Douglas County gets variance allowing large gatherings

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Douglas County on June 26 received a letter of approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on its request for a “variance” from state COVID-19 safety rules dealing with various kinds of gatherings, receptions, events and “life rites.”

The variance reuest also dealth with theaters, team sports and pools, according to a release from the county.

Approvals are specific to limited capacities, sustainability of favorable public health data, with social distancing and adherence to public health orders, the county said.

The approvals will:

• Allow 175 people indoors and 250 outdoors for gatherings, receptions, events and life rites as well as indoor and outdoor pools;

• Allow 50 players indoors and outdoors for recreational league sports and tournaments;

• Allow libraries and bowling alleys to expand to 50% capacity not to exceed 175 people indoors; and

• Allow 175 people indoors at movie theaters, performance theaters, opera houses, concert halls and music halls.

For all indoor and outdoor spaces, in order to achieve 6-foot distancing, the limit is 50% of the posted occupancy code ensuring a minimum of 28 square feet per person not to exceed more than 175 people gathered in a confined indoor space at any given time, and not to exceed 250 in an outdoor space, according to the release.

The Tri-County Health Department says it is prepared to assist businesses and organizations with reopening and complying with the health orders and variances. Those with questions about how the orders and variances are administered can reach them by email at covidbusinessrecovery@tchd.org or by phone at 720-713-6030.  The department also has a web page with useful information at www.tchd.org/836.

Patrons of the businesses and organizations impacted by these variance approvals can inquire with them as to how they may be adapting to the new capacities accommodated by these variances, according to the release.

“On behalf of our Board of County Commissioners, I wish to express our thanks to all involved in the preparation and review of these documents including our local business community, Tri-County Health Department, our hospitals and the CDPHE,” said board chair Roger Partridge.

“Our goal in the pursuit of these variances was to help our citizens return to a more familiar lifestyle, while also allowing additional sectors of our business community to reopen. We are especially grateful to the citizens of Douglas County for adhering to the behaviors that led to the favorable public health data that supported this outcome.”

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