The big news coming out of Governor Jared Polis’s July 21 press conference regarding Colorado’s response to COVID-19 was his decision to issue a temporary, thirty-day order for any business with a state liquor license to stop serving or selling alcohol at 10 p.m. But revelations about counties losing ground in their fight against the novel coronavirus, discussed during the gathering by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan, are far more ominous.
Ryan said that fifteen Colorado counties granted variances from the state’s current Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors public-health order, issued on June 30, have been informed that they’ve fallen beneath the health level that empowers them to moderate and adapt rules about businesses allowed to open, capacity percentages and more — and have just two weeks to reverse this trend before potentially losing their variances. In addition, Ryan revealed, a handful of counties without variances now have a disease incidence above 100 cases per 100,000 residents, a designation that places them in what she called a "red zone" that requires close monitoring and greater coordination with state officials.
Ryan didn’t name any of the counties. But the CDPHE subsequently shared with Westword the names of the 21 counties in question, as well as the details of their current situations. And yes, Denver County is among them.
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According to the CDPHE, the department sent a letter "to all counties with approved variances that have a two-week cumulative disease incidence […]