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Reader: We Are Moving in the Right Direction to Open Up Again

My Brother's Bar has emphasized outdoor seating during the pandemic.
My Brother's Bar has emphasized outdoor seating during the pandemic.
Mark Antonation
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No sooner had Denver been approved by the state to begin certifying businesses under its 5 Star Certification Program — which would let approved spots to operate at restrictions one notch below the county's official location on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment COVID-19 dial — than Governor Jared Polis announced a revised Dial 2.0, which will allow Denver and all other metro counties to automatically move from Level Orange to Level Yellow restrictions effective 9 a.m. today, February 6.

This means increased occupancy allowances at many businesses, including restaurants, gyms, retail and offices. As a result, eateries across town are now preparing to expand their dining-room seating to 50 percent capacity. And hours can expand, too, as last call moves from 10 to 11 p.m. But safety precautions remain; in fact, Polis just extended the mask mandate for another month.

Commenters were quick to respond to the news on the Westword Facebook post reporting Polis's February 5 announcement: Says Amber:

Thank you, Polis!! Because of you, we are moving in the right direction to open up again!! You have my vote! 

Counters Nick: 

Oh, a new dial... pretty colors... that ought to scare the virus away.

Comments Kyle:

If they're not completely removing everything, then who cares? They'll probably just go back to Level Orange next month anyway, and you'll still need to wear a mask even if you get vaccinated. Not sure why this is anything to celebrate.

Responds Eric: 

Some of us work in restaurants and our wages have been HEAVILY affected by the Red and Orange capacity restrictions, so yes, this is GREAT reason to celebrate.

Asks Matt:

Are people really trying to go out? I haven't been inside a restaurant in over a year, and I'm still in no rush to go anywhere. It will still be delivery only for me until people stop killing each other while living in denial about it.

Warns Aaron:

Human lives depend on this being the right decision. New infections after relaxing restrictions are going to be closely scrutinized. We're so close to beating COVID. Now's not the time to be careless.

Notes Michael: 

The case counts are collapsing as the vaccine rolls out, and perhaps more importantly the infantile public that could not give up its Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings are no longer socialising at home. Could actually be better for people to meet in restaurants where conditions can be made as safe as possible. Just a thought.

Wonders Linda: 

So, do we have permission to defend ourselves against the anti-mask idiots when they try to swing on us? Not that I need it. I'd just rather not lose my job AND have me breaking a nail when I whoop their ass. AND...do we get "hero pay"? Do we get the next round of vaccine? What's in it for us, other than a bunch of 'entitled' people who feel they're above science, and the law?

Replies Ben: 

What’s in it for you is just a little bit more of your livelihood back. Praise, dear Governor.

While businesses prepare for the CDPHE Dial 2.0 rollout, Denver is still determining the ramifications of the new state order on its 5 Star Certification program, since even those businesses that are certified will not be able to operate at Level Blue restrictions — the next stage down the dial — until 70 percent of all people ages seventy and over have been vaccinated statewide. Find out more about the city's response at Denver5Star.org.

What do you think of Polis's move? Will you be going to a restaurant this weekend?

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