Colorado governor closes bars amid rise in virus cases

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisProtesters surround Aurora Police precinct after photos emerge of officers mocking Elijah McClain's death Officer involved in taking pictures mocking Elijah McClain resigns Colorado governor closes bars amid rise in virus cases MORE (D) announced Tuesday that bars across the state will close as Colorado experiences a rise in COVID-19 cases. 

The governor said at a press conference that he was amending his previous executive order to give bars 48 hours to close their doors to in-person service as the state deals with a rise of cases among the younger population.  

Restaurants are permitted to continue hosting in-person diners as long as 6 feet of distance is kept between parties. The state also said bars can sell alcoholic beverages to-go for takeout or delivery if they are sold along with food, according to a release from the governor’s office.

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“Whether you personally go to bars or not, just understand that they are important for many people in our state … but there is not a way that we have found for them to be a reasonably safe part of people’s lives during the month of July in our state,” Polis said.

Polis allowed bars to reopen at 25 percent capacity or up to 50 people starting two weeks ago.

But within two weeks, cases have increased, according to The Denver Post. Colorado has recorded a total of 32,715 positive COVID-19 cases, leading to 5,489 hospitalizations and 1,520 deaths, according to state data

Colorado’s action follows Texas’s decision to shut down bars and limit restaurant capacity to 50 percent in response to a surge in new cases in the state. Florida also ordered bars to stop serving alcohol on site as the state struggles to combat the pandemic.