In-person dining reopens Saturday; Other local restrictions remain |

In-person dining reopens Saturday; Other local restrictions remain

With COVID-19 cases declining in Grand County, restaurants will be able to reopen to in-person dining Saturday.

After moving to carry-out only on Dec. 7, restaurants can revert back to Level Orange restrictions, equal to 25% capacity, just in time for the holidays.

Restrictions will continue on short-term lodging and indoor gatherings through at least Jan. 4. That means all indoor events, including private gatherings, are not allowed unless approved through Grand County Public Health with strict protective measures. Short-term lodging will continue to be limited to one household.

Grand County has seen a 35% reduction in case rates since the end of November. Numbers are still far above Level Red (Severe) metric with 123 new cases in the past two weeks, equal to a case rate of 793 per 100,000 people.

Grand has not been below the Level Red incident rate, 350 cases per 100,000, since Nov. 10.

Public health said in a release that it has identified a high probability of disease transmission through prolonged indoor gatherings with multiple households.

Officials acknowledged that the restrictions are not timely for Grand County, but that the county cannot afford to lose the progress made so far.

“While it may be a vacation, we must remain vigilant,” officials said.

Eight residents are currently hospitalized and one person has died due to COVID-19.

Officials emphasized that the continuance of these restrictions are meant to sustain the declining case rates and ensure Grand says within the parameters needed for the 5 Star program.

Earlier this week, the state released a checklist for the 5 Star certification program, which could allow certified businesses to open with less restrictive capacities. The checklist outlined some of the initial steps counties can take to position themselves for such a program.

Certification for businesses will depend to some extent on where the county falls on the COVID-19 dial, but more information from the state is forthcoming.

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