New COVID-19 restrictions imposed on restaurants, other services as cases surge in Adams County

Move to Level 3 on the Safer-at-Home dial begins Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.
Virus Outbreak Colorado
Posted at 8:22 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 22:53:47-04

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – Residents in Adams County will have to live with new restrictions on their day-to-day lives starting next Wednesday due to skyrocketing cases of the novel coronavirus over the past several weeks.

The county, which was on Safer-at-Home Level 2 on the state’s COVID-19 dial – a framework used by the state to inform counties about how they are doing to contain the virus – will be moved back to Level 3 (the highest risk level before stay-at-home mandates are imposed) by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment due to the high incidence rate of COVID-19 infections.

The move to tighter restrictions under Safer-at-Home Level 3 will take place Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m.

Under the new restrictions the following will take effect:

  • Personal indoor gatherings will be restricted to 5 people, while outdoor personal gatherings will only be allowed to have no more than 10 people (these restrictions went into effect on Oct. 16)
  • Restaurants may operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 25 people, per room.
  • Houses of worship and Life Rites may operate at 25% or 50 people. For outdoor worship services, a house of worship must maintain six feet distance between non-household members.
  • Indoor events may operate at 50% capacity or 25 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Non-critical retail can continue to operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit
  • Personal services may continue to operate at 25% of the posted occupancy limit, not to exceed 25 people, per room.
  • Gyms, recreation centers and indoor pools are not authorized to open for in-person services; virtual services may be provided.
  • Outdoor recreational activities in groups of 10 people or fewer may occur, maintaining 6 feet Distancing Requirements between non-household contacts.

For a complete list of restrictions, click here.

As of Friday morning, Adams County had a two-week incidence rate of 444.7 infections per 100,000 residents, an average of 9.3% tests coming back positive over the past 14 days and continues to see a daily increase from the prior two-week period for both, according to TCHD spokesman Gary Sky, who added that hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 have also been going up among Adams County residents.

“We did not want to see COVID-19 cases reach this level again, but unfortunately they have continued to rise to concerning levels despite the County’s excellent mitigation plan and last Friday’s Public Health Order introducing additional restrictions,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “Our hope is that moving to Level 3 will reduce transmission of the virus in a short time period.”

Adams County Commissioner and Board Chair Emma Pinter called on residents to pull together and said residents need do what needs to be done to get their numbers down.

“Our goal is always to keep our businesses open and our communities thriving but to do that we need everyone to follow these new guidelines more closely than ever before,” she said.

The new restrictions come 15 days after the TCHD warned of tighter restrictions if the number of coronavirus infections were not brought down. At that time, the TCHD found the growing number of cases stemmed from both public and private social gatherings.

Tri-County Health officials continue to urge residents to keep at least six feet social distancing from others, wear face coverings and wash hands frequently, and to observe their small gathering guidance if meeting with other people during the course of the pandemic.