The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will move La Plata County to Level Yellow: Concern, on the state’s COVID-19 Dial effective 6 am, Friday, February 12th. This more restrictive phase on the state’s public health order framework puts additional capacity restrictions on large establishments and events. Restaurants, retail, and office capacity remain at 50-percent.

On February 6th, Colorado made updates to the COVID dial framework to base level changes on a week’s worth of metrics rather than 14 days. The change enables counties to move more quickly between levels. The metrics that determine the boundaries between dial levels have also changed; the maximum seven-day case incidence for counties to remain in Level Blue: Caution is now 100 cases/100,000 residents.

After seven days of rising case numbers, La Plata County now has a seven-day case incidence rate of 158 cases/100,000 residents and will move into Level Yellow on Friday, February 12th. Archuleta County remains at Level Blue: Caution.

Some changes moving to Level Yellow include:

  • High risk populations are advised to stay at home.
  • Offices remain at 50% capacity; however remote work is strongly encouraged.
  • Group sports and camps move from 50-person cap per activity, to 25-person cap per activity.
  • Last call moves from 12 pm to 11 pm.
  • Indoor and outdoor events remain at 50 percent capacity, with spacing requirements and an overall maximum capacity of 100 people indoors and 175 people outdoors.

Visit the CDPHE website for a full list of capacity restrictions. SJPBH recommends businesses and schools know the restrictions at each level, especially for event planning, as restrictions are likely to change more quickly under Colorado’s new dial framework. Per CDPHE’s determination, Five-Star certified establishments in Level Yellow counties are not allowed to operate under the Level Blue protocols until the state reaches its goal of vaccinating 70% of the 70-and-older population.

“After weeks of lower metrics, La Plata County is seeing a rise in cases and test positivity rates which can be attributed in part to indoor social gatherings,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH’s Executive Director. “Our communities have demonstrated we can be successful in fighting COVID-19. We must continue to practice good public health practices and avoid large gatherings while vaccine is being distributed to vulnerable members of our communities,” Jollon added.

To reduce transmission and avoid the need for further restrictions that can impact schools and the economy, SJPBH continues to highlight the following important public health precautions:

  • Wearing face masks
  • Social distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Avoiding nonessential indoor spaces, and gatherings with others not in your household
  • Avoiding travel
  • Washing hands well
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available
  • Getting tested if you are symptomatic, think you’ve been exposed, or work in a high contact position

SJBPH provides free COVID-19 testing at multiple locations, for testing information visit: https://sjbpublichealth.org/testing/.

For information about all phases of the state’s COVID-19 dial framework for public health protections, visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial.