News for Monday, May 25, 2020

Steamboat Radio News - Shannon Lukens

The variance request to start opening up restaurants in Routt County has been approved by the state. It’s now effect. Full list of rules:

  • Occupancy: In restaurants, in order to achieve 6 feet social distancing, the limit is 50% of the posted occupancy code limit ensuring a minimum 28 square feet per person not to exceed more than 175 people at any given time. (CDPHE requirement in letter)
  • Reservations: A reservation system will be implemented (online or call ahead) to eliminate on-site waiting.
  • Table capacity: Tables can be seated up to eight people.
  • Personal Protective Gear: Employees must wear food-grade masks and gloves.
  • Bar area: Bar seating not allowed for customers but can be used by employees to prepare drinks.
  • Buffets and salad bars: Not allowed.
  • Outdoor seating: The same site mitigation protocol needs to be followed. Outdoor seating, where possible, is encouraged because of increased ventilation.
  • Employee Health Screening: Procedures need to be in place to monitor staff health daily.
  • Customers’ facial coverings: Customers are required to wear face coverings if not seated.
  • Contact Tracing: Restaurants will keep record of table assignments, seating and departure times for Health Department contact tracing to be made available upon request; after 21 days records on table assignments, seating, and departure times will be destroyed to protect privacy.

Routt County Commissioners have amended their public health order that requires mitigation plans for all businesses. They’ve moved the date for restrictions to continue through June 22, in a two-to-one vote. That means employees, guests, and store visitors need to still wear masks in a business or in public, until that date. Social distancing continues. Business must have some hand sanitizer or disinfectant available. Those are a few of the basic rules.

  • From the meeting Friday, Dr. Brian Harrington with Routt County Public Health reminded everyone that 35 percent of infected Americans do not have symptoms, which means they can spread the disease without knowing it. That’s why the facemasks are needed.
  • Commissioner Doug Monger says he thinks mask wearing should be voluntary rather than forced compliance.
  • Commissioner Beth Melton says there is compelling medical evidence that mask wearing works. She compared masks to mandatory seat belt laws and how they weren’t embraced at first but seatbelts have now proven to save thousands of lives.

Moffat County’s restaurants can also start reopening. The second variance request for Moffat County has been approved by Gov. Jared Polis. Restaurants in Moffat County can reopen to 30 percent capacity. Here’s Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck.

That’s neighboring Moffat County. Bars have to stay closed. Tables need to be at least six feet apart should a restaurant choose to re-open at 30 percent.

Private Memorial Day services are happening Monday in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, and Craig. Photo of Craig Cemetery.

Memorial Day services are private today, at the Steamboat Springs Cemetery. That’s so they can comply with the local public health orders. The VFW and American Legion posts will host the private ceremony, which starts at 11. Private ceremonies are also being held in Hayden and Craig on Monday.

Rivers are rushing with melting snowpack. Routt County wants to remind river users to be very careful right now and to have a personal flotation device and helmet if on the river and never go alone.

Two names are in the running for the new K-8th grade school being built in west Steamboat. The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports the two top options are Sleeping Giant or Elk Mountain School. District policy says the name has to be for a physical location or geographical area. The board will vote on that new name at their meeting June 1.

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