Gym owners in Metro Denver, Colorado began operating at 25% capacity on Monday. This is occurring as counties moved from Level Red to Orange on the state COVID-19 spectrum. Although, the lack of well-timed confirmation from state and local health officials convoluted the process of shifting to higher capacities.
Gym owners had been operating at 10% since Nov. 17 due to rising COVID-19 numbers in the fall, level gym operators said was impossible for businesses to sustain.
In fact, last week Governor Jared Polis said he would ask the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to push Level Red counties to Orange this week. This is because of declining COVID-19 numbers in December. Though, but for much of Monday, the CDPHE map ongoing to show those counties at Level Red. Uncertain of their situation, many gym owners waited for the go head from county health departments, to ongoing check on the county websites for updated information.
“We wanted to move based on the confirmation from the county, knowing that the state dial hasn’t moved quite yet,” said Kelsey Donahue, the regional director for 34 Orangetheory Fitness studios in the state. “We are only operating (at higher capacity) in the counties we have confirmation from.”
In fact, this was at mid-afternoon on Monday. Then, a brief time later, the state map was finally updated to show Level Red counties which had been upgraded to Level Orange. The CDPHE, shortly before 5 p.m., issued a statement saying it was allowing Level Red counties to operate at Level Orange. This was effective at 12 a.m. Monday that was 17 hours earlier.
CDPHE has announced an amended public health order detailing the new rules on late Monday night. This includes an explanation of how businesses can qualify for Level Yellow restrictions. This is under CDPHE’s Five Star certification process. In fact, it permits gyms to operate at the same capacity as restaurants at each level of the dial. This was not the situation before Monday.
Governor Jared Polis said last week he would ask the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move Level Red counties to Orange. This is due to the dropping COVID-19 numbers in December. Yet for most of Monday, the CDPHE map would continue to reveal those counties at Level Red. Many gym owners have waited for confirmation from county health departments because they are uncertain of their situation. They repeatedly check on the county websites for updated information.