. Though most criminal justice employees are considered essential, many are working from home whenever possible. Fortunately, both client and employee seasonal illnesses have been minimal. At this time, neither clients or employees have reported symptoms related to COVID-19.

In order to protect clients and staff, we have made the following operational changes to include:

Limiting unnecessary physical contact and utilizing social distancing by allowing clients that live in the community to complete required check-ins or appointments with staff by phone or email. Critical mental health or substance abuse counselors continue to be available by phone, email or in-person if needed.

Staff and clients have been educated on social distancing. Changes have been made to staff meetings, client treatment and education class sizes, and physical layouts to adhere to recommended guidelines.

Public access to program facilities has been limited in compliance with new rules regarding the COVID-19 response. Individuals that are ill or showing symptoms related to the virus or the flu are asked to refrain from entering the campus. Keeping our residential clients and staff as safe as possible from the virus is of utmost importance in a residential facility where people are living and working.

Program clients that are employed as essential staff continue to work. Clients who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 have been provided financial waivers and assistance with applying for unemployment benefits. 

In an effort to prevent COVID-19, CJSD has increased cleaning crews and continues to provide “wipe-down” strategies multiple times a day throughout the campus, including public entrance areas, client living quarters, staff areas and food service areas.

In response to Mesa County Public Health’s recommendations for Detention Facilities, we have begun screening staff for symptoms daily, prior to client contact, as well as any outside contractors that arrive for essential services.

A review of client emergency release plans, completed in accordance with our Pandemic Response Plan, has begun. CJSD is now reviewing clients who may be placed in community settings on an emergency basis. This is in compliance with the order by Governor Polis to reduce inmate populations to allow for greater social distancing practices within the facility and to create space for isolation and quarantine areas that are needed.   

We continue to work with the Colorado Department of Public Safety and the Mesa County Community Corrections Board to review standards related to client contact and supervision.  Adjustments are being made that increase client and staff safety by reducing practices that do not align with social distancing and personal protective recommendations.

CJSD continues to monitor new recommendations daily as information continues to evolve. Updates to our practices will continue to be made with the health and safety of our staff, clients and community in mind. We are committed to continuing our focus on public safety during this unprecedented time.