Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment moves Arapahoe County to Safer at Home Level 2 in response to rising COVID-19 case rates
This week, the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners (Board) learned that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is ordering the County to move from Safer at Home Level 1 to Level 2 on the state’s dial dashboard, as a result of rising COVID case counts and positivity rates within the County over the past several weeks.
Public health officials monitor case counts and positivity rates, along with hospitalization trends, to determine whether the spread of COVID is rising, falling or holding steady, and whether a new public health order or shift in the state’s dial framework are warranted. As of Monday, Oct. 26, Arapahoe County’s COVID incidence rate is 299.47 and the positivity rate is 6.95%; both numbers have increased significantly since early September.
CDPHE’s changes will go into effect Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m., and the County will provide a status report to the agency in about two weeks.
Although the Board is reluctant to impose additional measures that restrict the movements and economic activity of the County’s residents, visitors and businesses, the scientific data supporting the CDPHE’s order dictate that stricter protocols be enacted and enforced under these conditions. The recent spikes mean that we all must redouble our efforts to slow the spread of the virus or risk further closures.
“Now that the re-opening of schools is bringing more people into contact with each other, and cooler weather is beginning to drive more people indoors than during the summer, we’re seeing a steep rise in COVID case numbers,” said Nancy N. Sharpe, Arapahoe County Board Chair. “Blunting the spread of COVID now, at the onset of the annual flu season, is especially crucial to ensuring that we don’t overburden our hospital system in the County and throughout Colorado. We share everyone’s frustration at these restrictions, but our numbers are rising in ways that jeopardize our ability to keep the County open without further mitigation efforts.”
Arapahoe County officials are especially attuned to the burdens these orders are placing on our businesses, and the Board deeply appreciate everyone’s continued efforts and cooperation to slow the spread of COVID. The County also encourages area business owners to contact Tri-County's Business Re-Opening Task Force (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-713-6030) to get more specific guidance and resources.
The main differences between Safer at Home Level 1 and Level 2 (some restrictions may vary depending upon the industry or location):
- Maximum attendees at indoor worship services are reduced from 175 to 50
- Maximum attendees at gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 (from 175 to 50 for Arapahoe County gyms because of the variance the County received in June)
- Maximum attendees at restaurants decreases from 175 to 50 (or up to 100 if the space has adequate social distancing)
- Maximum participants for group sports are reduced from 50 to 25 per activity
- Maximum attendees for indoor events are reduced from 175 to 100, and from 250 to 175 for outdoor events
For more information about these public health orders or their requirements, or about COVID case numbers and guidelines, visit the state’s COVID dial dashboard, and visit ArapahoeGov.com for updates about all aspects of the COVID crisis.