DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced on Tuesday bars will be closed for in-person service in order to fight coronavirus in the state. Bars may sell take-out alcohol, and those which serve food and function as restaurants can continue to do so if patrons remain 6 feet apart, they are seated with their own party and do not mingle with other patrons.
Bars and nightclubs were allowed to reopen with limitations two weeks ago.READ MORE: Denver Weather: Chilly And Wet For One More Day In Colorado
“We are expiring a slight uptick the last two weeks,” he said. He said there are 32,717 cases.
The announcement goes into effect in the 48 hours.
Polis noted the surges neighboring states are experiencing. He said he does not want Colorado to “become a mecca” for people visiting bars. “We don’t want to stand out,” he said.
“There is not a way that we have found for them to be a reasonably safe part of people’s lives during the month of July, in our state.”Colorado Department Of Labor Writing Off $61 Million In Overpayments Made During Pandemic
He noted conversations he had with the governors of Arizona and Texas, who say their states’ recent surges are blamed, in part, on large parties, bars and nightclubs.
“Having bars and nightlife in an unsustainable way is too big of a risk in Colorado,” he said. “It’s too big a risk of schools being too unsafe to return to, it’s too big a risk of having to close gyms and pools.”
He went on to say visitors to Colorado are urged to be responsible and wear a face mask, follow health guidelines and maintain good hygiene.
Some counties which qualify for the next phase of reopening, “Protect Our Neighbors,” will be allowed to open bars. Polis said officials are working on guidance that will allow bars to expand outside like restaurants.
State health officials say communities can start requesting approval to enter the Protect Our Neighbor phase next week. They will be approved if they can meet qualifications such as enough available hospital beds, enough PPE (personal protective equipment) and stable or declining number of hospitalizations.MORE NEWS: COVID In Colorado: Douglas County Commissioners Propose Resolution Defying Indoor Face Mask Mandate
LINK: CDPHE Coronavirus Data