Douglas County was included on a list of counties that, based on skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, have been moved to the state’s new level red. The second-highest level of restrictions bans indoor dining at restaurants and limits capacity at gyms, among other things.
The state plans to re-evaluate Douglas County’s level in mid- to late December, according to a Nov. 17 letter from the state to the county.
"Should transmission levels continue to escalate, we may revisit additional restrictions sooner, conversely if the trend is reversed, we can discuss moving the county back down the dial," according to the letter.
Douglas County's move to the red level was effective Nov. 20. The county had been moved to level orange on the state’s dial just a week earlier.
“Given the increase in incidence rates in Douglas County and across the state, the implementation of COVID-19 Dial Level Red restrictions is more suitable at this time,” according to the Nov. 17 letter from the state.
As of Nov. 18, the latest, highest single-day case counts in the county were almost seven times higher than the highest single-day counts in the spring. The county’s 14-day incidence rate, as of that same day, was 800 cases per 100,000 people. That’s more than seven times higher than it was at the start of October.
Also as of Nov. 18, 11 Douglas County residents had died of COVID-19 this month. Seven residents died in all of October and one person in September.
In a Nov. 18 work session, county commissioners Lora Thomas and Roger Partridge directed county staff to look into the state's reasoning for moving Douglas County to level red while not doing so for some other counties that also meet the threshold.
Commissioners also discussed accelerating a round of funding for county restaurants.
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