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Teller County variance approved; restaurants, gyms can reopen but not casinos, bars

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- In an update Saturday, the Teller County Sheriff's Office shared a letter from the state health department saying the county's variance had been approved with some amendments.

Restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and places of worship will be allowed to reopen. However, the casinos in Cripple Creek and bars will have to wait a bit longer.

"At this time, bars and casinos are not allowed to open. The State of Colorado will be issuing guidance around casinos soon," reads the letter in part.

The variance comes with the caveat that if the county backslides and sees a rise in COVID-19 cases again, the variance could be rescinded.

Read the full variance approval letter here.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provided these guidelines that businesses must follow under the variance:

Restaurants

  • Customers must wear face coverings when entering the restaurant until seated at their tables
  • Customers must be asked prior to entering a restaurant whether they have any symptoms of COVID-19, and any customers reporting symptoms must be excluded
  • Try to make accommodations for high-risk individuals (e.g. early opening, Senior hour)
  • Group parties should be limited to six, ideally to members of the same household
  • Place markings on the floor to maintain at least six feet distance in customer lines
  • In-room dining shall follow strict physical distancing (6 feet)
  • Customers should make reservations online or by phone.
  • Every effort should be made to notify customers via text or phone call when their table is ready so there is no waiting in a lobby or outside in line.
  • Self-serving stations shall remain closed (e.g. drinking stations, bulk dry, etc.)
  • No public sharing of utensils or condiments
  • Buffets shall have an employee serving the food, no self-service allowed
  • Employees and contracted workers must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Stagger shifts if feasible to decrease employees at the restaurant where possible
  • Limit reusable items (e.g. menus, condiments)
  • If possible, provide hand sanitizer at tables or in highly used locations
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces and increased frequency of high touch items/areas

Places of Worship

  • Require signage at doors telling guests that are experiencing COVID-like symptoms notto enter. Participants should be encouraged to wear a face covering both when entering and while present in the house of worship
  • Participants must be asked whether they have COVID-19 symptoms at the door and excluded from the place of worship if symptomatic.
  • Consider accommodations for high-risk individuals (e.g. online viewing).
  • Place markings on oors to maintain at least six feet distance where lines form.
  • Implement touchless offering and communion options as much as possible.
  • Workforce (staff & volunteers) must wear face coverings at all times while working.
  • Perform frequent cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high-touch surfaces.

Gyms

  • Customers must be asked whether they have COVID-19 symptoms at the door and excluded from the fitness center if symptomatic.
  • Post signs at entrances encouraging the public to wear face coverings in order to enter the business and while in the facility, unless a face covering inhibits the participant’s ability to participate in the activity
  • Consider accommodations for high-risk individuals (e.g. early opening, Senior hour)
  • Spread people out so there is at least six feet distance between individuals throughout
  • Use of equipment in the fitness center must be limited to no closer than every other machine so that participants are not exercising right next to each other.
  • Smaller exercise rooms with poor ventilation should be discouraged from use
  • Perform frequent environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high-touch surfaces and between customer uses.
  • Require employees to disinfect equipment after every use.
  • Employees and contracted workers must wear face coverings covering the nose and mouth at all times while working.
  • Group classes are not allowed.
  • Sport courts shall remain closed.
  • Locker rooms shall remain closed.
  • Saunas, pools (indoor and outdoor) and shared spaces shall remain closed.
  • Food/drink bars shall remain closed.
  • In addition to the requirements in the Suppression Plan, movie theaters must also meet the following requirements:

Movie theaters

  • Customers should be encouraged to wear face coverings into and inside the movie theater.
  • Customers must be asked whether they have COVID-19 symptoms at the door and excluded from the facility if symptomatic.
  • The facility must track the number of individuals in a theater to create appropriate distancing as follows: Capacity shall be limited by the number of seats per theater; Customers must be separated by a minimum of at least three seats to the side, and must alternate every other row; Individuals residing in the same household will be considered one customer; Six feet distance must be maintained between customers
  • The theater must be cleaned and disinfected between movie showings.
  • Mark concession lines for a minimum of six feet distancing
  • Offer touchless payment options wherever possible.
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Suzie Ziegler

Suzie is a digital content producer and reporter. Learn more about Suzie here.

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