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Summit County Government

Posted on: December 17, 2020

Summit County Launches 5 Star Program

Small Business Strong

Restaurants are encouraged to apply for 5-Star certification by 10 am Friday

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Public Health launched its 5 Star Business Certification Program application process Thursday, in cooperation with the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne. The program aims to allow indoor dining at local restaurants at 25 percent capacity.

The local launch came shortly after an announcement by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) detailing the parameters under which counties may apply to the State of Colorado for a 5 Star Certified Business Variance Program. 

The number of new positive cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 Summit County residents reached an all-time high of 1,314 on Dec. 3. But the figure steadily declined to 968 cases per 100,000 by Dec. 16. The county has a ways to go to reach the Level Orange threshold of 350 cases per 100,000, but the decrease in cases represents major progress resulting from aggressive measures to contain the spread of disease. 

In light of the overall decline in case numbers over the last two weeks, officials are hopeful that the County’s application for the 5 Star program will be approved by the State. This would allow restaurants that demonstrate exceptional COVID-19 mitigation measures to reopen indoor dining at limited capacity. This comes at a critical time for many restaurant owners, who have been struggling since the county moved to Level Red and indoor dining closed.

"During the past several weeks, our community has shown a remarkable commitment to protecting our collective health,” Summit County Manager Scott Vargo said. “We believe that we have proven our ability to take seriously the measures required to contain the spread of COVID-19, and this gives us an opportunity to incrementally reopen some of the businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”

Summit County 5 Star Certification Program

If approved by the State, the Summit County 5 Star Certification Program will allow certified restaurants to open indoor dining at a capacity of 25 percent, limiting seating at individual tables to one household. Bars that operate like a restaurant will also be eligible. If the program is successful, and COVID case numbers continue to decline, more business sectors will be eligible. 

The 5 Star program application is available for restaurants to apply on the Summit County website at:

  • Restaurant owners are encouraged to apply by 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 18, to ensure that town and county officials can complete a site inspection and issue a certification as early as possible. For those that meet this deadline, inspections will be scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-20. For those who apply after the Friday deadline, county and town officials will make a best effort to review applications and schedule inspections as early as possible. Officials will continue reviewing applications as they come in and schedule inspections on an ongoing basis.
  • The application and inspection process is a proactive advance measure. The State of Colorado has not yet issued approval of this program for Summit County. It is anticipated that the State will make a decision on Summit County’s 5 Star Variance application by Monday, Dec. 21.
  • Officials are initiating this advance application and inspection process prior to State approval so that locally certified restaurants will be able to open immediately upon State approval of the local program. 

"It’s important for community members to keep in mind that if we see a significant rise in cases or hospitalizations, the program may be suspended,” Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. "We are happy to see our COVID-19 case numbers on the decline, and we want to thank our residents for the diligence in wearing masks, avoiding gatherings, keeping physical distance and getting tested. These measures are working. We need to keep it up to continue to suppress the spread of the virus and ultimately allow the county to move to Level Orange and further phases of reopening.”

The 5 Star program information and application on the Summit County website.

View more information on the State of Colorado 5 Star Program Parameters.


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