DENVER — Amid an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and a rising statewide positivity rate, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said Friday it is now limiting personal gatherings to no more than 10 people and two households in counties in the Safer at Home phase of reopening.
“Recent case investigation data show that since July, attending social gatherings and community exposures have become more common among new cases,” CDPHE said. “This suggests people have relaxed their precautions and are interacting more closely with a greater number of households.”
This comes after Denver County limited gatherings to five people and released stricter guidelines for outdoor mask use. Adams, Arapahoe and Boulder counties have also put new limits on gatherings in place.
This order does not apply to the five counties in the Protect Our Neighbors phase of reopening, CDPHE said. Those counties are Gilpin, Gunnison, Mesa, Rio Blanco and Moffat. Leaders there can still issue stricter orders as needed.
“All Coloradans are strongly encouraged to limit gatherings,” CDPHE said.
As of this writing, Colorado's seven-day moving average of the positivity rate is 5.81% -- above the 5% threshold recommended by the World Health Organization for keeping the novel coronavirus under control.
The seven day moving average for new cases is above 1,000, and as of this writing, 446 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.
During a news conference earlier this week, Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said he intended to leave many decisions for new coronavirus measures up to local jurisdictions, with the goal of reducing the need for further lockdowns.
Counties with rising case numbers could lose some of their provisions for reopening, resulting in lower capacity for business.
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