Boulder County Public Health announced Monday that rising COVID-19 cases among county residents could result in the county facing more restrictions.
A news release from the health department said the county could be forced to move to Safer at Home Level 3 on the state’s dial, which would mean more restrictions on the number of people allowed in certain kinds of businesses and on the size of groups for gatherings and fitness activities.
There have been 187.4 new cases per 100,000 in the past 14 days, state data shows, putting the county in the “orange” zone. On Thursday, there were 135.7 new cases per 100,000 over 14 days.
The level 3 restrictions begin when a county’s rate of new cases is at 175 cases per 100,000. The percent positivity for Safer at Home Level 3 is between 10 and 15%. On Monday, Boulder County’s two-week average positivity is 4.1%, in the “green” zone.
The county has 14 days to reverse the trend, Boulder County Public Health spokesperson Chana Goussetis said.
The five-day average of new daily cases is 52.6, “which is higher than any other time except during the height of the surge of new cases among young adults,” the release states.
Safer at Home Level 3 guidelines reduce restaurant, office, retail and personal services capacity to 25%, or to 50 people. There is a 25-person limit for indoor events and 75 person-limit for outdoor events. Remote or hybrid learning is recommended for K-12 and higher education. There would be no group sports, gym or fitness indoors, and a 10-person limit outdoors. Senior facilities would be closed except for compassion visits.
“It’s no surprise that more Boulder County residents are testing positive for COVID-19 since we’re seeing statewide and national surges,” Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health Executive Director stated in the release. “Unfortunately, this is pushing us toward the possibility of needing to restrict how many people can be in shared areas.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will decide whether or not the county will move levels following a discussion with Boulder County Public Health leadership, the release states.
Goussetis said the health department and CDPHE will discuss the best course of action, “particularly concerning possible gatherings for Halloween and the trend of new cases in the surrounding counties.”
“To be blunt, stay home as much as possible. Limit your Halloween activities to just your household. Do not go to any gatherings,” Zayach stated in the release. “We’re seeing transmission from multiple age groups and from people with and without symptoms. Staying home is the best thing we can do. If you have to go out, please social distance and wear a mask.”
Last month, Boulder County was also in danger of entering Safer at Home Level 3 due to a spike in cases among all age groups. There were more than 350 new cases per 100,000. The following week, the county lowered to the “orange” zone with 232.4 new cases per 100,000.
This is a developing story.