Colorado Department of Public Health framework

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The Governor and Dr. Herlihy unveiled CDPHE’s dial framework today, which will add further transparency, clarity, and predictability for Coloradans and local government officials as they work to protect themselves and reopen their communities to the fullest extent.
The dial framework (featured below) provides a real-time, visual representation of a community’s success in containing the spread of COVID-19, and goes into effect today. County leaders are encouraged to use the dial as another important tool to balance the need to control the virus with the social and economic needs of their county.
The dial framework includes five levels to guide county responses to COVID-19:
  1. Protect Our Neighbors
  2. Safer at Home 1
  3. Safer at Home 2
  4. Safer at Home 3
  5. Stay at Home
Counties move between levels based on three metrics:
  1. Number of new cases
  2. Percent positivity of COVID tests
  3. Impact on hospitalizations
To move to a less restrictive level (e.g., Level 2 to Level 1), counties need to meet and sustain all three metrics for two weeks. At that point, a local government can choose to move to the next level, until they are able to enter the Protect Our Neighbors phase. Once a county reaches Protect Our Neighbors, for each month that metrics are sustained, they can reopen even further. As demonstrated by counties that have qualified for Protect Our Neighbors: Mesa, Gilpin, Rio Blanco — and as of today Gunnison and Moffat, more control over the virus manifests a community’s ability to reopen.
Plus, the dial takes politics out of the equation, as these levels are based on scientific evidence and what we know has been working in local communities to clear a path to prosperity.
If a county falls out of compliance, they will have two weeks to regain compliance.If, after two weeks, their numbers still fall outside of the level requirements, a consultation process with CDPHE will follow. During that process, local factors, data, and mitigation measures will all be taken into account as the county and the state work together to plan next steps.
The dial framework will replace the general variance process in most cases. All current variances will remain intact, either because the variance fits under the dial framework, or because they are still recognized. Future changes will be presided over using the dial framework and policies, and counties may still apply for limited, site-specific variances for special requests like hosting a limited number of patrons at large venues. And to further maximize transparency, CDPHE launched a new dial dashboard that tracks all of these metrics and the level of each county.
As the impact of COVID-19 varies by community, it’s up to local governments and local public health agencies to address regional concerns and meet the unique set of challenges presented.
The Governor and the State of Colorado commend the efforts of counties that are empowering themselves with data. In fact, our dial framework was inspired by many of the local communities that first pioneered this process. Through state support of local control,we can effectively maintain public health, while setting our sights on reopening local economies as soon as possible.