Gov. Jared Polis' administration on Wednesday removed most state COVID-19 restrictions for nearly half of Colorado.
Why it matters: Colorado is one of 19 states where coronavirus infections are on the rise.
The state-level rules that no longer apply include:
- Mask requirements, which counties can lift after approval from state public health officials.
- Distancing or capacity limits at restaurants, offices, gyms and retail stores.
The only remaining statewide restrictions cap capacity at bars, indoor events and group sports at 50% or 500 people, whichever is less.
State of play: The new orders also reduced restrictions at other levels and made it easier for counties to reach them.
- For Level Blue counties, bars can open for the first time.
The big picture: The shift is Polis' first move toward putting counties in control of public health restrictions for good.
- The new order remains in place until mid-April when the state will retire the "dial" guidance entirely.
- The statewide mask order stands until April 3, and Polis is considering whether to eliminate it.
Between the lines: Polis never wanted to implement the stay-at-home order that came a year ago Thursday nor the other pandemic restrictions on businesses.
- Since then, he's moved as quickly as possible to lift the limits and touted his decision to reopen the state's economy before most states.
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