DENVER (KDVR) — One-third of Colorado’s population is now living without any public COVID restrictions.
This follows Gov. Jared Polis’ decision to leave all COVID-related public health restrictions to counties beginning April 16.
Restrictions now fall on roughly geographic lines. Counties in the eastern plains and Western Slope either have the lightest rules or abandoned them entirely, while Denver metro counties’ denser populations remain at Level Blue.
Several counties have not yet answered a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment survey asking each of Colorado’s 64 counties about their plans. Nine counties have unspecified plans.
Eleven others plan to keep a modified version of the state’s color-coded COVID Dial. Six remain at the familiar Level Green – the state’s least restriction category – and 10 have Level Blue.
As of April 16, 26 counties – 40% – have abandoned COVID restrictions altogether.
There are still more Coloradans under restrictions than without them. Even though there are more individual counties that left the COVID dial behind, the ones that have stuck with some version of the state dial generally have more people in them.
Some of the counties without any restrictions are populous. El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Mesa counties, none of which now have public COVID restrictions anymore, have a combined population of 1.6 million among them.
All told, 1.94 million Coloradans no longer live under COVID restrictions. That’s exactly one-third of the state’s population, 33%.
Still, the state’s most populous counties (apart from El Paso) are still in Level Blue or Yellow: Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams, Larimer, Boulder and Pueblo.
Except for Elbert and Douglas counties, most counties in the Denver metro area are in Level Blue. Most will reevaluate in May when the state formally retires the COVID dial.
Restrictions change in the mountain counties.
Gilpin and Clear Creek counties, both of which as still considered Denver metro, will have Level Green and a modified order, respectively.
Most of the High Rockies counties have either not yet answered the state regarding their COVID restrictions or will keep a modified county-level version of the state’s dial.