DENVER – Weld County will lift all local COVID-19 restrictions on Friday as the state hands control over regulations to local public health departments and counties.
The board of county commissioners said in a statement Thursday that the county government “will continue promoting the importance of personal responsibility when it comes to individuals and businesses making the decisions that best address their health-related concerns.”
“As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Weld County government will not issue COVID-19 restrictions and regulations that hinder an individual’s ability to manage the day-to-day decisions for themselves and their family, or a business’s right to run their establishment in a manner that works best for them and the consumers they serve,” the board of county commissioners said in a statement Thursday as Colorado prepares to lift most, but not all, statewide requirements on Friday and move to local control.
Commissioners said the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment will continue to work with businesses and residents the manage the virus.
“The work of county government remains as it has been from the beginning: to monitor the situation regularly; to provide resources to those front-line entities engaged in responding to and reducing the spread of the virus; to offer guidance as needed to those who request it; and to equip residents and businesses with information to make the best decisions for themselves, their families, their businesses and their communities,” commissioners said.
Weld County’s COVID-19 data trends show a slight uptick in hospitalizations recently, though the seven-day average is still just 7 occupied beds per day.
Like Colorado as a whole, case numbers had also been increasing since late March, thought they have fallen over the past couple of days. The seven-day rolling average of cases was 81.1 on Thursday. The county says three people have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the month.
Weld County is not the only county in northeastern Colorado to end local restrictions. Douglas County commissioners voted to opt out of the Tri-County Health Departments public health order that will be in effect for the next month.
Commissioners for Teller County west of Colorado Springs said Thursday the county would also be moving away from dial restrictions.
“Our localized approach will be conditions-based and will seek a balance between life, health and the overall welfare and well-being of our citizens, without a dial arbitrarily increasing or decreasing restrictions,” the Teller County Board of Commissioners said in a statement.
Elbert County will also lift its restrictions Friday, the county public health director said Thursday afternoon.
Most of the Denver metro-area counties and more populous mountain counties will keep some restrictions in place, effectively operating in a Level Blue status for the next month to see how COVID-19 responds, including Denver, Jefferson, Boulder, Adams, Broomfield and Arapahoe counties.
Officials with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said earlier Thursday that “the time is right” to make the transition to local control with state guidance surrounding it.
The statewide mask mandate remains in effect into next month, and Gov. Jared Polis said earlier this week that the state will also continue control over large indoor events.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach for a state as diverse as Colorado. So we really just wanted to make sure we had local control here, with the appropriate level of state support,” CDPHE COVID-19 Incident Commander Scott Bookman said Thursday. “...We take a number of things into consideration. Obviously, we know everyone is getting tired of this pandemic. We’re all tired of the pandemic. There is a light at the end of the tunnel here.”