Colorado's La Plata County moves into Level Orange | KOB 4

Colorado's La Plata County moves into Level Orange

Diana Castillo
Updated: January 05, 2021 08:17 PM
Created: January 05, 2021 06:43 PM

DURANGO C.O.—Several counties in Colorado recently moved from Level Red to Level Orange restrictions. In Level Orange, businesses like offices and gyms can increase capacity limits from 10% to 25%. Restaurants can also start offering indoor dining at 25% capacity. 

“The dial is based on three underlining metrics: the first is new cases in the last 14 days in the county and that’s adjusted for population of course. The second is the positivity rate divided by the number of positive tests we have divided by the total test, and then the third is our trend in hospitalizations," said Brian Devine, Interim Environmental Health Director for San Juan Basin Public Health.

In La Plata and Archuleta County, positivity rates, hospitalizations, and case incident rates have decreased but are still classified as Level Red. 

It takes about 10 to 14 days for any transmission associated with a holiday to show up in the data. However, during Thanksgiving a spike did not occur in southwest Colorado. Health officials said they're still waiting for Christmas and New Year’s data.

“I think we are concerned that with moving counties into Level Orange and announcing that right before the new year, it may have had a message that it’s safe to have New Year’s parties, so we’re hoping that the community has done the right thing,” said Devine.  

Level Orange also means having some students back into the classroom. Durango school district 9-R plans for elementary students to return by next week as part of a hybrid model. 

“So our task force will be meeting again on Thursday to compare our plan and the plan that the state has released to really determine what might be some modifications that would allow us to bring students in more rapidly,” said Dan Snowberger, 9-R Superintendent 

As of right now, only elementary students will return in a two day a week format with the other three days being remote. 

“When we receive a yellow status, which would be at a minimum of two weeks from now, if transmission rates continue to drop then we would move to middle and high school returning,” Snowberger said. 

Level Orange still means the risk for transmission is high.  Health officials are continuing to advise people to use caution.

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