Coronavirus: Colorado governor orders closings of some bars, nightclubs

DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, citing a rise in coronavirus cases in the state, announced the closing of bars for in-person service Tuesday, several media outlets reported.

However, the establishments can continue to sell alcohol to go, the governor said at a news conference.

Bars that currently serve food and function as restaurants can remain open under existing social distancing guidelines, KDVR reported. The closures will go into effect within 48 hours and will remain in effect for 30 days unless county or region qualifies to enter the Protect Our Neighbor phase, the television station reported.

“There is not a way that we have found for them (bars/nightclubs) to be a reasonably safe part of people’s lives during the month of July in our state,” Polis said. “That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any bars or nightclubs open in our state in July.

“We simply aren’t ready to have the level of socializing that is inherent in a bar or nightclub setting.”

The decision comes after COVID-19 infections increased over the past two weeks, The Denver Post reported. Polis had announced that bars could reopen at 25% capacity or up to 50 people, according to KDVR.

Polis cited the increase in positive tests to younger people attending bars and nightclubs, and that factored into his decision Tuesday.

“I can’t stress enough that the fate of Colorado with suppressing this virus and our economic recovery is largely in your capable hands,” Poils said. “Our ability to suppress the virus relies on individual choices Coloradans make.”