Three Colorado counties are in the final phase of reopening, and guess who’s on the list. Governor Jared Polis says, “Congratulations to Mesa, which has really been a long leader from the very start.”

Mesa County has moved into the “Protect our Neighbors” phase along with Gilpin, and Rio Blanco. Mesa County Public Health says we’re the first of the big ten populated counties leading because of low Covid-19 cases combined with community partnerships to get this designation, but the governor says that’s not all. Governor Polis says, “That has to be coupled with a strong public health capacity to detect an outbreak early, and jump on it with contact tracing, and making sure that can be limited.”

Before Mesa County takes the big leap into the most relaxed precautions in the state, MCPH says we’re taking baby steps first, and the first step is the same Safer at Home step for business capacity.

Dr. Jeff Kuhr with MCPH says, “So, it’s 50% or 175, which ever number is lower, and for larger facilities that’s not very many. So, now, that cap goes to 500. We still want everyone to do what it takes to keep our numbers low. That’s really what’s important right now.”

Mesa County could be seeing big changes with the Protect our Neighbors phase, but we have to keep doing what we’ve been doing including: only riding one at a time in elevators unless it’s with immediate family. It’s also recommended you don’t use your phalanges to push the button, but instead use your old olecranon. You’re still staying to the right in the walkways of Mesa County Public Health because it’s practicing social distancing. Finally, MCPH says to keep wearing your mask because the longer this county keeps the Coronavirus case numbers low, the quicker capacity numbers can go back up. “We are still going to be at 50% capacity, but for every four weeks we stay below our numbers, our threshold numbers with our various metrics, then we get to increase another 5%,” said Dr. Kuhr.

“If we continue to act responsibly, then we’re going to be a lot closer to quote on quote normal,” said Governor Polis.