PARKER, Colo., (CBS4) – The Parker Town Council rebuked state-implemented restrictions on indoor dining Monday by unanimously passing a resolution demanding the state move Douglas County back to level orange from red on the COVID-19 dial.
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While the action by council is largely symbolic, Mayor Mike Waid tells CBS4 it was a culmination of the “frustration of our businesses, our restaurants, our churches, and our elected body.”
By passing the resolution, council intended to show support for local restaurants, Waid said.
“It just doesn’t seem to be equitable and make sense to shut down an industry basically,” Waid added. “That’s what this is doing, is shutting down an industry, when it’s not equitable across all of the industries.”
In downtown Parker there are plenty of outdoor dining options, but at Mainstreet staple Idochine Cuisine, limited seating means largely relying on takeout. The restaurant currently has limited outdoor dining with two plastic bubbles, which can accommodate up to 6 people each and take more than 30 minutes to sanitize.
“We can’t sit a lot of people, so all day the two bubbles are used for two parties each,” said co-owner, Yume Tran.
Tran said the restaurant has taken public health orders seriously since the beginning of the pandemic, and because she pivoted to takeout early, is doing relatively well. Still, she believes her restaurant and others could greatly benefit from limited indoor dining.
“At 25% we will sit about 15 people. It’s still double what we’re sitting right now,” Tran said.READ MORE: Judge Expected To Rule On Douglas County Schools Mask Lawsuit On Tuesday
Mayor Waid called the restrictions on restaurants inconsistent and “almost arbitrary,” since other counties and types of businesses have different situations currently. The resolution, he believes, is one way to voice that frustration.
“Showing solidarity with our businesses is absolutely important and truthfully allowing the elected leaders above us, in terms of the state, know that we see this, and this is not fair, this is not accurate,” Waid said.
While the resolution carries no power to undo restrictions, some residents, such as Shaun Sindelman, still have concerns about the message it sends to the community.
“If anything, that just tells restaurants and businesses that they can go rogue and the town council will back them up,” Sindelman said. “That doesn’t do anything for public health safety in Parker.”
Tran, on the other hand, is thankful council members spoke up.
“I appreciate that the town spoke up saying that that’s not really fair,” Tran said. “I think maybe we should have a different system where maybe the health department should go and do inspections and allow restaurants that are adhering to the rules to open a little bit more
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is currently reviewing public comments on a potential certification program and released draft framework in November.
In response to a question from CBS4 about the resolution, a spokesperson for CDPHE said via email “the state has built flexibility into the dial system to give businesses operating options that lessen the risk of spreading the virus,” and businesses are urged to comply with the public health order.MORE NEWS: Many Colorado Pharmacies Slammed With Demand As COVID Booster Eligibility Widens
“An estimated 1 of 40 Coloradans are infectious, the highest prevalence to date,” CDPHE added. “We need everyone to step up and fully participate in mitigation tactics—like wearing a mask, distancing a minimum of six feet from others, and not interacting with other households—if we are to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in advance of the holiday season.”