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State to move Summit County backward on the dial to the more restrictive level Orange

Summit County restaurants and other businesses will have go from being allowed at 50% capacity down to 25% capacity on Wednesday.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — As many Colorado counties loosen their COVID-19 restrictions, Summit County will be the second county after Pitkin to go backward on the state dial. 

In an email Monday afternoon, state health officials said "Summit County’s case incidence has exceeded the Yellow level metrics for 10 days, so they will move to the Orange level at 6 a.m. Wednesday." 

The most noticeable change in those restrictions will be in capacity limits for restaurants and other businesses. 

Summit County businesses will go from being allowed 50% capacity under Level Yellow, to 25% capacity at Level Orange. 

“That part is frustrating that we’re going to have to go back," said County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence. 

RELATED: Summit COVID-19 trends point to possible tightening of restrictions

Unlike Pitkin County, Summit County officials did not voluntarily go into the more restricted level. 

But Lawrence said they will respect the state dial as long as it is in place, which could be only a few more weeks. 

Governor Polis said local control for decisions like restrictions and a mask order could be given back to communities in mid-April.

By then, Lawrence said many restaurants might miss out on the end of ski season business. 

“Hopefully that won’t hurt the businesses too bad," she said. 

Although more than 50% of Summit County's population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, Lawrence said the rise is coming from young adults, 20-29, who weren't eligible for the vaccine until April 2. 

She added many of them work in the ski resorts, and other industries that require close contact with tourists. 

“We really believe here in a few weeks when those employees are vaccinated and the ski season is winding down it will certainly be better for our numbers," she said. 

RELATED: Reservations will be required to visit Maroon Bells this year

RELATED: Statewide mask mandate extended for 30 days, with exceptions in some counties

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