BROOMFIELD COUNTY, Colo. — Broomfield County was the first county in the Denver metro area to move to Level Blue on the state's COVID-19 dial just over two weeks ago. Wednesday morning, they're returning back to Level Yellow.
Jason Vahling, the city and county's public health director, said in a meeting Monday the change is due to an increase in cases.
"Our case incidence rate has been in the yellow level for over a seven-day period, and that is what triggers the move," he said. "Additionally, CDPHE has created a buffer zone of 15% above these thresholds, but, unfortunately, we have exceeded that even for the five-day period that they've established."
Household transmission and community transmission continue to be a large source of the spread of COVID-19 in Broomfield County, according to Deb Federspiel, Broomfield Public Health and Environment deputy director.
At Monday's meeting, Federspiel broke down the transmission categories with the following percentages for the past month:
- Household transmission: 33%
- Community transmission: 34%
- Sports: 11%
- Travel: 6%
- Social gatherings: 6%
- Work-related exposures: 4%
Steve Bauer, owner of North Side Tavern in Broomfield, learned of the upcoming dial change from Denver7.
"I woke up this morning — first day off in a long time — slept in a little bit, met a friend for lunch and then I found out through Channel 7 that we're going back to yellow," Bauer said. "It's disheartening."
He was "ecstatic" when the county's restrictions eased on Feb. 22. He hired two new servers, a new host, three new dishwashers and another cook in anticipation of an increase in business.
Not much will change under Level Yellow for Bauer's restaurant, as the capacity restrictions don't impact a business of his size. But he just wishes someone would've told him about the change.
"The information seems to be very knee-jerk, so you find out about it secondhand. You don't know what to do or when it's going to happen, and then the details of it are confusing. I want to do the right thing. I just don't know what it is," he said.
The change goes into effect Wednesday, March 8 at 6 a.m. The city and county describes the changes from Level Blue to yellow here.