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La Plata County Public Health to pilot 4-day week

Clinic, vital records, water testing to be available Monday through Thursday
Lobby hours at 281 Sawyer Drive for La Plata County Public Health will be reduced to Monday through Thursday beginning Monday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

The county public health department will conduct a three-month trial period for reduced lobby hours beginning Monday.

La Plata County Public Health, like several other county departments, will be open to the public Monday through Thursday this summer.

The department first opened its doors to the public Jan. 2. Analysis of lobby traffic found that an average of 15 people visited the department each day midweek, but just six people, on average, visited on Fridays, said spokesman Todd Macon.

Some services will remain open by appointment on Fridays, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program and the harm reduction program.

Clinical services and water sample collection were historically not available on Fridays anyway, Macon said. Vital records services are the only thing that were previously available on Fridays that will no longer be available on Fridays during the three-month trial period.

“I think the point of changing those hours is that we can focus our efforts on the times that people are coming in,” Macon said.

The offices of the county clerk and recorder and the treasurer also operate on a four-day schedule, although some employees still work a five-day week. The schedule has meant better staff retention as a result of the flexibility it provides. Unlike the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, LPCPH will not expand its lobby hours on the four days per week that it is open.

There are some services that will continue to be offered after hours, including monthly extended clinic hours and vaccination clinics scheduled intentionally to reach members of the public who cannot get to the department during regular working hours.

A public survey seeking input on the impact of the change will be conducted in the lobby at 281 Sawyer Drive throughout the trial period, which ends Aug. 30.

The Board of County Commissioners will then review the feedback before deciding whether to make the change permanent.

rschafir@durangoherald.com



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