Fremont County churches, restaurants and gyms are allowed to reopen immediately, with restrictions, after the state approved a variance to public health orders Thursday.

Customers should be asked about any symptoms before they enter a restaurant or participate in an activity, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment advised Fremont officials in a letter. Symptomatic customers should not be allowed inside, the letter stated.

The state advised that a sign be placed on restaurant doors, alerting people to go home if they have a cough, fever or shortness of breath.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to finally get a variance, especially right before Memorial Day weekend,” said Ashley Smith, Cañon City mayor. “We only have four active cases right now. We’ve been doing an awesome job of keeping COVID suppressed in Fremont County.”

Fitness centers may reopen but the use of equipment must be limited to no closer than every other machine and smaller exercise rooms with poor ventilation should be discouraged from use, the letter stated.

Places of worship may reopen but will require cleaning and disinfection after any use of the space. Anyone who is symptomatic should be excluded from the service and should isolate for 10 days, per CDC guidance, the state advised.

Employees may return to work but must be screened for symptoms at the beginning of each workday and those who are symptomatic must be excluded from places of worship and required to isolate for 10 days, officials said.

Under the variance, campgrounds may open at 50% capacity with no shared facilities other than restrooms, which must be cleaned every two hours.

Before a recreational facility reopens, its staff must submit a plan to the county health department detailing how they will implement social distancing and other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, the letter stated.

Rafting companies, helicopter tours, skydiving, zipline and Jeep tours may open, but must adhere to strict guidelines, including keeping group reservations limited to people in the same household and requiring customers to wear masks when possible.

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