BOULDER, Colo. – The city of Boulder issued an emergency order that went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday that prohibits the sale of alcohol at bars, restaurants and clubs between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The statewide “last call order” had already prohibited sales at those types of businesses after 11 p.m., but Boulder officials said that the earlier time is aimed at slowing “the increasing spread of coronavirus among young people in Boulder.”
“Alcohol can play a big part in social gatherings,” said Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam in a statement. “We are hoping this order will help curb the current case increase we are seeing among younger members of the community. We understand that this order may be frustrating for bars and restaurants that sell alcohol, but the intent is to prevent the city from reverting to Safer at Home Level 3, which would place a further burden on local businesses.”
The order will expire at noon on Oct. 8 unless it is extended.
The new order is the latest restriction in Boulder County stemming from a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases there in recent weeks – particularly among young adults and college students.
On Thursday, Boulder County Public Health issued a public health order in effect until noon on Oct. 8 that prohibits people in the county aged 18-22 from gathering with others whatsoever within Boulder city limits.
In addition, the order identified 36 addresses where people have repeatedly violated the public health orders, and requires those individuals to stay at their residence at all times. The only exceptions to this part of the order are to seek medical care, exercise outside alone, and obtain necessary supplies such as food, pet food, medical supplies and products needed for safety and sanitation via curbside pickup or contact-less delivery.
On Friday, officials said that CU Boulder Police and Boulder Police officers had warned 35 people overnight for violations of the public health order, but that no one was ticketed because there were no “egregious” violations.
New cases of COVID-19 have been on the rise for nearly three weeks in Boulder County. The health department said the new COVID-19 cases are vastly due to transmission of people 18 to 22 years old, particularly those at the University of Colorado Boulder and living in the Hill neighborhood.
The COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Colorado Boulder is the largest in the state, with 1,198 positive cases among students and 104 with probable cases of the virus, according to the latest outbreak data released by state officials Wednesday. Twelve staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the data. CU Boulder on Wednesday switched to fully-remote classes for at least the next two weeks.
Boulder is in the state’s Safer at Home Level 2 status, but the city warned that it could have to move to Level 3 if cases continue to rise, which would impose further restrictions on city residents and businesses.