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Safer at Home Level 3: Fear of ripple effect from tighter restrictions in Teller County

Fear of ripple effect from tighter restrictions present in Teller County
Posted at 10:20 PM, Nov 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 10:27:17-05

FLORISSANT — Teller County will join its neighbors in El Paso and Pueblo Counties at level orange on the COVID-19 dial starting Monday, and the fear of a ripple effect the restrictions might bring is present, even in the farthest reaches of the county.

If you venture into the hinterlands of Teller County, you’ll probably come across the town of Florissant.

“We’re on the edge of the known universe, so pretty far out there,” restaurant owner Jocelyn Alvrizzi said. “We’re a town of 105 people,” Alvrizzi’s business partner Ross Derby said.

In Florissant, you’ll find what you’d expect to find, or not find, in a town this size. “Basically four buildings on the corner. No stoplight,” Derby said. “We’re mostly a seasonal, summer camping, ATVing location.”

You’ll find community hangouts like the Iron Tree restaurant. “We’re locally minded, so we try to reach out to local farmers,” Alvrizzi said. We support our community a lot, and we make really good food.”

And this year, Iron Tree’s owners Alvrizzi and Derby learned, in a town this size, they’re more than just a hangout.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” Alvrizzi said. “When there was the toilet paper shortage we kind of became a grocery store. We were selling our milk and our hamburger buns and our meats.”

Because in this small town, you’ll also find big city restrictions. “We heard that Teller just turned orange,” Alvrizzi said.

On Monday, Teller County will join El Paso County and Pueblo County in Safer at Home Level Three restrictions.

“We’re about to go into 25 percent, I believe, capacity,” she said.

“The people who would typically come in here and eat, if they’re not working in the casinos--which is a very big employer here in Teller County--that’s also gonna directly affect our business,” Derby said.

It could bring a tidal wave reaching far beyond its origin. “I think it’s going to affect Woodland Park, Florissant, everywhere,” Alvrizzi said.


On Friday, Nov. 13, Teller County officials were notified by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) that the county will be moving from Yellow to Orange in the Safer at Home category on the state COVID-19 dial.

Orange is the "high risk" level.

How a county's restrictions are determined on Colorado's COVID-19 dial

According to Teller County, incident rates are,Two-week cumulative incidence rate: 493/100,000 peoplePercent positivity: 11.6%Two-week COVID-19 case count (new cases): 125

Changes must be in place by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16.

According to the county, the restrictions and guidelines that will go into place include but are not limited to,

  • Personal gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 people from no more than two (2) households.
  • Restaurants may operate at 25% (down from 50%) of posted occupancy indoors, not to exceed 50 people, excluding staff.
  • Houses of worship and indoor events may operate at 25% (down from 50%) of posted occupancy indoors, not to exceed 50 people, per room.
  • Outdoor events may operate at 25% (down from 50%) of posted occupancy not to exceed 75 (down from 175) people, whichever is less.
  • Other commercial businesses, including gyms and fitness centers, may operate at 25% of posted occupancy indoors, unless they are otherwise designated as essential.
  • Casinos may be closed, based on whether an exception is granted based on county request.