Jared Polis. Photo Credit: David Zalubowski (AP).

Jared Polis. Photo Credit: David Zalubowski (AP).

Last week, Governor Jared Polis announced that all Colorado counties under 'level red' restrictions would be allowed to move to 'level orange' restrictions following the decline of new COVID-19 cases. Here are a few things to know about that shift:

1. After weeks of 'level red' COVID-19-related restrictions in much of the state, Governor Polis announced that restrictions would be eased in many counties starting on Monday, January 4, shifting 'level red' counties to 'level orange.'

2. Some health officials expressed concern regarding Polis calling for eased restrictions. Mark Johnson, executive director of Jefferson County Public Health, stated “It appears that if there’s enough pressure from the business and economic forces in the state that we will change the dial to meet those demands and that’s kind of frustrating."

3. Current restriction levels around Colorado can be found on a county-to-county basis on the state website. Data on this page is updated at about 4 PM daily.

4. Indoor dining can take place under 'level orange' restrictions. While the shift to 'level red' restrictions had restaurants scrambling to think creatively with outdoor dining options, 'level orange' restrictions allow for 25 percent indoor capacity or 50 diners, whatever is less. Bars remain closed.

5. Fitness centers have increased capacity under 'level orange' restrictions, too. Gyms and fitness centers moving from 'level red' to 'level orange' restrictions will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity, with up to 25 people indoors.

6. Events moving from 'level red' to 'level orange' restrictions will be able to operate at 25 percent capacity, or up to 50 people inside or 75 people outside, whatever is less.

7. Under a shift from 'level red' to 'level orange' restrictions, last call for alcohol is increased from 8 PM to 10 PM.

8. Under 'level orange' restrictions, gathering size can be up to 10 from no more than 2 households. Staying at home continues to be strongly encouraged.

9. Though remote work is encouraged, offices can operate at 25 percent capacity under 'level orange' restrictions.

10. In-person P-12 education is suggested at 'level orange' restrictions, opposed to remote learning.

Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee manages the OutThere Colorado digital publication as the Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to rock climb, trail run, and mountain bike. Follow along with his adventures on Instagram at @spence.outside


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(1) comment


Does Mark Johnson still collect a weekly or biweekly paycheck as a government official while he wants everyone else to remain locked up with no paycheck? From the county website he is making at least $152,000.00 for 2020 - maybe as much as $254,000.00. If so, maybe he needs to donate his salary back to the county with his opinions on shutting down everyone else. Would love to hear his comment on that.

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