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Denver granted state approval to participate in 5 Star Program to accelerate businesses re-opening

The City and County of Denver (CCD) received approval from the State of Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) to implement the 5 Star Certification Program on January 14, 2021.

Shared by our partners at the Denver Joint Information Center. For information specific to this article, please contact the JIC at Jic_news@denvergov.org.

Implementation will be contingent on reaching and maintaining all COVID-19 Dial Orange Level metrics for seven days
The City and County of Denver (CCD) received approval today from the State of Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) to implement the 5 Star Certification Program. Based on rigorous certification, inspection and compliance, Denver’s program will allow participating businesses to accelerate their re-opening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Being approved for the 5 Star Program will not only boost Denver’s economic recovery, it will also go a long way to support local businesses and workers who are struggling to get through this pandemic,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “I want to thank our partners – including VISIT DENVER, H2 Manufacturing Solutions and others – for joining with us to move this critical effort forward, create additional relief for our local businesses, while keeping everyone in our city safe and healthy.”
The Denver 5 Star program encourages businesses to implement safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines that will help slow the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, businesses will be able to expand operational capacity which helps Denver’s overall economy recover.
The city plans to open applications soon and will begin pre-certifying businesses at that time. However, it is important to note that CCD must maintain seven days of stable or declining Orange Level metrics as defined by CDPHE before the program can be fully implemented. CCD will be notified by CDPHE when Denver meets the criteria to proceed with the program and certified businesses are permitted to operate at reduced restrictions.
Currently, Denver County is not meeting a two-week cumulative incidence rate of less than 350/100,000 population. The two-week cumulative rate is currently at 526/100,000. CCD expects to announce when applications will be accepted and provide more detailed information next week. 
Per State guidelines, business sectors eligible to apply for the 5 Star program are: General Business, Personal Services, Indoor Events, Restaurants and Gyms. Other business sectors that have decreased capacity limits due to public health restrictions may be eligible as well.  Businesses will complete an online application and submit a nominal fee as payment. 
To ensure a high level of service to the thousands of eligible applicants who may apply, the city has entered into a partnership with VISIT DENVER and H2 Manufacturing Solutions (H2). Through this partnership, VISIT DENVER is serving as a fiscal agent and support for logistics and H2 is the third-party contractor that will administer the program. H2 was instrumental in developing this safety system and is well-positioned with expertise and systems to oversee the program implementation.
H2 will train qualified volunteers and city staff to review applications, and conduct site audits required for certification. The program is currently looking for business owners with current employees who can allocate time to this effort as a volunteer. A general citywide call for volunteers is not in effect at this time. Businesses can email volunteers@visitdenver.com if they have staff that they can allocate to the program for a minimum of 20 hours per week, for 5 weeks.
Denver’s success in this endeavor will be reliant on strong partnership with the private sector; something the City and County of Denver has long valued and is incredibly appreciative of. As a demonstration of this, Denver has created a governing Administrative Committee for the Denver 5 Star Program that is comprised of elected officials, city staff, private sector and nonprofit organizations, and other partners in public health and business support.
“The vitality of Denver businesses aligned with the health and safety of our community is our primary focus,” said Eric Hiraga, Denver Economic Development & Opportunity’s Executive Director. “Our team is working diligently with the private sector on making 5 Star Certification a reality in Denver so that our residents can get back to work and our businesses can rise out of this pandemic.”

Denver will ensure assistance to those who may have language or cultural barriers in applying and becoming certified and is committed to making this process as accessible and equitable as possible.    
For additional and most up to date information on the Denver 5 Star Program information, please visit Denver5Star.com.