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Colorado Doctor's Offices Try To Navigate Between Differing State, Local Orders

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) - It wasn't the grand reopening many doctor's offices had envisioned, however after a month of no business for elective procedures due to the coronavirus outbreak, on Monday many establishments reopened and started treating patients again.

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CBS4's Jeff Todd interviews Randy Snyder (credit: CBS)

"I'm happy to be back. I'm too Type A to sit around all the time. Take the precautions you need to take and you're going to be fine. The healthier you are, the better off we're all going to be," said Dr. Randy Snyder who started Lifetime Health and Wellness in Westminster 31 years ago.

The chiropractic office has been on a roller coaster trying to reopen. Staff started scheduling appointments on Friday, but soon had issues.

"I literally sent out my email blast and said we're open on Friday at noon and at 12:14 p.m. we got the notice from (Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies) that said don't plan anything on Monday," Snyder said.

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On Sunday, he teamed up with two friends and together they pieced together local orders with guidance from the governor's office to officially reopen and later came word from Jefferson County. Snyder says it wasn't easy weaving between state and local jurisdictions.

"I have a dear friend who is a dentist and another friend who is in charge of a bunch of surgeons in Denver. He called us and said, 'We're in!" And we said, 'What do you mean we're in?' Between 5 and 6 o'clock last night the governor posted that we could treat. So then you're scrambling to make sure that you have staff, to let people know you can treat," he said. "But it wasn't even highly publicized. And then about 11 o'clock last night the state's Department of Health posted more guidelines so it's all those kind of things where they're not really working together in sync and posting at one website or one area so everybody knows. They all do their own thing."

He decided to reopen to help people who haven't had treatment since March. The office has been reconfigured to emphasize social distancing. New procedures are in place for checking patients in, sanitizing treatment tables, and keeping people apart. Everyone must wear a mask and either gloves or sanitize their hands upon entry to the office.

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"I get it because this has never happened before. I get that. But, find one website or one area to say 'Hey, we're having an update, or an email blast. It's so hodgepodged and mismatched it's driving everybody crazy. They'll say you can open but there's not a lot stuff that comes after that that tells you all the stuff that goes with it. That's the frustrating part."

On Monday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis announced a website with more of the hopes of providing more clear information, despite continued differences between state and local enforcement. His office also published a lengthy FAQ paper to answer lingering questions.

RELATED: Greeley Jeweler Taking Extra Precautions Under Safer-At-Work Guidance

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