LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Restaurants in Colorado have been in a state of constant adaptation during the COVID-19 pandemic. From alcohol sales to indoor dining to financial assistance, it has been a lot to keep up with.
The most recent changes went into effect January 4 after Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CPDHE) permitted all counties in Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial dashboard to move to the less-restrictive Level Orange, despite the confirmed presence of a more contagious version of the coronavirus that has led to a national lockdown in the United Kingdom, where the variant was first detected.
For restaurants, the move to Level Orange means increased capacity for indoor dining: they will be able to seat 25% of their building’s capacity, but no more than 50 people total. Under Level Red, indoor dining was prohibited.
Sixty of Colorado’s 64 counties were in Level Orange as of January 4. That includes Jefferson County, home to African Grill and Bar.
“It’s good news,” said Theodora Osei-Fordwuo, owner of the Lakewood restaurant, about the eased restrictions on in-person dining. “But I wish they would give us more percentage. Because at 25 [percent capacity], I can’t pay anything. But at least it’s a good start.”