Jefferson County to Move to Level Clear May 16
Beginning May 16, Jefferson County will move to Level Clear on the Simplified Dial, per JCPH’s Public Health Order 21-001. Under Level Clear, the county will enter a 90-day observation period during which businesses will be able to operate at 100 percent capacity with no additional restrictions, except for indoor mask requirements or other requirements implemented by the State of Colorado or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This move is part of a Metro Denver regional approach to phase into a full reopening as safely as possible while efforts continue to help more residents get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Jefferson County and our neighbors across the Denver Metro Area are able to make this change now because so many residents are choosing to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH). “Getting vaccinated is our community’s path to staying fully open. Widespread vaccination coverage among Jeffco residents is the key to all of us getting back to doing the things we love. That’s why I’m so thrilled that, with the FDA’s very recent Emergency Use Approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children ages 12-15, now even more residents can be protected. Further, getting a vaccine is now easier than ever with free, walk-up vaccine clinic locations widely available across the county.”
While capacity limits and mitigation requirements will go away in Level Clear, there is a snapback provision. For 90 days (May 16-August 15), JCPH will closely monitor new hospitalizations of individuals with COVID-19, a health metric indicative of severity of COVID-19 infections. If needed, JCPH will reapply capacity limits and mitigation requirements based on hospitalization rates. For example, if the county surpasses 2.0 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period, public health officials will implement restrictions as described in the public health order.
“While every step forward gives me a lot of hope, we remind residents that COVID-19 is still circulating in our community — currently, especially among young people — and variants are threatening our progress,” said Dr. Comstock. “In order to remain fully open for good, we’ll need everyone who is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Together we can keep severe illness low as we continue efforts to contain this virus and prevent ongoing widespread community transmission.”
In Jefferson County as of May 12, 56.3% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and another 12.4% have received at least one dose of their two-dose vaccine. Public health experts estimate that 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop the ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
With the county’s move to Level Clear, the statewide indoor mask requirements remain in effect. Community members must wear masks in indoor public settings where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present, unless a business has verified that at least 80% of people in the space are fully vaccinated and have shown proof of vaccination. Most indoor public settings where large numbers of people gather and enter and exit frequently like grocery stores, retail stores and gyms will continue to need to require mask-wearing. Masks also continue to be required in Pre-K-12 schools, public areas of county or municipal government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, medical and healthcare settings, during travel (per CDC requirements) and personal service settings regardless of vaccination status. All sectors must also comply with any other requirements put in place by the State of Colorado or CDPHE.
Community members should know that businesses can still require COVID-19 mitigation steps, such as continued mask wearing and social distancing measures, even if they are not required by the county or state. Anyone visiting a business should follow that particular business’s requirements for entering.
For more information about Level Clear, visit www.jeffco.us/4047/Dial-Status. For more information about where and how to get a vaccine, visit www.jeffco.us/covid-vaccine. To track vaccination coverage, hospitalization data and more in Jeffco, visit www.jeffco.us/4007/Case-Summary.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.