ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Health officials are implementing new restrictions in Adams County in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. On Friday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced it will move Adams County to Level 3 of Safer at Home on the state’s dial.

The change will take effect at 5 p.m. on Oct. 28. The new designation means reduced capacity for businesses, churches and gatherings.

Level 3 of Safer at Home is the highest risk level before Stay at Home measures. Health officials said Adams County incidence rates of the virus are almost double the level needed to stay in Level 2.

“We understand it has been a very long year, but to avoid further restrictions from the Health Department, we need everyone in Adams County to pull together and do what needs to be done to get our numbers down,” said Emma Pinter, Adams County Commissioner and Board Chair. “Our goal is always to keep our businesses open and our communities thriving but to do that we need everyone to follow these new guidelines more closely than ever before.”

The current two-week positivity rate in Adams County is 9.3%. The number of residents hospitalized with the virus continues to rise in the county and across the state. The county currently has a two-week incidence rate of 444.7 per 100,000 people.

Adams and Logan counties are the only two counties in the state with a Level 3 designation on the state’s dial dashboard.

Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial Dashboard by County. Green signifies Protect our Neighbors, blue is Level 1, yellow is Level 2 and orange is Level 3. (credit: CDPHE)

“We did not want to see COVID-19 cases reach this level again, but unfortunately they have continued to rise to concerning levels despite the County’s excellent mitigation plan and last Friday’s Public Health Order introducing additional restrictions,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. Our hope is that moving to Level 3 will reduce transmission of the virus in a short time period.”

On Friday, CDPHE changed its Safer at Home public health order to limit social gatherings to a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households. Last week, Denver changed its maximum group size to five people.

The Tri-County Health Department issued a public health order for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties on Oct. 16, limiting indoor gatherings to 5 people and no more than 10 people for outdoor gatherings. The order will stay in effect until at least Nov. 1.

Additional restrictions for Adams County include:

  • Non-critical Retail may operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit.
  • Personal Services may operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 25 people, per room.
  • Restaurants may operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit indoors not to exceed 50 people excluding staff, whichever is less, per room.
  • Houses of worship and Life Rites may operate at 25% or 50 people. For outdoor worship services, a house of worship must maintain 6 feet distance between non-household members
  • Indoor events may operate at 50 percent capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Recreation
    • Gyms, recreation centers and indoor pools are not authorized to
      open for in-person services; virtual services may be provided.
    • Outdoor recreational activities in groups of 10 people or fewer
      may occur, maintaining 6 feet Distancing Requirements between
      non-household contacts.

COLORADO.GOV LINK: Personal gatherings limited to ten people, no more than two households