(CBS4) – Several metro area counties will transition on Sunday to Level Clear, the least restrictive level on the COVID-19 dial. Level Clear allows businesses to operate at 100% capacity with no mitigation requirements, aside from the state’s indoor mask mandate.
Denver, Jefferson, Broomfield, Boulder, Adams and Arapahoe counties have indicated that they plan to move to Level Clear, according to state health officials. In April, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment lifted the COVID-19 framework, allowing individual health departments to implement their own restrictions.
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.
“Of course we still encourage people to wear masks in public indoor areas, stay home while they are sick and get tested for COVID-19 if they have symptoms; wash their hands often; and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Becky O’Guin, Communications Manager with TCHD.
Jefferson County enacted a public health order that includes a 90-day observation period in Level Clear, starting on May 16. The order states:
“During the observation period, rather than focusing on incidence rates or test positivity rates, JCPH will closely monitor hospitalizations, a health metric indicative of severity of COVID-19 infections. It is expected that by late May vaccination coverage should be sufficient to control COVID-19 transmission in Jeffco. However, if needed, JCPH can apply capacity limits based on hospitalization rates as described in the order.”
Jason Vahling, Director of the Broomfield Public Health Department released the following statement to CBS4:
“Throughout this pandemic, Broomfield City and County leaders have relied on data and science to make critical decisions about public health and safety. The data indicated that keeping Broomfield in “Level Blue – Cautious” through May 16 would have positive impacts on our case rates, which has proven to be true. The phased approach to reaching “Level Clear – New Normal” has provided additional time to get our residents vaccinated, ensure everyone that wanted a vaccine could get it, and let our kids finish out the school year in person. Broomfielders have stepped up and we are happy to report that as of May 12, 73.6% of Broomfielders have been vaccinated; the highest rate in the Denver Metro Region.
The time is right to take the next step and move to “Level Clear- New Normal” on May 16 in line with other counties in the Denver-metro region. To ensure Broomfield stays in “Level Clear – New Normal” during the observation period, which ends August 16, we are encouraging residents to get vaccinated if they have not already done so and continue to follow public health guidelines.”
Under the statewide mask mandate, face covering are required in schools (including extracurricular activities), child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, emergency medical and other healthcare settings, and personal services and limited healthcare settings.
“The amended mask order provides businesses the option of allowing customers to enter without masks if 80 percent of the individuals present show proof of vaccination. It is not required,” stated Jessica Bralish, CDPHE’s director of communications. “If a business wants to provide an option not to wear masks, they need to verify the number of vaccinated customers in order to abide by the order.”
Customers can verify vaccination by showing their vaccination card, a photo of their vaccination card, or a copy of their immunization records. Health officials say while the majority of Coloradans are still unvaccinated, indoor public places like grocery stores and gyms will need to require masks.