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Bars ordered to re-close sit-down services following COVID-19 increase

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

(The Center Square) — Bars in Colorado must re-close sit-down services following an increase in COVID-19 cases, Governor Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

Polis cited significant COVID-19 spikes in border states like Arizona and Utah that he said are attributable to nightlife. The governor’s order also includes the closure of nightclubs.

“We are experiencing a slight uptick the last two weeks,” he said Tuesday, noting nine of the last 14 days have seen increased COVID-19 case numbers.

Bars will still be allowed to offer takeout, delivery and alcohol to-go services, the governor said. Bars that additionally operate as restaurants by offering food can still offer in-person service as long as social distancing measures are maintained. 

“Our country, and the world, has not yet figured out, in a pandemic, how to do bars and nightclubs safely,” Polis said, adding that as neighboring states re-close bars there is concern people from out-of-state would flock to Colorado bars.

Despite the uptick, the governor said Coloradans have done a good job with wearing face coverings, unlike some in other states.

Bars, along with restaurants in the state, first closed to dine-in service on March 16, and were allowed to reopen to limited dine-in services on May 28.