The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment amended its Safer at Home order Friday due to a recent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Personal gatherings have been reduced and are now limited to 10 people from no more than two separate households. 

Recent case investigation data show that since July attending social gatherings and community exposures have become more common among new cases. 

This suggests people have relaxed their precautions and are interacting more closely with a greater number of households.

“We are asking all Coloradans to act with an abundance of caution to reverse these worrying trends,”  state pubic health Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan said in a press release. 

“Right now, the virus is spreading when people from multiple households attend gatherings. 

“We need to keep gatherings smaller and with people from fewer households — we are asking everyone to ‘shrink their bubble’ to reduce the spread. 

“Please take every effort to reduce contact with members of other households. 

“If you can work remotely, please do so to reduce contact with other individuals. 

“Taking action now can prevent your loved ones from getting sick, and help us save lives and avoid stricter public health orders in the future.”

The amended public health order applies to Chaffee County, but does not to counties that are currently at the Protect Our Neighbors level. 

Local governments in these counties may continue to determine gathering limits as they see fit, but all Coloradans are strongly encouraged to limit gatherings.

Certain counties, like Denver, Arapahoe, Adams and Boulder, have instituted stricter public health orders on gathering sizes. 

As always, Coloradans living in counties with stricter orders should continue to follow those orders. 

As of Oct. 21, there have been 90,222 known cases of COVID-19 in Colorado, 8,478 Coloradans have been hospitalized and 2,070 Coloradans have died from COVID-19.

Public health also launched its statewide COVID-19 exposure notification system Sunday, previously announced by Gov. Jared Polis in partnership with Google and Apple. 

Coloradans should receive a notice on their Android and Apple phones with instructions about how to opt-in.

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