The Red level of Safer at Home, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website, includes stricter regulations for many industries including prohibiting all indoor dining.
Due to significant increased community transmission and case numbers, effective Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 5:00 PM the State of Colorado has moved Garfield County from the current level Orange, to Level Red, the second strictest level of the Colorado COVID-19 dial guidelines. To protect the health of our residents, employees, and business owners City Council asks you to follow these guidelines. Currently the city is not enforcing these guidelines strictly and is working towards voluntary compliance.
The Red level of Safer at Home, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website, includes stricter regulations for many industries including prohibiting all indoor dining. Other changes are summarized on the following page. Guidance from the State on what qualifies as outdoor dining is accessible HERE.
The Chief of Staff for CDPHE presented to City Council last night (Link to meeting HERE) and pointed out that in order to legally open businesses under a state approved program called the 5 Star Program, a municipality will have to be complying with state law. The City wants to pursue the 5-Star Certification Program to reopen our businesses safely and legally. The program would allow restaurants to operate with 25% capacity while in the red designation of the COVID-19 restrictions, and at 50% capacity once the City reaches the Orange level of the COVID-19 Dial if we can qualify and run a successful program. The County and City will only be eligible for the 5 Star program if Garfield county sees a two-week decline in cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations, due to current Level Red status.
We understand how devesting eliminating indoor dining is for restaurants, especially in winter. While it is not enough, the City the Glenwood Springs, Chamber Foundation, and the DDA have partnered to provide additional grants to restaurants since they are expected to have the largest financial strain under these state mandates. City Council voted on Thursday and this limited grant funding will only be eligible to those restaurants complying with State regulations which include no indoor dining. As an additional reminder, restaurants with existing outdoor seating permits from the City are required to follow State guidelines, per lease regulations.
City Administration reminds businesses that non-compliance with State Public Health Orders could result in State enforcement including cease and desist orders and suspended business and liquor licenses. Liquor licenses are a State enforcement area and multiple restaurants across the state have had their license suspended for disobeying State Public Health Orders. The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners resolution does not exempt or protect businesses from State enforcement.
State Bill 20B-001 recently approved by the Colorado General Assembly provides $37 million for direct relief payments to small businesses located in a county that is subject to, and in compliance with, severe capacity restrictions pursuant to a public health order, with payments allocated to the counties for distribution to eligible small businesses, which businesses include restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and fitness and recreational sports centers. Only those businesses that comply with the level red restrictions will be eligible for these additional funds.
The City has been distributing blankets to restaurants to give away for outdoor dining, and to use in conjunction with the newly placed public outdoor dining structures in Bethel Plaza and the North Landing. Interested restaurants should contact Matt Nunez, Economic Development Specialist, at 970-384-6424 or email@example.com..