AURORA | Coloradans can make time for one more drink beginning on Saturday, Gov. Jared Polis said during a news conference on Friday.
The current 10 p.m. last call for any establishments that serve alcohol will be extended to 11 p.m.
Polis said he hopes that soon it will be able to be extended to midnight, despite his overall view that the state law to have a last call is irritating, adding that he would be fine with it being extended to 4 a.m., which would need to be approved by the legislature.
The 30-day rule to limit last call to 10 p.m. was enacted at the end of July as the data showed the state’s 20 to 29-year-old age group was leading the spread of the virus.
Colorado so far has done a great job at slowing the spread of the virus, Polis said. He credited the mask mandate, saying it’s unlikely that it was a coincidence that several weeks after the mask mandate went into place Colorado started to see “significant decreases” in transmission.
The mask mandate has been extended for another month.
The state is approving variances again and recently approved variances for Ouray and Hinsdale counties, Polis said.
“We want to work with our counties to get as much open as they can,” he said.
The state’s current goal isn’t to eliminate COVID-19, which it doesn’t have the ability to do, but to prevent large outbreaks that would lower the quality of care in hospitals or mandate school closures, Polis said.
Polis discussed his Thursday visit to East Village Elementary School in Aurora, which is starting the school year with in-person learning as part of the Cherry Creek School District.
He asked parents to be extra vigilant this school year and to not send their kids to school if they are displaying any potential COVID-19 symptoms, even something as minor as a runny nose.
Polis applauded cities that have embraced outdoor dining, and encouraged restaurants and bars that haven’t already to look into it, saying that being outdoors is 20 times safer than being indoors.
“This is a great entrepreneurial adaptation that shows the Colorado sprit at its best,” he said.
He asked people to continue to stay vigilant over Labor Day and to celebrate responsible.
“We all want to have fun over Labor Day weekend, we just need to do it in a safe way,” he said.
As of Friday afternoon there have been 16,994 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 613 deaths in the Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas county, according to the Tri-County health department, including 6,338 cases in Aurora.
Polis also announced the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated its online COVID-19 data dashboard in order to provide more comprehensive information to the public, Gov. Jared Polis said in a Friday press conference on the state’s COVID-19 response.
The website is now more interactive, and the changes include allowing more control over filtering data, expanded data from hospitals and more detailed information about COVID-19 outbreaks. The dashboard can be accessed at covid19.colorado.gov/data.