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Rising hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have prompted the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to order limitations on gatherings in all counties at the “Safer at Home” status.

People should not congregate in groups larger than 10 and from no more than two separate households. 

That order affects 59 out of 64 counties in Colorado, based on the CDPHE’s dial dashboard.

Current overall COVID-19 status for Colorado’s 64 counties, as of 10/23/20. Those in green are the only ones exempted from the CDPHE’s latest public health order limiting gatherings to 10 persons or fewer.

According to a statement from CDPHE, people may have relaxed their precautions around social gatherings and may be interacting more closely with a greater number of households.

“We are asking all Coloradans to act with an abundance of caution to reverse these worrying trends. Right now, the virus is spreading when people from multiple households attend gatherings,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE. “We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread. Please take every effort to reduce contact with members of other households. If you can work remotely, please do so to reduce contact with other individuals. Taking action now can prevent your loved ones from getting sick, and help us save lives and avoid stricter public health orders in the future.”

Several counties have already enacted stricter limitations on gathering sizes, including Denver, Arapahoe, Adams and Boulder counties.

The CDPHE statement said the amended public health order does not apply to counties that are currently at the Protect Our Neighbors level. That’s Moffat, Rio Blanco, Mesa and Gunnison counties on the Western Slope and Gilpin County on the Front Range.

In addition to limiting gatherings and gathering sizes, Coloradans should continue to follow other public health guidance, including wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently, and keeping physical distance of at least 6 feet from others outside their household.

The White House this week added Colorado to a list of 30 other states where cases of COVID-19, and hospitalizations, have risen to critical levels.

According to the CDPHE dial dashboard, as of Thursday, 446 people are hospitalized for the virus and another 101 patients hospitalized are suspected of having COVID-19. Thirty percent of the state’s ventilators are in use for those hospitalized. Colorado has had 90,022 cases of COVID-19 with 2,070 deaths directly attributable to the virus. 

This content was originally published here.