Douglas County prolongs public health order concerning migrants

Officials in Douglas County have extended a public health order that requires entities or individuals sending groups of migrants to the county to provide personal information about the migrants. This includes their country of origin, health screenings, and other details. The order, first issued in December, is in response to the large number of migrants, many from Venezuela, arriving in Denver in recent months.

The Director of the Douglas County Health Department, Michael Hill, stated that the board believes the order is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare in Douglas County. The Board of Health adopted the order months ago with requirements for any entity sending migrants to the county for shelter. This was seen as a preemptive measure, as there was no indication at the time that nearby governments intended to turn to the county for shelter.

While no migrants have been dropped off in Douglas County as of mid-March, the county’s elected leaders are preparing to enact an ordinance to prevent bus drivers from unloading passengers in unplanned locations. The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded by the county health board. In Denver, officials have tracked roughly 40,000 migrants, with the city purchasing about 20,000 one-way bus tickets for those looking to go to other cities. Many migrants request to go where they have friends or family, with Chicago and New York City being top destinations. Others may initially stay in Denver but later move to other cities or states in search of jobs or cheaper housing.

By Riley Johnson

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