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Arapahoe County gets 5 Star variance approval

Arapahoe County becomes the third Front Range county to get its 5 Star application approved by the state. Douglas and Larimer counties have also been approved.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) approved Arapahoe County's 5 Star variance request Wednesday.

In a letter sent to Arapahoe County commissioners, CDPHE said the county needs to provide weekly updates on which businesses have been certified.

To get 5 Star approval, counties need to hit a few metrics before CDPHE will approve.

Arapahoe County's incidence of COVID-19 infections has had three consecutive weeks of declines, according to charts provided by CDPHE. The county on Thursday said it will move to CDPHE's Orange Level of restrictions on Jan. 4, meaning restaurants can operate at 25% capacity with a maximum capacity of 50. Gym capacity also increases to 25% or 25 people indoors per room. 

Under CDPHE's county 5 Star variance program, certified businesses in Orange counties can operate at Yellow capacity levels.

> More information on the 5 Star program can be found here.

Another metric the county needed to hit was getting its percentage of positivity down. As the below graph shows, Arapahoe's positivity rate had dropped to 6.5% as of Dec. 28.

Credit: CDPHE

CDPHE did warn the county that it will review Arapahoe's metrics within two weeks to make sure the county is still falling within approved ranges.

Arapahoe County said all businesses are free to apply, however, they said restaurants, gyms and indoor event applications will get priority at first.

Timeline for businesses

Businesses in Arapahoe County need to apply for certification and show that they are willing and able to meet all of the criteria for the 5 Star certification program. 

The county said any business with multiple locations needs to apply and get approval for each location.

After a business has successfully submitted its application, the county will send an inspector to look it over and make sure the business is in compliance.

If they are approved, the county will send an email with a certificate the business will hang in its front window.

If a business fails inspection, they can make necessary changes and re-apply.

Businesses can get more information and an application form by following this link.

RELATED: 5 Star applications keep Douglas County inspectors busy

RELATED: Jefferson County applies for 5-star variance

RELATED: Douglas, Larimer counties get approval under state's 5 Star Variance Program