5 Star Business Certification Program - Pilot


5-Star ProgramThrough the launch of Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification Program, Adams County will help spur economic activity that has been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and indoor capacity limits. The county has applied to the Colorado Department of Public Health (CDPHE) for full recognition of this pilot program and is waiting for an official response.

This program will be administered through Adams County in conjunction with Tri-County Health Department and municipalities within Adams County. There is no cost for businesses to apply for the program.

Businesses will apply with the necessary safety plan and outbreak mitigation plan required by CDPHE. An on-site inspection is required to verify the necessary safety protocols. The application portal for pre-certification will open Thursday, Jan. 21, and we anticipate inspections beginning early February. Please read all information before beginning your application through the links below.

The initial pilot phase of the program will be open to 100 businesses. With further CDPHE approvals, the program will be opened to greater numbers of business participants. The county would expect this program expansion to begin sometime in February.

To ensure timely review of your application, please carefully review the application process prior to submitting.


On Jan. 4, Gov. Jared Polis and CDPHE authorized all counties currently in Level Red on the COVID Dial to be moved back to Level Orange. This means businesses within Adams County do not have to apply for the 5 Star Program to be eligible for those capacities.

Businesses who apply for and complete the Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification process will continue to operate in Level Orange capacity for the time being due to our current COVID-19 metrics. However, once the county has maintained seven days of decreasing numbers appropriate to Level Orange, certified businesses will be notified and allowed to operate at Level Yellow restrictions.

Adams County encourages any interested and eligible business to apply for the program and have their inspections completed. When the county’s metrics reach the necessary levels, this will ensure approved businesses will already be eligible.


What does 5 Star Certification Mean?

The Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification gives businesses who provide a safety plan and establish more stringent safety protocols additional flexibility to operate during the time of COVID-19 and under the State’s Dial system. Certified businesses will be allowed to operate with indoor capacity limits one level less on the COVID Dial system than the county is currently operating. As Adams County’s dial position moves, program participants who remain in good standing will continue to operate at the capacities one level below the overall county position. 

It is important to note the 5 Star Certification process is giving certain businesses additional flexibility and more capacity due to their participation in the program and extra safety protocols but is not implying that non-certified businesses are unsafe in any way. All business following CDPHE and TCHD regulations and guidance should be seen as safe.

Business Eligibility 

The Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification Program is voluntary and open to all eligible businesses within Adams County. 

Businesses are ineligible if they received any previous non-compliance citations from the Tri-County Health Department as of Dec. 18, 2020.

While all businesses are eligible to apply, the program will initially prioritize restaurants, gym/recreation centers, and indoor event space applicants.

Once accepted in the program and fully certified, participants are not required to re-apply each time Adams County’s position on the state dial changes, although they must remain in good standing to continue operating at the 5 Star level capacity restriction allowances.

There is no cost for a business to apply for the program, but the business may take on their own internal costs to develop and enact necessary safety protocols.

Certification Process

For a business to receive 5 Star Certification, the following process will take place:

  1. The business applies specific to a unique business location and provides necessary safety plan and outbreak mitigation plans for that location.
  2. Adams County or municipality will review the application for completeness and evaluate if enough information and planning efforts are present to justify an inspection.
  3. On-site inspection will be conducted to review the site-specific business’ safety plans and visually inspect necessary safety protocols.
  4. Approved businesses will be pre-certified under Maintain & Sustain Program.
  5. Business will need to maintain certification good standing through adherence to safety plan and protocols.
    • Complaints about the business may result in de-certification (temporary or permanent).
    • Business may also be subject to surprise compliance checks.
  6. Businesses will be notified when the county metrics for 5 Star Certification allowances change or when movements occur on the CDPHE Dial.

Certification Requirements

The Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification Program is consistent with the 5 Star Certification requirement established by CDPHE. Businesses applying to the program will need to meet the following General Business requirements for certification. 

In addition, there are industry-specific requirements businesses will need to follow if operating in that sector. Please review these items before drafting your safety plan to ensure that you can meet program expectations:

Submitting Safety Plans

To apply for the program, businesses will need to use the online portal below to submit an application and upload the full safety plan and outbreak mitigation plan documents. The application will capture business details and summarize key safety metrics required by CDPHE for certification.

Please keep in mind your business should be able to address specific COVID-19 mitigation strategies and how they will help decrease the spread of COVID-19 in your location. You will also need to demonstrate how your business can manage any likely outbreak, including contract tracing.

Businesses with multiple locations may wish to develop a general safety plan, but plans should be then tailored to individual business locations. All applications, inspections, and certification are specific to each business location. A single user may submit separate applications for each business location using the portal.

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Business Assistance

Tri-County Health Department created the Business Re-Opening Task Force to assist businesses in navigating changing public health guidelines, as well as to answer questions about compliance.

Representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by calling 720.523.6946 or by email at covidbusinessrecovery@tchd.org. Spanish translation is available.

The department also hosts weekly webinars that focus on public health order requirements and best practices. Check the website for schedule and registration details. 

Read more about additional resources for businesses on the Resources & FAQs page.

Compliance and Enforcement

To remain in good standing under the Maintain & Sustain Adams – 5 Star Certification Program, certified businesses will be required to post and notify customers and the public about the complaint process. Customers must be given full opportunity to raise areas of concern should a certified business not be following safety guidelines.

A business may engage customers to rectify complaints before they are escalated but may not hinder or prohibit in any way the customers’ ability to lodge a complaint.

The public can file complaints or inquiries about business compliance by contacting the TCHD Call Center at 303.220.9200, or by submitting an online form. Complaints specifically about 5 Star certified businesses only can also be escalated to CDPHE using their online form.

Read more about non-compliance and complaints on the Resources & FAQs page.

5 Star certified businesses may also be subject to regular or surprise compliance checks by CDPHE, TCHD, Adams County, municipal staff, or a designated compliance partner.