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Larimer County at risk of losing COVID-19 variance as cases rise

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Posted at 8:39 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 10:39:33-04

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Larimer County is at risk of losing its state-approved variance for COVID-19 restrictions as cases have seen an uptick in the county in recent weeks, officials announced over the weekend.

The county has now had more than 1,000 reported cases of COVID-19 and has seen weekly increases since mid-June, according to county data.

County officials on Sunday attributed the uptick in cases to Fourth of July gatherings. The county will have to submit a mitigation plan to the state by Monday to show how they will decrease and stabilize case counts, officials said.

The plan will require enforcement of the statewide face covering mandate, social distancing measures and other safety guidelines for businesses. The county will then have two weeks to reverse the upward trend in cases.

If the county's variance is revoked, there could be a rollback on openings that forces some businesses and other public places to shut down again, the county said.

"Through our contact tracing, we are learning that much of the spread is connected to large gatherings," a county news release said. "Recently, residents have become less cautious, and are not following the guidance in Larimer County. Cases have continued to rise to reflect that."

Larimer County in May received a partial approval for a variance from COVID-19 restrictions, allowing public gatherings to resume with restriction and places such as indoor malls, personal service locations, restaurants, graduations, churches, gyms and movie theaters to re-open, also with restrictions.