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Colorado releases new guidance on temporary indoor vs. outdoor settings as cooler weather approaches

Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-05 19:56:31-05

DENVER – Though Denver reached record-breaking high temperatures again Thursday, Colorado officials, as promised, are preparing for the cooler fall and winter weather and for how restaurants can continue to operate expanded seating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released guidance Thursday afternoon for restaurants and event spaces to see what will constitute indoor and outdoor spaces as colder weather approaches and outdoor dining and events become more difficult to host.

The guidance for what will be allowed will be based on a local community’s level on the state’s dial system that determines which level of COVID-19 response said community is at.

It classifies various types of structures as indoor or outdoor based on the type of walls it has and where they are located, which determines how well-ventilated the area is. You can see the differences in the table below or by clicking here.

Depending on what type of temporary structure a business is using, they would be able to have different capacities indoors. All levels except for Stay at Home on the state’s dial response framework will be allowed to have unlimited outdoor capacity in accordance with local zoning measures if parties can remain 6 feet apart.

For communities in the Protect Our Neighbors phase, up to 500 people or 50% capacity would be allowed in indoor settings. That decreases to up to 175 people or 50% capacity for Safer at Home Level 1; to 50 people or 50% capacity for communities in Safer at Home Level 2; and up to 50 people or 25% capacity for Safer at Home Level 3.

Take-out and delivery would be the only options for any communities forced to move back to the Stay at Home phase.