El Paso County to move to Level Orange: Safer at Home – High-Risk status on state’s dial

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — In response to recent increases in COVID-19 cases rates, test positivity, and hospitalizations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified El Paso County Wednesday morning that El Paso County is being required to move to Level Orange: Safer at Home – High Risk in the state’s dial framework.  

El Paso County has by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 13 to fully implement these changes. 

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of El Paso County Public Health to implement a mitigation plan to reduce our COVID-19 numbers. Unfortunately, the data is showing that our current level of restriction is not enough to stop the rise in cases and hospitalizations, and CDPHE has moved El Paso County to a more restrictive level. This is concerning for our businesses and especially our restaurants. I am hopeful that with the cooperation of our residents, leadership of our health department and commitment by our businesses, that we can reverse the trend of COVID-19 infections quickly and return to a more open economy,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. 

As of November 10, El Paso County’s metrics are as follows: 

  • Two-week incidence: 711.4 
  • Two-week test positivity rate: 13.26% 
  • Hospitalizations: Increasing   

“Over the past month, the Pikes Peak Region has experienced a significant rise in COVID-19 cases as well as hospitalizations. Centura Penrose-St. Francis is working tirelessly to ensure we have the resources to maintain the safest level of care for our community,” said Dr. Bill Plauth, Chief Medical Officer, Penrose St.-Francis. “We are asking our community to join us in this effort by continuing to wear masks, keeping social distancing and following other preventive measures in their daily lives.” 

The move to Level Orange implements the following guidelines and restrictions: 

  • Preschool -12 Schools:
    • In-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate 
  • Higher Education:
    • In-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate 
  • Places of Worship:
    • Under federal court order, capacity limits do not currently apply to indoor Places of Worship, though social distancing requirements must still be met; outdoors, six feet of social distance must be maintained as well.  
  • Restaurants:  
    • Indoors: 25% capacity or up to 50 people;  
    • Outdoors: six feet between parties 
  • Offices: 
    • 25% capacity 
  • Bars: 
    • Closed, unless all patrons are seated at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart, and food is served from a retail food licensee for on-premise consumption. 25% capacity or up to 50 people per room (or up to 100 with social distance calculator). Dance floors are not permitted. Bars that operate must follow all the requirements listed in Appendix H of Public Health Order 20-36.  
  • Gyms/Fitness:
    • 25% capacity up to 25 people indoors, or outdoors in groups less than 10 
  • Group Sports: 
    • Virtual, or outdoors in groups less than 10; no indoors 
  • Retail: 
    • 25% capacity 
  • Personal Services: 
    • 25% capacity up to 25 people per room 
  • Indoor Events:  
    • Unseated: 25%, or up to 50 people (with social distance calculator) 
    • Seated: 25%, or 50 people with six feet of distance 
  • Outdoor Events:  
    • Unseated: 25%, or up to 75 people (with social distance calculator) 
    • Seated: 25%, or up to 75 people with six feet of distance 

Safer at Home level in the dial limits personal gatherings not otherwise covered by Public Health Order 20-36 Safer at Home Dial to 10 or fewer people from no more than two households. During the month of November, CDPHE is asking individuals to interact only with people from their own households. 

“We are urging our community to come together to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19, by focusing on what they can do right now,” said Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director. “Small actions lead to a broad community impact, and the only way we are going to get through these difficult times is working together and everyone doing their part. We greatly appreciate everyone in the community and our many partners who have been doing all they can to slow the spread of COVID-19.” 

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