By Audra Streetman

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is considering an application from Boulder County to join the state’s 5 Star Certification Program. If approved, businesses in Boulder County can begin applying for a variance to operate with fewer restrictions.

CDPHE will inspect businesses to determine if they meet certain public health requirements. Businesses that pass the inspection can operate at one level better than their current county metrics on the state’s COVID-19 dial.

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(credit: Colorado Department of Public Health And Environment)

In late December, Gov. Jared Polis asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move all level Red counties to Orange on the state’s dial. Currently, the majority of Colorado counties are under level Orange, including Boulder County.

Colorado counties by level on the state’s COVID-19 dial dashboard. (credit: CDPHE)

Businesses in level Orange counties cannot move to level Yellow restrictions until their county meets the following public health metrics:

  • A two-week incidence rate in the appropriate dial level for all of the past 7 days
  • A two-week percent positivity in the appropriate dial level for all of the past 7 days
  • Under 90% of regional ICU beds in use
  • Days of stable or declining hospitalizations in the past two weeks in the appropriate dial level

CDPHE plans to suspend the program if hospital capacity reaches 90% in the county or if cases and hospitalizations increase significantly.

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Boulder County plans to employ a third-party vendor, Longmont-based H2 Manufacturing Solutions, to implement a safety certification system for businesses. Officials said it is the same model approved for the Denver Five Star Certification program.

“Boulder County appreciates the tremendous amount of work the county’s economic development leaders have invested in developing a 5 Star Program that meets Boulder County’s and Boulder County Public Health’s priority of protecting the public’s health while also supporting the survival of local businesses,” stated Commissioner Matt Jones.

Boulder County officials are recruiting about 75 volunteers to serve as trained auditors and administrators for the program. Bilingual and multi-lingual volunteers are encouraged to apply.

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Businesses interested in being certified through the Boulder County 5 Star Program can fill out on online form and will be alerted to when the business application. To learn more about the Boulder County 5 Star Certification program, click here.

Audra Streetman