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Restrictions eased for 18-22 year-olds in Boulder County

Young adults can return to the same gathering levels as the rest of the county– meaning 10 or fewer non-household members.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Boulder County health officials have reduced restrictions for those in the 18-22-year-old age groups but said they still need everyone to remain vigilant as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the county and state as a whole.

Young adults, specifically those who are college-aged, were blamed for a large increase in COVID-19 cases in Boulder County following the start of the new school year at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

RELATED: New health order requires all Boulder 18 to 22-year-olds to halt gatherings

As a result, late last month public health orders were put in place to restrict gatherings of anyone in that age group to just two people. Now, thanks to their commitment, Boulder County Public Health announced that they're now able to return to the same gathering sizes as all other Boulder County residents.

“We are so grateful to every young adult who made sacrifices to follow the gathering order,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) executive director. “Don’t let up! Cases are rising across age groups throughout the state.”

Violations of public health orders related to gatherings will be strictly enforced and additional testing will be provided for CU Boulder students living off-campus.

The change in levels is based on metrics identified by risk level including 14-day average new cases per 100,000 among individuals aged 18- to 22-years-old in Boulder County, test positivity percentage, and consistent testing among the age group. Metrics for the young adult levels are monitored daily and reported weekly.

RELATED: Businesses near CU Boulder feel impact of public health orders

The decision to move levels is decided and announced by Boulder County Public Health on Tuesdays by 11 a.m. each week. The change takes effect an hour later at noon on the same day.

Click here to read the full public health order

Here's what the change means for all 18-to-22-year-olds in the city of Boulder:

  • People in this age group are permitted to join gatherings of up to 10 people. This is the same guideline that currently applies to people of all ages in Boulder County.
  • 18-to-22-year-olds may visit businesses (restaurants, retail, etc.), as long as they follow physical distancing, facial covering and gathering size limit requirements.
  • The health order will continue to be enforced through a weekly review by BCPH, which may change mandates based on circumstances at the time. 
  • Residents of collegiate group homes that are under stricter stay-at-home orders must still comply with their specific orders and mitigation plans. 

Remaining at this less restrictive level will only be possible surges in cases among this age group are avoided and they remain within the established levels for all tracked metrics. 

BCPH plans to evaluate metrics every Tuesday, keeping the public health order on gathering size limits active through at least Dec. 15.