DENVER (KDVR) — The City and County of Denver submitted an application for the 5 Star State Certification Program on Thursday.
Five Star approval allows businesses to operate under less strict restrictions if they take additional measures to help protect staff and customers from COVID-19 and pass an inspection.
Once approved, businesses can operate under the restriction level one lower than their county’s on the state’s COVID-19 dial. For example, approved businesses in Level Red counties could operate under Level Orange restrictions.
Gov. Jared Polis requested on Wednesday that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) move all counties currently in Level Red to Level Orange effective Jan. 4.
Dr. Jill Hunsaker Ryan with the CDPHE responded to FOX31’s inquiry about moving Level Red counties to Level Orange:
“The 13-day decline in the number of cases is a strong indication that we are moving in the right direction. Coloradans have been successful in slowing the spread, and we need them to keep following public health protocols– like continuing to only interact with those they live with, especially through the holiday. In general, countries restricted in level red have reduced viral transmission to a point where we can provide economic relief and move them into level orange, recognizing the fact that economic hardships also cause poorer health outcomes. We plan to work with local public health agencies on the next steps. Counties are always able to set more restrictive orders than the state if they so choose.”
The state said counties approved for the 5 Star program that are moving into Level Orange restrictions need to maintain the required determinants for “a period of time” before moving to Level Yellow guidelines. It is currently unknown how long that period will last.