Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday ordered Colorado bars and nightclubs to close once again to in-person service because of the coronavirus crisis, citing the fact that the establishments have been blamed for spikes in the disease in other states.
“We haven’t figured out how to do bars and nightclubs safely,” the Democrat said at a news conference.
The re-closure order goes into effect in the next 48 hours, Polis said, and lasts for 30 days.
The decision comes as Colorado has seen a slight uptick in coronavirus cases over the past two weeks. Polis said that there has been a rise in infections in nine of the past 14 days.
“We’re not as successful as we’d like to be in leveling transmission,” he said.
The re-closure of bars and nightclubs marks the first regression in Colorado’s reopening since Polis began limiting Coloradans’ movement because of the pandemic in March and then in April began easing those restrictions.
Polis allowed bars and nightclubs to reopen with limitations just two weeks ago.
Bars may still sell take-out alcohol. Also, ones that serve food and also function as restaurants can continue in-person service as long as people aren’t mingling with other groups.
Polis said part of his reasoning for re-closing bars is that because neighboring states are shutting down nightlife establishments as they deal with surging coronavirus cases he doesn’t want people coming to Colorado to drink and party.
The governor said that the state’s rise in coronavirus cases has mostly been among younger people.
“I think it is partially attributable to bars and nightclubs,” he said.
Polis said that protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in Minnesota likely are another cause of the uptick.
This is a developing story that will be updated.The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, journalist-owned news outlet exploring issues of statewide interest. Sign up for a newsletter and read more at coloradosun.com.