DENVER, CO — Fifteen Colorado counties, including Denver, are set to shift to 'Level Red - Severe Risk' on the state's COVID-19 Dial as cases continue to climb, Gov. Jared Polis announced alongside Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a news conference Tuesday.
A new 'Level Purple' will be added to the dial Friday in an effort to avoid a full lockdown, officials said.
"The blunt-force impact of another stay-at-home order must be avoided," Hancock said during the news conference.
Over the past 24 hours, more than 4,300 new cases were reported in Colorado, according to the latest public health data.
"Our average daily case rates remain extremely high ... hospitalizations in the region are the highest they've ever been," Hancock said.
The following counties will move to Level Red on Friday, according to public health officials:
New Level Red restrictions:
Indoor dining is closed; take out, curbside and delivery are encouraged.
Outdoor dining in open air only (not covered structures), and only with groups from one’s own household.
Indoor events are closed or canceled.
All alcohol sales end at 8 p.m.
Office-based businesses are now subject to building capacity instead of a limit on the percent of staff for in-person work.
A requirement that critical and non-critical retail offer increased options for curbside pickup, delivery, and dedicated service hours for seniors and at-risk individuals.
The removal of “extra large” from the social distancing calculator requirements — now facilities larger than 7,200 square feet can use the calculator.
As of Tuesday, 1,378 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus in our state, Polis said.
"This trend cannot continue," Polis said. "This growth keeps skyrocketing — we now have more Coloradans hospitalized than in March and April."
The virus is on an "exponential growth curve," and the state's hospital system is under "significant stress," the governor said.
"There's only so many beds in the system — ICU and non ICU," Polis said.
Since the outbreak began in Colorado, the state has reported 2,299 deaths due to COVID-19, Polis said.