STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, DECEMBER 29, 2020 – Routt County started the process to launch the state’s for businesses today. On December 16th, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) finalized the program. In accordance with the state’s parameters, the Routt County 5 Star Administration Committee can begin the process of accepting applications, which will lead to business inspections, and ultimately, certification for businesses.
Counties in Level Red, which Routt County is in, are eligible for the Five Star program only if the county has had a two-week sustained decline in incidence, percent positivity and hospitalizations. If approved at Level Red, certified businesses can operate at Level Orange capacities.
An Administrative Committee made up of county, municipal and Steamboat Springs Chamber representatives, are working together to help businesses apply and take the necessary steps to obtain approval and certification. By starting now, the Administrative Committee hopes businesses can begin to operate under the new parameters once the state approves the request and businesses meet the required enhanced mitigation protocol. So far, CDPHE has approved Douglas, Summit, Larimer and Broomfield counties for inclusion in the 5 Star program. Even if CDPHE approves Routt County’s recently-submitted mitigation proposal to allow gyms and fitness centers to operate at 25%, indoor pools at 25% and outdoor pools at 50%, the Five Star program applications will still move forward to allow more businesses to operate at a lower level. It is critically important to note that, even when the Administrative Committee begins accepting applications and starting site visits, that a business cannot operate at a lower level until it receives its certification.
“Through the past year we have continued to find avenues to enable businesses to survive this devastating time,” said Kara Stoller, CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber and member of the Five Star Administrative Committee, “Standing up the 5 Star Program is another avenue for businesses to hopefully sustain through the coming months.”
Routt County Commissioner Chair Tim Corrigan added, “Moving to Orange Plus on December 18th allowed our restaurants to open indoors at 25%, but kept all other businesses in Level Red. The voluntary Five Star Program would give all businesses the option to increase capacity in exchange for voluntary increases in safety measures. We applaud the Administrative Committee’s effort to start the process and get Routt County ready for the Five Star Program.”
According to the , “The 5 Star State Certification is a program set up at the county level through an administrative committee who is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing the program. It encourages businesses to implement safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines that will help slow the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, businesses will be able to accelerate their reopening. Depending on where their county falls on the COVID-19 dial, certified businesses are eligible for less restrictive capacity caps. 5 Star certification reassures employees and customers that businesses are adhering to enhanced guidance. The program is completely voluntary and also serves as an expanding directory of establishments recognized for their efforts to keep their communities safe and open.”
The steps counties need to implement include:
· Setting up an Administrative Committee
· Determining what resources, the county and municipalities can devote to this program
· Determining how to ensure compliance and enforcement
· Preparing the application to CDPHE
· Finalizing the application that the Administrative Committee wants businesses to use.
The Routt County Five Star Administrative Committee has completed all of these steps.
Eligibility and capacity levels are dependent on the county’s current dial level. If approved for inclusion in the state’s Five Star program, businesses would be able to function as follows:
· Counties in Level Green have an automatic capacity increase in the Protect Our Neighbors framework.
· Counties in Level Blue are eligible if county incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet the Blue level. If approved, certified businesses can operate with an additional 50 people added to their cap.
· Counties in Level Yellow are eligible if county incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet the Yellow level. If approved, certified businesses can operate at Blue capacity levels.
· Counties in Level Orange are eligible if county incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet the Orange level. If approved, certified businesses can operate at Yellow capacity levels.
· Counties in Level Red are eligible ONLY if a county has had a 2-week sustained decline in incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations. If approved, certified businesses can operate at Orange capacity levels.
· Counties in Level Purple are not eligible for the variance program.
If a county sees a significant rise in cases or hospitalizations, then the program may be suspended. Suspension automatically occurs if the region reaches more than 90% of their county’s/RETAC ICU hospital capacity.
Businesses interested in applying for the Five Star program can submit an application here: https://www.steamboatsprings.net/1173/18057/5-Star-Program. The Administrative Committee will inform the applicants when the state has approved the program.