Grand County to tighten restrictions, affecting restaurants, indoor gatherings, lodging
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Grand County is only implementing some provisions from the Red (severe risk) category and not actually moving into the new category.
After the close of business Friday, Grand County Public Health announced it would be closing restaurants to in-person dining, forbidding indoor gatherings and limiting short-term lodging, starting next week.
The changes in local COVID-19 restrictions are designed to reduce the spread before Christmas. They stem from a temporary amendment to the Grand County Public Health director’s standing order.
While Grand Public Health explained Friday night that the new restrictions “will reflect CDPHE’s dial framework for Level Red: Severe Risk,” Grand County Commissioner Rich Cimino clarified Saturday that the county isn’t actually moving into the Red category. Instead, he said the county is only installing some of the Red provisions while others will not be implemented.
The changes described by Grand County Public Health will take effect on Monday and continue until Dec. 18, unless extended by the health department.
The amended order contains provisions mandating:
• indoor events, including private gatherings, cease unless operating under strict protective measures and approval through Grand County Public Health;
• short-term rental properties and lodging be limited to one household for private gatherings and stays;
• restaurants move to takeout, curbside, delivery or to go options. Up to five people are allowed onsite to pick up food or place an order, given specific precautions are taken to maintain a six-foot distance. Indoor dining shall be closed and outdoor dining is limited one household per group. Bars will remain closed.
“It is important to acknowledge that many restaurant owners are willingly implementing these protective measures to help ensure less burdensome restrictions during the holiday season,” local officials noted as they announced the changes in a 6 p.m. news release. “These protective measures are targeted at mitigating disease spread occurring indoors during prolonged gatherings with more than one household.”
Grand County Public Health is also planning to start a new program acknowledging businesses that implement the county’s protective measures to the fullest extent once the temporary amendment order expires.
“We will release more information on this topic in the coming weeks,” the health department added. “Additionally, county leadership is working closely with towns to secure financial assistance and distribution mechanisms. They are hopeful in anticipating a large pool of funds will be available.”
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After their soccer game Saturday, the Grand County Wildcats suited up for a very different type of game.