COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Seven Colorado counties, including two in southern Colorado, are moving to more restrictive levels on the state’s COVID-19 dial, the state health department said Tuesday.
The health department said after two weeks of growing cases and mounting pressure on the health care system, the following counties, in consultation with CDPHE, are moving to more restrictive levels:
- Adams County in the Denver metro is moving to Safer at Home 3 on Wednesday
- Arapahoe County in the Denver metro is moving to Safer at Home 2 on Wednesday
- Denver County is moving to Safer at Home 3 on Wednesday
- La Plata County in western Colorado moved to Safer at Home 2 on Monday
- Mesa County in western Colorado moved to Safer at Home 1 on Monday
- Otero County in southern Colorado is moving to Safer at Home 2 on Friday
- Crowley County in southern Colorado is moving Safer at Home 2 on Friday
The health department said these counties have submitted mitigation plans and “are working to reverse the concerning trends in their counties.”
Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level, enabling counties to balance, to the greatest extent possible, controlling the virus with our social and economic needs.
The dial framework has five levels. Capacity restrictions for businesses, restaurants, schools, places of worship, and other locations vary based on a county’s dial level. A county’s dial level is determined by three metrics:
- New cases: how much the virus is circulating in a county.
- Percent positivity: whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission.
- Impact on hospitalizations: whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining.
Under Safer at Home Level 2, indoor restaurants and places of worship are limited to 50% capacity or 50 people (or up to 100 with calculator). Offices and retail can operate at 50% capacity. Gyms can operate at 25% capacity, or 50 people. There is a cap of 175 people on outdoor events.
In southern Colorado, Pueblo, Custer, Saguache, Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla counties are currently operating at Level 2. All other southern Colorado counties are in Level 1, though some, including El Paso County, are at risk of moving to a stricter level if numbers don’t improve.