GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
On Tuesday night May, 19 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a draft of proposed guidelines for restaurants to stakeholders. Once the state finalizes these guidelines they will be used to implement the new normal for restaurants moving forward, and on May 25, the state will decide if and how restaurants can begin reopening and at what level.
There are a number of criteria the state’s considering on deciding what can be reopened safely including:
-What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?
-What is the ability to do testing and containment?
-Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?
-Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?
-What’s the level of risk vs. societal/economic/psychological reward?
-Is the policy sustainable?
The first rule of dining used to be don’t be late, but now it’s safety first. “I feel safe at a restaurant if I can eat outside. I would not eat inside at this time just because of precautions,” says David Hildebrandt.
Pat Stiles loves the food at “Spoons Bistro & Bakery” and feels safe while she dines out on the patio. “They always have delicious food here, and they were watching all of the safety and sanitary guidelines. So, you feel real comfortable coming here.”
Guidelines are key for restaurants statewide, moving forward in this “new normal.” 8 feet of space, single use items, and of course masks are just three things from the list of over three dozen guidelines but Bistro isn’t budged because it’s part of a hospice center where caution is second nature. Lead Chef, Martin Marez says, “We do have the facility upstairs that we have to be careful of anyway. There’s a lot of procedures in place already.”
Spoons Bistro and Bakery is downstairs from The HopeWest Mike and Kay Ferris Care Center, and Hopewest provides care to more than 2,500 patients and well-over 1,500 individuals coping with grief every year, according to their website. You can help HopeWest just by dining at Spoons Bistro & Bakery because proceeds from your meal help hospice patients.
The state’s taking COVID-19 precautions to a new level with new proposed guidelines for restaurants starting soon, and what better place to test these guidelines than a restaurant connected to a hospice center? Marez says, “We had a gentleman from the Mesa County Health Department come by just in the middle of lunch rush, and he saw that there were a good amount of diners outside, and the signs were in place, the tape was in place for us to have the 6 feet, and everything was being complied with, and he was pleased.”