Variance program gives green light during “Code Red” level

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Governor Polis’ call for the Red Phase has a big affect on local businesses; in-person public gatherings are forbidden, some restaurants’ indoor dining may be closed but offer takeout and delivery, and a number of businesses are really struggling to stay open.

“As long as business stays well enough, we can sell about $100 a day or so, we’ll stay open,” Crystal Yeager clarifies, “but if things get really tight and there’s not a lot of customer-based or sales, then, unfortunately we will have to close.”

Mesa County Public Health teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce for an exception called the Variance Protection Program. Several Main Street restaurants fall under that safety net.

“A certain certification, or a five-star standing specifically to different businesses in the Valley that have handled the out break very well and have not contributed to COVID in the Valley,” Madison Miller informs.

This means that they are able to stay open at 50 percent capacity after Friday’s transition. Mesa County is the only county in Colorado with this type of program.

The list of businesses under VPP, along with the form to apply, can be found at

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