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COVID-19 restrictions tightened in Douglas County

It's the latest of several metro area counties to move to tighter restrictions as cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continue to rise.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — Douglas County is the latest county in the Denver metro area to be moved to a more restrictive phase by the state to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

County commissioners said they were notified by the state health department about the move on Thursday, and said the transition from Level 1 to the more restrictive Level 2 on the state’s Safer at Home Dial would be effective immediately.

> The video above explains the new exposure notification app.

Officials said businesses have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 4 to fully meet compliance. The distinction between the two phases and what it means for businesses is outlined on the Douglas County website.

RELATED: Here are Colorado's 5 COVID-19 restriction phases

Earlier this week, Denver moved to Level 3 on the dial. Arapahoe, Adams Counties and Jefferson Counties also saw new restrictions added.

Counties outside the metro area, including El Paso County and Pitkin County, also put more restrictive orders in place as data surrounding key metrics in the state for COVID-19 continue to climb.

RELATED: JeffCo issues new health guidelines to limit spread of COVID-19

As of Friday, the number of people currently hospitalized was 663, and the state's seven-day, moving average positivity rate is 7.5%. Positivity is an important indicator of the status of COVID-19 in the state. The World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2020 recommended that the positivity rate be at or below 5% to contain the virus.

RELATED: Pitkin County limits size of informal gatherings to 5 just before Halloween weekend