News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: November 13, 2020

Summit County Issues Amended Public Health Order

Maintain physical distance

Critical retail businesses limited to one person per 100 square feet; restaurants and bars must cease alcohol sales and onsite consumption by 9:30 p.m.

Contact: Nicole Valentine, Public Affairs Coordinator, Summit County Public Health

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Public Health issued an amended Public Health Order Friday to clarify occupancy limits in critical retail businesses and further tighten restrictions on late-night gatherings at bars and restaurants. The new order limits the number of customers inside critical retail businesses to one per 100 square feet of floor space. Bars and restaurants must end the sale, service, possession and consumption of alcohol on their premises by 9:30 p.m.

The new order takes effect at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 14.

"The changes in this new order are designed to provide added clarity and close some minor loopholes that we needed to address, based on risks of COVID-19 spread that we've identified in the community," Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. "Our COVID-19 case numbers are shattering all previous records, so we need to address any and all gaps in our restrictions."

During the past two weeks, there have been 348 new positive cases of COVID-19 among Summit County residents.

The prohibition on the onsite alcohol-related activities in bars and restaurants applies to workers as well as in-person and take-out customers.

"Our contact tracers are finding that a lot of risky close contact is taking place later at night when alcohol is added to the mix," Wineland said. "Alcohol is proven to reduce inhibitions and impair judgement. So when establishments shut down for the night, we don't want the staff to linger together and create a situation that's ripe for spreading the virus."

The new order provides detailed occupancy calculations for critical retail establishments, such as grocery and hardware stores (defined in Section 4 of Appendix A of CDPHE Public Health Order 20-36). All such establishments must comply with a maximum capacity limit of one customer per 100 square feet of net floor area of indoor space. The net floor area equals the total public floor area minus the square footage taken up by shelving, equipment, displays and other areas that customers can't occupy.

The order also encourages establishments to limit the size of shopping parties in order to reduce the likelihood of in-store crowding and the size of indoor and outdoor lines. Shoppers are encouraged to take advantage of online ordering and curbside pick-up services to reduce in-store visits and cut down on physical contact that could result in virus transmission.

 All prior requirements and restrictions remain in place, including limits on the size of public and private gatherings, requirements for short-term lodging operations, limits on non-critical office-based businesses and limits on restaurant group sizes included in the most recent public health order. 

Some key provisions of existing restrictions include the following:

  • All restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation permitted to offer food and beverages for on-site consumption must close for on-site consumption and occupancy by 9:30 p.m. daily. This closure applies to both indoor and outdoor dining. Establishments are strongly encouraged to implement protocols to ensure that all patrons leave the premises by 9:30 p.m.
  • All public and private gatherings among two or more households are prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During those times, all individuals are asked  to stay home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Restaurants, non-critical retail establishments, offices and other non-critical businesses are limited to 25 percent capacity.
  • All gatherings in public and private spaces are limited to a maximum of two households. Indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of six persons. Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 persons.
  • Gatherings in short-term lodging establishments are limited to maximums of two households and 10 persons.

View the amended Summit County Public Health Order at


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