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Decision on restaurant dining expected Monday

Rebound CO - Money Jar
Posted at 10:32 PM, May 20, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The State of Colorado is moving closer to reopening restaurant dining rooms. Governor Jared Polis is expected to make a decision on Monday about proposed new safety guidelines for employees and customers to follow in a return to in-person dining.

The proposed rules include spacing out tables by at least 8 feet and limiting parties to groups of six people or less. Employees would have to wear masks and gloves and the restrooms would need to be cleaned every half hour.

Several people in downtown Colorado Springs told News 5 that they're comfortable with this change.

"I'd feel comfortable to even take my kids and go eat or be in the public," said George Gausler.

A few people in his family are in the high-risk categories for serious complications from the virus, but Gausler said he believes the worst of the virus is behind us.

"The way everybody is talking, or all the health departments is that it's on the decline," he said.

"I didn't think it was necessary for it be mandatory as it was to begin with," added Renee Walker. She rides the bus daily and doesn't think going out to eat would be any riskier than a trip to Walmart.

"I'd be the first guy in the door," Mark Morley said. "Because I don't really believe what this is all about."

He shared skepticism over the infection and morbidity data being released by public health officials.

"It's really hard for them to say we have this amount of mortality based on these cases when we have such minimal testing," Morley added.

Colorado restaurant owners have been forced to keep their dining rooms empty to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many are still selling meals through carry-out, delivery, or from a drive-thru window.

Todd Wyatt, owner of Wyatt's Pub and Grill said not having dining rooms open for the typically busy holidays of St. Patricks Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Mother's Day has hurt many restaurants. He's grateful to everyone who has continued to support his business during the closure.

"The folks have said to us we're coming in here at least once a week for take-out because we want to see you when we get done. and we want to see you on the other side."

Wyatt has already started taking measurements around the dining room to see how many tables the 8-foot spacing rule would eliminate.

Ivy Rose, who was on a walk with her daughter downtown, thinks it's smart for there to be some extra precautions during the transition.

"I would be comfortable as long as regulations are done up to par," she said. "I miss being able to be served by a waitress, sitting down, a dine-in experience, I would love to be able to provide that for my daughter."

Naomi Royal said she'd be willing to follow any recommendations to still frequent her favorite eateries.

"If we still have to wear our masks, I'm fine doing that. But, overall, I'm pretty comfortable. I try not to live in fear. I know what the facts are."

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