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Summit County Government

Posted on: March 26, 2021

Summit County at Risk of Moving to Level Orange on New State Dial 3.0 Due to Rising Case Numbers

Summit Cases March 26.PNG

Public Health officials urge residents to continue precautions as new outbreaks due to variants are identified

Contact: Nicole Valentine, Summit County Director of Communications

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released the latest update to Colorado’s COVID-19 dial framework on Tuesday: Dial 3.0. The new dial and updated state public health order went into effect Wednesday, March 24. State officials announced that they expect that Dial 3.0 will remain in effect until mid-April, at which point the state plans to retire the dial and implement a new public health order that will grant local public health agencies greater control over capacity restrictions.

While CDPHE moved 26 counties to the lowest level on the state’s new Dial, Summit County remained in Level Yellow with the release of Dial 3.0, due to increasing COVID-19 cases and testing positivity rates. Summit County’s seven-day cumulative incidence rate rose steeply to 364 as of March 26, crossing the state threshold. The county could potentially be moved into Level Orange on the state’s dial if the seven-day cumulative incidence rate remains above 345 new cases per 100,000 residents for five consecutive days. The move to Level Orange could come as soon as Wednesday, March 31. Nearby Pitkin County was recently moved to Level Orange by the state due to rising case numbers.

Summit County COVID-19 Cases

“We want to make sure our community is aware that our numbers have been rising and are on an upward trend. We anticipated this with Spring Break in Summit County. Our case numbers are now in Level Orange and we want to make sure that our community continues to remain vigilant, wear face coverings, and practice physical distancing. It’s important that we take care of each other and do everything that we can to keep these numbers down,” said Commissioner Josh Blanchard during a Facebook Live update to the community this past Wednesday. Watch the video on the Summit County Government Facebook page.

If the State were to move Summit County to Level Orange, the following restrictions would be required by the state under Dial 3.0:

Dial 3.0 Restrictions - Level Orange vs Yellow

“We are not surprised to see rising case numbers with the recent influx of visitors to the county for Spring Break. Summit County is unique in our proximity to the front range and the number of ski resorts here,” Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. “In addition, many residents are traveling on vacation to other areas, letting their guard down, and gathering more. These actions along with the presence of the variants are leading to outbreaks.”

Summit County out of state visitors March 2021

On March 25, Summit County had the third highest seven-day cumulative incidence rate for new cases in the State of Colorado. Summit County continues to see outbreaks associated with events, gatherings at short-term rental units, parties and activities at various workplaces and restaurants. Under Level Yellow, personal gathering restrictions remain the same with a limit of no more than 10 people from no more than two households. Restrictions on gathering sizes, indoor events and bars, along with the statewide mask mandate continue to be critical in slowing the transmission of COVID-19. More details on capacity restrictions in Level Yellow for all business sectors can be found on the CDPHE Dial dashboard page.

5 Star Business Capacity Limits under Dial 3.0

While in Level Yellow, 5 Star Businesses can operate under Level Blue restrictions. 

 Dial 3.0 Capacity Limits for 5 Star Businesses Effective March 24:

  • Restaurants and Gyms in 5 Star: 5 Star restaurants and gyms are allowed to operate at Level Blue (100%) capacity so long as they can maintain 6-feet of distance between patrons. It is anticipated that the state will drop the requirement of 6-feet of distance when counties reach 70-80% of the population vaccinated, or Summit County meets Level Green metrics for seven days, to move to Level Green on the Dial.  
  • Personal Gatherings (including lodging and restaurant seating): For counties in Levels Yellow, Blue and Green, the CDPHE Dial suggests personal gatherings follow CDC guidance for small gatherings (which recommends that individuals not gather with others outside of their household). For Level Orange, the Dial still requires that individuals not gather with more than 2 households and 10 persons. For Levels Red and Purple, gatherings are not permitted. In Summit County, due to our rising case numbers, we are at risk of moving to Level Orange, which will further restrict businesses.  For this reason, the limit of 2 households/10 persons is expected to remain in place until we see a decline in cases, or the Dial is retired so cases are not so closely linked to business restrictions.  
  • Mask wearing requirements remain in all public areas.

*If the state moves Summit County to Level Orange, then 5 Star Businesses would be back to operating under Level Yellow restrictions.

Businesses that are not 5 Star certified are encouraged to apply via the application on the Summit County Government website.

Public Health reminds the community that everyone, including those who receive both doses of vaccine, should continue to follow Public Health recommendations for wearing face coverings, washing hands and physical distancing to help slow the spread of the virus in Summit County. 

“It is up to the community at this point. If we want to avoid being moved to Level Orange, we need to protect ourselves with mask wearing, physical distancing, and getting vaccinated,” said Wineland. “If we want to have the summer we want, we need to achieve herd immunity. We are asking everyone to register with PrepMod on the Summit County Government webpage to have their name added to the list for vaccine.”

Summit County COVID-19 vaccination data is available on the vaccines case data webpage.

Information on registering for vaccinations is available at:


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