El Paso County will reduce occupancy limits for businesses as it moves to Level 2 under the state’s “Safer at Home” framework.
The move comes as a result of increased test positivity rates and an increase in the number of hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19. As of Oct. 29, the two-week test positivity rate was just below 7 percent, with a two-week cumulative incidence of 278.6 per 100,000 people.
Under the state's framework, Safer at Home Level 2 is referred to as "Concern." Many of the capacity limits remain the same, with the maximum number of people allowed reduced.
For example, while restaurants still have a limit based on 50 percent of capacity, the total number of people allowed is lowered from 175 to a possible 100. Gyms remain at 25 percent capacity, but the maximum number of people allowed is lowered from 75 to 50.
Still, under Level 2, variances can only be approved for outdoor locations.
El Paso County health officials submitted an updated mitigation plan to the state last week that outlines additional steps the county is taking, including increasing partnerships with regional business and community partners like the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association and increasing testing sites throughout the county.
In a Facebook post, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he's disappointed by the change, but not surprised.
The county has until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, to fully implement the Safer-At-Home Level 2 changes.