New COVID-19 framework in Colorado allows counties to ‘reopen their economies to the fullest’ according to governor’s office

Colorado COVID-19 Status.
Colorado COVID-19 Status.(CDPHE)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:57 PM MDT
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DENVER (KKTV) - Gov. Jared Polis introduced a new tool to the public on Tuesday that gives the people of Colorado a better idea of how their county is doing when it comes to current COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Click here for a look at the “Colorado County COVID-19 Status” framework. The framework includes a map of counties and uses colors to highlight the county’s current status. The new dial framework is meant to replace the general variance process in most cases. However, counties are still able to apply for some variances for things like large venues. The governor’s office believes this new framework will allow counties to “reopen their economies to the fullest extent possible while protecting their communities.” The map gives a visual representation of a county’s success in suppressing the virus.

The dial framework has five levels to guide county response to COVID-19:

  • Protect Our Neighbors
  • Safer at Home 1
  • Safer at Home 2
  • Safer at Home 3
  • Stay at Home

Counties move between levels based on three metrics:

  • Number of new cases.
  • Percent positivity of COVID tests.
  • Impact on hospitalizations.

El Paso County was highlighted in blue on Tuesday, meaning it falls under the “Safer at Home 1” category.

According to the governor’s office, to move to a less restrictive level (e.g., Level 2 to Level 1), counties need to meet and sustain all three metrics for two weeks. At that point, a local government can choose to move to the next level until they achieve Protect Our Neighbors. With each level comes fewer restrictions. Once a county reaches Protect Our Neighbors, for each month it is sustained, they can reopen even further because the more the virus is contained, the more flexibility for the local government to open.

“While Colorado has fared better than our neighboring states during this pandemic we can’t lose sight of what’s at risk - our economy, our health and our livelihoods,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We need to do what works by wearing face masks, avoiding large crowds, and physically distancing ourselves in order to continue enjoying more of the Colorado we all love. I’m pleased to launch the new dial framework so our local communities can take even more control over reducing restrictions and further opening their economies, while ensuring that public health and safety are protected. Our local governments who have gone above and beyond in creating their own, more detailed metrics to protect their communities and their economies. Colorado succeeds when our communities are empowered and have the tools they need to keep people safe.”

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