The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Thursday several counties will move to stricter levels on the COVID-19 dial.
What's the difference between "severe" and "extreme?"
Polis did not specify during the press conference which counties will move to Level Red.
Polis said the most important thing to know is that the best way to avoid a shutdown is to stay at home and not gather with other households.
Students can still go to school, with the state favoring older students shifting to hybrid models or remote learning.More news: Timberwolves Select Edwards, Bring Rubio Back
"We must act now to save lives", Polis said during a news conference.
Routt County will move into Level Red - "Severe Risk" - on Colorado's new COVID-19 dial framework Friday, shutting down restaurants for inside dining, decreasing capacity at offices and gyms and entirely limiting personal gatherings.
Polis did not name the counties that would be moving to the Red level, except to say that some would be moving "together as a region". Last call will be at 8 p.m., while retail will remain at 50% capacity, places of worship would be capped at 25% and there would be no limits on lodging, according to guidelines later posted online.
It remains to be seen whether Summit County will be one of the counties moving into level red. "The state is not requiring counties to go to that level".
But data and interviews with county health officials and political leaders throughout Colorado reveal that the dial system turns out to be highly negotiable, delivering citizens and businesses a patchwork of regulations informed partly by data and partly by politics.More news: Ben Carson says he was ‘desperately ill’ with COVID-19
Previously the dial had five levels, with the Red "stay at jome" level having the harshest restrictions. Hancock confirmed Denver is moving towards these restrictions in the coming days but did not give specifics.
Ray Beck, a county commissioner in Moffat County in northwest Colorado, said that hours before those 15 counties were named, his commission spoke with the staff of Gov. Jared Polis. "They want to let locals make that decision". "This growth keeps skyrocketing - we now have more Coloradans hospitalized than in March and April". Approximately 1,300 Colorado residents were now hospitalized with COVID, while one in 110 residents was contagious with the virus, he said. "It's clear from the data that what we've been doing is not enough".
"The truth is, seeing this exponential growth that we are experiencing, we clearly need a more drastic shift in behavior to further slow the transmission of the virus and prevent this exponential growth curve from simply overwhelming our ability to take care of people who are sick", Polis said.
In other news, the state approved Aspen Skiing Company's winter operations plan for this season Tuesday, said Jeff Hanle, Skico spokesman.More news: Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble postponed