Sharefest Postponed

The ShareFest 2020 event, planned for April 25–26, has been postponed, according to event chairwoman, Debe Colby.

It’s a “given” that because of the COVID-19 virus that the event take place at a later date, Colby said.

“When we have a better understanding of how the community and nation will proceed, we will get together and determine and new ShareFest date,” she said.

The website will be closed for submitting needs, as will the phone number.

Thirty-two churches are participating this year.

“That was a tough call but it was necessary,” Colby said.

Grand Valley Power

Grand Valley Power has extended its office closure through April 17.

“As the electric supplier for over 18,000 households and businesses in Mesa County, we understand that we provide a critical service to the families and the communities we serve,” said Grand Valley Power Chief Executive Officer, Tom Walch in a news release.

“This is a responsibility that we take very seriously. We are taking this action to protect against the spread of COVID-19 to our workforce and in our communities. Rest assured, Grand Valley Power is prepared and equipped to deal with this situation. We will continue to execute our response plan taking the necessary steps and precautions to provide essential electric services,” he said.

Grand Valley Power will continue to work remotely and provide customer service on all accounts. Crews will remain on hand to perform critical system maintenance and respond to power interruptions.

Go to gvp.org or call 242-0040 for information.

CONGRESSIONAL WAIVERS

The state’s entire congressional delegation sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting that Colorado be one of a dozen states to receive special waivers to give it more flexibility in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The waivers, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is only offering to a handful of states, would give Colorado the ability to better deal with the current crisis, specifically when it comes to patients and health care providers dealing with Medicaid.

”The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the state’s single state Medicaid agency, submitted (a waiver request) designed to reduce administrative burdens on clients seeking access to care, on the state’s Medicaid program and on providers seeking to participate in Medicaid,” the state’s nine-member congressional delegate wrote to Azar.

”This three-pronged approach will free up valuable state resources during a time when, more than ever, Coloradans need seamless access to care and the state needs to devote as many resources as possible to the COVID-19 response.”

State Prisons

The Colorado Department of Corrections updated its COVID-19 plan this week, including limiting its staffing and expanding its video visitation options.

The DOC headquarters in Colorado Springs has been closed and facilities across the state have started implementing staffing plans that will limit who is in the facilities and offices at any given time, according to a press release from CDOC.

CDOC is also temporarily suspending arrests of parolees for low-level technical parole violations in order to help aid the criminal justice system in not overloading the jails. These violations may include things like not being able to locate employment, establish a residence, see their parole officer in person, and more, according to CDOC. Video visitation options have also been expanded and the department’s phone vendor agreed to provide inmates with a free 10-minute phone call per week during the crisis.

Law enforcement, jails

Gov. Jared Polis issued new guidelines for law enforcement agencies, including advising increased use of summonses when there is no public safety risk. He also laid out how to best deal with potential COVID-19 cases and methods to lower the number of individuals held in custody.

When contacting someone who is a public safety risk and appears ill or has COVID-19, officers should have personal protective equipment, the guidance said. They should also put a surgical mask on the arrestee to limit potential virus exposure and transmission risk. When the contact is not for an immediate public safety violation, adhering to social distancing directives, limiting the amount of time exposed to the violator, and avoiding exchanging documents through hand-to-hand contact were all advised.

The guidance also suggests prioritizing arrests of serious and violent offenses over non-violent crimes.

At detention facilities, the individual should be isolated from the general population, but “should not receive punitive measures and should have ample access to comfort, entertainment and activity-related materials allowed by their custody level,” according to the guidance.

At the Mesa County Jail, in-person visitation was suspended last week and any fees associated with off-site video visitation have been waived. For more information on changes from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office visit sheriff.mesacounty.us/covid19/.

Court cases

Mesa County Court remains open for limited business and court proceedings.

For any court customer service needs and before conducting business in person with the clerk’s office, 21st Judicial District Court Executive Williams J. Sightler III asked you call 970-257-3640 and the court staff will determine if what you need can be completed over the phone or online.

For any probation customer service needs, call 970-257-3600.

Salvation Army

food drive

The Salvation Army Grand Junction Corps will be at the Mesa Mall, Target wing, from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., today through Saturday to collect food for those who have fallen on hard times, due to COVID-19.

