PUEBLO — COVID-19 cases in Pueblo have exceeded the threshold for the current variance granted by the state, according to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, and it could mean the return of recently-lifted restrictions.
The threshold is 84 new cases in a two week period. Under the terms of the variance, city health officials will now talk with the state health department to evaluate the situation and track cases to determine what actions need to be taken. If new case numbers don't come back down under the threshold, it could mean the variances now in place that allow businesses like bars and taprooms to be open could be rescinded.
Public Health Director Randy Evetts told News 5 in a conference call that all citizens can help stop variance rollback by observing the posted guidelines of maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance from others and wearing face coverings at all times in public. Appealing to those concerned about the pandemic's impact on businesses, Evetts cited a recent study by Goldman Sachs that estimates up to $1 trillion in GDP losses could be prevented if the nation embraced mask ordinances.
To help educate members of the public and increase enforcement, the health department is hiring four new staff members; code enforcement is set to hire ten. You can read the terms of Pueblo's state variance here.