PUEBLO — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Thursday several counties will move to stricter levels on the COVID-19 dial.
Pueblo will move to Level Red Sunday along with Alamosa, Otero, Prowers, and Weld counties that will keep capacity at 25% or 50 people but moves last call to 8 p.m. It also encourages remote learning as much as possible for higher education.
As of Friday morning, the Pueblo Department of Public Health stated the county is seeing a two-week incidence rate of 1,640.59 per 100,000 people and a 15.82% positivity rate.
Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar encouraged Puebloans to alter holiday plans to slow the virus, reiterating that the current rate of the virus in Pueblo is troubling.
“The move to Level Red: Severe Risk is necessary to save lives in Pueblo. Currently 1% to 2% of Pueblo is infected with the virus pushing our hospitals and health care heroes to the breaking point. There is light at the end of the tunnel but Puebloans must continue to do their part to save lives.” Gradisar said in a release.
Gradisar also announced during a Friday press conference that the city would make $1 million available in relief for businesses impacted by the pandemic and those that have to close temporarily. Applications for aid will open soon on the city's website.
The City of Pueblo will make $1 million available in economic aid to businesses impacted by the pandemic and those businesses which may have to close temporarily. Applications will be available on www.pueblo.us soon.
Other key changes from Level Orange to Level Red include:
- Personal gatherings are prohibited. Pueblo Health strongly encourages Puebloans to limit Thanksgiving gatherings to their own household
- High-risk populations are urged to stay at home only to go out for essential goods and services
- Restaurants are limited to outside or open-air dining and carry-out, take-out, curbside take-out, and delivery. No indoor dining is allowed
- Critical and non-critical retail is limited to 50% in-store capacity
- Offices should move to 10% in-person staffing immediately, remote working is strongly encouraged
- Bars remain closed
- Places of worship are limited to 25% capacity indoors or 50 person cap. Outdoors parties must maintain 6 feet of social distancing
- Other changes: indoor seated and unseated events are closed. Outdoor events are limited to 25% or 75 people.
In the same announcement from the state health department, Baca, Bent, and Kiowa counties will move into Level Orange on the dial effective Saturday at 5 p.m.
Level Orange moves most businesses to a maximum of 25% of capacity or 50 people total, whichever number is smaller. It also moves last call at bars to 10 p.m. instead of 11.