In an amendment to Public Health Order 20-23, issued on Sunday afternoon, Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered Colorado businesses, not considered essential services to temporarily reduce by 50 percent the numbers of their workforce working on site at any given time. On March 19, the governor had already modified the existing social distancing directive, limiting mass gatherings to no more than 10 people. The amended order takes effect beginning Tuesday, March 24.

As he has for the past two weeks, Polis is strongly encouraging work-at-home arrangements.

The 10-person limit on gatherings applies to any public event, private event or work arrangement. It does not apply to the Colorado Legislature (which is recessed through March 30 in response to the attempts to slow the spread of the virus) and local and municipal governments and essential services offices. It also does not apply to usual operations at airports, train stations, bus stations and factories, as well as health care facilities and pharmacies. The order also does not apply to delivery and take-out food orders by restaurants.

Important to the Chaffee County economy, food and agriculture supply chains are clearly listed as critical business. It’s expected that all critical businesses continue to use strict social distancing guidelines and per the order, if some of your agricultural workforce can work from home, they should.

The amended order further clarifies other exempt entities: news organizations, childcare centers , homeless shelters and any emergency facilities necessary for the response to the coronavirus known as COVID-19. As he has for the past two weeks, Polis is strongly encouraging work-at-home arrangements.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, Colorado has 591 cases spread across 29 counties, with six deaths reported. But only 5,436 people have been tested.

Also overnight, positive cases of COVID-19 jumped to nearly 35,000 nationwide, with 446 deaths. Overnight, President Donald Trump activated the National Guard in the three hardest hit states: New York, California and Illinois.

There are now more than 310,000 cases around the globe. In Italy, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic, 795 people died from COVID-19 in a single day this weekend.