Summit County to move backward in reopening process and set 10 pm curfew

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, Summit County will move backward into the level orange phase of reopening.

DILLON — Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence announced Wednesday evening on Facebook that the state will move Summit County backward in the reopening process, adding restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

On Oct. 29, officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment gave Summit County one week to show a plateau or decline in both the incidence and positivity rates by Wednesday, Nov. 4, to avoid moving backward.

At the time, the county was reporting a two-week incidence rate of 539 new cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate — the percentage of tests that return positive — of 10.8%, according to the state’s dial dashboard. One week later, both stats have risen, with the incidence rate at 794 cases per 100,000 people and the positivity rate at 14.3%.

“As those numbers continued to rise, we knew most likely the state was going to put us into a different level,” Lawrence said in a live Facebook video Wednesday night.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, the county will drop into safer-at-home level orange, formerly called safer-at-home Level 3. It’s just one step above stay-at-home orders, which are now labeled level red.

The new designation comes with a set of increased restrictions, including on retail stores and restaurants, which will be limited to 25% capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. The county currently allows 50% capacity in these types of businesses.

And because Summit County’s incidence rate exceeds even the orange level, the new restrictions will include a 10 p.m. curfew, which is targeted toward stemming outbreaks in the younger population.

But Lawrence emphasized that the spread of the virus is not limited to youths.

“We continue to see spread among private gatherings in groups,” she said in the video. “We have seen a rise in cases among all of our age groups, not just the younger 20-29 year olds, but it’s been across the board this week. All age groups we’re seeing rising numbers.”

Lawrence reminded residents that the current public health order limits personal gatherings to six people indoors or 10 people outdoors from no more than two households.

Additional restrictions also are expected for indoor recreation, and Lawrence said more details about that would be “ironed out” Thursday afternoon.

The additional restrictions are intended to help keep Summit County out of the stay-at-home level, which would put ski season at risk.

“Our winter economy is on the line, and it’s really up to us to put it back on track and make sure it can happen,” she said.

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