Governor Jared Polis announced an order on Monday for the statewide closure of all restaurants, bars, casinos and movie theaters for 30 days as coronavirus cases continue to climb in Colorado and the nation.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Monday that 160 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed. The number of people tested at the state lab was 1,216 as of Monday.

The closure of restaurants, theaters and other service businesses went into full effect at 8 o' clock Tuesday morning. The governor's order still allows restaurants and like services to provide takeout and food delivery options at the time of writing.

Local businesses were quick to announce their delivery / takeout plans over social media for the 30 day closure.

La Junta Director of Economic Development and Urban Renewal Cynthia Nieb said she is optimistic at this time. She said she encourages people to take precautions but that the local service industry needs the community's support.

"I think we should all make a commitment to our local business no matter what they are, to use them as much as we would previously," said Nieb.

Nieb admitted that restaurants are facing a daunting task right now. They were alerted late afternoon yesterday they cannot offer dine-in services and must adapt to the circumstances at hand.

"I don't know how they're going to handle it, because they had so much business," Nieb said of local restaurants. "Even the Copper Kitchen, that's a lot of takeout.

"But we all need to help them so they don't feel it," Nieb added.

Fowler Mayor Nathan Shultz told the newspaper on Tuesday that restaurants are being impacted by the order.

Liquor stores have not yet felt the weight of government mandated closures, but even without an order, they can only offer beer, wine and alcohol while supplies last. One employee at Big D's Liquor Mart in La Junta told the newspaper that so far, foot traffic hasn't been too heavy, but that she had noticed an influx of customers on Tuesday. She said they have plenty of most supplies for the time being, but that she's been warned by their suppliers that if their deliveries are stalled or cancelled, then the liquor supplies won't come.

Council member Ed Vela said at the Monday La Junta City Council meeting, “We have the best Mexican Restaurants in the state, and they know how to make take-out plates.”

How are some of Otero County's restaurants adjusting to the circumstances under the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Coffea Shop in Rocky Ford announced on Facebook that its team "pulled an all-nighter to build a new website and now you can: Order online, pay ahead and schedule a pick up time!"

Mexico City Cafe said they would begin delivery services today and will operate on normal business hours (11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on weekdays). Mexico City Cafe encouraged people to let them know if they are sick when they call to place an order. The restaurant will still deliver, it said, by placing the order on one's porch and taking cash left out for them. Any change would be left at the door.

"Please stay inside until your delivery driver has stepped away from your home," the cafe wrote.

Dine-in experiences aren't the only things closing for the time being. The closure of U.S. 50 for construction began Monday and is slated to last months. A 20-minute detour through Olney Springs and Ordway onto Highway 71 bridges Fowler with eastern Otero County.

The newspaper put out its own information request Tuesday to local restaurant businesses on its Facebook page. Here are the businesses that replied in the comments in time for publication:

Sand Cherry Coffee Shop
208 Main Street
Ordway, Colo.

Phone: (719) 267-3353
Facebook Messenger: m.me/SandCherryCoffeeShop

Services: Delivery / takeout (Ordway area only)

 

Feeling Saucy Cantina
212 Main St
Ordway, Colo.

Phone: (719) 267-3996
Facebook Messenger: m.me/Feelin.Saucy.Cantina

Services: Delivery / takeout

 

Kimis Cafe
Ordway, Colo.

Phone: (719) 417-1025

Services: Takeout

 

Salsa Taqueria
207 w Cranston Ave, Fowler, Colo.

Phone: (719) 826-2220

Services: Takeout

 

Village In
5 Walmart Way, La Junta, Colo.

Phone: (719) 384-1084

Services: Delivery / takeout

 

The Coffea Shop
209 N Main Street, Rocky Ford, Colo.

Phone: +1 719-200-9505

Services: Delivery / takeout

 

LA Cafe
Las Animas, Colo.

Phone: (719) 456-0434

Services: Takeout

 

Errand Runner
La Junta area

Phone: (719) 469-6178

Services: Delivery

 

The Farmhouse
106 West 1st Street, La Junta, Colo.

Phone: (719) 320-5421
Facebook Messenger: m.me/thefarmhousegirls

Services: Delivery / takeout (20-mile delivery radius)

 

SoCo FroYo
14 W 3rd St., La Junta, Colo.

Phone: (719) 468-7300
Facebook Messenger: m.me/socofroyo

Services: Takeout

 

Richard's Ribz
306 N 8th Street, Rocky Ford, Colo.

Phone: (406) 489-0475

Services: Takeout

 

This list will continue to be updated to include more businesses and hours of operation. If you would like to add your business to this list, please contact Christian Burney at cburney@ljtdmail.com.

The closure order allows up to five people in a restaurant at a time in order to pay for and collect their to-go items. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that persons adhere to social distancing guidelines: Do not go to large events or mass gatherings of people; if you feel sick, stay home; and maintain a distance of six feet from others when out in public - including while waiting in line outside your favorite local restaurants.

cburney@ljtdmail.com