State health officials recently eased restrictions statewide and delegated more authority to county governments in the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

Park County officials promptly released a statement on their website that same day, which explained in detail how some restrictions would be eased, and how long the changes were expected to remain in effect.

The county’s statement is reprinted below in its entirety.

March 24

The state has approved the next round of changes to COVID-19 dial, with less restrictions and more local control, reflecting a new chapter in the efforts needed to control the spread of COVID-19. The new Dial 3.0 will remain in effect until mid-April, according to CDPHE’s announcement.

The updated dial makes it easier for counties to move into Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors, the least restrictive level on the dial. It also removes many of the restrictions that currently apply at that level. Additionally, restrictions for bars, retail establishments, offices, and non-critical manufacturing facilities would be relaxed for counties in Level Blue: Caution. There are no longer limits on personal gatherings. And state restrictions no longer apply to outdoor events for levels green and blue.  

Park County is currently in Level Blue: Caution so this change will come as a positive sign for many of the county’s business owners. The main changes in the Dial 3.0 are:

The metrics for Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors have changed. These changes make it easier for counties to achieve Protect Our Neighbors status. Now, counties qualify for Protect Our Neighbors if they have up to 35 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people – up from 15 cases.

There is no longer a certification process for Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors. Counties will be moved into Level Green once they maintain the appropriate metrics for at least one week.

Most restrictions in Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors are now removed. Bars and indoor events must still adhere to a 50% capacity limit or a 500-person cap, whichever is fewer.

The metrics range for Level Blue is now 36 – 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

Bars can now open under Level Blue. The capacity limit is 25% capacity or 75 people, whichever is fewer.

Outdoor events in Levels Green and Blue no longer have state-level capacity restrictions under the dial. Counties may choose to implement capacity restrictions on outdoor events at the local level.

Retail, offices, and non-critical manufacturing in Level Blue may now open to 75% capacity, up from 50%.

There is no longer a state limit on personal gathering sizes. The state will follow CDC’s guidance on personal gatherings. The CDC still strongly recommends avoiding larger gatherings and crowds to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dial 3.0 metrics are further simplified and capacity limits are less restrictive. Download a PDF of the updated metrics and capacity limits. The state will work with counties to confirm their metrics under the new framework.

The dial, originally implemented in September 2020, was designed to provide a simple and predictable way for communities to operate based on virus transmission levels. The goal of the dial is to preserve the capacity of the statewide hospital system.

With more Coloradans receiving their vaccine, the state aims to offer greater flexibility and by mid-April, CDPHE intends to move to a more local model, allowing local public health agencies to assume more control over capacity restrictions that are currently determined by the dial. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

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