State again tightens COVID-19 restrictions for Douglas County

County now at level that is one step from a stay-at-home order


As of Nov. 13, Douglas County will be moved into “Level Orange” on the state’s dial framework, which is just one step away from “Stay At Home,” or the restriction level put in place by the governor in the spring shortly after the pandemic hit Colorado.

“Level Orange” means greater restrictions, including smaller capacities for gyms, restaurants, events, places of worship and noncritical office spaces.

The decision was made by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment due to a large spike in case numbers and incidence rates in the county.

In a statement, a CDPHE spokesperson asked for help from the community in stopping the spread of the virus.

“We are at a pivotal juncture,” according to the email. “Regardless of any public health order, we need everyone to step up and fully participate in mitigation tactics — like wearing a mask, distancing a minimum of six feet from others and not interacting with other households—if we are to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in advance of the holiday season.”

Under “Level Orange,” gyms limitations went from 25% capacity or 50 people to 25% or 25 people. Restaurants went from 50% capacity or 50 people to 25% capacity or up to 50 people. Offices of noncritical businesses are now limited to 25% capacity instead of 50%.

The state moved the county to “Level Yellow” on Oct. 29. At that time, the county’s incidence rate was 235.5 cases per 100,000 residents, according to a letter from CDPHE to Douglas County. As of Nov. 10, the county’s incidence rate was up to 530 cases per 100,000 people.

Hospitalizations and deaths are also on the rise, according to data from Tri-County Health Department. Five Douglas County residents have died so far this month.

“Given the increase in incidence rates in Douglas County and across the State, we have decided that the implementation of COVID-19 Dial Level Orange restrictions is suitable at this time,” according to the Nov. 10 letter, signed by Jill Ryan, executive director of CDPHE.

In a news release, the Douglas County board of commissioners said they will continue to partner with Tri-County Health Department, municipalities, the business community and large special districts to “advocate aggressively for the behaviors that reduce COVID-19 transmission.”


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