El Paso County to move to Level Orange: Safer at Home – High Risk status in the state’s dial framework

El Paso County, CO – In response to recent increases in COVID-19 cases rates, test positivity, and hospitalizations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) notified El Paso County this morning that El Paso County is being required to move to Level Orange: Safer at Home – High Risk in the state’s dial framework.  

CDPHE has given El Paso County by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 13 to fully implement these changes

El Paso County continues to expand the community mitigation plan and is working diligently with partners to implement additional mitigation strategies  to reverse the concerning trends.  

As of November 10, El Paso County’s metrics are as follows: 

  • Two-week incidence: 711.4 
  • Two-week test positivity rate: 13.26% 
  • Hospitalizations: Increasing   

The move to Level Orange implements the following guidelines and restrictions: 

  • Preschool -12 Schools: In-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate  
  • Higher Education: In-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate 
  • Places of Worship: **Pursuant to a federal court order, capacity limits do not currently apply to indoor Places of Worship, though social distancing requirements must still be met; outdoors, six feet of social distance must be maintained as well  
  • Restaurants:   
    • Indoors: 25% capacity or up to 50 people;  
    • Outdoors: six feet between parties  
  • Offices: 25% capacity 
  • Bars: Closed, unless all patrons are seated at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart and food is served from a retail food licensee for on-premise consumption. 25% capacity or up to 50 people per room (or up to 100 with social distance calculator). Dance floors are not permitted. Bars that operate must follow all the requirements listed in Appendix H of Public Health Order 20-36.  
  • Gyms/Fitness: 25% capacity up to 25 people indoors, or outdoors in groups less than 10 
  • Group Sports: Virtual, or outdoors in groups less than 10; no indoors 
  • Retail: 25% capacity 
  • Personal Services: 25% capacity up to 25 people per room 
  • Indoor Events:   
    • Unseated: 25%, or up to 50 people (with social distance calculator) 
    • Seated: 25%, or 50 people with six feet of distance 
  • Outdoor Events:  
    • Unseated: 25%, or up to 75 people (with social distance calculator) 
    • Seated: 25%, or up to 75 people with six feet of distance 

As a reminder, every Safer at Home level in the dial limits personal gatherings not otherwise covered by Public Health Order 20-36 Safer at Home Dial to 10 or fewer people from no more than two households. During the month of November, CDPHE is asking individuals to interact only with people from their own households. 

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of El Paso County Public Health to implement a mitigation plan to reduce our COVID-19 numbers. Unfortunately, the data is showing that our current level of restriction is not enough to stop the rise in cases and hospitalizations, and CDPHE has moved El Paso County to a more restrictive level. This is concerning for our businesses and especially our restaurants. I am hopeful that with the cooperation of our residents, leadership of our health department and commitment by our businesses, that we can reverse the trend of COVID-19 infections quickly and return to a more open economy,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. 

“Over the past month, the Pikes Peak Region has experienced a significant rise in COVID-19 cases as well as hospitalizations. Centura Penrose-St. Francis is working tirelessly to ensure we have the resources to maintain the safest level of care for our community,” said Dr. Bill Plauth, Chief Medical Officer, Penrose St.-Francis. “We are asking our community to join us in this effort by continuing to wear masks, keeping social distancing and following other preventive measures in their daily lives.” 

“Recent numbers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus show a high risk of transmittal comes from mask-less conversations with co-workers. It’s easy to let our guard down around our ‘work families’ given how much time we spend together. We may only intend to pop by the break room or a colleague’s desk for a quick chat, but it turns into a longer conversation. We can all do our part in the business community to bring numbers down by keeping our guard up and following preventative measures in the workplace,” said Dirk Draper, President and CEO, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC.

“We greatly appreciate everyone in the community and our many partners who have been doing all they can to contribute to our mitigation plan and slow the spread of COVID-19. We continue to urge residents to follow the guidelines and prevention measures, taking small acts, which add up to create a broad collective impact,” said Susan Wheelan, El Paso County Public Health Director. 

Learn more about the Small Acts, Big Impacts campaign here: www.coloradosprings.gov/smallacts.    

  • Keep gatherings small  
  • Limit unnecessary trips 
  • Wear a mask  
  • Practice social distancing 
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water 
  • If you are sick, even with very mild symptoms, stay home. This is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight the spread of disease. 
Michelle Hewitt
Public Health Information Officer
(719) 244-1497
El Paso County, CO