CDPHE approves Garfield County 5-Star business certification

Program contingent on metric eligibility

January 29, 2021

The Garfield County 5 Star Program Administrative Committee’s application to implement a 5 Star certified business variance program in the county has been approved, contingent on metric eligibility, by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

A contingent approval letter from CDPHE on January 27 states, “Garfield County meets the percent positivity and hospitalization metric criteria for this program; but has not met the incidence rate metric criteria. Once the county meets a two-week cumulative incidence rate of less than 350/100,000 population and sustains it for 7 consecutive days, CDPHE will confirm with you that the program is approved to proceed, and certified businesses are permitted to operate at reduced restrictions.”

The state’s 5 Star program requires businesses certified through the program to implement safety measures beyond what is required by public health orders and guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19. By adding additional safety measures, these certified businesses can expand operations. To learn more about the Garfield County 5 Star Program, and to view the 5 Star certification checklist, visit

The State of Colorado moved Garfield County into Level Orange, based on the COVID-19 dial framework, on Monday, January 4. This was in recognition of downward trends in statewide case numbers and the economic strain associated with Level Red restrictions. However, Garfield County is not yet meeting Level Orange metrics, and therefore, even if businesses were to become 5 Star certified through the program, they would need to continue operating at Level Orange. To move from one level to the next less restrictive level, the county metrics must meet or exceed that next level for at least 7 days.

Although Garfield County does not yet meet metric requirements, businesses located within Garfield County that are interested in becoming 5 Star certified are encouraged to visit to review program requirements and fill out the application.  Business representatives will be contacted to set up a time for a certification inspection when the county meets a two-week cumulative incidence rate of less than 350/100,000 population and sustains it for 7 consecutive days. Once these metrics are achieved, the certified businesses will be able to operate at Level Yellow restrictions, or 50 percent capacity.

The program is completely voluntary for businesses and will be offered to restaurants first. There is no cost for businesses to participate in the program. As the program successfully rolls out and COVID-19 numbers continue to decline, additional business sectors will become eligible for certification. The 5 Star program can remain in operation as long as public health guidelines and protocols are followed to help keep COVID-19 case numbers from expanding.

The administrative committee is comprised of one volunteer representative from each of the following: Garfield County Public Health, Town of Carbondale, City of Glenwood Springs, Town of New Castle, Town of Silt, City of Rifle, Town of Parachute, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, New Castle Chamber of Commerce and Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce.