Last week, Arapahoe County filed a mitigation plan with the State of Colorado as a result of the recent rise in COVID positivity rates in the County. The increase jeopardized the variance that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) granted to certain area businesses on June 29.
Under the terms of the variance, gyms, houses of worship, restaurants and indoor malls were allowed to reopen as long as they followed specific guidelines that are designed to help slow the spread of COVID. CDPHE reserved the right to revoke these exceptions if the County’s positivity rate rose above 5%. County officials created the mitigation plan once it realized—and self-reported—that the rate was nearing that benchmark.
According to data tracked by the Tri-County Health Department, as of July 27, Arapahoe County’s positivity rate for the previous two weeks has risen to more than 7%. Failure to reduce this rate as quickly as possible means that CDPHE could revoke the County’s variance and subject its businesses to more restrictions.
A decision about this is expected within the next week or so, meaning it’s not too late for County residents and businesses to take actions that will preserve their ability to remain open. “The advice about how to slow or stop the spread of COVID has remained consistent for some time,” said Arapahoe County Board Chair Nancy Sharpe. “In addition to meeting the conditions laid out in the variance, everyone should be wearing a mask and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others whenever they’re outside their homes, and they also should wash their hands frequently throughout the day. Failure to do this may result in further restrictions that no one wants to see.”
For more information, visit TCHD.org.