By Rick Sallinger

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Colorado officially ended its COVID-19 Dial framework, handing over more control to local counties and jurisdictions. For months, the color-based system outlined restrictions and other guidelines.

(credit: CBS)

In Douglas County, there are no COVID-19 restrictions. The county has opted out of the Tri-County Health Department’s COVID regulations.

READ MORE: With Face Masks No Longer Mandated For Those Who Are Vaccinated, Business Owners Navigate Uncertainty

The statewide indoor face mask mandate remains in effect until mid-May. In Castle Rock on Friday, some wore masks and others didn’t. Some were in-between.

At the Iron Mule Brewery, it was a day that called for a drink for those patrons.

(credit: CBS)

When an employee exposed others to COVID, owner Bill Benson explained, “We did shut down and that was purely a reaction on our part.”

After that, Benson kept his business going, partnering with an Indian restaurant and food trucks, to allow them to stay open. Now they are fully open, serving craft beer and caution.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Governor's Office Lifts Face Mask Mandate For Those Who Are Vaccinated

“We are still going to follow the safety protocols and make sure our tables are sanitized and wiped down,” Benson said.

And now those tables don’t have to be six feet apart so they have expanded the number of them. Capacity is 100% and the brewery can stay open until 2 a.m.

(credit: CBS)

A Douglas County Commissioner boasted that the county was the first in the state to declare the pandemic over.

Benson won’t go that far, “I don’t know if I agree if the pandemic is over, but I think it’s in a much more controlled or stable space.”

MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: Excitement Builds As Children Ages 12-15 Begin To Get Pfizer Vaccine

The Tri-County Health Department told CBS4 that state figures show Douglas County had the third-highest COVID incidence rate for the week ending April 15. County commissioners point to other statistics including those indicating those at highest risk are no longer in serious danger.

Rick Sallinger