After meeting with local public health agencies, county commissioners, mayors, and city managers, as well as taking feedback via a public web form, the state will introduce a new version of the dial tool. Dial 2.0 will go into effect Saturday, February 6 at 9 a.m. and counties will be moved to the appropriate level on Dial 2.0. The dial is a tool that allows Colorado to balance the ongoing need to contain the COVID-19 virus with the need for localized guidance during the pandemic.
“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.”
Given the level of vaccinations occuring and decreasing COVID-19 rates, the range of incidence metrics in Dial 2.0 better reflect a balance between disease suppression and economic activity. Additionally, instead of looking at the numbers over a 14-day period, Dial 2.0 will consider metrics within a 7-day period — making the dial more responsive and flexible.
The new metrics for Dial 2.0 are as follows:
- Counties in Level Green must now have no more than 15 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week OR a comparable number cases in counties with under 20,000 people.
- Counties in Level Blue must now have between 15 and 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week.
- Counties in Level Yellow must now have between 100 and 300 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The rate of positive tests must be no more than 7.5%.
- Counties in Level Orange must now have between 300 and 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. The rate of positive tests must be no more than 10%.
- Counties in Level Red will now have more than 501 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week. At this level, hospital system capacity is constrained, and state assistance is requested for patient transport or staff augmentation.
- In counties at Level Purple, statewide hospital capacity risks being breached and crisis standards of care are approaching.
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.
As more and more Coloradans get vaccinated, the state will revisit the dial and expect to have a draft of Dial 3.0 in the spring. CDPHE will seek input for this evolution and again for another update this summer.
Read the FAQ.
Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.