City of Glenwood issues response to new Level Red COVID restrictions
Asks businesses to comply, or face potential state actions
The city of Glenwood Springs on Thursday issued its own response to the state moving Garfield County to the stricter Level Red, based on the latest surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and recent new deaths.
In a morning news release before the county commissioners held their special meeting, city officials acknowledged the move to Level Red restrictions.
Level Red is the second-strictest level on the state dial short of Stay at Home orders, as were in place in March and April.
It maintains current capacity of 50% for both critical and noncritical retail businesses, but requires restaurants to suspend indoor dining and limit business to takeout service and open-air dining for family/household groups only.
In addition, no personal gatherings outside households are to take place, and several other business sectors are required to operate at reduced levels.
• Indoor dining closed, but restaurants can offer take out, to go or delivery. Outdoor open-air dining is allowed with members of the same household.
• Bars that don’t serve food must be closed.
• Offices are limited to 10% capacity, with remote work strongly encouraged.
• Gyms/indoor recreation limited to 10% capacity or up to 10 people with reservations.
• Entertainment and indoor event venues must be closed.
• Unseated outdoor events are limited to 25% capacity or 75 people (whichever is fewer).
• Indoor in-person public gatherings (e.g. meetings, shows, exhibits) are not allowed.
• Child care facilities may remain open with standard ratios.
Source: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
“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,” the city states in its news release. “Liquor licenses are a state enforcement area, and multiple restaurants across the state have had their license suspended for disobeying state public health orders.”
Meanwhile, the city, the Glenwood Chamber Foundation and the Downtown Development Authority have partnered to provide additional grants to restaurants, since they are expected to have the largest financial strain under the new state mandates.
“It is anticipated that these grants will be $2,400, if a restaurant did not take full advantage of the earlier warming grants provided through CARES funding,” the city explains in the release.
The move to Level Red restrictions also qualifies restaurants and other small businesses to apply for new state assistance that was approved last week, including grants of between $3,000 and $7,000.
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,“ according to the city release.
Those payments are being allocated to counties for distribution to eligible small businesses, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters and fitness centers.
The city also recently opened its Bethel Plaza public outdoor seating and dining area with outdoor heating elements, and is expected to have several small, covered seating structures situated on the north side of the pedestrian bridge on Sixth Street later this month.
“The Topek structures on the north landing are limited to to-go food only; no alcohol,” the city release states.
The city anticipates that the special “igloo” outdoor dining structures it has ordered will arrive within the next two weeks, and propane heaters under the bridge were expected to be up and running Thursday.
The city has expanded Bethel Plaza to include outdoor dining options to facilitate to go food and alcoholic beverages from area restaurants. Alcohol consumption hours are Monday through Thursday until 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Private security is on site during these times.
“While areas will be cleaned on a regular schedule, patrons are encouraged to bring their own sanitation wipes,” according to the city release. “The city has been distributing blankets to restaurants to give away for outdoor dining.”
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A fire in a building at Willits Town Center Thursday night forced Roaring Fork Fire Rescue to prepare for the worst because of residences on the upper two stories. Fortunately the fire was confined to an HVAC unit on the roof.