Rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and positivity rate force further capacity restrictions

At a critical moment in this pandemic, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has moved the City

and County of Denver, among other counties, to the more restrictive Safer at Home Dial Level 3.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Denver Department of Public Health & Environment Executive Director Robert McDonald announced the change today.

City leaders had already enacted tougher public health orders, including mandatory face coverings outdoors, to try to stave off these restrictions. But CDPHE said the severity of increases forced the change. Those increases include: a positivity rate of over 7%, new cases of over 2,800 over a two-week period, and case rates of 385 per 100,000 people.

Level 3 restrictions include:

  • Restaurants may operate at 25% of the posted occupancy-limit indoors not to exceed 50 people excluding staff, whichever is less, per room. This is down from 50% capacity.
  • Places of worship and life rites may operate at 25% capacity or 50 people.
  • Non-critical manufacturing and offices drop from 50% to 25% capacity.
  • Retail drops from 50% to 25% capacity.
  • Personal services move to 25% from 50% capacity.
  • Indoor events may operate at 50% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.

The change to Level 3 does not impact site-specific variances including: the Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo, and Cherry Creek Mall. Those can continue to operate according to the allowances and conditions of the original variance approvals.

If the city reduces its new cases, positivity and hospitalizations for Level 2 during this more restrictive phase, the city would need to maintain those metrics for two weeks and complete a request process to be moved back to Level 2.

The state says it reserves the right to move Denver to a more restrictive level at any point should circumstances warrant. 

These new restrictions highlight how critical it is for the community to abide by the city’s public health orders, to wear face coverings in public, to practice proper social distancing and frequently wash your hands. Stopping the spread of COVID will take the cooperation of everyone in our community. Only together can we beat this destructive and persistent virus.

View the letter from the state directing the move to Safer at Home Level 3.

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