Denver Set To Shift To 'Level Red' On CO Coronavirus Dial

Henrietta Brewer
November 20, 2020

"This will help Colorado families and small businesses survive the challenging winter months to bridge us to a vaccine", Polis said.

Denver will likely move to this new level of restrictions in the next few days.

What's the difference between "severe" and "extreme?"

Beyond the metro area, Pueblo and Mesa counties have confirmed that they will move to Level Red. But state health officials added another Level Purple "Stay at Home Ordered", which is effectively what Level Red used to be.

Other significant differences, indoor dining is closed for restaurants when affected counties move to level red. The new dial separates out hospitalizations, making that the sole metric that could move a county into the new Level Purple.

Ten to 15 Colorado counties are expected to move to a revised Level Red by Friday, triggering new restrictions like a ban on indoor dining, an 8 p.m. last call, and additional capacity limits on gyms and gatherings.

At the news conference, Polis also called a special session of the state Legislature targeted at COVID-19 relief. On Tuesday, they learned from the state that they - as well as their counterparts in Garfield and Eagle counties - do not have to adopt the new restrictions.

After talking to state public health officials Monday, Pitkin County officials were under the impression that the county would be moving to the Red level of restrictions, Peacock said.

Polis said that with more people in Colorado hospitalized than in March and April, and with "growth that keeps skyrocketing", something had to be done. The new dial adds a purple level, which would indicate stay-at-home orders.

Summit County has been reflecting data within the previous level red thresholds for some time. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said "we expect to be there". Approximately 1,300 Colorado residents were now hospitalized with COVID, while one in 110 residents was contagious with the virus, he said.

"There's only so many beds in the system - ICU and non ICU", Polis said.

"The truth is, seeing this exponential growth that we are experiencing, we clearly need a more drastic shift in behavior to further slow the transmission of the virus and prevent this exponential growth curve from simply overwhelming our ability to take care of people who are sick", Polis said.

The new dial level announced by Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday "does not affect ski resort on-mountain operations specifically", according to an email sent Wednesday evening by the Colorado State Joint Information Center.

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