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This may be the best news the state of Colorado has received in a long time.

According to the Denver Post, the state may soon be allowing more lenient country rules, perhaps as early as March with even more changes coming by the middle of the year.

There's been no official word yet on the state's exact plans, but that word is likely coming this week from Governor Jared Polis.  In a call on Saturday with city and county leaders, state officials offered new guidelines that may be implemented in the coming weeks.

Most Colorado counties are at Level Orange, and while the restrictions associated with each color level are not slated to change, the metrics within each level may change. For example, under Level Orange, a county must have an incidence rate of new positive COVID-19 cases between 175 and 350 per 100,000 people. Under the proposed new Dial 2.0 guidelines, that threshold could go as high as 499 and the county could stay at Level Orange.

Another change is that while current restrictions are based on 14-day samples, that would change to 7 days, which would allow a county to move more quickly up - or down- the dial of restrictions.

The latest estimates show 1 in 115 Coloradans is contagious with COVID-19, which is pretty high. But, state officials believe it's possible to give Colorado businesses more freedom while at the same time prevent mass death and not overwhelm the hospital system. Between safety measures being implemented by Colorado businesses and the slowly growing number of residents being vaccinated, there is reason to be optimistic.

We should be getting more information on the proposed changes very soon, but this "leaked" information certainly gives us hope that in the coming weeks our state can move even closer to a "normal" level of opening and keep us on the much-needed path to recovery.

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