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State's COVID dial updated, capacity expanded for restaurants

Restaurants and indoor seating events can expand capacity under certain levels.

DENVER — The state's health department (CDPHE) on Monday announced changes to Colorado's COVID-19 dial that includes expanded capacity in restaurants, the Joint Information Center (JIC) said in a news release. 

The changes have already taken effect.

Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level, CDPHE's website says. It's a tool that allows the state to balance the urgent need to contain the novel coronavirus with the need for localized guidance during the pandemic.

One update to the dial is what the JIC calls a new disease incidence metric buffer, which allows counties to exceed their dial level's disease incidence metric and remain in that level as long as they do not exceed the minimum of the next more restrictive dial level's incidence rate by more than 15% for five consecutive days. 

CDPHE said this will create more predictability with dial moves and prevents counties from moving back and forth unnecessarily.

RELATED: Five-star businesses in these counties can operate at Level Blue

Restaurants COVID guidelines

Restaurants and indoor seating events can expand capacity under certain levels:

  • Restaurants and seated indoor events (including casinos) in Level Blue may expand capacity to 225 people without using the distancing space calculator.
  • Restaurants and seated indoor events (including casinos) in Level Yellow may expand capacity to 150 people without using the distancing space calculator.
  • Seated indoor events in Level Red may calculate distancing without using the distancing space calculator.

Last call to order alcohol at restaurants has been expanded for each level:

  • Level Blue: 2 a.m.
  • Level Yellow: 1 a.m.
  • Level Orange: Midnight
  • Level Red: 10 p.m.

Music in classrooms

CDPHE said masks may be removed in a school classroom setting for the purpose of playing a musical instrument that cannot otherwise be played while wearing a mask, but students must continue to physically distance. 

Performers with masks can be 12 feet apart; 25 feet apart with no masks.

Instrument players with bell covers can be 12 feet apart; 25 feet apart with no masks, CDPHE said.

Performers in general

Performers at events who are wearing masks may be a minimum of 12 feet away from spectators, CDPHE said. Performers not wearing masks must remain a minimum of 25 feet away.

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