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'Not The Summer To Party:' Polis Limits Alcohol Sales In Effort To Slow COVID-19

Gov. Jared Polis (center), flanked by Aurora mayor Mike Coffman (left) and Denver mayor Michael Hancock (right), announces a statewide mask mandate on July 16, 2020.
Gov. Jared Polis (center), flanked by Aurora mayor Mike Coffman (left) and Denver mayor Michael Hancock (right), announces a statewide mask mandate on July 16, 2020.

Gov. Jared Polis is ordering restaurants and stores to stop selling alcohol after 10 p.m. each night in an effort to prevent inebriated residents from spreading coronavirus.

Polis said the earlier last call is needed because young adults have become the top spreaders of coronavirus in Colorado.

“This is a short-term public health necessity in our state because alcohol reduces inhibition, and when people are out late at night we are seeing that spread in that 20 to 29-year-old age group,” Polis said. “If you do want to get inebriated, do it at home with just a few other people…”

The new restriction will start Thursday and last for 30 days. A spokesperson for the governor said the change applies to all businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol.

Last call was previously 2 a.m. in the state.

Polis says COVID-19 cases are continuing to increase in Colorado.

“The total number of hospitalizations continues to grow, and that is a trend we are worried about,” he said.

Polis issued an executive order last week requiring residents to wear face coverings in public.

Copyright 2020 KUNC

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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