EL PASO COUNTY — On Tuesday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched a new dial aimed at helping local governments and Coloradans navigate and apply safety guidance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on that, El Paso County is currently in Safer at Home Level 1 – Cautious.
This level indicates that El Paso County is currently meeting the following three metrics:
- Five percent or less test positivity rate
- As of September 16, El Paso County’s two-week positivity rate is 2.42 percent
- Between 0-75 cases per 100,000
- As of September 16, El Paso County’s two-week incidence is 61.5
- No more than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day
Placement in Safer at Home Level 1 – Cautious returns El Paso County to the capacity levels it had achieved with its approved variances.
The following capacities are currently allowed under Safer at Home Level 1 – Cautious:
- Personal gatherings: Up to 25 people
- P-12 schools: In-person suggested or hybrid, remote as appropriate
- Higher education: In-person suggested or hybrid, remote as appropriate
- Places of worship and life rites: 50 percent capacity up to 175 indoors; six feet between parties outdoors, per local zoning
- Restaurants: 50 percent capacity up to 175 indoors; six feet between parties outdoors, per local zoning
- Non-critical manufacturing: 50 percent capacity up to 175 people
- Offices: 50 percent capacity
- Bars: Closed
- Gyms/fitness: 25 percent capacity or 175 people
- Group sports and camps: 50 person cap per activity
- Non-critical retail: 50 percent capacity
- Personal services: 50 percent capacity up to 50 people
- Limited health care settings: 50 percent capacity up to 50 people
- Indoor events: 50 percent capacity up to 175 people
- Outdoor events: 50 percent up to 250 people
- Outdoor guided services: 50 percent capacity up to 25 people
There are five levels under the proposal: stay-at-home, three phases of safer-at-home, and the protect-our-neighbors phase.
Within the three safer-at-home tiers are levels of “high risk”, “concern” and “cautious,” according to the draft from the CDPHE. The “high risk” level, Level 3, would be for counties seeing increasing virus levels that need to take action but not revert back to stay-at-home measures.
The “concern” level, Level 2, is the current baseline for the safer-at-home order. The “cautious” level, Level 1, is next to protect our neighbors and will be for counties that have low virus levels but are not quite at the protect-our-neighbors phase.
As numbers in a county improve, that county's dial moves one spot to the left, one step closer to the "Protect Our Neighbors" phase.
Counties would be able to move to a less restrictive level if they meet all the positive metrics for a two-week period. Counties would also have to notify the CDPHE and local health care providers when they believe they are eligible to move to a less-restrictive level.
But counties would move back to more-restrictive measures if they fall out of compliance with the metrics. They would have a two-week grace period, under the draft guidelines, to regain compliance with a metric, and if they do not, they would have a meeting with the CDPHE to determine the next steps.