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El Paso County extends last call for alcohol under loosened COVID-19 restrictions

Last call for alcohol in El Paso County has moved back to 1 a.m. as changes to the state’s color-coded COVID-19 restriction dial allow serving drinks later.

El Paso County is in the yellow range on the dial and gains the new hours, and other loosening of restrictions, under changes announced by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Monday night.

For local bars, the change represents a huge step in the direction of normalcy. 

“Our team is stoked to have the last call extended. Hopefully, it will drive some more customers in here,” said Lua Cartee, night manager at Dublin House, off North Academy Boulevard. “Especially here, because we’re a pub we do a lot of sales later at night.”

Dublin House, like other restaurants, has been closing at 10 p.m. since reopening after the state’s original stay-at-home order was lifted. 

“This is a really good thing,” Oscar Blues night manager Christal Doutt said at the downtown brewpub. “It’s a start and it gives us a chance to make more money. Plus as it gets busier and hours get more normal, we can finally bring more people back to work.”

The changes announced Monday also all restaurants and seated indoor events, including at casinos, in yellow-ranked counties to expand capacity to 150 people.

Colorado’s dial framework has six color-coded levels that are determined by three metrics: the number of new cases per week, whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing, and number of hospitalizations.

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