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Several counties move to level red on state dial

Public health order specifies stricter levels as cases rise

REMOTE, (Nov. 17, 2020): Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an updated public health order that provides necessary updates to the COVID-19 dial framework today. The order updates Level Red to indicate counties where there is severe risk of COVID-19 spreading rapidly, while allowing some businesses to remain open at very limited capacity. A sixth level, Level Purple: Extreme Risk, will be added to the dial, representing when hospital capacity risks being breached and most businesses and indoor services must be closed. The updated dial levels will go into effect on Friday, Nov. 20. Read a summary of changes

The Colorado COVID-19 dial is a tool that allows Colorado to balance the urgent need to contain the virus with the need for localized guidance during the pandemic. 

“We are adding a new level to the dial in response to out-of-control levels of COVID-19 transmission across the state,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE. “Coloradans must take proactive steps to reduce the spread of the virus to protect their families and communities. Wear a mask, avoid in-person interactions with people from outside your household, and wash your hands frequently. If we are not careful now, we risk plunging into the deep end of the dial, where hospitals are not able to serve everyone who needs care, whether they are COVID-19 patients or other types of patients. It’s up to all Coloradans to help our essential health care workers save lives.”

The new dial levels, effective Nov. 20, are:

  1. Level Green – Protect Our Neighbors: for counties that are able to locally contain surges. Most businesses are open with generous capacity limits. 
    1. Level Blue – Caution: for counties with low transmission levels that aren’t quite ready for Protect Our Neighbors. Capacity limits are more permissive than yellow.
    1. Level Yellow – Concern: the baseline level for counties with elevated transmission levels but stable hospitalizations. 
    1. Level Orange – High Risk:  for counties where numbers are going up but not to the point where everything needs to be shut down. The capacity limits are moderate.
    1. Level Red – Severe Risk: for counties with high levels of transmission, hospitalizations, and positivity rates. Most indoor activities are prohibited or strictly limited, and outdoor activities are encouraged as an alternative. The capacity limits are significant.
    1. Level Purple – Extreme Risk: for counties where hospital capacity is at extreme risk of being overrun. At this level, all businesses must significantly curtail in person functions and people must stay at home except for necessary activities.

CDPHE has notified the following counties that they will move to Level Red on Friday, November 20, 2020:

  • Adams
  • Arapahoe
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Clear Creek
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • Jefferson
  • La Plata
  • Logan
  • Mesa
  • Morgan
  • Routt
  • Summit
  • Washington

CDPHE has notified the following counties that they will move to Level Orange on Friday, November 20, 2020:

  • Costilla
  • Custer
  • Lake
  • Montezuma
  • Pitkin
  • San Juan

CDPHE has notified the following counties that they will move to Level Yellow on Friday, November 20, 2020:

  • Las Animas
  • Gunnison

CDPHE will share additional counties moving to more restrictive levels as necessary. 

Learn more on this updated capacity chart for all 6 levels. View the updated dial. Continue to stay up to date by visiting