By Jesse Sarles

(CBS4) – Jefferson County is set to become the second county in the Denver metro area to move to Level Blue: Caution on Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial. The shift is scheduled to happen at 6 a.m. on Friday, and Jefferson County Public Health describes it as a “step in the right direction.”

The City and County of Broomfield moved to Level Blue on Monday.

Under Level Blue, restaurants, gyms, and indoor events can operate at 50% capacity, or up to 175 people inside, whichever is fewer. Restaurants can also have unlimited capacity outdoors, and last call can now be midnight. There is also no limit on the number of people in retail and office-based businesses. Up to 50 people can play in organized sports, but personal gatherings remain limited to 10 people from no more than two homes.

The county released the following specifics about their shift to Level Blue.

– “The county’s one-week incidence and test positivity rates for COVID-19 have fallen into the designated metrics for this lower level of restrictions, and this trend has been sustained for a full week.”

READ MORE: Broomfield Businesses Welcome More Customers Under Level Blue

– “In Jeffco, from Feb.17-23, we had a total of 531 cases of COVID-19, or 91.1 per 100,000 residents. Our test positivity rate has hovered at around 3%. We have also seen decreased and stabilized hospitalizations due to COVID-19 during this time.”

County officials reminded everyone that wearing a mask, staying home when possible, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings remains important as the county continues to try to lower the spread of COVID-19.

“While the move to Level Blue is a positive step, and one we can all feel hopeful about, if we don’t continue to operate cautiously we could quickly lose the ground we have gained,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director of Jefferson County Public Health.

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Several other rural counties in Colorado are already operating under Level Blue restrictions.

Jesse Sarles