JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Jefferson County businesses and residents will move to the more restrictive Level Yellow on Colorado's COVID Dial 3.0 effective Friday at 6 a.m., the county's health department announced Wednesday.
Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) Executive Director Dawn Comstock said the county is "slipping in the wrong direction" due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates and hospitalizations.
> Video above: Why are COVID-19 cases increasing in Colorado?
“This pushes us past our Level Blue limits and into Level Yellow," Comstock said. "None of us want to go backwards on the Dial after all of the hard work we’ve put in and sacrifices we’ve made. I urge everyone to stay committed to COVID-19 prevention actions — wear your mask, keep 6 feet distance and avoid gatherings.”
From March 31 to April 6, Jefferson County had 832 cases of COVID-19 (142.7 per 100,000). The seven-day COVID-19 case incidence rate limit, including a buffer allowance, for Level Blue is 115 cases per 100,000 people (for five consecutive days).
JCPH said the majority of new cases are among adults ages 20-39, which is expected given this population just recently became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The majority of active outbreaks in the county are within schools and non-regulated businesses, JCPH said. Other factors contributing to the increase in community spread include significantly decreased social distancing as well as circulation of virus variants.
The following changes are now effective in JeffCo under Dial 3.0’s Level Yellow.
- Restaurants are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 150 people per room. Last call is at 1 a.m.
- Bars must close unless they serve food.
- Indoor events are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 150 people per room within usable space. Usable space for seated events and unseated events with fewer than 50 people is calculated by using 6-feet distancing between non-household contacts. For unseated events with more than 50 people, usable space should be calculated using the Distancing Space Calculator.
- Outdoor events are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 175 people within the usable space per designated area calculated using the Distancing Space Calculator. If the event is seated, usable space should be calculated by using 6-foot distancing between non-household members.
- Recreation, including gyms, rec centers and pools, is limited to 50% capacity, not to exceed 50 people per room indoors or activity area outdoors. Establishments larger than 7,200 square feet may use the Distancing Space Calculator to expand to 100 patrons per room within their usable space.
- Organized sports are limited to 25 players, excluding coaches, referees and umpires.
- Outdoor guided activities are limited to 50% capacity, not to exceed 10 people.
- Youth camps are limited to 10 participants indoors and 25 participants outdoors.
- Businesses certified under the Five-Star Certification Program in Jefferson County may operate under Level Blue limits.
The countywide mask order remains in effect and all residents and visitors are required to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces when 6 feet distancing cannot be maintained from non-household members. (Where the state’s Executive Order D 2021 079 is more restrictive for mask-wearing, residents should follow those requirements).
“There are some important occasions coming up in the next several months — graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and the much anticipated start of summer," Comstock said. "It’s important that we take the necessary steps now to reverse this trend, so we have the opportunity to celebrate the things and people we love and enjoy. We missed many of these special occasions last year, but if we work hard now it doesn’t have to be the case for 2021."
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus