Larimer County Level Up Pilot Program Presented to Governor’s Office
LARIMER COUNTY, COLO. – December 10, 2020 – Level Red on the State’s Safer at Home Dial has put a considerable strain on many businesses that are already significantly impacted by COVID-19. In response to this impact, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, the Loveland and Fort Collins Area Chambers of Commerce, the Cities of Loveland and Fort Collins, Towns of Estes Park, Windsor, Berthoud and Wellington continue to advocate for businesses. Specifically, the partners have been working with local businesses to develop and design a draft plan for the Level Up Pilot Program which, if approved, would allow businesses operating at the highest levels of safety to open at a greater capacity.
This program requires approval from the State and at this time variances are not allowed for Counties in Level Red. A planning committee met with the Governor’s Office on December 10, 2020, to present a draft plan and to advocate for the approval of the Level Up Program. View Presentation Here.
The Governor’s office complimented the team on their presentation and the amount of work that had been completed on the Level Up Program. While they were not prepared to make a decision on the plan as presented, representatives of the Governor’s office encouraged the team to continue forward progress while making several modifications including reconsideration of capacity limits and pre-certification.
The State will be releasing a state-wide business program framework on Friday, December 11, that will give guidance to counties on applying for a variance program. All indications are that the Level Up program will meet the framework expectations and, in some cases, goes beyond the requirements.
The community partners are tentatively scheduled to meet with the Governor’s office again next week to talk about the Level Up Program and how it coincides with the state framework. The Level Up Administrative Committee is committed to continuing to prepare for approval of a plan.
As the partners continue to work with the State on options, it is important to continue building this program for Larimer County so that the area can be ready as soon as anything changes and have an opportunity to move forward.
Please complete this form to show your interest for the Level Up Program if it is approved.
The Level Up Pilot Program was inspired by the Mesa County Variance Protection Program (referred to as the 5-star rating program). It represents a creative grass-roots effort to keep Larimer County residents safe and businesses functioning during the ongoing pandemic. This is a collaborative effort that has had robust participation from the business community-spanning a diverse set of industry sectors- the local chambers of commerce, economic development professionals and public health officials. Enlisting the help of the business community creates more cooperation and engagement resulting in a higher level of compliance. Ultimately, the Level-Up Pilot Program is focused on suppressing the virus and mitigating economic damage to the business community.
The Level Up Pilot Program will have participating businesses apply a layered approach of proven strategies to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Participation will be based on the ability to apply current best practices and to prove compliance with implementing those protocols. This pilot program couples a robust messaging and education campaign to the business community and the general public to increase compliance with current public health guidance, particularly in the importance of limiting gatherings to members of a single household.
In adherence with the core elements of the state framework, the program was developed and will be operated by an Administrative Committee made up of members of the Loveland, Estes Park and Fort Collins Chambers of Commerce, Fort Collins and Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development, Larimer Recovery Collaborative, and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.