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Gov. Polis Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions for Some Counties in Effort to Avoid Lockdowns

Gov. Jared Polis today announced modifications to the state’s COVID-19 dial framework, which standardizes COVID-19 restrictions for all Colorado counties.

Previously, each county would be categorized on a level from “green” to “red” based on local COVID trends – with “red” resulting in a full-blown “Stay at Home” order. The governor’s recent announcement creates an additional “purple” level, which replaces “red” as the most restrictive category. A “red” designation no longer requires a county-wide lockdown, but instead increases restrictions on businesses and residents within the county. The new “purple” level will follow “red” and will result in a county-wide lockdown.

Many Colorado counties have fallen into an “orange” designation in recent weeks as the state has seen a dramatic increase in COVID hospitalizations. “Orange” is considered high-risk, and the next level up would have been a lockdown under the previous rules. With the new dial framework, the governor estimates that in the coming days, 10-15 counties (including Denver) will fall now fall into the “red” category.

The amended “red” categorization will include heightened restrictions on restaurants, gyms, and schools. Indoor dining at restaurants will be prohibited, last call for alcohol will be 8pm (down from 10pm), and gyms will be set at new capacity limits and require reservation systems in place, the governor said. No counties are expected to fall into the “purple” category at this time.

“We would like [counties] to avoid lockdowns,” Gov. Polis said in a press conference, emphasizing the need to keep the state’s economy open.

The updated dial framework will go into effect on Friday. Read more about the state’s COVID-19 dial framework and restrictions by visiting https://covid19.colorado.gov/.

Click here to view the public health order.