News Flash

Arapahoe County News

Posted on: September 16, 2020

New online tool gives quick look at COVID status and recovery


A new online “dial dashboard” unveiled this week by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) gives local governments and residents the ability to track COVID-19 recovery progress using key metrics. It also provides a roadmap for continued recovery opportunities as those numbers improve. Arapahoe County’s current position on the dial allows us to retain existing capacity limits for businesses and gatherings that was secured during the variance process this summer.

The COVID-19 Dial

Based on scientific metrics, as well as decisions made at the local level, the dial has five levels with associated guidance:

  1. Protect Our Neighbors
  2. Safer at Home 1 – Cautious
  3. Safer at Home 2 – Concern
  4. Safer at Home 3 – High Risk
  5. Stay at Home

Counties move between levels based on three metrics:

  • Number of new cases. The case count provides information on how prevalent the coronavirus is circulating in communities.
  • Percent positivity of COVID tests. The percent positivity is a clear indication if enough testing is being performed.
  • Impact on hospitals. Hospitalization data provides information about health care capacity—a critical component as we move into flu season. 

What does this mean for Arapahoe County?

Arapahoe County was assigned to Safer Level 1 based on current data and approved variances. This level will also allow some businesses to increase capacity while sports and recreation activities will see increases as well. 

“Our position at Safer at Home 1 means we are on track for continued recovery and is testament to the dedication shown by residents and business owners in following guidance from the state and Tri-County Health,” said Commissioner Nancy Sharpe. “With continued diligence to simple preventative measures such as handwashing, distancing and mask wearing, we can keep our economy and schools open and that’s a wonderful place to be.”

How can Arapahoe County reopen further?

To move to a less restrictive level, counties must meet and sustain all three metrics for two weeks and meet all requirements. Counties must also regularly consult with CDPHE, which may entail moving to a more restrictive level, when they are out of compliance with any of the metrics for more than two weeks. The earliest Arapahoe County could submit a request seeking a new level designation would be Sept. 29.

The dial replaces the County’s existing variances. CDPHE will continue considering applications for site-specific variances for unique facilities, stadiums, or other extra-large venues or events. Variance requests must conform to CDPHE requirements and be submitted by the Tri-County Health Department.

The full dial framework policy is available online.

Safer Level 1-capacity limits AC addition2 Safer1 Metrics

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