Pueblo among counties moving to red status on COVID dial

Restaurants don't have to shut down completely until level purple.

Denver will likely move to this new level of restrictions in the next few days.

However, Pitkin County's manager said state officials have told him that moving to the Red level is voluntary at this time and that while the county was initially on the state's list to move to that level, the final decision will rest with the Board of Health, which meets Thursday afternoon. However, he did say that counties in level red will prohibit restaurants from serving food indoors, only allowing food outdoors or for takeout or delivery.

Also, last call for alcohol is now 8 p.m. Gyms and fitness centers would be limited to 10% capacity with a limit of 10 people per room.

Level red suggests pre-school to 5th grade classes continue, but all other grades should move to remote or hybrid systems. The Summit School District has been following this model since the start of the school year. Still, Polis urged everyone to stay home whenever possible.

"For everyday Coloradans, let's just focus on what we need to do to get through this", he said. "We must act now to avoid a shutdown or lockdown".

Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday that Colorado will adjust the "COVID-19 dial" that counties and health officials use to judge the severity of the pandemic. The new dial adds a purple level, which would indicate stay-at-home orders. "With the high number of cases, it is appropriate for Routt County to be at Level Red", said Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan.

Between 10 and 15 counties "could potentially move into Red level restrictions", which will go into effect Friday, Johnston said.

Over the past 24 hours, more than 4,300 new cases were reported in Colorado, according to the latest public health data.

Over the weekend, however, the county's positivity rate dropped to 14.5%, which is within the safer-at-home level orange threshold. On Tuesday, they learned from the state that they - as well as their counterparts in Garfield and Eagle counties - do not have to adopt the new restrictions.

Gabi Johnston, a CDPHE spokeswoman, said the agency collaborates with counties about the need to move along the COVID-19 Dial, "once that movement occurs, they are expected to enact and enforce those restrictions".

Dates for the session are yet to be determined, but the lawmakers said the topics they plan to tackle include relief for small businesses, housing and rental aid, and support for childcare services.

"There is a risk everywhere in our entire state", he said.



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