Jefferson County to move back to Level Yellow due to increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

"Significantly decreased social distancing" partly to blame for spike in cases
COVID-19 coronavirus
Posted at 3:51 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 18:27:49-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Some bars will have to close and restaurants and gyms will be required to operate at 50% capacity once again effective Friday, due to an increase of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Jefferson County.

“Unfortunately we are slipping in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, executive director for Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH), in a news release sent to Denver7 Wednesday.

The county reported 142.7 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents for the period lasting from March 31-April 6, which exceeds the metrics for Level Blue (115 cases per 100,000 residents for five consecutive days) in the state’s COVID-19 dial.

Comstock said the majority of new cases are among adults between 20 and 39 years old, adding the majority of the county’s outbreaks were being reported within schools and non-regulated businesses, such as offices and retail.

“Other factors contributing to the increase in community spread include significantly decreased social distancing as well as circulation of virus variants,” Comstock said in a news release.

The announcement of the county’s move to a more restrictive level on the color-coded dial comes a day after Jefferson County modified its public health order on masks, no longer requiring them in outdoor spaces but still mandating them for indoor public settings.

Under Level Yellow, the following restrictions will be in effective starting Friday, April 9 at 6 a.m.:

  • Restaurants are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 150 people per room. Last call is at 1 a.m.
  • Bars must close unless they serve food.
  • Indoor events are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 150 people per room within usable space. Usable space for seated events and unseated events with fewer than 50 people is calculated by using 6-feet distancing between non-household contacts. For unseated events with more than 50 people, usable space should be calculated using the Distancing Space Calculator.
  • Outdoor events are limited to 50% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 175 people within the usable space per designated area calculated using the Distancing Space Calculator. If the event is seated, usable space should be calculated by using 6-foot distancing between non-household members.
  • Recreation, including gyms, rec centers and pools, is limited to 50% capacity, not to exceed 50 people per room indoors or activity area outdoors. Establishments larger than 7,200 square feet may use the Distancing Space Calculator to expand to 100 patrons per room within their usable space.
  • Organized sports are limited to 25 players, excluding coaches, referees and umpires.
  • Outdoor guided activities are limited to 50% capacity, not to exceed 10 people.
  • Youth camps are limited to 10 participants indoors and 25 participants outdoors.
  • Businesses certified the Five-Star Certification Program in Jefferson County may operate under Leve Blue limits.

“None of us want to go backwards on the Dial after all of the hard work we’ve put in and sacrifices we’ve made,” Comstock said. “It’s important that we take the necessary steps now to reverse this trend, so we have the opportunity to celebrate the things and people we love and enjoy. We missed many of these special occasions last year, but if we work hard now it doesn’t have to be the case for 2021.”

Comstock continued to urge residents to wear masks, keep a good social distance of six feet from others, and avoid gatherings.

At least two other Colorado counties moved to more restrictive levels on the dial this week: Summit County moved to Level Orange on Wednesday and Pueblo County moved to Level Yellow on Tuesday due to new spikes in COVID-19 cases.