Jefferson County submitted the required application and letters of support to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) on Dec. 23 for the “5 star” certified business variance program that, if approved, will allow increased capacity for local businesses.

For phase one of the Jefferson County Five-Star Certification Program, the emphasis will be on restaurants without a drive-through option. The program, which will allow participating businesses who demonstrate compliance with public health guidelines and safety precautions to operate with capacity restrictions one level above Jefferson County’s position in the State COVID-19 dial, will allow these restaurants that achieve the certification to open indoor dining, capped initially at 25% capacity, not to exceed 50 people per room.

The program encourages businesses to implement COVID safety measures beyond what is already required, and thus accelerate their increased capacity. If the program is successful, and COVID case numbers continue to decline, more business sectors will be eligible.

While they are waiting for approval from CDPHE, Jefferson County is asking Jeffco businesses to submit a Business Interest Form stating their business is willing and able to meet all the criteria to be considered for the Five-Star Certification Program. For phase one of Jeffco’s program, there will be an emphasis on restaurants without a drive-through option, but they would like to hear from all businesses who have an interest in the program.

Once the county has been approved by CDPHE to begin the Five-Star Certification Program, these business interest forms will be evaluated, and businesses will be contacted with instructions on how to submit a FiveStar Certification Application, which includes a checklist confirming their compliance with the elevated best practices and criteria for the program.

The county’s application was submitted in collaboration with and with the support of many areas within the county, Jefferson County Public Health, Jefferson County municipalities, as well as the chambers and economic development groups within Jeffco.