Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policies and Protocols for the Colorado Restaurant Industry

March 31st, 2020

The information below is from our partners at the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Please visit their website directly at

On Havana Street has over 100 restaurants in our 4.3 miles and wanted to share this CRA resource page. It has many helpful and updated information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policies and Protocols for the Colorado Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry is one of the most highly trained industries in matters of disease transmission and prevention. Our industry and our employees are highly regulated, and we are already utilizing proven methods to prevent the spread of disease. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transferred to humans through food.

See Restaurants That Are Open for Delivery and Takeout

Support restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery – including alcohol! See who is open: click here.

Opt into COVID-19 communication

  • Email: We’re sending regular digests of COVID-19 information pertinent to restaurants. Opt in to receive these emails here.
  • Text: Text CRAVIP to 22452 and respond yes to the prompts. We push out real-time updates and calls to action.

Upcoming Webinars

  • Monday, March 30: Rent concerns: Tenant Rights & Remedies; click here.
  • Tuesday, March 31: Small Business Stimulus Through the CARES Act: What This Means for Restaurants; click here.
  • Wednesday, April 1: Finding Balance During the Storm: Managing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression During Chaos; click here.
  • Thursday, April 2: How to Pivot Your Marketing Strategy for COVID-19; click here.

Fill Out Our Surveys

Take our two surveys to help us assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results will inform our continued advocacy efforts.

Advocacy Efforts and Relief Updates

We’re working on many pieces of relief on your behalf, and will keep a running list of our efforts and what has been accomplished here.

  • Details on the Federal relief package, passed by the Senate March 25: click here.
  • Listen to a National Restaurant Association webinar about the Federal Relief Package: click here.

The Colorado Restaurant Foundation’s Angel Relief Fund

In the wake of COVID-19, the Colorado Restaurant Foundation is working to support restaurant and hospitality workers with financial assistance and access to a COVID-19 specific hub of support. To learn more, click here.

  • Angel Relief Fund Page: click here.
  • Angel Relief Fund COVID-19 resources and support services: click here.
  • If you have anything extra to spare during this time, please donate to the Angel Relief Fund at Angel Relief Fund COVID-19 Support. Your contribution is tax deductible. 100% of your donation goes directly to industry employees in need. Any amount you can donate, no matter how small, will help. Make a donation here.

Emergency Orders

  • Statewide Stay at Home Order – Issued March 25, 2020
    • On March 25, Governor Polis issued a Stay at Home for the State. Restaurants providing to-go and delivery service, as well as business that supply restaurants, are considered essential and are therefore EXCLUDED from these orders and may continue to operate. Read more here.
  • Local Stay at Home Orders – Issued March 23, 2020, and later
    • We are tracking local Stay at Home orders across the State. In all cases, restaurants, as well as business that supply restaurants, are considered essential and are therefore EXCLUDED from these orders and may continue to operate. Read more here.
  • Alcohol To-Go and Delivery Allowed – Order Issued March 20, 2020
    • Restaurants and bars are now allowed to sell alcohol to-go and delivery. Read the details here.
  • Emergency Dine-In Shutdown – Order Issued March 16, 2020; extended March 17, 2020
    • The State has issued an order to shutdown dine-in operations at bars and restaurants across the state, effective March 17, until April 30. Delivery, take-out, drive-up service, walk-up service, and drive-through service still allowed. Read the details here.
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Recommendations for Restaurants – Issued March 13, 2020
    • The role of restaurants in the COVID-19 response, action items, administrative considerations, when to close, when to reopen, and what to do if an employee test positive. Click here.
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave – Rules Issued March 11, 2020
    • The State has issued emergency rules regarding paid sick leave for employees in the foodservice industry. Read more here, and see a sample sick leave policy from Fisher and Phillips.

Business Resources

  • CARES Act
  • Takeout and Delivery
    • Rules and recommendations for delivery, takeout, and drive-through: click here.
    • How to implement delivery with your own staff: click here.
    • Alcohol delivery and takeout rules and recommendations: click here.
    • Rules for selling whole food and bulk products: click here.
    • List your takeout and delivery status: click here.
  • Labor Law
    • Understanding Unemployment, click here.
    • Job Attached Unemployment and the workshare program: click here.
    • Business requirements for Families First Coronavirus Response Act: click here.
    • DOL Guidance on FFCRA Paid Leave from Fisher and Phillips: click here.
    • FFCRA Poster — required April 1, 2020: click here.
    • Labor law FAQs and templates from Fisher and Phillips: click here.
    • Town Hall on Labor Law and Insurance Questions:
  • Rent Concerns and Tenant Rights and Remedies
  •  Sanitation
    • CDPHE recommendations for restaurants: click here.
    • Free ServSafe training video on COVID-19 considerations (English and Spanish): click here.
    • Sanitation recommendations from Auto-Chlor: click here.
  • Denver Business Support: click here.
  • Legal considerations related to COVID-19 from Messner Reeves: click here and click here.
  • Business Resources from other vendors: click here.

