Protest against ‘safer-at-home’ guidelines unfolds at Tri-County Health Department

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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (KDVR) — About 50 protesters stood outside the Tri-County Health Department on Friday to protest the department’s safer-at-home guidelines, which restrict in-person dining at restaurants and the full opening of retail stores.

Some protesters came wrapped in tape that one would usually see to cordon off construction areas. Other protesters carried pitchforks. One man even had a bagel over his mouth with “N 95” scribbled on the crust.

Chris Boyer, a military veteran, came carrying a flag with his service dog, Noodle, by his side.

“We don’t need these unnecessary restrictions that are just … killing people,” he said.

Larry Gieling, another protester, said there’s a lot a stake with the restrictions.

“My family has had a business since 1983. My son is now running it and he tells me he’s got four months left and he’ll have to close the doors,” he said.

The protest even became heated.

A father and his young son showed up at one point to say the health department is doing the right thing.

Another man, Tony Auciello, whose wife is a nurse, showed up and said, “What we want is fact-based decision making. This is a health department here is filled with doctors and scientists. They are the ones we should be listening to.”

Tri-County said Friday that it is “focused on getting our community open as quickly and as safely as possible” and that there are no easy answers to a situation like this.

After a few hours, the protest ended, but the debate over the restaurant’s right to reopen during the pandemic rages on.

On May 25, the governor is expected to have new information about when restaurants might be able to reopen.

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