Events industry leaders feel ‘singled out’ by new COVID-19 public health order

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) — Events industry leaders are frustrated over an amended public health order aimed at curbing COVID-19 numbers by requiring guests to be vaccinated at certain large-scale indoor events.

The order announced this week states all unseated, public, indoor events of 500 or more people must require people age 12 and older to be fully vaccinated. The order applies to Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder and Jefferson counties as well as the city and county of Denver and Broomfield.

“The events industry is definitely being singled out in this scenario,” said Andy Klosterman, CEO of Peak Beverage and chair of the policy committee for Colorado Event Alliance.

Klosterman said Tuesday that many members of the events industry are struggling to understand the order. He said it will have a negative impact on convention-style events but does not have a broad impact on the population as a whole.

“The indoor, unseated event community over 500 people is not large enough to cure or end COVID. That’s just the bottom line,” Klosterman said.

Klosterman said he would support a widespread measure aimed at reducing COVID transmission in a variety of settings, but he feels the events industry is not the main source of the issue.

Where are outbreaks happening in Colorado?

Large-scale, indoor events do not appear to be leading to COVID outbreaks in the state, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The active outbreak list shows only one obvious indoor event out of more than 600 total outbreaks. Schools and health care settings continue to make up a majority of the list.

Health departments from across the Denver metro are asking Gov. Jared Polis and the CDPHE to do more.

The departments sent a letter to the governor just two days before the amended order was issued, asking for vaccine passports in high-risk indoor settings like bars, restaurants, gyms and sporting events. They also requested a requirement for face coverings for indoor settings without a vaccine requirement and mandatory vaccinations for certain staff in key sectors, such as teachers and those in childcare settings.

A spokesperson for the governor issued a statement in response to the letter:

“Gov. Polis outlined this week how the state was already working to make large indoor events safer and these new, super-spreader prevention methods build on the steps many private venues have already responsibly taken on their own to slow the spread of COVID and has the support of officials in Adams County, Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Broomfield County, and Boulder County,” the statement reads.

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