Employee Resources

  • For a full list of unemployment, underemployment, and other assistance, click here.
  • Colorado Restaurant Foundation’s resource list: click here.
  • Jobs for displaced hospitality workers: click here. (To post a job, click here.)
  • Job Attached Unemployment and the workshare program: click here.
  • Basic guide to unemployment: click here.
  • File for unemployment: click here.
  • Colorado online application for food stamps and other various sources of assistance programs such as help with child care, cash assistance, and access to health care coverage: click here.
  • Angel Relief Fund for employees diagnosed with COVID-19, self-quarantined under doctor’s care, or unable to receive government assistance and have been out of work for more than month: click here.


State recommendations on canceling events of 250+: click here.
Implications for restaurants with capacity of 250+: click here.

Past Statewide Member Emails on COVID-19

Delivery insurance requirements loosened, click here.
New required poster, DOL guidance on paid leave, more federal relief info, click here.
Expansion of sick leave coverage, local relief update, click here.
Details on the Federal Relief Package, click here.
Restaurants Exempt from Statewide Stay at Home Order plus How to Expand What You Sell, click here.
Tri-County, Jeffco, and Douglas County Stay at Home Orders, click here.
Restaurants Exempt from Stay at Home orders and Compliance Refresher, click here.
CDPHE guidelines for selling whole foods and bulk products, restaurants designated essential, click here.
Alcohol To-go and Delivery Rules, click here.
Summary of Governor Polis’s announcement re: to-go alcohol, expedited unemployment, and more, click here.
SBA Loans, Denver’s Relief Package, Federal Recovery FAQ, dine-in order extended, click here.
Federal Relief bill and March 18 update on advocacy efforts, click here.
Delivery, take-out, and drive-thru recommendations and rules, click here.
Statewide closure details plus emergency resources: click here
What we’re asking for at the federal, state, and local level (with caveat that this continues to evolve as we learn more): click here.
Health department recommendations for restaurants, state recommendations on canceling gatherings of 250+: click here.
Paid sick leave, how to prepare, how to communicate to guests: click here

Past Local Communications on COVID-19


  • Guidance for restaurants with capacity of 250+: click here.


Helpful Links

  • CDC real-time updates: click here.
  • Updates from the State of Colorado: click here.
  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment COVID-19 Recommendations: click here.
  • COVID-19 toolkit from the National Restaurant Association: click here.

What You Can Do in Your Restaurant

  • As with all other illnesses and diseases, encourage your employees to stay home if they suspect they are sick or are showing symptoms of sickness.
  • Encourage employees to report symptoms from home and ask that they do not come in if they are feeling sick.
  • If you have an employee that has recently visited an area with an active or condensed outbreak of COVID-19, encourage them to seek testing and a medical opinion.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects including but not limited to tables, menus, POS systems, checkbooks, doorknobs, kitchen surfaces, restroom surfaces etc.
  • Increase hand washing. Consider implementing policies to wash hands at the top and bottom of the hour.
  • Provide 60% alcohol-based sanitizer for employees and customers.
  • Have a manager conduct a general “wellness check-in” at the start of each shift. Look for symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Do not exclude asymptomatic employees based on their travel history. Seek further clarification from an attorney or healthcare resource. We can refer you to one of our attorneys in our legal resource center. Give us a call at 303-830-2972.
  • There is initial testing that shows certain quat sanitizers that are not fully effective at eliminating and disinfecting COVID-19. Please call your distributor to confirm that the quat sanitizer you are using is effective against COVID-19.
  • If you need help fielding questions from the media, give us a call at 303-830-2972.
  • If you need talking points for guests, give us a call at 303-830-2972.

It is very likely that restaurateurs are already using many of these techniques in their business. Programs such as ServSafe prepare restaurant managers and employees with the necessary skills to prevent the transmission of diseases such as COVID-19.

If you are notified that a patron with transmittable COVID-19 has visited your restaurant and may have infected others, please call the CO HELP hotline at 1-877-462-2911 housed in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The public health experts on the hotline will be able to offer further instructions and precautionary measures.

If you have an employee who tests positive for COVID-19, contact your local public health agency and CDPHE (303-692-2700) immediately.