Governor Polis Provides Update on COVID-19 Response, Vaccination Progress & Release of Dial 2.0

Friday, February 5, 2021

DENVER- Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. Governor Polis was also joined by Jill Ryan, the Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment. The Governor and Director Ryan released Colorado’s new COVID-19 Dial 2.0, which goes into effect Saturday, February 6 at 9 am. 

“Next week marks the start of Colorado’s effort to vaccinate all Coloradans aged 65 and older. This is a big step in getting as many vaccines into arms and saving as many lives as possible.  It is still our top priority to ensure that more than 70% of Coloradans aged 70 and up get the vaccine, and we are 64% of the way towards achieving that goal,” said Governor Polis. 

“Dial 2.0 is designed so that counties can swiftly move into more restrictive levels when their numbers go up, and more quickly into recovery when their numbers go down,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, CDPHE Executive Director. “Input from our partners helped us tailor the new dial to best serve the needs of Coloradans at the local level. Since the dial’s last major change in November, Colorado has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state. More people now have immunity to COVID-19, including people over 70 and frontline health care workers. This relieves the strain on our hospital system.” 

“The release of Dial 2.0 is a more responsive way to allow individual counties to stay safely open based on their COVID-19 incident rates. But we can’t let our guard down now. We are all in this fight together, Colorado. Let’s stick with good social distancing practices and mask wearing as we work our way towards ending the pandemic by vaccinating more and more Coloradans,” Governor Polis added.

Prior to serving as Executive Director of CDPHE, Hunsaker Ryan served as Eagle County Commissioner and manager of the Eagle County Public Health agency.

The Dial 2.0 is an update that changes the incidence metrics for each level on the Dial. With this update, the range of incidence metrics were increased for all colors. Most counties in Colorado have been in orange and red levels for weeks, with some counties in yellow. With the update, many more counties will now operate in yellow and some in blue. 

As more and more Coloradans receive the vaccine, the state could revisit the dial and CDPHE will seek input for this evolution. 

School settings do not change in Dial 2.0. Capacity limits remain the same, with the exception of restaurants in Level Yellow, which may now have up to 150 people when using the social distancing calculator -- up from 100 people with the calculator. 

Five star businesses are still allowed to operate one level lower on the dial, except they may not operate in Protect Our Neighbors unless the county is formally in Protect Our Neighbors. Because caution is still a priority, counties in Yellow with a 5 Star Business Program may only operate in Blue once 70% of 70-year-olds are vaccinated with at least one dose, expected to happen by the end of the month.

Governor Polis also extended an Executive Order ordering the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals, inpatient treatment facilities, and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in outpatient settings due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado. 

View today’s presentation and press conference. 

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