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COVID-19 Third Amended Public Health Order 20-35, Safe at Home Dial FAQs

COVID-19 Third Amended Public Health Order 20-35, Safe at Home Dial FAQs

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FAQs

What are the major changes?

The amended order limits personal gatherings to 10 people (including in Level 1) from no more than 2 households. The cap for personal gatherings only changed in Level 1, reducing from 25 to 10, but the limitation to no more than 2 households per gathering applies to all three levels.

Does this apply to restaurants, schools, and other places of public accommodation?

The amendments only apply to personal gatherings that are not otherwise regulated by an existing order. (Examples of sectors regulated in other areas of the order are restaurants, office spaces, and schools.)

Why is the state limiting gatherings?

Cases are on the rise, and we need to do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus. We want to ensure that we do not exceed our health care capacity and ability to provide care to any individual who needs it. The safest thing, for everyone, is to wear a mask, wash hands frequently, and minimize in-person interactions with people from other households.

Will this help slow hospitalizations?

Right now, COVID-19 hospitalizations are the highest they have been since May 25. We need to do everything possible to ensure that we don’t exceed our hospital capacity. The public can help achieve that goal by wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and reducing contact with people outside their households. The public can also help by getting a flu vaccination now to help decrease flu hospitalizations during the pandemic.

What dial do you use to determine which counties are in Safer at Home level 1?

This is determined by the overall status dial. The two-week incidence dial can trigger mitigation plans etc., but counties are classified based on the overall status dial.

Does this mean I should telecommute to work?

The state encourages anyone who can work effectively from home to do so. Telecommuting helps reduce the risk for everyone—ensuring that even if people have to go physically into work there will be fewer people there. If you can’t work from home, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and your coworkers or customers, wear a mask, and wash your hands frequently. Also, stay home when you are sick. The law affords all employees that right.

Does this mean I could only have 10 people over for Thanksgiving?

The amended Public Health Order expires Friday, November 5. We will reevaluate at that time. Meanwhile, taking action now can prevent your loved ones from getting sick, and help us save lives and avoid stricter public health orders in the future.

Does this apply inside an individual residence?

COVID-19 is just as transmissible inside a residence as it is in any other indoor space, and perhaps more so if residents and guests take fewer precautions in these spaces to protect themselves, and others, from disease. The state strongly encourages everyone to limit the gatherings to 10 people and no more than 2 households at a time. These measures are critical to our efforts to combat the third wave of the virus. We know that the virus is spreading at personal gatherings and observing these limitations now can help prevent more strict future actions.

Does this apply to Protect Our Neighbors?

No. Local governments determine gathering sizes in Protect Our Neighbors, however, we are asking all Coloradans to act with caution to help slow the third wave of the virus. We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households. We are on a worrisome path, and taking action now can prevent the need for future shutdowns.

Does this affect schools?

No. Many communities have returned to in-person learning without increases in cases, and some communities that haven’t returned in person are seeing some of the highest levels of transmission in the state. Recent case investigation data show that attending social gatherings is a significant cause of new infections. Everyone needs to step up by wearing a mask in public, avoiding gatherings over 10 people, washing hands frequently, and maintaining physical distance of at least 6 feet from others outside their household, and following other public health guidance to allow as many children as possible to continue or return to in-person learning.

Topline Messaging

  • The amended public health order limits social gatherings to no more than two households. Coloradans reduce their risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 when they minimize their exposure to others. Previously, the guidance was limiting social gatherings to no more than 25 in Level 1, and 10 in Levels 2 and 3. However, those ten people could have been from ten different households, which increases the risk of spreading the disease. In part, this is why the state has amended the public health order to two households.
  • Cases are on the rise, and Colorado is experiencing a third wave. The public health order has been amended in order to slow the spread and reduce numbers of new infections.
  • Recent case investigation data show that attending social gatherings has become a leading cause of infection among new cases. Limiting interactions with people outside of your household helps keep you and your family safe from COVID-19.
  • Right now, COVID-19 hospitalizations are on track to be the highest they have been since May 25. We need to do everything possible to ensure that we don’t exceed our hospital capacity. The public can help in that goal by reducing their risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 to others. This includes limiting social gatherings to no more than two households.
  • Public health experts are asking Coloradans to limit personal gatherings to 10 people from no more than two households. Following this guidance can prevent further strict actions. We are all in this together and we must all do our part to slow the spread.