COVID-19 cases dip below Level Yellow rates for first time this year
Grand County’s COVID-19 cases are trending downward and, if it continues, reduced restrictions could be on the horizon.
Following a huge spike in COVID-19 due to an outbreak at Winter Park Resort, cases have been going down for the county over the past 10 days of reporting. Cases from Tuesday through Thursday, the most recent day of reporting, have dropped below Level Yellow.
Level Yellow is equal to a case rate between 100 to 300 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. As of Thursday, Grand had 229 new cases per 100,000, equal to an actual case number of 36.
The state’s dial changed Feb. 6 to measure case rates over seven days instead of two weeks, but even with that change Grand has not been consistently below the Level Yellow metric since before January. In fact, Grand spent most of February in Level Red, equal to more than 500 new cases per 100,000.
Grand County needs a seven day downward trend to loosen restrictions. The county is currently in Level Orange.
Moving down to Level Yellow increases capacity for a number of businesses. In Yellow, restaurant, gym and event capacity would increase from 25% to 50%, and last call would move from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Grand also offers the GrandStar Certification Program, the local version of the state’s 5 Star Variance Program. Local businesses can be certified to increase capacity above existing public health orders when approved by the health department.
With the GrandStar Program, certified businesses can currently operate at a Level Yellow capacity. If Grand moves to Level Yellow, those certified businesses could operate at Level Blue, which further increases capacity.
Learn more about the GrandStar Program at http://www.playwinterpark.com/grandstar.
Grand County Public Health officials warned in a weekly update that while numbers have improved, the approaching spring break season could increase cases again. Everyone is encouraged to continue protective measures include mask wearing, physical distancing, avoiding gatherings, staying home when sick and washing hands.
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This summer’s potential for record-breaking recreation in Grand County comes down to simple math.