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Garfield County seeks to designate restaurants, other sectors as 'critical' to work around Level Red restrictions

A formal resolution will be considered at a regular county commissioners meeting on Monday.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Garfield County commissioners intend to designate restaurants, small retail businesses and gyms as “critical,” in hopes of allowing leeway for them to continue operating at the current levels even under the state’s new Level Red COVID-19 designation for the county.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday advised the county it was being moved to the “Severe Risk,” or Red level on the state dial due to the recent surge in new coronavirus cases and a worrisome trend in new deaths and hospitalizations.

> Video above: Colorado coronavirus headlines on Dec. 12.

“This … will require the county to implement restrictions across all sectors as defined by the state in its metrics dial,” CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan wrote in a letter to the commissioners, Public Health Director Yvonne Long and County Manager Kevin Batchelder.

Among those restrictions is that restaurants would have to suspend indoor dining, and limit their services to takeout, curbside or delivery, and, when available, open-air spaces, but limited to family/household dining groups only.

“Given the increase in incidence rate, case count and percent testing positivity, an implementation of additional restrictions is warranted at this time,” Hunsaker wrote.

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