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Full Capacity: the Yes, No, and Maybe’s About It. | Foodie


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Rio Grande Boulder, circa 2019, 100% Capacity. Image via Rio Grande.

Hear ye, Hear ye, came the proclamation from on high. The king – I mean governor – of our fair state has concluded his process of random regulations and unclear enforcement, canceling the holy grail – sorry, I meant dial, of COVID levels, leaving the plague plebeians to fend for themselves. Or, in Boulder County’s case, for localized enforcement. Things are opening up, alongside new outbreaks and surges, and it’s warm out so… who wants to get a burger and chill?

Per Boulder County Health:

“Boulder County businesses can now operate at Level Blue capacities, which allows indoor seated events and all outdoor events to operate with 6-feet of distancing between people of different households. Indoor unseated events are capped at 50% capacity up to 175 people. Restaurants and gyms may now operate with six feet of distancing between parties up to 100% capacity. Bars can open at 25% capacity and last call is at 2 a.m. The Public Health Order permits the 5-Star Program in Boulder County to continue while in any capacity-restricted level.” (emphasis added). Boulder County Health News Release, April 16, 2021

True story, even though it sounds like hearsay: a friend of mine posted on Facebook asking who was planning to eat at a restaurant at 100 percent capacity. “No,” came the reply, followed quickly by a series of “not yet,” “are they crazy,” and other bewildered replies. It’s hard to blame them.

Boulder County itself has seen two cases of the vaccine resistant variant form of COVID, and reports of fully vaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID are not exactly unheard of. To wit, on April 20th – while half of my friend’s list was stoned and ordering in and the other half were applauding the Chauvin conviction, the Governor’s office sent out a “Governor’s Update on Colorado’s COVID-19 Response” that included this juicy and terrifying tidbit:

“In Colorado we’re seeing a 93-95% reduction in reported positive cases of COVID-19 among vaccinated people compared to non-vaccinated… As we have said many times before, COVID-19 vaccines do not provide 100% protection, and the vast majority of other vaccines do not either, meaning there is still the potential for breakthrough cases, which are people who test positive for COVID-19 after receiving one dose or are fully immunized. Dr. Rachel Herlihy stated that here in Colorado, only 819 fully vaccinated people have been infected out of over 106,965 total cases from the end of January through April 19th. That’s only 0.77% of total new cases over the last three months.”

But it’s cool, friends. Don’t worry. Trust the people in the next booth to not be infected. And look, this isn’t to fear-monger at all, but facts are facts: COVID isn’t over. There is also a lot of progress, I should be clear, especially here in a science-literate county like BOCO. That same BOCO Health News Release I started with points out that,

“Over 56% of the population of eligible Boulder County residents (16+) have received at least one course of the COVID-9 vaccine. Most older adults are vaccinated, and 92% of the population over 70 years old has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, and 87% have received a full course. 80% of people 60-69 years old have received at least a partial course, and over 62% of 50-59 years old have received at least a partial course. Overall, cases are decreasing in the county.”

I really can’t wait to get back to burgers and beers with my friends, but honestly, I’m still favoring take out and survival. Remember that, even with the full efficacy of your double dose of vaccine, hovering around 95 percent, you can still catch and pass it to someone who didn’t  – or couldn’t – get the vaccine.

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