”The Salvation Army recognizes the need many are experiencing here in Mesa County due to food shortages caused by the COVID-19 virus,” a news release said.

”Our food assistance program is always open to those in need and we want to offer our program to all who need an extra hand. Please bring your nonperishable items and we will distribute the food as needed to those in our community through our Food Assistance Program.

If you or your family is need of food, call The Salvation Army at 970-644-5655 for information.

Veterans Cemetery

All events at Veterans Memorial Cemetery are postponed until further notice in response to COVID-19.

Starting Monday, all committal services and rendering of military funeral honors, whether by military personnel or volunteer organizations, will not be conducted until further notice at VA national cemeteries and the State of Colorado Veterans Memorial Cemetery, according to the new procedures from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Immediate family members (limited to no more than 10 people) can choose to witness the interment if desired.

The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado, Grand Junction, will continue to provide scheduling services to reschedule committals or interments for later dates. To schedule a burial, call 970-263-8986.

Families are asked to contact the Veterans Memorial Cemetery to postpone the interment as soon as possible.

Special County meeting

The Mesa County Board of Commissioners is holding a special meeting at 11 a.m. today to discuss actions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The commissioners also will receive more briefings from various community organizations, such as Ute Water and Grand Valley Irrigation.

Because of orders to restrict large gatherings, the public won’t be allowed inside the commissioners’ meeting room, but that access, which allows members of the public to speak, is at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/768884517 or by calling 1-408-650-3123 and using the access code 768884517.

COUNSELING & EDUCATION CENTER

During this struggle with new economic situations, the Counseling & Education Center is still providing counseling for people of all ages, regardless of their income or insurance.

CEC is funded by grants and individual donations, and is now faced with a serious problem, a news release said.

“The need for counseling was already on the rise in Mesa County, and now the anxiety, stress, and mental health needs in our community are higher than ever. As a nonprofit, we cannot continue our important work without additional funding.”

Here’s how CEC has responded to this crisis:

All CEC Counselors now offer therapy sessions via video or phone, whichever is most comfortable for the client. Scheduling is as flexible as possible.

Sliding-scale fees are being adjusted as clients lose their employment.

CEC has cancelled upcoming fundraising events and is seeking new grants.

New clients are welcome.

“If you are able to help us continue this critical work for Mesa County’s youth, adults and families, we would be immensely grateful,” the release said.Call 243-9539 or 644-0173 or email Chris@CecWeCare.org for information.

DELTA DRIVE-THRU DONATION

In the effort to secure hard-to-come-by items that people or businesses may have, the Delta County Volunteer Coalition is organizing a drive-thru donation drive from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Bill Heddles Recreation Center, in Delta, and at Heritage Hall in Hotchkiss.

There is a significant shortage of these items, which will go directly to local Delta County nursing homes and first responders. Needed items include baby formula, N95 face masks, nitrile and vinyl gloves (no latex), safety goggles or glasses, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, new or used clean face shields, Tyvek painter coveralls, disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, shoe covers and surgical gowns.

Call Delta County volunteer coordinator Brian Ayers at 874-2082 for information.

Family Health West tele-health

Family Health West outpatient clinic physicians and therapists are now providing tele-medicine services.

“This is the same excellent quality of care they give in their office using modern video conferencing technology, like Face-Time, so we can protect our community by minimizing close contact,” a news release said.

”Family Health West is pleased to offer another way for our patients to connect with their primary care and specialty care providers, obtain needed health care services, and provide high-quality medical care while also reducing the risk of exposing our patients to COVID-19, and other illnesses,” said Family Health West President/CEO Dr. Korrey Klein in the release.

The Pediatric Therapy and The Autism Group are “tele-meeting” with their pediatric patients and families with great success and other clinics, such as the Arthritis Center of Western Colorado, Atlas Arch Neurosurgery, Redrock Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine and Canyon Rim Psychological Associates have begun tele-health visits.

Call 858-3900 for more information.

Sentinel online resources

The Daily Sentinel restaurant guide has been updated with changes and additions.

The Sentinel has also compiled a religious service guide with listings of area remote services that are being live-streamed on the internet.

Both listings can be found at gjsentinel.com and click on the COVID-19 tab at the top of the home page.

Email covid@gjsentinel.com to update or add listings.

Recommended for you