JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Several Metro area counties will move to Level Clear this weekend, which means there will be no restrictions on capacity.
The counties include:
Denver County health leaders said they plan to release additional details on the shift to Level Clear Friday.
Eagle County health leaders said they'll remove restrictions beginning on Wednesday, May 19, which is a week earlier than expected.
"The time is right to take the next step and move to 'Level Clear- New Normal' on May 16 in line with other counties in the Denver-metro region," said Jason Vahling, director of Broomfield Public Health Department.
"To ensure Broomfield stays in 'Level Clear - New Normal' during the observation period, which ends August 16, we are encouraging residents to get vaccinated if they have not already done so and continue to follow public health guidelines."
The counties will officially move to the new level on Sunday, May 16. Under Level Clear, the counties will enter a 90-day observation period where businesses are allowed to operate at 100% capacity, and capacity limits and mitigation requirements will go away.
These counties had been operating under Level Blue since April 16 and after 30 days were allowed to move this new 90-day observation period which will run through Aug. 16.
Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) updated the state's mask order to fall in line with new guidelines that were put out Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC).
Those who have not yet been vaccinated should continue to wear masks, but there will be no state mandate requiring those that are fully vaccinated to wear masks.
However, businesses, schools, daycares and other indoor places can continue to require mask-wearing on their premises.
Some major retailers, including Target, Home Depot, and Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers, have already said masks will still be required for now.
While capacity limits and mitigation requirements will go away in Level Clear, public health orders will be implemented again if hospitalizations rise above two admissions per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period during the observation phase.
"This move is part of a Metro Denver regional approach to phase into a full reopening as safely as possible while efforts continue to help more residents get vaccinated against COVID-19," Jefferson County Public Health said in a release.
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the CDC eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and inside in most situations.
The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
“We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC.
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