Denver restaurants will get to increase capacity under state’s 5 Star program — but not yet
Denver received approval Thursday to launch the state’s 5 Star Certification Program, but restaurants won’t be allowed to ease COVID-19 restrictions until the county gets transmission of the virus under more control.
The 5 Star State Certification Program will allow restaurants to apply to the city to see restrictions eased if they meet certain advanced safety guidelines. The city plans to open the application process soon to pre-certify qualifying business, including restaurants, personal services, indoor events and gyms.
Denver moved to Level Orange earlier this month after Gov. Jared Polis ordered the state health department to move 33 counties at Level Red to a lower stage on its dial framework, which sets COVID-19 restrictions based on hospitalizations, case incidences and positivity rates.
The governor’s order came after two members of his virus modeling team wrote an op-ed published by The Post that urges the closure of indoor dinning as it is riskier than outdoor dining when it comes to spreading COVID-19.
The move to Level Orange allowed restaurants to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity. But the state Department of Public Health and Environment has said that restaurants in the counties where it eased restrictions and that have the 5 Star State Certification cannot open capacity further until their community meets the metrics for Level Orange and sustains them for at least 14 days.
Denver does not meet the two-week incidence rate of less than 350 cases per 100,000 population. The county has two-week incidence rate of 526 per 100,000, according to a news release.
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