DOUGLAS COUNTY, CO — Douglas County has received authorization from the state to begin its 5-Star Certification Program, officials announced Wednesday.
The county is the first in Denver's metro area to get the green light for the program, which will allow higher capacity limits and more leniency for local businesses that can prove they have strict COVID-19 protocols.
Thirty-three businesses have been approved for the program, which means they can have indoor patrons up to 25 percent of their capacity, effective immediately, officials said. The businesses include 18 restaurants, 14 fitness centers and one indoor event venue.
More than 1oo more Douglas County businesses are in the process of applying for the county’s certification process, which has been dubbed the 'COVID Best Practices Business Certification Program' by the county. The initiative encourages businesses to go 'above and beyond' to implement COVID-19 safety measures.
To be eligible for the program, a county needs to prove it's seen a two-week sustained decline in cases, a positivity percentage lower than 10 percent or "demonstrably improving over the past two weeks," fewer than 90 percent of intensive care unit beds in use, and steady or declining regional hospitalizations, public health officials said.
“We honor the hundreds of individuals throughout the County whose dedication to this outcome created the opportunity for our businesses to reopen today,” said Roger Partridge, Douglas County commissioner.
“And a hat’s off to Mesa County, specifically Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, for her leadership creating the model that helped us move forward so quickly with our program.”
A list of Douglas County certified businesses can be found here.
Arapahoe County has also applied for the 5-Star Certification Program, and approval could come as early as next week, officials said.