COLORADO, USA — With the COVID-19 vaccines becoming widely available in Colorado, the state government will be allowing each county to decide how it will respond to the pandemic going forward.
9NEWS looked at counties in the Denver metro area to see what they have planned when the state's dial expires Friday:
The City and County of Denver issued a 30-day public health order set to go into effect Friday that sets new capacity limits including the following:
- 75% capacity at offices
- 75% capacity for retail businesses
- 100% capacity for gyms, recreation centers and pools, with six-foot distancing between non-household members
- 100% capacity for restaurants, with 6-foot distancing between parties and a group size limit of 10
- 25% capacity for bars that do not serve food, not to exceed 75 people
- Alcohol beverage sales at bars/restaurants allowed until 2 a.m.
- Indoor unseated events at 50% capacity, not to exceed 175 people per room
- Indoor seated events at 100% capacity, with six-foot distancing between groups of up to 10 individuals (indoor events with over 500 people must consult with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE))
- Outdoor seated and unseated events with fewer than 5,000 attendees at 100% capacity, with a written mitigation plan that facilitates social distancing between parties.
- Proposed events with 5,000 or more attendees must consult with DDPHE before the event can occur.
Denver will also continue the Five Star Program as follows:
- Indoor events at 50% capacity not to exceed 500 people
- Restaurants, gyms, recreation centers, and pools are not afforded extra capacity because they will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity with six-foot distancing.
- All other certified businesses may allow up to 50 additional people in each setting beyond the limits
Jefferson County Public Health's (JCPH) plan includes a two-phased approach:
- Phase 1 goes from April 16 through May 15. Businesses and individuals can operate under Dial 3.0’s Level Blue capacity limits and simplified mitigation requirements for 30 days. There will be no movement during this 30-day period.
- Phase 2 goes from May 16 through Aug. 16. This is an observation period during which Jefferson County will move to a new level on the dial, Level Clear, which has no restrictions.
Under Level Clear, businesses can operate at 100% capacity, though indoor mask requirements could still be in effect, JCPH said.
JCPH's new public health order also suspends the county's Five-Star Certification Program for businesses. The county's mask order remains in effect.
Both counties, along with Douglas County, are overseen by Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), which issued a public health order that implements a two-phased approach similar to that of Jefferson County Public Health.
Broomfield will employ a simplified version of the dial, according to a public health order, and will use a two-phased approach like the ones in Jefferson, Arapahoe and Adams counties.
Phase 1: April 16 through May 15, Broomfield will operate in “Level Blue: Caution” on the dial.
- Broomfield’s Back to Business program will be suspended, allowing all Broomfield businesses to operate with the following restrictions. View details at Broomfield.org/DialCapacities.
- Restaurants: 100% capacity with six feet between parties indoors and outdoors with last call at 2 a.m.
- Gyms/fitness centers: 100% capacity with six feet between parties, indoors and outdoors
- Organized Sports: groups of up to 50 athletes per activity on each court/field
- Outdoor Events: 100% capacity with six feet distance between parties
- Indoor events: 50% capacity up to 175 people, whichever is fewer, per room for unseated events; 100% capacity with six feet between parties for seated events
- Bars: 25% capacity or 75 people, with last call at 2 a.m.
- Retail, offices, and non-critical manufacturing: 75% capacity
- Broomfield facilities:
- Broomfield recreation centers: Fitness facilities are operating at 100% capacity with physical distancing for cardio and the weight room. All other programs require registration through B-Rex.com.
- The Broomfield Library, Auditorium, Depot Museum and Veterans Memorial Museum will continue to operate at 50% capacity, and the Broomfield Library will continue to offer at-risk hours from 9-10 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
- Personal Gatherings: follow the CDC Guidance to keep six feet from others- not in your household.
- All sectors are expected to continue mitigation practices such as adopting policies to reduce density, continuing to avoid unnecessary in-person gatherings, requiring sick employees to stay home, and compliance with mandatory indoor face covering requirements.
Phase 2: Observation Period. May 16 - August 16, Broomfield will move to Level Clear.
- Businesses will be able to operate at 100% capacity with no mitigation requirements, although face-coverings may still be required.
Learn more on the City and County of Broomfield's website.
The Douglas County Commissioners voted to opt-out of TCHD's public health order, instead allowing businesses to determine what capacities are best for them, their patrons and their employees, according to the county's website.
Boulder County will move into Level Blue with limited modifications beginning on April 16 and will remain there for 30 days, according to a release from the county.
On April 12, officials said they planned to move to blue as long as case incidences did not exceed 300 cases per 100,000 residents and positivity rates did not exceed 7.5% before April 16. They remained below which allowed the county to move to the less restrictive level as planned.
Like other metro counties, Boulder County's plan calls for moving to Level Clear on May 16.
For any gathering between April 16 and May 15 up to 500 individuals, such as an indoor or outdoor event or activity, businesses or organizers must contact Boulder County Public Health at least 14 days in advance of the event and submit a plan to the county to ensure adequate COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures will be in place.
Masks are still required in all public indoor places, and BCPH recommends wearing masks outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) has issued a public health order to guide the county through the next phase of the pandemic. It calls for the county to mostly follow what were Level Blue restrictions under Dial 3.0. The order went into effect on April 16 and will remain in effect for 30 days. LCDHE said most businesses, events and other establishments are now able to operate with fewer restrictions and with increased capacity limits.
According to a statement from the Weld County Commissioners, the county will be focused on "promoting the importance of personal responsibility when it comes to individuals and businesses making the decisions that best address their health-related concerns."
"As has been the case throughout the pandemic," the statement read, "Weld County government will not issue COVID-19 restrictions and regulations that hinder an individual’s ability to manage the day-to-day decisions for themselves and their family, or a business’s right to run their establishment in a manner that works best for them and the consumers they serve."
The statement said the county's health department will continue to provide information about the virus on its website.
The Elbert County Commissioners and Elbert County Public Health have also decided not to impose any capacity restrictions on local businesses, according to a release.
Elbert County Public Health said instead, it will continue to track and report local COVID-19 data on case numbers, positive test rates and hospitalizations on social media and on the county's website so residents can be aware of trends and take any precautions they feel are appropriate.
Elbert County said it still urges businesses to allow customers to maintain six feet of social distancing and provide contactless payment.
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