What You Need to Know About Denver’s New “Yellow” Status

[UPDATE March 9 at 11:05 a.m: On March 8, Governor Jared Polis announced an update to the state’s COVID-19 dial. Retroactively effective on March 7, counties in Yellow can now have last call until 1 a.m. and restaurants and seated indoor events can have up to 150 people without using the space distance calculator. This includes casinos. Similar changes were made for other levels on the dial. Complete changes to the dial can be seen here.]

Late on Friday afternoon, Denver announced it would move to a “yellow” restriction level. Based on a newly designed system, dubbed Dial 2.0, it shifts metrics for each level and updates the observed data period from 14 days to seven days.

“Dial 2.0 is designed so that counties can swiftly move into more restrictive levels when their numbers go up, and more quickly into recovery when their numbers go down,” explained Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Executive Director.

Below is more info on why Denver has moved into this new status and what that means.

To find more info on your county’s status, go here

Why Now?

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After seeing multiple spikes throughout the fall and early winter, Denver’s case rate has steadily trended downwards since mid-January. As of yesterday, Denver sits at 135 cases on a seven-day average, which is comparable to the height of summer levels. New hospitalizations and deaths also continue to fall while vaccination rates continue to climb.

What’s Changing?

While many of the rules remain the same, the changed restrictions focus on offices, gyms and restaurants. Additionally, Denver’s new Five Star Certification remains in place, but approved businesses must stay at the current yellow level until 70% of people over 70 have received vaccines. Regulations such as no more than 10 people from two different households are still in place.

Level Yellow limits include:

  • 50 percent or 50 people (or up to 150 people within their usable space calculated using the Distancing Space Calculator), indoors at restaurants
  • 50 percent or 50 people, whichever is fewer, at gyms and fitness businesses
  • 11 p.m. on-premises last call for alcohol service
  • 50 percent capacity at offices (remote work is still encouraged)
  • 50 percent capacity for retail businesses
  • Eligibility for outdoor site-specific variances

Go here for info on the different restriction levels and details