By Jennifer McRae

(CBS4)– The State of Colorado is moving to lift its COVID-19 dial framework and pass control of health restrictions over to local jurisdictions on Friday. Elbert and Weld counties announced Thursday that they will not issue COVID-19 restrictions and regulations. Those counties are joining Douglas County, which is covered by Tri-County Health, on the lack of restrictions. On Wednesday, county commissioners unanimously voted to opt-out of Tri-County’s framework.

Colorado’s dial ranked counties according to COVID cases, hospitalizations, positivity and incidence rates and assigned them a color.

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(credit: State of Colorado March 23, 2021)

Different levels of restrictions corresponded to colors, like Level Green, Level Blue, Level Yellow, Level Orange, Level Red and Level Purple.

On Wednesday, Denver announced that starting Friday, the city and county will allow businesses to operate at Level Blue capacity restrictions with some modifications. Under Level Blue, restaurants and gyms can operate at 100% capacity with 6 feet of spacing between groups. Offices, retail, and manufacturing businesses can operate at 75% capacity.

While state recommendations for Level Blue allow for no capacity limit at outdoor events, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald said Denver will keep some restrictions. Outdoor events of under 5,000 people will require a mitigation plan for social distancing, while outdoor events with more than 5,000 people will need to consult with DDPHE.

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A Metro Denver Partnership for Health has been created to help map out what happens post-pandemic for Coloradans. The counties participating are Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Denver.

(credit: CBS)

Eagle County will implement their own public health order on Friday that includes mask requirements indoors. People traveling through the county must not have any COVID-19 symptoms. Restaurants and businesses will have a 50% capacity limit unless they have 5-Star Certification. The order will remain in place until Memorial Day when county officials will reevaluate.

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The Colorado indoor mask mandate will remain in effect until mid-May.

Jennifer McRae