EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) - Health officials are giving us a timeline of what will happen if COVID-19 cases continue to rise at the current rate in El Paso County.
The COVID-19 incidence rate (the number of COVID-19 patients per 100,000 people) has risen nearly 37 percent in the last two weeks, according to a tweet by the county Monday. The incidence rate is now 73 -- closing in on the threshold of 75, which could send us backwards on restrictions.
The county public health department told us, if we hit 75, we have two weeks to get the number back down before the state health department gets involved.
If we can't get the number back down -- "Then we begin that conversation with the state about what our mitigation is [and] what we're doing as a community," Public Health Director, Dr. Robin Johnson explained.
It's unclear exactly how long the mitigation process would take before a decision would be made on whether to move to stricter precautions, but Johnson said it would likely take a couple more weeks.
Right now, businesses are allowed 175 people inside, and 250 people outside.
If the trend does continue, the next step would be a regression back to Safer At Home Level 2 -- where indoor gatherings are capped at 100, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 175.
However, Dr. Johnson believes we still have time to turn the tide as we have in months past.
"Historically our community has been able to come together with solidarity and people have tightened their belts again," she said.
Above all, she wants people to know we likely won't see any drastic changes to guidelines overnight.
"I think we have gone through our learning curve here. We have a better handle on what some of the warning signs are," she told us. "There's not an on off switch. We're really working so that people can be prepared."