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COVID-19 updates are available in English and Spanish. See list of Resources (Recursos) for those impacted by COVID-19.

Colorado Dial Framework
protecting our neighbors

Colorado Dial Framework

En Español

This dial includes five levels, from least to most restrictive. Details for each level outline specific metrics and how many people can participate in various activities at one time. Currently Boulder County is at Level 2: Concern.

Visit the CDPHE COVID-19 Dial page for more information on the dial metrics, levels and capacity limits, and FAQs

View the full state COVID-19 Dial Dashboard to the ratings for Boulder County and other counties in Colorado.

The 5 Levels

  1. Protect Our Neighbors:​​ Local public health agencies are able to contain surges in cases and outbreaks through testing, case investigation, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, site-specific closures, and enforcement of public health orders.
  2. Safer at Home 1- Cautious:​ This is less restrictive than Safer at Home Level 2, for counties with low virus transmission but that have not yet achieved Protect Our Neighbors.
  3. Safer at Home 2 – Concern:​ The baseline. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces.
  4. Safer at Home 3 – High Risk:​ This is more restrictive than Safer at Home Level 2, for counties experiencing increases in the metrics. Action is needed, but Stay at Home may not be warranted.
  5. Stay at Home:​ Everyone is required to stay at home except for grocery shopping, exercise and necessary activities. Only critical businesses are open.

Metrics that Define the Levels

  1. New cases: ​How much the virus is circulating in a county.
  2. Percent positivity​: Whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission.
  3. Impact on hospitalizations​:​ Whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining

Note: These three main metrics are regularly updated on Mondays and Thursdays. Updated: Oct. 22.

Current Boulder County Metrics for the Dial Framework

Criteria Boulder County Metric
New cases per 100,000 residents in the past 14 days* 135.7 (yellow level)
14-day % positivity* 3.2 % (green level)
Stable or declining hospitalizations* 9 days declining or stable (green level)
Epidemiological trend** Worsening
Anticipated future transmission risk factors** Re-opening of K-12 schools, within long term care facilities, day care facilities, businesses, and healthcare clinics
Progress towards Protect Our Neighbors ** 5 metrics met, 2 partially met, 1 not met

* Updated on Mondays and Thursday. The most current data is available on the CDPHE Dial Dashboard
** Updated on Tuesdays

Current Boulder County Metrics for People 18-22

Criteria Boulder County Metric – Updated Oct. 19
New Cases per 100,000 Among Individuals Aged 18 to 22 Years in Boulder County (14-day cumulative incidence) 239.5 per 100,000
Positivity Rate for Individuals Aged 18 to 22 Years in Boulder County (14-day average)

Testing goals Consistent

Current Boulder County Metrics School District Framework for Planning

After much discussion with our metro Denver public health partners, we will be switching to using the state Dial metrics for decisions related to K-12 schools rather than using the separate metrics that were developed by MDPH prior to the Dial. This change will help to reduce confusion and be consistent with other sectors. It will also allow us to follow the state process for when metrics are exceeded. We also wanted to reiterate that the Governor has emphasized that higher education and P-12 districts and schools have the final decision in relation to school remaining in session.

You can find additional information on the dial for Boulder County here and at the state level dashboard here.

Metric Descriptions

Guidelines & Restrictions for the Different Levels

Additional Information

Contact Us

Boulder County Public Health

Main: 303-441-1100
Submit a Question


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