The Larimer County Department of Health issues public health order and loosens restrictions for all county companies – Loveland Reporter-Herald

The Larimer County Department of Health issues public health order and loosens restrictions for all county companies – Loveland Reporter-Herald

The nearly 400 county businesses that are certified by the Level Up program and have been operating at Level Blue for the past several weeks are now required to follow the new local order. The release said the new order is expected to align local restrictions with what was considered Level Blue on Colorado’s Dial 3.0. This means Larimer County businesses will now have fewer restrictions and increased capacity limits compared with those under Level Yellow. The county website states that “with all businesses moving to the same set of simplified guidelines and capacity restrictions, and no dial levels to ‘Level Up’ to as of April 16th, whether the program will be discontinued or paused will need to be determined. We will discuss the future of the Level Up program with partners and hope this is the start of a collaboration that can continue well after we are through the pandemic and the return to normal.”

The eighth amended order became effective Friday and will last for 30 days. “It’s possible we’re only about a month away from removing all COVID-19 restrictions, but we need everyone’s help to cross the finish line by continuing to wear a mask, social distance and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” he stated. “Due to increased vaccination efforts, we are confident this 30-day order will give our community time to begin to see significant and sustained declines in disease transmission and hospitalizations that are necessary to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the release, public health officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday encouraged local public health officials to implement county-level restrictions that will suppress transmission of the virus while “supporting economic recovery efforts.” In the release, Public Health Director Tom Gonzales once again encouraged people to get vaccinated.

While this health order changes operating restrictions, county mask orders remain in full effect. The release said all residents and visitors in Larimer County must continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces when 6-foot distancing cannot be maintained from non-household members. The new order also has mitigation provisions, stating that should case rates, percent positivity, and hospitalizations increase, the public health director may impose additional restrictions. A seven-day incidence rate of over 300 cases per 100,000, percent positivity over 7.5% and over 60 COVID-19 hospitalizations could trigger new restrictions. More information on capacity limits and comparisons for various businesses and activities can be found at larimer.org/larimerdial.

With the new guidelines, restaurants and gyms can operate at 100% capacity with 6-foot spacing between different parties; last call moves from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.; offices and retail businesses can open at 75% capacity, outdoor events face no capacity limits, but events for 500 people or more must submit plans to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment; indoor seated events have no capacity limit but must have 6-foot distancing, and those more than 500 require state approval; and indoor unseated events face a 50% capacity limit, for up to 175 people. A guide released by the Health Department shows that these guidelines mirror what Level Up certified programs were able to operate at starting March 25.

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