By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – Colorado allowed all businesses in counties at the red level on the COVID-19 dial to operate at orange levels.

That means the return of indoor dining and moving last call from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m, allowing more people in gyms and indoor events centers also re-open with reduced capacity.

(credit: CBS)

CBSN Denver’s Makenzie O’Keefe talked with CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida about the timing of the move.

“I think on one hand, it really sounds like it is a great thing to be able to do,” he said. “On the other hand, I think there comes a degree of concern over whether or not this is an appropriate time to do so.”

Dr. Dave did say he understands the loosened restrictions don’t go as far restaurants would have liked but they do provide help.

“From an economic standpoint,it will help restaurants and will help people who work at restaurants. For the population in general, it will give them another opportunity to get out of the house and relieve some of the pandemic fatigue. ”

“If they are given the opportunity to get out of the house, perhaps they will be a little less prone to having large gatherings in their own homes, which in and of themselves may be a little bit more risky than going out and having a meal.”

(credit: CBS)

But he does say there could be a downside, especially because we don’t know how the numbers will look after the holidays. It could take a few weeks before we know for sure if Colorado has once again avoided a holiday surge.

“Number two, we have a new strain of virus that’s going around. How is that going to impact our numbers.”

“We are really wondering what is going wind up happening as we try to get a vaccine rollout into place. I know a lot of people aren’t feeling confident about that, we have had some glitches.”

“Even though our numbers are looking better in terms of COVID cases in Colorado, we are still well above where we were in the worst part of spring of last year.”

“We still have more hospitalizations, we still have a higher positivity rate so at this point in time, I’m hopeful that yes, it’ll be a good thing we reopen a little big more.”

“The big question is, will we hopefully not have to pull back in the weeks ahead?”

Raetta Holdman