Polis announces next phase of lifted restrictions: ‘protect our neighbors’ | SummitDaily.com

Polis announces next phase of lifted restrictions: ‘protect our neighbors’

Gov. Jared Polis announced the next phase of reopening, called “protect our neighbors,” in a press conference Monday.

The updated guidelines would allow bars to open at 25% capacity with a cap of 50 people, residential summer camps to operate and personal services to include facials or shaves, where the customer can remove their mask. Noncritical manufacturing facilities would be able to expand their in-person workforce, and indoor and outdoor events — including receptions, concerts and fairs — could begin to take place.

Similar to the variances that communities could request during the safer-at-home order, Polis said counties that are ready to enter the protect-our-neighbors phase will be able to do so if they meet certain thresholds, including demonstrating strong public health care paired with low coronavirus levels and encouraging trends. Polis said these communities would need to show their capacity for testing and contact tracing. 

“This additional flexibility is important because if a public health agency can scale its ability to do things like site closures when there’s an outbreak, testing and case investigation and contact tracing now, they are the first line of defense instead of statewide or regional setbacks to the progress that we’ve made so far,” Polis said.

The protect-our-neighbors phase could mean groups of up to 500 would be permitted and county fairs could take place in counties that meet certain guidelines, according to Polis. The phase also allows for expanded reopenings at 50% capacity without caps. Polis said that over time, the 50% threshold could increase.

Polis expected the new rules to be finalized by the end of the week. The draft can be found at COVID19.Colorado.gov/protect-our-neighbors and is open for public comment through 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Polis said he hopes parts of the state will be under the new rules in early July. Polis said he expects the protect-our-neighbors phase to continue until there is a vaccine or cure.

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