The state added Level Red to the Safer at Home Dial Tuesday. (Courtesy image)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Office of the Governor announced a new level on the Colorado COVID Dial Safer at Home, Level Red: Severe Risk, Tuesday afternoon, according to a San Miguel County news release. As the pandemic continues to infect Coloradans at record frequency, this level works to keep the Colorado economy afloat, while aggressively reducing transmission rates.

“Most Coloradans are doing our part, people are wearing masks, people are staying home when they can,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis said during a press conference. “But the truth is, seeing this exponential growth that we’re experiencing, we clearly need a more drastic shift in behavior to further slow the transmission of the virus and prevent this exponential growth curve from simply overwhelming our ability to take care of people who are sick.”

As the COVID Dial framework is expanded and regulations are increased across the state, the San Miguel County Public Health Department will host six virtual open forums on Thursday to discuss Level Orange, the state levels and how various industries should approach changes in business practices to accommodate changes and prepare for potential increased rollbacks. The schedule is offices from noon to 12:50 p.m.; retail from 1-1:50 p.m.; gyms, recreation and sports from 2-2:50 p.m.; restaurants, bars and coffee shops from 3-3:50 p.m.; lodging from 4-4:50 p.m.; and places of worship from 5-5:5- p.m.

The format of these open forums will include an overview of current restrictions by county public health director Grace Franklin, an open discussion surrounding how to approach COVID Dial levels should they change and a period of time for questions.

“In order to have a successful winter season, our communities and businesses must work hard now to tighten behavior,” Franklin said. “These open forums will give our stakeholders, our local businesses, an opportunity to have an open discussion surrounding their strategies.”

The meetings are open to business owners in each of the listed industries. For questions regarding which forum to attend, email The Zoom meeting ID is 834 5443 2531, and the password is 010 336 with each forum lasting exactly 50 minutes. Each forum will be recorded and distributed on the San Miguel County website,, and via industry newsletters through San Miguel County.

Public health has confirmed and announced Tuesday nine new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received between Friday and Monday. All nine cases are residents. Additionally, 17 new positive cases were confirmed during National Guard testing last Thursday. These tests include 10 residents and seven non-residents. As of press time Tuesday afternoon, all positive cases have been contacted and are currently in isolation. There have been 164 total positive cases among residents to date, with 28 active cases, as of press time Tuesday afternoon. These cases were results of travel, household, community or social spread. To learn more about the county’s current COVID-19 metrics, visit the county COVID-19 dashboard.

Positive COVID-19 test results from Friday through Monday include: 60-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, community exposure; 56-year-old female, resident, asymptomatic, social exposure; 34-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household exposure; 32-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, workplace exposure; 27-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household exposure; 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, social exposure; 23-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, travel exposure; 8-year-old female, resident, asymptomatic, community exposure; and 7-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, community exposure.

Positive COVID-19 test results who are residents from National Guard testing include: 69-year-old female, asymptomatic, community exposure; 62-year-old male, symptomatic, travel exposure; 46-year-old female, asymptomatic, workplace exposure; 42-year-old male, symptomatic, community exposure; 41-year-old female, symptomatic, social exposure; 40-year-old female, asymptomatic, social exposure; 25-year-old male, asymptomatic, community exposure; 25-year-old male, asymptomatic, travel exposure; 23-year-old female, symptomatic, community exposure; and 16-year-old female, asymptomatic, household exposure. Non-residents were a 69-year-old female, symptoms unknown, exposure unknown; 61-year-old female, symptoms unknown, exposure unknown; 49-year-old male, symptoms unknown, exposure unknown; 48-year-old female, symptomatic, household exposure; 46-year-old male, symptomatic, community exposure; 44-year-old female, symptoms unknown, exposure unknown; and 30-year-old male, symptoms unknown, exposure unknown.