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El Paso County faces more restrictions in new COVID-19 level

Colorado COVID-19 Dial
Posted at 11:37 AM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 20:40:08-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County will move into a new level on the state's COVID-19 dial and see further restrictions next week after continued increases in positive cases.

The county has been sitting at Safer at Home: Level 1 and will now be moving into Safer at Home: Level 2 by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, following a conversation with the state health department regarding mitigation efforts.

With the new level, capacity limits are the biggest changes the county will see:

Last Friday, county leaders warned residents that more restrictions would be seen if the COVID-19 trend continued in the direction it was headed. As of Friday morning, the El Paso County Health Department's data states we are seeing 278.6 cases per 100,000 people and a 6.94% positivity rate.

The numbers the county faces puts us within the Level 3 threshold on the state's dial, but Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said in a tweet that the county health department's mitigation plan has kept the county from taking "more drastic measures at this time."

During last week's press conference, El Paso County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson urged the community to step up to help control the spread of the virus by taking responsibility for your individual actions.

"As we head into the winter months, we know that things like the common cold, flu, and now COVID will be circulating at the same time," she said. She reminded residents that if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested and be guided in the next steps if you are positive.

El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller said on Oct. 23 that the county had one week to provide the state health department a mitigation plan and if the state does not approve, we would reverse the progress that has been made.

"Make no mistake, once again unless these numbers start going down, the state will engage in further restrictions," he said. "...Let's make the right choices so the state doesn't have to come in and make those choices for us."

At the end of September, El Paso County Health officials warned that the county's status on the state dial could be at risk after a rise in the county's incidence rate. Experts say it's time to realize the virus isn’t going anywhere, especially when you combine the weather with the upcoming holiday season.

Click here for more on the specific breakdowns of each COVID-19 level on the state's dial.

RELATED:
El Paso County has 1 week to submit mitigation plan or face further restrictions
How a county's restrictions are determined on Colorado's COVID-19 dial
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