Colorado is moving to a new “COVID-19 Dial 2.0,” which goes into effect Saturday, Feb. 6 at 9 a.m., Gov. Jared Polis announced, adding “we can’t let our guard down now.”
Dial 2.0 increases the incidence metrics for each level (or color) on the state's COVID-19 Dial, meaning most counties will now operate in a “lower” color with fewer restrictions. Most counties in Colorado have been in orange and red levels for weeks, with some counties in yellow. On Dial 2.0, many more counties will now operate in yellow and some in blue.
“Dial 2.0 is designed so that counties can swiftly move into more restrictive levels when their numbers go up, and more quickly into recovery when their numbers go down,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the director of the Department of Public Health and Environment.
“Input from our partners helped us tailor the new dial to best serve the needs of Coloradans at the local level. Since the dial’s last major change in November, Colorado has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state. More people now have immunity to COVID-19, including people over 70 and frontline health care workers. This relieves the strain on our hospital system.”
Five star businesses are still allowed to operate one level lower on the dial, except they may not operate at “Protect Our Neighbors” level unless the county is formally in that level.
Because caution is still a priority, counties in Yellow with a 5 Star Business Program may only operate in Blue once 70 percent of 70-year-olds are vaccinated with at least one dose, expected to happen by the end of February.
School settings do not change in Dial 2.0. Capacity limits remain the same, with the exception of restaurants in Level Yellow, which may now have up to 150 people when using the social distancing calculator — up from 100 people with the calculator.
“The release of Dial 2.0 is a more responsive way to allow individual counties to stay safely open based on their COVID-19 incident rates,” Polis said at the Feb. 5 COVID-19 update. “But we can’t let our guard down now. We are all in this fight together, Colorado. Let’s stick with good social distancing practices and mask wearing as we work our way towards ending the pandemic by vaccinating more and more Coloradans.”
Polis said Colorado will start its effort to vaccinate all residents 65 and older next week.
“This is a big step in getting as many vaccines into arms and saving as many lives as possible,” he said. “It is still our top priority to ensure that more than 70 percent of Coloradans aged 70 and up get the vaccine, and we are 64 percent of the way towards achieving that goal.”
WHAT ARE THE NEW DIAL 2.0 METRICS?
The new metrics are based on 7-day metrics instead of 14 day metrics.
● Counties in Level Green must now have no more than 15 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week OR a comparable number cases in counties with under 30,000 people.
● Counties in Level Blue must now have between 15 and 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week.
● Counties in Level Yellow must now have between 100 and 300 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The rate of positive tests must be no more than 7.5 percent.
● Counties in Level Orange must now have between 300 and 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The rate of positive tests must be no more than 10 percent.
● Counties in Level Red will now have more than 501 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. At this level, hospital system capacity is constrained, and state assistance is requested for patient transport or staff augmentation.
● At Level Purple, statewide hospital capacity risks being breached and crisis standards of care are approaching.
For more information visit covid19.colorado.gov/covid-19-dial