When Gov. Jared Polis pronounced in a nighttime tweet last week that counties in red-level coronavirus status could drop to the less-restrictive “Level Orange,” 41 out of 64 counties did not meet the requirements to do so.
Most of those counties were in Level Red because of their two-week incidence rate, a calculation of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. Under the old rules, a rate of more than 350 per 100,000 puts a county in Level Red, the second-highest level on the governor’s coronavirus dial.
Eight of the counties previously had moved to Level Orange after getting the OK to reduce restrictions from the state health department, and the remaining 33 were allowed to move to orange Monday.
Several of the counties now allowed to move to Level Orange were well above the metrics for Level Red on New Year’s Eve.
Pitkin County, which had been operating at a level “orange-plus-plus” in previous weeks, had a two-week incidence rate of 1,751 per 100,000 people, according to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data last updated Thursday. Las Animas County was at 1,386, and Phillips County in the northeast corner of the state was at 911.
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