PUEBLO – Mayor Nick Gradisar launched the City of Pueblo’s new team of COVID-19 Education and Compliance Technicians this week. Starting Thursday, the team will perform site visits and educate Pueblo businesses to stay COVID-19 compliant and open through the end of 2020.
"The COVID-19 technicians’ work is essential to the success of Pueblo’s economy," said Mayor Gradisar, who welcomed the team on Monday during a training session. "We want to make sure the city doesn’t lose its variance with the State of Colorado. We want Puebloans to remain healthy and our economy to stay open."
The COVID-19 Education and Compliance Technicians will perform site visits at local businesses and offer solutions on social distancing and sanitization to provide a healthy environment for staff and customers.
For businesses that provide innovative solutions and have zero COVID-19 safety violations, the technicians will create an "All-Star COVID-19 Business List", which will serve as a resource to customers and other business owners.
The COVID-19 Education and Compliance Technician Program is funded through a CARES Act Grant. The program will be managed by Karen Willson, Supervisor of Pueblo Code Enforcement.
"The focus of this program will be variance adherence. Pueblo’s variance was granted based on certain criteria, and we will ensure that businesses are educated on that criteria and are following it," said Karen Willson, program director.
When technicians see violations, their aim is to educate the business owner or manager to help bring their businesses up to COVID-19 compliance.
Technicians will not be issuing fines or tickets. When technicians see repeat offenders or businesses unwilling to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures, the department will refer those cases to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, which may result in fines or legal action.
COVID-19 technicians will start site visits on Thursday, August 19, 2020. Technicians will focus on sectors which are at the highest risk from community spread, such as restaurants and bars.