Indoor dining in Routt County could resume as soon as Monday night as commissioners work to move to new level orange ‘plus’
Editor’s note: Since this story was published, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment moved Routt County into level orange plus of the state’s dial framework. The emergency meeting tomorrow will still take place, but will no longer discuss a new local public health order.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Routt County Board of Commissioners will hold an emergency Board of Health meeting Saturday to discuss a new public health order that could, with state approval, allow some businesses to open at 25% capacity as soon as Monday night, according to Commissioner Tim Corrigan.
The meeting, currently scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, will be used to discuss the language needed in a new public health order to satisfy state officials and to direct county legal staff to draw up the order for the commissioners to approve on Monday.
The hope among county officials is the state would approve of the new order Monday and allow the county to loosen restrictions soon after.
“It could get pushed to Tuesday, could be as early as Monday night,” Corrigan said. “I think as quickly as we get it to them, we should get an email back pretty quick saying okay. I don’t think the state is going to say no and I don’t think they are going to hang it up in a bureaucratic mess.”
Once approved, the county would move from level red to what state officials are calling level orange “plus,” loosening some restrictions in the county. It would not be the same as a complete move to level orange though, Corrigan said. Instead they may choose to loosen restrictions slightly on restaurants and maybe gyms, but keep some on indoor office spaces or gatherings in place.
“We won’t move fully into orange, there will be elements of orange that we’ll do,” Corrigan said. “It won’t be fully into orange, we’ll get some dispensation to do some things in orange, but not everything.”
It is unclear at this point what changes or additional public health order needs to be put in place to satisfy state officials, but Corrigan said he does not believe it would be anything that deters them from pushing to resume indoor dining at restaurants.
The potential changes to local restrictions come after commissioners, in partnership with several other counties, sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis asking for fair enforcement of the state’s dial framework and to be moved into level orange Thursday.
It is also unclear whether any other counties in the state will be adjusting restrictions or if the new orange “plus” level is an official change to the dial. The governor’s office has not yet responded to questions about whether the dial has been implemented fairly among counties or if he was considering moving Routt County to level orange.
State officials released the State Five Star Certification Program earlier this week, another avenue commissioners have been pushing to try to get restaurants open, but Routt County does not currently qualify for the program because cases have not declined constantly for two weeks.
“We’re doing, in essence, what CDPHE says we need to do to get to orange plus,” Corrigan said. “The assumption is, we will have the correct elements in there that will be acceptable to CDPHE on Monday.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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