JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Several counties in the Denver metro area are moving to Level Clear on Sunday, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield and Jefferson. Level Clear allows businesses to operate at 100% capacity with no mitigation requirements, aside from the state’s indoor mask mandate.

(credit: CBS)

Dawn Johnson owns Mainstream Boutique in The Southlands Mall. She says doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult.

“Like many Americans, I would never want to relive this year,” Dawn says. “There’s been a lot of stress on all of us trying to just survive.”

During the pandemic, she shifted her business to pick-up and online purchasing, but she says it’s not the same, “We used to hug all of our customers, we haven’t hugged one of our customers in over a year.”

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She says is that she relies on walk-in business generated from restaurants and the movie theater. With those being closed or facing capacity limits themselves, she has really been hurting.

“We are making up for some of it on our social selling but nowhere near,” says Dawn.

Also hurting is Las Margs Mexican restaurant in Commerce City. Owner Jacqueline Granados says many of her customers switched to takeout, but like Dawn, surviving isn’t easy.

(credit: CBS)

“(It’s) a lot more work and just trying to be creative,” she says.

Relief is on the way. Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield and Jefferson counties move to “Level Clear” Sunday. That means no more restrictions for bars, schools, indoor events, outdoor events, casinos, gyms and offices among other things.

In conjunction, the counties will also start a 90-day observation period. If COVID hospital admissions rise, they will move back to having more restrictions.

Both Jacqueline and Dawn say they are ready to do business.

Jacqueline says, “We are really excited. we’re looking forward to things getting back to normal as soon as possible.”

Denver says they are still evaluating the situation but will likely align with their neighboring counties. There is still a statewide face mask mandate so even though places are fully open, customers and employees still need to wear a mask.

Map of Colorado counties with and without public health orders. (credit: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)

The Tri-County Health Department confirmed that Adams and Arapahoe will move to Level Clear. Douglas County opted out of the health department’s simplified dial public health order and voted on Tuesday to defy the state’s mask mandate.

Michael Abeyta