Wednesday night, Coloradans across the state received an announcement from Governor Jared Polis, creating a statewide stay at home executive order. The order went into effect starting 6 a.m. on Thursday, March 26 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 11.
The stricter measure attempts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus known as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stay at Home Order asks that Coloradans stay home as much as possible except for critical activities including: “Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine, going to and from work if you are a critical employee, seeking medical care, caring for dependents or pets, caring for a vulnerable person in another location, or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties.”
“Looking at the latest numbers regarding the COVID-19 virus in Colorado, we have 1,086 diagnosed cases, likely thousands un-diagnosed. We have 148 hospitalizations, which that number has doubled since [March 24]. We have 36 counties and 19 deaths,” said Governor Polis in the press conference on March 25.
“These numbers are continuing to grow here in Colorado. Moments ago, I signed a letter to the President asking him to declare a Major Disaster Area for the State of Colorado to help us deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. That has been granted for California, Washington, and New York. We have made the request for Major disaster status because Colorado is near the top in cases per capita with a uniquely high situation unfolding in our mountain communities as well as those who have recently visited those mountain communities.”
Polis shared, “As we always do, when we make our remarks, we are all expressing our condolences, and hold the hearts of those families and friends who are suffering loss, in our hearts at this time.”
This order of course comes with exception for those working and operating on behalf of critical infrastructure or critical businesses. Colorado’s official State Web Portal provides a clarification as to what is considered a critical business: “Any business, including any for-profit or non-profit, regardless of its corporate structure, engaged in any of the commercial, manufacturing, or service activities listed below, may continue to operate as normal.”
It continues, “Critical Businesses must comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the [Colorado Department of Public Health] and any applicable local health department. Critical Businesses must comply with Social Distancing Requirements and all [Public Health Orders] currently in effect to the greatest extent possible and will be held accountable for doing so.”
Colorado’s Official State Web Portal also provided some key points you should know about the Stay at Home Order:
- Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible.
- Grocery stores and other critical businesses will remain open, with appropriate social distancing and safety measures in place. Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open.
- Although this order does not apply to critical businesses, social distancing will be mandated for those businesses that remain open.
- All gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason other than critical business or government functions are banned.
- All non-critical businesses statewide are closed to the public.
- All non-critical businesses must close in-office personnel functions. Keep employees working from home whenever possible.
- Bars and restaurants are closed, but takeout and delivery options are permitted.
- Theaters, churches and other gathering places are closed.
Colorado’s COVID-19 information page with Executive Orders, helpful resources and Q and A’s can be found here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/
A link to the press conference hosted by Governor Polis can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/jaredpolis/videos/260499038301497/