Looser restrictions expected soon with Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial, public input requested

Colorado COVID-19 Dial.
Colorado COVID-19 Dial.(CDPHE)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 7:49 PM MDT
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DENVER (KKTV) - The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is expected to make changes to the state’s COVID-19 dial, loosening restrictions.

The state agency is also asking for feedback on the draft changes. The dial has worked as a tool that allows the state and counties to enact looser and fewer restrictions for counties that meet certain requirements when it comes to COVID-19 data. It was put in place back on Sept. 15, 2020.

As of Friday, El Paso County was in Level Yellow and Pueblo County was in Level Blue. Blue has fewer restrictions than yellow and green has the fewest restrictions of all the levels.

In the proposed update, it would be easier for counties to move into “Level Green.” Click here for more on what each level represents. If approved as is, the changes would also remove many of the restrictions that currently apply at that level. Additionally, restrictions for bars, retail establishments, offices, and non-critical manufacturing facilities would be relaxed for counties in Level Blue: Caution. If enacted, the new dial framework would be considered “Dial 3.0″ and could go into effect as soon as Wednesday.

“Because of the commitment of all Coloradans, we are where we are now, able to be less restrictive and provide local communities and their public health agencies more control while still protecting the public’s health,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE. “It’s all about a balance. We’ve enacted the restrictions we need to slow the disease while attempting to limit the ramifications of closing down parts of the state and the impacts that come with that.”

People have until Monday at noon to give feedback.

Click here to see all of the proposed changes.

Click here to give feedback.

The main changes in the Dial 3.0 draft are:

  • The metrics for Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors have changed, making it easier for counties to achieve Protect Our Neighbors status. Now, counties can apply for Protect Our Neighbors if they have up to 35 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people -- up from 15 cases.
  • The metrics range for Level Blue is now 36 - 100 cases per 100,000 people.
  • Most restrictions in Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors are now removed. Bars, gyms, and indoor events must still adhere to a 50% capacity limit or a 500-person cap, whichever is fewer.
  • Bars can now open under Level Blue. The capacity limit is 25% capacity or 75 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Outdoor events in Levels Green and Blue no longer have capacity restrictions under the dial. Counties may choose to implement capacity restrictions on outdoor events at the local level.
  • Retail, offices, and non-critical manufacturing in Level Blue may now open to 75% capacity, up from 50%.
  • There is no longer a state limit on personal gathering sizes. The state will follow CDC’s guidance on personal gatherings. The CDC still strongly recommends avoiding larger gatherings and crowds to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • 5 Star Businesses in Level Blue can operate up to 60% capacity, not to exceed 50 people above the caps for restaurants and indoor events and 25 people above the cap for gyms.

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