4:48pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Science

Shutdown Brings Fort Collins CDC To 10% Staffing

Across Colorado thousands of federally funded lab workers remain furloughed due to the government shutdown. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, just 10 percent of staff remain on duty.

Director Lyle Peterson says routine diagnostic and research activities have stopped. He says the focus during the shutdown is to maintain property and protect human lives.

“We kept people here to be able to respond to any kind of emergencies that may happen and if necessary to call in additional staff if some emergency arises,” he said.

That means about 16 of 162 professional staff continue to work on site, and some continue to be dispatched into the field. Petersen says the CDCP are sending personnel to Arizona this week to deal with an outbreak of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever there. Some experiments also need to move forward—including a Lyme disease vaccination study with rodents.

Larimer County is also home to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service and the Rocky Mountain Research Station—both of which have also seen furloughs.

Overall, federally funded research labs had an economic impact in Larimer County totalling nearly $150 million  in fiscal year 2012.