DENVER – Personal gatherings will be limited to 10 people or less from no more than two different households in the Colorado counties in any of the Safer at Home levels after the state public health department amended the Safer at Home public health order Friday.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the new change comes as the result of the continued increase in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus in the state. There are exemptions for various types of industries contained within the order.
As of Thursday, there were 547 confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals and the seven-day average positivity rate was 5.8% – both figures among the highest seen here in months.
The 446 confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized was the most in Colorado since May 21.
The CDPHE said Friday that case investigation data showed that exposures have become more common since this summer at social gatherings, which it said “suggests people have relaxed their precautions and are interacting more closely with a greater number of households.” Coloradans in the Safer at Home counties had previously been able to gather in groups of up to 25.
The amended order limiting gatherings to 10 people or less from at most two different households will not apply to the five counties currently in the Protect Our Neighbors phase of the COVID-19 dial: Moffat, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Gunnison and Gilpin counties, as of Friday afternoon. The CDPHE said that local governments there can still determine gathering limits. Counties in Safer at Home levels 1 or 2 can request a variance from the new order.
The statewide order comes on the heels of similar gathering restrictions put in place over the past week or two in several counties, including Denver, Arapahoe, Adams and Boulder. In Denver, gatherings are limited to five or fewer people.
“We are asking all Coloradans to act with an abundance of caution to reverse these worrying trends. Right now, the virus is spreading when people from multiple households attend gatherings,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan in a statement. “We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread.”
The voluntary exposure notification system for iPhone and Android users will roll out in Colorado on Sunday. Click here for more information.