Uncertainty for El Paso County as changes for COVID Dial nears

Colorado COVID-19 graphic
Colorado COVID-19 graphic(KKTV)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:32 PM MDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 8:45 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County leaders are ready to ease COVID-19 restrictions. But it may not be so simple.

The Colorado State Health Department expects to make some changes to the “COVID Dial” on April 16. A statement from the Department said in part, “The Dial system will evolve from a statewide public health order to locally managed and local ordinances.”

One El Paso County Commissioner told 11 News that the language from the state level is a little unclear, but adds the county expects to gain more control over restrictions. And they’re ready to ease up.

“I believe that we are in a position where we can start reopening more fully for our businesses and for our residences to get out,” said Longinos Gonzalez, who represents District 4. “While still recommending that individuals follow safe public health and common sense measures.”

Gonzalez and El Paso County Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson say when counties do gain more control, the state will still retain the power to implement any measure they choose. For example, counties could choose to lift capacity limits for businesses, but the state could still implement their own maximum limit that all counties must abide by.

Both Gonzalez and Johnson says this leaves a lot of uncertainty, but they’re prepared for whatever direction the state goes in.

In terms of the statewide mask mandate, that will remain in effect until early May. Because it’s a statewide order, both Gonzalez and Johnson say they cannot overturn it.

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