DENVER (CBS4) – The Tri-County Health Department is working with other metro Denver agencies to come up with a consistent COVID-19 dial when the state’s COVID dial expires this Friday.

“We know people live in one county, and work in another county, and go out with friends in a third county,” said Dr. John Douglas. “What Tri-County’s COVID dial would do is simply extend the dial capacity limitations for one month. As of Saturday, each of our counties would move to a less restrictive level for thirty days, and be closer to be full reopening, but not quite there.”

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Tri-County Health released a modified and simplified version of the state dial last week for Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties.

  • Phase 1: Moving Toward Full Re-Opening, April 16 – May 15 (30 days): Counties will move to a new level on the Dial, one Level less restrictive than the level indicated by their metrics on April 15. For example, a county at Level Yellow metrics on the current state Dial on April 15 will move to Level Blue on April 16 and remain there until May 15.

“Our board of health has a policy that because we have this complicated situation, three counties under one health department, each county board of commissioners should have the option of opting out of a countywide public health order,” Dr. Douglas said.

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Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties have until the end of the week to opt out.

“I think Douglas County probably will choose to opt out. They’ve posted a resolution that they plan to discuss at a meeting tomorrow about why they think it doesn’t make sense for them to be under the order, and their intent to opt out,” explained Dr. Douglas. “I assume that’s what will happen. We’ll have to wait and see that tomorrow.”

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The Tri-County COVID dial goes into effect Saturday. It will remain in place until mid-May. Tri-County Health will then enter a three-month observation period.

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  • Phase 2: Observation Period, May 16 – August 16 (90 days): Counties will move to Level Clear, which has no restrictions, subject to TCHD observation of hospital admission rates in the County.  In Level Clear, businesses will be able to operate at 100 percent capacity with no Mitigation Requirements, although face-covering requirements may still apply.

“We will be getting back to being fully reopened quite soon,” said Dr. Douglas. “Don’t lose hope.”

Andrea Flores