Colorado loosens COVID restrictions across most of state in major — and likely final — revision of dial |

Colorado loosens COVID restrictions across most of state in major — and likely final — revision of dial

Changes move 26 counties to Level Green, where most health restrictions are now lifted entirely; Pitkin only county in Orange

Jessica Seaman
The Denver Post

Colorado’s health department moved 26 counties to the lowest level on the state’s color-coded COVID-19 dial Wednesday, eliminating most public health restrictions in those less-populated areas now at Level Green — including all caps on dining capacity at restaurants.

Currently, there are 22 counties at Level Blue on the dial. In those counties, bars can now open at 25% capacity or 75 people, whichever is fewer. Retail and business offices also can open at 75% capacity in Level Blue counties.

Thirteen counties, including Denver, are at Level Yellow. And only Pitkin County is at Level Orange, having just been moved up to the third-highest level on the dial.

The easing of restrictions was expected as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Friday evening that it would make it easier for counties to move to Level Green on the dial, which has been used by the agency to set COVID-19 restrictions in communities based on local transmission of the coronavirus.

The revised dial is expected to remain in place until mid-April, after which the state will retire it and issue a new public health order handing most control over COVID-related restrictions to local public health agencies. Changes have not yet been made to the statewide mask mandate, which expires April 3, because officials still are reviewing public input on the plan released last week to lift nearly all requirements for facial coverings in counties at Level Green, according to the health department.

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