Colorado joins several states across the nation putting restrictions on dining, entertainment establishments.
On Monday afternoon, Governor Polis and The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced statewide restrictions to help curb the transmission of coronavirus.
For 30 days, starting at 8 a.m., on Tuesday (3/17) morning, all on-site dining at restaurants and bars in the state is prohibited (yes, breweries, distilleries, and coffeehouses are part of the ban). You can still enjoy a meal from your favorite eateries via the drive-through, as well as take-out or delivery services. If you choose to order take-out, keep in mind that restaurants can only allow up to five people in the establishment at a time as long as they can stay six feet from each other.
In addition to the restaurant restrictions, the order also closes theaters, gyms, and casinos. All DMVs across the state will be closed to the public, as well.
“We understand the gravity of this public health order, and the disruption it will cause,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “But we are weighing this disruption against the need to save lives. Based on the experience of other countries, the state of Washington, and modeling data, the sooner we begin social distancing measures on a large enough scale, the more quickly we can slow transmission of the virus, which translates into less people requiring hospitalization at the same time and more lives saved.”
This order remains in effect for 30 days, unless extended. Read the full order here. The goal of these restrictions is to reduce the severity and duration of the COVID-19 public health issue.
Unfortunately, this order has already affected many of Colorado's more than 12,000 restaurants and bars across the state. Many employees have had their hours severely cut or have been laid off altogether.
"These steps are very painful for our state. While they may be an inconvenience to you if you are a customer, imagine how difficult they are for the workers and the owners of those facilities," Gov. Polis said in a press conference.
For employees who were laid off or experience a reduction of hours because of this order, you can apply for unemployment benefits at coloradoui.gov. The Department of Labor and Employment also offers cost-share programs that employers can look into to help keep employees on the payroll.
In addition, you can help by continuing to support restaurants by ordering/picking up food through the available options. In addition, buying gift cards to restaurants (make sure to buy directly from the eatery or corresponding website) can help them make up for some of the revenue lost.
You can watch Gov. Polis' March 16 news conference discussing the order, as well as the latest information on COVID-19 in Colorado, below.
Were you directly affected by the latest restrictions, either as a business owner or employee? Do you have any ideas of how we can help our fellow Coloradans who may have lost their jobs? Please let us know in the comments below.