Montezuma County has moved to the less restrictive Level Yellow category after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revamped the COVID-19 Dial last week.
Level Yellow is described as a category of “concern,” which is down from the county’s previous status as “high risk” Level Orange.
Under Level Yellow, restaurants and gyms can go to 50% capacity indoors or 50 customers, whichever is fewer, with social distancing protocols. Last call for restaurants is 11 p.m.
Indoor dining and gyms were previously capped at 25% capacity under Level Orange.
Also under Level Yellow, noncritical manufacturing, personal services, and offices increased to 50% capacity from 25%.
Group sports and camps can have up to 25 people per activity under Level Yellow, up from 10 under Level Orange.
In-person learning is suggested for preschool through 12th grade.
For entertainment under Level Yellow, indoor unseated events can have 50% capacity or 50 people, whichever if fewer, or up to 100 if the venue meets the states social distancing calculator.
Indoor seated events can be held at 50% capacity or 100 people whichever is fewer. Outdoor unseated and seated events are allowed to have 50% capacity, or 250 people, whichever is fewer.
The state defines Level Yellow as 100-300 new cases per 100,000 people over seven days, no more than 7.5% positivity rate per week, and rate of hospitalizations.
As of Feb. 8, Montezuma County had 145.3 new cases over the last week, a positivity rate of 5.8% and at least one day with one to two new hospitalizations reported in the past two weeks.
County Public Information Officer Vicki Shaffer said the public should not let its guard down about pandemic precautions.
New cases continue to be detected in Montezuma County, she said, including 11 over the weekend.
As of Feb. 8, there were 469 active cases, up from 430 on Feb. 3, and 418 on Jan. 29. To date there have been 1,645 positive cases, 1,167 people recovered, and 13 deaths from the disease.
Continued community efforts to prevent the spread of the disease is needed to keep numbers under control and “prevent the state from moving us back to the more restrictive Level Orange,” Shaffer said.
CDPHE will automatically move counties to a more restrictive level if numbers warrant, she said. However, to move to the less restrictive Level Blue category, counties must apply to CDPHE and meet the stricter criteria.
La Plata and Dolores counties are at Level Blue, and San Miguel is at Level Orange.