Christmas arrived early for Douglas County and its businesses on Dec. 23 with word from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that “Douglas County meets 10 days of stable and declining hospitalizations and may now authorize certified businesses to open.”
With this news, Certified COVID Best Practice Businesses – including approved restaurants, gyms/fitness centers, and other indoor venue – may have indoor patrons up to 25 % of their capacity effective immediately.
"The Town of Parker is proud to be part of the County-wide team working diligently to bring relief to our business community as they struggle to remain open," Parker Mayor Jeff Toborg said. "We believe this important program will provide us with the flexibility to maintain the health and well-being of our residents, employees and visitors while simultaneously supporting local business."
More than 30 Douglas County businesses already have been certified through this program, while 100 additional businesses are in the process of pursuing the 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 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 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.
A current list of Douglas County certified businesses can be found on the County’s Certify My Business web page: www.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.
To apply for certification of your business, visit www.douglas.co.us/certify-my-business.