WELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Weld County will move straight from “Level Yellow” to “Level Red” COVID-19 restrictions on the state’s dial this weekend. The move comes amid rapidly rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the county and across much of Colorado.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Thursday evening that the restrictions will go into effect on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Weld is now one of 20 Colorado counties that will be under Level Red restrictions by the end of the weekend.
According to the CDPHE, it requested a COVID-19 mitigation plan from Weld County on Nov. 3 but did not receive one. Since then, the county’s positivity rate has risen from roughly 11% to about 16%. Additionally, the number of new cases reported over a two-week period more than doubled from 1,479 to 3,442.
The CDPHE said 45 out of 48 intensive care unit beds in Weld County are currently in use.
“Health care resources from all parts of the state will need to be used to provide critical care to Weld county residents imminently,” the CDPHE said in a statement.
Under Level Red, counties face a number of new restrictions, including no indoor dining, an 8 p.m. last call and indoor gyms limited to 10% or 10 people per room.
“I want to assure you that we appreciate the unique challenges facing Weld County and
commend you for your diligence. Preventing the spread of this persistent virus takes the
cooperation of everyone consistently practicing good disease prevention strategies and your
partnership is critical to this effort. Thank you,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the CDPHE.
The Weld County Commissioners released the following statement Friday:
The state’s decision to move Weld County into the red portion of the dial does not change the stance of the Weld County Board of Commissioners with regard to enforcement of the state’s mandates. Instead, county government continues to do what it has done since March, which is promote and encourage residents and business owners to take individual responsibility and make decisions to protect themselves, their families, their community and their businesses. The county will not enforce a rule confining individuals to their homes for an undetermined length of time; the county will not enforce a rule that states residents cannot have personal gatherings; the county will not tell the school districts how to provide education to their students; the county will not enforce a rule requiring a reduction of attendees in places of worship; the county will not enforce a rule demanding restaurants close their indoor dining areas; the county will not enforce any rule that forces a business to shut down or impedes their ability to operate.
The county will continue to encourage individuals to actively engage in prevention methods with regard to the virus: physically distance yourself from others, wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home if you are sick, clean frequently touched surfaces. The county will continue to encourage individuals to evaluate their personal situation and make decisions that protect them as best as possible.
The Board of Weld County Commissioners