Sarah Tuneberg, Colorado’s COVID-19 testing chief, resigns

Sarah Tuneberg, a senior COVID-19 adviser to Colorado’s public health department and head of the agency’s containment and testing team, will step down from her role next month, according to a resignation letter she sent to head of the agency last week.

Tuneberg, who has led the state’s efforts to ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus, will leave the agency on Jan. 21. She did not say in the letter why she was leaving her position.

“The last several months have been some of the best of my professional career,” she wrote. “I am so grateful for the opportunity you both gave me to serve the State of Colorado in this incredibly difficult time.”

In her resignation letter, Tuneberg said that she will provide the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment with a transition plan recommendation before her departure. The state’s testing and containment team now has more than 400 employees, according to the letter.

Tuneberg’s resignation was first reported by Colorado Public Radio on Tuesday. 

“For the past nine months, Sarah Tuneberg has led the scaling of the state’s testing and containment strategies and has been incredibly effective in this role,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director for the health department, in a statement. “When she accepted the position, I knew it might not be for the long term, but I am grateful for her service to the state.”

Tuneberg is the latest public health official to resign from her position during the pandemic. Theresa Anselmo, the executive director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials, announced her resignation earlier this month. Her last day is Dec. 30.

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