Taking the first steps to reopening

Dillon Gross, Editor

After almost two months of social distancing, quarantine has become something normal. The shock of constantly being home has worn off, and getting something from the store feels like an adventure. Wearing face masks outside the house isn’t a courtesy, it’s a necessity. Thanks to these measures, Covid-19 cases have been plateauing. Mesa County, where there’s only been around 50 cases of Covid-19, has been cleared to reopen in phases.

Reopening in phases sounds appealing to most, but it’s only the first step in going back to pre-Covid life. Mesa County, like Eagle County, has been cleared only for the first phase in the gradual reopening process. This changes the “Stay at home” order to a “Safer at home” order. People are still advised to stay home, but certain services are reopening to the public. Mesa County is beginning the slow road back to normal.

The first phase will be slow reopenings of establishments, but with restrictions. Restaurants, which have been take-out only for months, will now be able to open for dine-in service, but will only be able to seat 30% of their typical capacity. Churches can hold services in-person again, but they adhere to having only 30% of their usual capacity or a maximum of 50 people at a time. Gyms will also be able to reopen, but capacity numbers have not been determined yet.

Even with these capacity restrictions, anyone who chooses to go out must still social distance. Face masks, staying a proper six feet away from others, and washing your hands for 20 seconds (or more) is the icing on a safety cake. These additional guidelines may seem a bit much, but they ensure that another wave of Covid-19 is not on the horizon. 

Throughout the lockdown, Mesa County has kept its trails and paths open for hikers. Another exciting opening for any outdoorsman is the reopening of ballcourts, such as tennis courts and basketball courts. Again, the reopening of courts is contingent on still following social distancing and taking precautions. For the time being, at the newly reopened courts there will be no organizations, sports teams, or games, according to KKCO 11 News. There may be no sports for now, but there is still fun to be had for any basketball or tennis player.

For all those suffering from at-home quarantine haircuts, reopening in phases brings more good news. Hair salons are now cleared to reopen, with specific guidelines. Customers, and salon employees, must wear face masks at all times and continue to stay six feet apart. Salons are also taking extra cleaning precautions to ensure that there is no risk of sickness, according to KKCO 11 News. A professional haircut is now just a phone call away!

Reopening in slow phases will be just that. Slow. It will take time and an abundance of caution, but life will eventually return to how we remember it pre-quarantine. Mesa County is lucky enough to start these measures before the rest of Colorado. With our favorite services beginning to reopen, all we have to do now is continue to be safe and healthy.