DENVER — Governor Jared Polis held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the impacts COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry and what Coloradans can do to support local restaurants.
Colorado last week recorded more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in one 24-hour period, the most since March. Today the state saw another day with more than 1,000 cases and alarmingly the positivity rate is above 5%. On September 4, there were 132 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state and on October 12th there were 288.
“Frankly it’s time for us all to change,” said Polis.
Polis says we have 290 hospitalizations – the highest number since May. He says there is not currently at a capacity issue for hospitals but there’s a lag for hospitalizations which traditionally occur 7-10 days after infection.
Governor Polis also announced that on October 19, there will be a virtual convening of architects, contractors, engineers, local public health and government officials, and restaurant leaders to discuss ways to creatively continue to provide an outdoor dining experience this winter.
Polis is calling on city leaders to start thinking of ways restaurants can thrive during the winter, such as: tenting, space heaters, temp suspension of fire pits, etc. He says we have to be creative with outdoor dining as winter is fast approaching.
Polis says they will be raising funds to distribute grants to eligible restaurants towards designing and building their outdoor winter dining spaces. Funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies. Click here to learn more.
Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy today announced that they will be committing an initial $500,000 to the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation to help support local restaurants through the winter season. In addition to this donation, they are also committing to matching donations of $50,000, up to an additional $250,000, for every $500,000 that’s raised for the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation. That’s a possible total contribution of $750,000 from the Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy. This is one of the single largest gifts the company has made in their history.