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Last call: Colorado prohibits serving booze after 10 p.m.

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday ordered bars and restaurants across the state to stop serving alcohol past 10 p.m. as the number of coronavirus cases among young adults keeps rising.

“Anybody who has been drunk just knows this inherently; your best goals around social distancing and your best intents just fall by the wayside,” Polis said. “If you’re in a group of 50 or 100 people where folks are inebriated, inhibitions are reduced.”

The order is expected to take effect sometime before the weekend and last for 30 days. Last call in Colorado is normally 2 a.m.

The governor ordered bars and nightclubs closed at the end of June as the state saw an uptick in cases, but those serving food and functioning as restaurants were allowed to remain open.

In April and May, soon after the virus gripped the state, bar traffic decreased by 80 percent relative to the same time period in 2019, Polis said.

But as the state slowly reopened its economy, more people went out and more went out drinking at bars, which has helped lead to an increase in coronavirus cases among 20- to 29-year-olds.

“The problem with this one in the pandemic is they’re not just taking a risk for themselves,” Polis said. “They’re taking a risk for older Coloradans as well, their parents, their grandparents, because we don’t live in bubbles.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Department of Public Health and Environment, said Tuesday that Colorado keeps close track of how well people are distancing and how fast the disease is spreading.

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