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Arapahoe County moves to Level 2 COVID-19 restrictions

Stricter protocols will be enacted in Arapahoe County as a result of rising COVID case counts and positivity rates.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has ordered Arapahoe County to move from Safer at Home Level 1 to Level 2 on the state’s dial dashboard — a result of rising COVID case counts and positivity rates over the past several weeks.

CDPHE’s changes will go into effect Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.

As of Monday, Oct. 26, Arapahoe County’s COVID incidence rate is 299.47 and the positivity rate is 6.95%, according to the county, which will provide a status report to the CDPHE in about two weeks.

> Above video: 'We're in widespread community spread': 9Health expert discusses COVID-19 trends

“Now that the re-opening of schools is bringing more people into contact with each other, and cooler weather is beginning to drive more people indoors than during the summer, we’re seeing a steep rise in COVID case numbers,” said Arapahoe County Board Chair Nancy N. Sharpe. “Blunting the spread of COVID now, at the onset of the annual flu season, is especially crucial to ensuring that we don’t overburden our hospital system in the county and throughout Colorado. We share everyone’s frustration at these restrictions, but our numbers are rising in ways that jeopardize our ability to keep the county open without further mitigation efforts.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis in September announced a COVID-19 dial that establishes a restriction framework for counties based on metrics like positivity rate and hospital capacity.

Counties can use the dial as a guide to apply to enter one of five phases that outline restrictions aimed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Counties will move back and forth between levels based on their metrics.

The main differences between Safer at Home Level 1 and Level 2 that Arapahoe County will see:

  • Maximum attendees at indoor worship services are reduced from 175 to 50.
  • Maximum attendees at gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 (from 175 to 50 for Arapahoe County gyms because of the variance the County received in June).
  • Maximum attendees at restaurants decreases from 175 to 50 (or up to 100 if the space has adequate social distancing).
  • Maximum participants for group sports are reduced from 50 to 25 per activity.
  • Maximum attendees for indoor events are reduced from 175 to 100, and from 250 to 175 for outdoor events.

The City and County of Denver announced Tuesday it will move from Safer At Home: Level 2 to the more restrictive Safer At Home: Level 3.

Adams County is also moving to Safer at Home Level 3 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) reports "skyrocketing" cases of the virus there.

For more information about these public health orders or their requirements, or about COVID case numbers and guidelines, visit Colorado's COVID dial dashboard.

RELATED: Here are Colorado's 5 COVID-19 restriction phases

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