Christmas arrived early for Douglas County and its businesses with word from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Wed., Dec., 23, stating “Douglas County meets 10 days of stable and declining hospitalizations and may now authorize certified businesses to open.”
With this news 33 Certified COVID Best Practice Businesses – 18 restaurants, 14 gyms/fitness centers, and one (1) indoor event venue – may have indoor patrons up to 25% of their capacity effective immediately.
More than 1oo additional Douglas County businesses are in the process of pursuing the County’s certification process to become a Certified COVID Best Practices Business.
Douglas County was among the first to submit the required application and letters of support to CDPHE on Fri., Dec. 18, seeking a variance that would allow increased occupancy for local businesses – including restaurants. Douglas County’s application for the state’s 5 Star Program received approval from the CDPHE on Mon., Dec. 21 contingent on the county’s ability to meet the declining or stable hospitalization metric.
Known as the 5 Star State Certification Program or the 5 Star Variance Program by the CDPHE, the program in Douglas County will be known as the COVID Best Practices Business Certification Program. Businesses that seek and achieve successful certification through the County’s program will receive designation as a Certified COVID Best Practices Business. The program encourages businesses to implement COVID safety measures beyond what is already required, and thus accelerate their increased capacity.
Interested businesses began enrolling for certification through the County’s website, on Friday, Dec. 18, at Noon.
“We honor the hundreds of individuals throughout the County whose dedication to this outcome created the opportunity for our businesses to reopen today,” said County Commissioner Roger Partridge. “And a hat’s off to Mesa County, specifically Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, for her leadership creating the model that helped us move forward so quickly with our program.”
“What a great day for our business community who, through their enrollment in this certification, forged a clear path for their own sustainability and simultaneous protection of public health,” said County Commissioner Lora Thomas.
“We’re pleased the state listened to us, honored our request, and worked with Douglas County to implement our local program, protecting both lives and livelihoods,” said County Commissioner Abe Laydon. “We are grateful for the partnership among community leaders which accelerated the creation of this progress for our business community.”
A current list of Douglas County certified businesses can be found on the County’s Certify My Business web page: wpe-dc-staging.douglas.co.us/certify-my-business.
The County’s application was submitted in collaboration with and with the support of Tri-County Health Department, hospitals, business community leadership, law enforcement and municipalities, including: the Castle Rock Chamber, City of Castle Pines, Castle Rock Economic Development Council, City of Lone Tree, Douglas County Libraries, Highlands Ranch Community Association, Highlands Ranch Metro District, Town of Castle Rock, Town of Parker, Parker Chamber of Commerce, and the Northwest Douglas County Chamber & Economic Development Council.