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Gov. Polis orders last call for alcohol sales at 10 p.m. citing younger people ‘leading this spread’ of COVID-19

Signs hang in the window of a bar regarding safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, June 18, 2020, in downtown Denver. 

(The Center Square) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said last call for alcohol sales at restaurants will temporarily be at 10 p.m., citing data that younger people are continuing to spread COVID-19 in the state.

“The number of new cases has roughly doubled; we were around 200 per day, we’re now on the 400 to 500 range per day,” Polis said during a news briefing.

The 20-29 age group “is leading this spread of infection in our state,” he added.

Polis said that while most are practicing social distancing, “we’re seeing some engage in risky behavior.”

“Your health depends on responsibility, and yeah, your parents’ health, your neighbor’s health, your grandparents’ health really depends on you being more mature,” he said. “This has challenged all of us.”

“Where we have seen the cause of some of the spike has been behavior that has been fine and normal during non-pandemic times for people who are 20 to 29, and that includes getting inebriated and socializing with people outside your household, that means late nights at restaurants and bars.”

Under the order, last call for alcohol sales at restaurants will be 10 p.m. for the next month.

Polis said that despite the order, he’s “very irritated” by laws setting last call limitations.

Existing law limits last call in Colorado to 2 a.m., something the governor called a “bad law.” Polis said he’ll work with lawmakers on legislation to allow local governments to decide if bars can remain open later.

“For now it’s a short-term sacrifice to keep us safe,” he said of the 10 p.m. last call.

Last week, the governor signed a statewide mask mandate for individuals in public indoor spaces.

Polis re-closed bars and nightclubs last month after seeing COVID-19 spikes in bordering states.

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