COLORADO, USA — COVID-19 restrictions are lightening up for 32 counties in Colorado, including Denver, due to the introduction of the state's dial 2.0.
Dial 2.0, as it's called, went into effect at 9 a.m. Saturday and will now use a seven-day instead of a 14-day metric for disease incidence, level of testing and hospitalizations. To move to a less restrictive level, counties will have to meet all metrics for that level for one week. Once the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed the requirement was met, counties can move levels.
The move was made now because the state has been on a steady downward trend with the positivity rate below 5%, which is the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO). Colorado is also well below the peak for COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the state, which reached 1,847 in December. On Friday, that number was 502.
Counties staying on or moving to yellow on Saturday:
- El Paso
- Las Animas
- Rio Blanco
- Rio Grande
At the Yellow Level, capacity levels are 50% or 150 people — that's up from 100.
Counties that are moved into that Yellow Level and have been approved for the 5 Star Program will only be allowed to operate in the Blue Level once 70% of people over 70 have been vaccinated with at least one dose in the state.
Counties staying at or moving to blue on Saturday:
- Kit Carson
- La Plata
- San Juan
At the Blue Level, capacity levels are 50% or 175 people — that's up from 150.
According to Hunsaker Ryan, most counties have been in Level Red or Orange for weeks, and the change will allow more of them to operate in Yellow. There will be tighter metrics for community testing at the Yellow and Orange levels, measured as percent positivity.
Counties staying or moving to orange on Saturday:
- Clear Creek
- San Miguel
Capacity limits for Orange Level are just 25% or 50 people — that's up from 25.
CDPHE said the state met with several groups, including local public health agencies, county commissioners, mayors and city managers, to discuss potential changes to the dial to respond proactively to local conditions.
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