15 counties, including Denver, will need to move toward stricter COVID-19 restrictions to slow the exponential growth of the novel coronavirus. Colorado Governor Jared Polis made this announcement.
“Most people are doing their part,” Polis said. “However, the truth is, seeing this increasing growth. We clearly need a more drastic shift in behavior to further slow the transmission of the virus.”
The announcement was made during a Tuesday afternoon, November 16th, at a news conference with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. In addition to multiple members of the state legislature.
The counties moving to higher restrictions come this Friday, according to the city mayors and health departments. The counties are as follows Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, La Plata, Logan, Mesa, Morgan, Routt, Summit, and Washington.
All restaurants will have to temporarily close to indoor dining but takeout is still an option. That is in counties are moving to that level, Polis said. In addition, outdoor seating is also an option. Only a single-family seating is available. But not to groups. The last call will be at 8 p.m.
However, gyms will be able to remain open. However, there limits with 10% capacity with reservations.
“We want to make it clear that there should not be gatherings of people from different households,” said Polis. “You should really live and thrive with your bubble, your family for the next several weeks, that’s the safest thing you can do.”
Previously, red was the strictest level on the state’s COVID-19 dial, but now red is known a “severe risk”. Now, a new purple level is added, known as “extreme risk.”
In a tweet, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) said Tuesday that the new dial would go into effect on November 20th.
Especially for the youngest students, Polis said in-person learning, is recommending, even for those in counties are going to move to the new red level.
“We encourage preschools through fifth-grade students to continue learning in-person. They can restart if the districts have taken a hiatus,” said Polis. “They want to make sure we emphasize the need for K-5 to return. We feel that based on the data for many families and many kids, that is the safest place they can be with the safety parameters that are in place in school.”