Douglas County extends mandate on public health order for migrants

Douglas County Extends Health Order to Screen Migrants Amid Influx; Prepares Ordinance to Deter Unplanned Drop-offs

In response to the influx of tens of thousands of migrants, many from Venezuela, arriving in Denver in recent months, officials in Douglas County have extended a public health order that requires any entities or individuals who are sending groups of migrants to take shelter in the county to provide personal information about the migrants. This includes details such as their country of origin, health screenings, and other information. The order was first issued in December and is connected to the preservation of public health, safety, and welfare in Douglas County.

Michael Hill, director of the Douglas County Health Department, stated that the extension of the order was necessary for ensuring that migrants who are sent to Douglas County for shelter are properly vetted and screened before they are allowed to enter. The Board of Health adopted the order months ago to set requirements for any entities sending migrants to the county for shelter, despite having no prior indications that migrants would be placed in Douglas County.

While there have been no migrants dropped off in Douglas County as of mid-March, local 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 The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded by the county health board.

Of the roughly 40,000 migrants tracked by officials in Denver, not all choose to stay. Many are provided with one-way bus tickets to other cities, with the top destinations being Chicago and New York City. Some migrants initially stay in Denver but later move to other Colorado cities or states in search of jobs or more affordable housing. Local leaders believe that preventing bus drivers from dropping off passengers unplanned will help keep track of where they go and ensure that they receive proper care and support.

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