Governments Jared Polis announced on social media on Wednesday night that Colorado counties on Level Red on the COVID-19 slide – including Denver and the entire Front Range – are starting to take off from the restrictions on public health.
The downgrading of the provinces to Level Orange, which enables small public gatherings and can resume restaurants limited dining rooms, comes as the state confirms this week that the new, more contagious variant of the virus detected in the UK has arrived in Colorado .
In an effort to ease restrictions, Polis pointed out that COVID-19 conditions are improving across the country, even though provinces have been moved to Level Red due to their own individual circumstances. The governor cites a continuing decline in new coronavirus infections in Colorado over the past 13 days, noting that only 73% of ICU beds are used across the country.
Metro counties, including Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson, are still in the red for two weeks, according to state data, although their hospitalizations and positivity figures, the other key indicators, are doing better.
“This is a direct result of Coloradans’ increase and steps to protect themselves and others,” Polis wrote of the state’s improved statistics. “In light of this and based on the data, I (the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) are asking to move counties in Red with the rotary knob to Orange, with effect from Monday.”
In mid-November, state health officials moved Denver and more than a dozen other counties to Level Red, the second-highest level of restrictions and one step less than a stay-at-home order, based on each country’s case, positive percentages and hospitalization numbers. Among other things, this required restaurants to stop eating.
Since then, the state has moved more counties to Level Red, to the point that half of Colorado’s counties are now at the stage on the COVID-19 switch.
In reviewing the data, Colorado has been consistently in decline for 13 days, with only 73% of ICU beds across the country being used.
– Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) 31 December 2020
At Level Orange, up to 10 people will gather again from no more than two households; restaurants can reopen for 25% capacity, or up to 50 people; offices can increase capacity from 25% to 25%; and gyms can increase their capacity to 25%, or 25 people, from 10%, or 10 people.
“I am excited that so far we have successfully avoided another exclusion,” Polis wrote. ‘To save lives, perhaps even your own, it’s more important than ever before that Coloradans do not gather outside their household to celebrate the new year, and to continue with the basic steps of protecting themselves and others, such as wearing masks, but only with their own households, and they stay 6 meters apart in public. ”
New cases of COVID-19 in Colorado are still at a high level, although they have been declining for most of the month, with 13,566 reported last week – less than half as many as in the first week of December. Although the state has not seen an increase in cases after Thanksgiving, it will still be a few weeks before public health officials know if Coloradans was able to avoid a rise during Christmas and New Year, as it takes time for people to be tested and this should be reflected in the state’s data.
Last week, Beth Carlton, an associate professor of occupational and environmental health at the Colorado School of Public Health, told The Denver Post that if the current decline in cases continues, Colorado will reduce the level of infections that occur during the initial spring boom. January – and that it will take until March to return to the relatively safe levels seen during the summer.
Civil servants have also not yet been able to determine the distribution of the new variant B.1.1.7 in Elbert County.
“The concern, of course, is that it can be overwhelming for our healthcare systems if it spreads faster and more people have it, even with just the regular number of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer for the Colorado department, said. Public Health and Environment, said earlier on Wednesday during a news conference.
Hospitalizations also gradually fell in Colorado to a slight plateau that began at Christmas. On Wednesday, another drop occurred, with 1,150 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in Colorado hospitals, a level last seen in early November.
Deaths also appear to have declined, but not before recording weeks in November and early December. Colorado recorded 4,750 virus-related deaths during the pandemic, and more than half occurred during the large increase in new cases through the fall.