Lake County Public Health Agency (LCPHA) issued an amended local Public Health Order (PHO) on May 26. This amended local PHO will allow for phased re-opening of retail food establishments in Lake County, to include on-site and dine-in service options beginning Wednesday, May 27. Retail food establishments include restaurants, cafes, food trucks and other licensed retail food vendors. Bars must continue to remain closed to on-site consumption until further notice, in keeping with Governor Jared Polis’ guidance.
The timeline for retail food establishments has been moved up to May 27 from the June 1 date initially communicated by LCPHA in order to align with the state’s updated safer-at-home guidelines. Polis released these new restaurant guidelines on May 25, when he also extended the state safer-at-home executive order to June 1 and amended it to allow for additional restaurant service options.
Retail food establishments in Lake County must affirm compliance with the Safe Food Establishment Checklist and submit their business’s social distancing protocol application to LCPHA Environmental Health Department. Upon review and approval by LCPHA, restaurants will be issued a safe dining letter and may then operate on-site dining within allowable parameters. The checklist and additional instruction are available at bit.ly/RetailFoodChecklist. Restaurants may also elect to continue pick-up, curb-side and delivery services in lieu of or in combination with on-site dining.
Some of the local safe dining practices include increased sanitization, employee health screening, face coverings for both employees and patrons, group size limitations of 8 people, and increased spacing between tables. Establishments do reserve the right to deny service to customers who will not comply with their face-covering policies or hygiene and physical-distancing requirements.
“We believe that by working together with our local restaurants, we can develop and enact safety precautions that will help protect against the spread of COVID-19, while still offering expanded options for their businesses and customers,” said Lake County Public Health Agency Director Colleen Nielsen. “It is critical patrons help our restaurants maintain a safe dining environment by respecting social distancing, wearing a face covering when not eating or drinking and practicing good hand hygiene.”
Lake County’s amended PHO will also allow local lodging establishments to apply to re-open to short-term guests. Lodging establishments must comply with the Safe Lodging Checklist requirements and submit a business affirmation, found at bit.ly/LodgingChecklist. Upon review and approval by LCPHA, lodging establishments will be issued a safe lodging letter and allowed to welcome guests back beginning June 1.
“The Lake County Environmental Health Department is here as a resource for our business community,” said Jackie Littlepage, LCPHA Director of Environmental Health. “We want to help our local restaurants, lodging establishments and retailers be prepared to operate safely as they navigate the new COVID-19 precautions required by the state.”
LCPHA Environmental Health can be contacted at EnvironmentalHealth@co.lake.co.us or 719-486-2413 ext 2.