Pitkin County’s application for the 5 Star Certification Program was submitted to the state on January 22, and on January 29th, we received approval from CDPHE, contingent on metric eligibility. Applications for businesses opened on Thursday, January 28th.
If you have witnessed a 5 Star certified business violation, use this form to file a complaint.
Week of March 1, 2021 Updates:
- Effective February 13, 2021, Pitkin County adopted dial 2.0 and move into Level Yellow.
- The inspection team is reaching out to approved applications from restaurants to set up an inspection appointment.
- The Administrative Committee has voted to roll out the 5 Star Certification Program among all three sectors at the same time once Pitkin County has eligible and passing metrics. Therefore, the Administrative Committee has also started to review applications from gyms/fitness centers and personal services. Approved applicants from gyms/fitness centers and personal services can expect someone from the inspection team to reach out and schedule an inspection.
- On March 2, CDPHE reported that Colorado officially met the state-wide goal of vaccinating 70% of all Coloradans aged 70 and above. Additionally, CDPHE announced that counties with populations under 30,000 (like Pitkin County) can use a one-week comparable case count in lieu of incidence rate. This means that 5 Star certified businesses in Pitkin County can operate with Level Blue allowances so long as our report card continues to meet Level Yellow criteria.
What is the 5 Star Certification Program?
The State of Colorado’s 5 Star Certification Program is a way for businesses to operate with less restrictive capacity limits by implementing safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This program is for responsible businesses that are following public health guidance, and going above and beyond to prioritize the health and safety of employees and customers.
Is Pitkin County part of the 5 Star Certification Program?
Pitkin County applied to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) for this variance. The county’s program to certify all qualified businesses under the 5 Star Program was approved on January 29, contingent on metric eligibility. Pitkin County started accepting applications among the following sectors: restaurants, gyms and fitness centers, and personal services.
What counties are eligible for the 5 Star Certification Program?
The chart below depicts what counties are eligible, based on the level of restrictions.
|Level||Eligibility||Benefit for Certified Businesses|
|Green||An automatic capacity increase process is already built into Protect Our Neighbors||Increases consumer confidence|
|Blue||Eligible if incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet Level Blue thresholds. Incidence and percent positivity must be maintained for 7 consecutive days.||Certified businesses can operate with an additional 50 people added to their cap|
|Yellow||Eligible if incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet Level Yellow thresholds. Incidence and percent positivity must be maintained for 7 consecutive days.|
*5 Star Business Program may only operate in Blue once Colorado has vaccinated 70% of Coloradans aged 70 and older with a minimum of one dose of vaccine.
|Certified businesses can operate at Level Blue allowances|
|Orange||Eligible if incidence, percent positivity, and hospitalizations ALL meet Level Orange thresholds. Incidence and percent positivity must be maintained for 7 consecutive days.||Certified businesses can operate at Level Yellow allowances|
|Red||Eligible ONLY if a county has had a two-week sustained decline in incidence, a percent positivity under 10%, or 10 cumulative days of decline in the previous rolling 14-day period, and less than 90% of regional ICU beds in use in addition to 10 cumulative days of decline in the previous 14-day period for hospitalizations.||Certified businesses can operate at Level Orange allowances|
|Purple||Not eligible||Not eligible|
- For more information on local metrics in relation to the 5 Star Program, please visit the COVID-19 5 Star Qualification Report Card for Pitkin County.
What if cases rise in Pitkin County?
If Pitkin County sees a significant rise in cases or hospitalizations, then the program is suspended. The program is automatically suspended if Pitkin County reaches more than 90% of our RETAC ICU hospital capacity.
Metrics and Operating Capacities
|7-Day Incidence Rate (Per 100,000)||5-Star Certified Business||Non-5 Star Certified Business|
|Greater than 500||Orange Level Capacities|
*Restaurants must allow for 10 ft between parties & only people from the same household may sit together
|Red Level Capacities|
|Between 301-500||Yellow Level Capacities||Orange Level Capacities|
|Between 101 – 300||Blue Level Capacities||Yellow Level Capacities|
|Between 15-100||Blue Level Capacities – can operate with an additional 50 people to their cap||Blue Level Capacities|
5 Star Businesses may not operate in Protect our Neighbors unless the county is formally in Protect Our Neighbors
Pitkin County 5 Star Certification Program Timeline
Pitkin County 5 Star Certification Program Information
When – We started accepting applications January 28th.
Who – Effective February 24, the Administrative Committee voted to roll out the 5 Star Certification Program among restaurants, gyms/fitness centers, and personal services at the same time. Therefore, as long as our report card is “passing” on all metrics, certified restaurants, gyms/fitness centers, and personal services will be advised that they can operate at 5 Star capacities.
How – Businesses must apply and then the county will start to conduct site inspections, with the understanding that businesses must follow Dial Level restrictions until further notice. Contingent on metric eligibility. Certified businesses will be able to open and operate at 5 Star Certification Program capacity. If applying, ensure that you are taking your time to fully complete the application with as much detail as possible regarding each 5 Star requirement when prompted. This will allow your application to be processed more quickly and therefore, the inspection process will happen more quickly.
What should an applicant expect throughout the application and approval process?
- How to Submit: Pitkin County is currently accepting applications from restaurants, gyms/fitness centers, and personal services. If a business falls within one of these sector categories, the business can apply to the program by:
- Ensuring the business has an updated Business Safety Plan (if your business has submitted one between 11/13/2020 and now, this does not apply to your business).
- Completing the 5 Star Application. If applying, ensure that you are taking your time to fully complete the application with as much detail as possible regarding each 5 Star requirement when prompted. This will allow for your application to be processed more quickly and therefore, the inspection process will happen more quickly.
- Application Received: Once a 5 Star application is submitted, our inspection team will ensure that the business has a current and complete Business Safety Plan on file. If this is met, the team will move on to the next step. If this is not met, the team will reach out to the business asking for updated information.
- Application Sent to Administrative Committee: The 5 Star application will be sent to the Administrative Committee for review and approval. During this time, the inspector will also reach out to the applicant letting them know that their application is under review. If the Administrative Committee asks for additional information from the applicant, the inspector will reach out.
- Application Approved: Once the application is approved, a member from the Consumer Protection team will reach out to the business via email to let the business know the application has been approved and therefore, an inspection can be scheduled.
- During Inspection: Inspections should take approximately 30 minutes. We ask that the business be prepared for the 5 Star inspection. This includes ensuring that the business manager, owner, or whoever is meeting with the inspector that day is familiar with their application responses. Additionally, we highly suggest that the business has any necessary documentation on hand during the inspection. For example, an inspector may ask to see the Exposure Notification poster and if the business has a record of the maintenance on the HVAC system.
- Certification: If the business passes the inspection, the inspector will certify the business on the spot. However, operating at the 5 Star capacities is dependent and contingent on Pitkin County’s qualifying metrics, which are reported daily on the CDPHE 5 Star Report Card. The Consumer Protection team will work closely with certified businesses to ensure they know when they are eligible to operate at 5 Star capacities so be sure to keep an eye out for an email!
More information to come
On January 28th, the 5 Star Certification Program application opened up to the following sectors: restaurants, personal services, and gyms and fitness centers. Please ensure your business has an updated Business Safety Plan (if your business has submitted one between 11/13/2020 and now, this does not apply to your business).
Resources for Businesses
CDPHE 5 Star Framework
Regular Sanitation and Cleaning Resources
Employee Symptom and Exposure Check Resources
Outbreak Detection, Reporting and Response Resource
Ventilation Improvement Resources
Exposure Notification Service Promotion Resources
Toolkit (e.g. graphics, videos, flyers)