covid red

As COVID-19 cases soar, El Paso County must move to Level Red — severe risk — by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notified local officials Nov. 23 of the escalation from Level Orange (high risk) on the state’s dial in response to surging COVID-19 transmission, positivity rate and hospitalizations.

This latest order closes restaurants (takeout, curbside and delivery are allowed), moves offices and gyms to 10 percent capacity, and ends indoor events.

Retail stays at 50 percent capacity and personal services stay at 25 percent capacity. Bars are closed and no personal gatherings among different households are allowed.

As of today, El Paso County’s metrics are:

  • two-week incidence: 1160.7 (up from 711.4 Nov. 10)
  • two-week test positivity rate: 14.71 percent (up from 13.26 percent Nov. 10)
  • two-week COVID-19 case count (new cases): 8,386

For a full list of COVID-19 testing sites in El Paso County, visit El Paso County Public Health’s testing page

Public health is urging all residents to practice COVID-19 prevention measures:

  • keep gatherings small
  • limit unnecessary trips
  • wear a mask properly — make sure it fully covers the nose as well
  • practice social distancing
  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • if you are sick, even with very mild symptoms, stay home. This is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight the spread of disease

Numerous other Colorado counties have already moved to Level Red in response to high levels of disease transmission.

Public health also gave guidance on how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely:

Managing Editor, Colorado Springs Business Journal

Helen Robinson is a graduate of The University of Queensland, Australia. She worked in print media in Australia, Canada and the United States before joining the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2016.