On Wednesday, Governor Polis issued Executive Order D2020-017 ordering Coloradans to stay at home due to the presence of COVID-19. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s issued a public health order defining critical emergency personnel, infrastructure, government functions, and other activities that are exempt from the directives in this executive order.
The governor’s office has released the following FAQ.
When does the order take effect?
The order will take effect Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and is set to last through Saturday, April 11, 2020 unless rescinded or modified by further Executive Order.
Why is the order necessary?
On March 5, 2020, CDPHE’s public health laboratory confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued to climb. We all need to take these precautions for the preservation of public health and safety throughout the entire State and to ensure our healthcare delivery system can serve those who are sick. The Polis administration, along with other state, local, and federal authorities, has taken a wide array of actions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, prevent further spread, and protect against overwhelming our health care resources. The economic impacts of COVID-19 are significant, and threaten to undermine the economic stability of many Coloradans and local businesses. The period of the economic disruption must be minimized by minimizing the spread of the virus. We must take action to shore up economic security, employment, community cohesion, and community recovery.
Where does the “Stay at Home” order apply?
The Governor’s executive order includes the entire state except areas in which a county health authority obtains approval from CDPHE to modify the order. Unless you work for a critical business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible. Although this order does not apply to critical business, social distancing will be mandated for those businesses that remain open.
What is the difference between the stay at home order and social distancing?
Stay at Home makes it very clear that Coloradans should take extreme steps to avoid contact with anybody outside their household and minimize contact in public places that could be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus. Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions.
Is this mandatory or just guidance?
This order is mandatory.
How will this order be enforced?
This order is an executive order, which means it’s the law of Colorado. It’s illegal to break the law.
Will the Colorado National Guard be enforcing this order?
No. The Colorado National Guard will be supporting logistics, transportation, and medical response efforts. The Guard will not be enforcing this order. Residents who suspect that someone is violating the order should first contact their local public health agency to report any concerns. Residents may also file a report with the Attorney General’s Office at email@example.com if local law enforcement or a local public health agency is unresponsive.
How does this impact local municipalities that have already taken steps to enact stay at home orders?
Any local jurisdiction can put in requirements that are more restrictive and anything that was in place stays in place.
Will grocery stores be open?
Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to: grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations, garbage/sanitation, public transportation and public benefits hotlines (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid).
Can I order food/groceries?
Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.
Will liquor and cannabis stores be open?
Yes. Items will on be for sale only for off-site consumption and while purchasing social distancing should be practiced.
How can I get medical care if I need it?
If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, any telehealth hotline set up specifically for COVID-19 (check with your insurance company) or an urgent care center. If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician. Do not go to an emergency room unless necessary. Nonessential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide.
Can I get a prescription filled or other healthcare needs?
Yes. Pharmacies and other medical services will remain open. You should request for your prescriptions to be delivered to your home if that is possible.
Will public transportation and ridesharing be available?
Public transportation and ridesharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.
Will roads in Colorado be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed in Colorado. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.
Can I take a flight out of state?
Planes and any other form of travel should only be used if absolutely necessary.
What if my home is not a safe environment?
If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or contact your local law enforcement.
What about homeless people who can’t stay at home?
The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Coloradans, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to provide funding and resources to ensure our homeless population has safe shelter. The Department of Local Affairs is working on getting a list of Cold Weather Shelters in the Balance of State Continuum of Care with; Contact info, Locations, Bed counts, Closing Dates. In addition DOLA is working with state and local partners who provide services to our unhoused Coloradans through a statewide homeless taskforce. The first meeting is Monday, March 23, 2020 1-2pm. HUD has also developed an Infectious Disease Toolkit for Continuums of Care (CoC) to prepare for and manage the spread of infectious disease in shelters.
Can I leave home to take care of an elderly or sick family member or friend?
Yes. Please be sure to practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently. Elderly people and people with suppressed immune systems are at heightened risk for contracting COVID-19.
Does the Stay order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?
State parks will be open. Families will still be able to go outside, including to local parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Municipalities are encouraged to extend hours of parks to encourage spacing, and to close parks in which visitors are seen to be routinely violating spacing guidelines. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.
Is child care open?
Licensed child care remains open under specific guidance from public health. We are working to ensure all essential workers have access to childcare services so are licensing new centers and those that may have closed, on an emergency basis, to ensure there are enough spots for the children of essential workers. For urgent child care needs, contact 2-1-1.
Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?
Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pick-up and take-home basis.
What about my pet?
Pet supply stores and veterinary services will remain open. You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.
What is a Critical Business or Operation Under the Order?
Healthcare Operations, Including:
● hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health facilities.
● medical and dental care, including ambulatory providers.
● research and laboratory services.
● medical wholesale and distribution.
● home health care companies, workers and aides.
● pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
● behavioral health care providers.
● veterinary care and livestock services.
● nursing homes, residential health care, or congregate care facilities
● medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers, including durable medical equipment technicians and suppliers.
● This does NOT include health clubs as defined in C.R.S. § 6-1-102(4.6), fitness and exercise gyms, and similar facilities.
All medical, dental and veterinary care provided pursuant to this Order must comply with the directives set fort
h in Executive Order D 2020 009.
Critical Infrastructure, Including:
● utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission.
● oil and gas production field operations.
● public water and wastewater.
● telecommunications and data centers.
● transportation and infrastructure necessary to support authorized businesses.
● hotels, and places of accommodation.
● businesses and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, persons with access and functional needs, or otherwise needy individuals.
● food and plant cultivation, including farming crops, livestock, food processing and manufacturing, animal feed and feed products, rendering, commodity sales, and any other work critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain.
Critical critical Manufacturing, Including:
● food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages.
● medical equipment supplies or instruments.
● sanitary products.
● household paper products.
● any business that produces products critical or incidental to the processing, functioning, development, manufacture, or delivery of any of the categories of products included in this part
Critical critical Retail, Including:
● grocery stores including all food and beverage stores.
● farm and produce stands.
● gas stations and convenience stores.
● restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery only as defined in Executive Order ____
● marijuana dispensary.
● firearms stores.
● hardware, farm supply, and building material stores.
● establishments engaged in the retail sale of food and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products).
● Pet stores and gun stores.
● Liquor and marijuana.
Critical Services, Including:
● trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal.
● mail and shipping services, and locations that offer PO boxes.
● laundromats and drycleaning services.
● building cleaning and maintenance.
● child care services (following the requirements outlined in exemptions below).
● auto supply and repair (including retail dealerships that include repair and maintenance, provided that retail activity ceases).
● warehouse/distribution and fulfillment.
● funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries.
● in-person pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end of life services provided social distancing is observed to the greatest extent possible.
● storage for critical businesses.
● animal shelters, animal rescues, zoological facilities, animal sanctuaries, and other related facilities.
● other media services.
Financial Institutions, Including:
● Banks and credit institutions.
● Insurance, payroll, and accounting services.
● services related to financial markets.
Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
● homeless shelters and congregate care facilities.
● food banks.
● human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support.
● especially for housing and housing for low-income and vulnerable people.
● skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers.
● other related firms and professionals for who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of residences.
Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and critical Operations of Residences or Other critical Businesses, Including:
● defense and security-related operations supporting the State of Colorado, local government, the U.S. Government or a contractor to either or all.
● law enforcement.
● fire prevention and response.
● building code enforcement.
● emergency management and response.
● building cleaners or janitors.
● general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor.
● automotive repair.
● Snow removal.
Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
● technology support for online and telephone services.
● child care programs and services.
● government owned or leased buildings.
● critical government services.
For more information visit colorado.gov.