Here’s what you can and can’t do under the statewide stay-at-home order
When Gov. Jared Polis issued the sweeping order Wednesday for all 5.7 million Coloradans to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, many people had questions.
An updated stay-at-home public health order was released Thursday afternoon, laying out specific requirements that went into effect at 6 a.m. Thursday, March 26. It is initially scheduled to expire April 11 but could be extended.
The order aims to slow the rate of spread of COVID-19, giving the state’s health care and emergency management systems additional time to grow capacity. According to the order, having people stay home can maximize the number of people isolating in place, reduce the amount of people congregating in workplaces at one time and reduce the proximity of people in the workplace. This would enable the services, businesses and travel necessary to protect public health and safety and preserve the continuity of social and commercial life.
The main requirement of the order stipulates that people should stay at home, whenever possible. Individuals living in shared or outdoor spaces must, at all times and to the greatest extent possible, comply with social distancing requirements. They may leave their residences only to perform or utilize necessary activities.
Necessary activities are defined as engaging in activities essential to the health and safety of an individual, a family, a pet or livestock; obtaining necessary services or delivering those services or supplies to others; and engaging in outdoor activity.
Permitted activities include but are not limited to:
- Walking your dog
- Feeding barnyard animals
- Getting medical equipment or medication
- Going to the doctor
- Getting supplies needed to work from home
- Getting groceries or sanitary products
- Walking or running on trails
- Riding bicycles
- Skiing or snowshoeing
- Visiting a state park
Activities that are not permitted include but are not limited to:
- Going to a local playground
- Staying at a local campground
- Eating at a picnic area in a state park
- Going to a mall
- Working out at a gym
- Going to see a movie at a theater
- Going bowling
- Getting your hair or nails done
- Gathering in public or outside a residence
People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence at all times except as necessary to seek medical care. People with COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate in their homes until their symptoms cease, or they have a negative test result.
All travel, including but not limited to travel by automobile or public transit, is prohibited except for necessary travel.
Necessary travel includes:
- Driving to get groceries or takeout meals
- Going to a critical business that is open
- Attending a critical government function
- Receiving materials for distance learning
- Getting meals or other services from schools
- Coming home from outside the jurisdiction
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order
- Nonresidents returning home
Critical businesses are exempt from the public health order, with certain limitations, and are encouraged to remain open.
Critical businesses are defined as any business, including any for-profit or nonprofit regardless of its corporate structure, engaged in any of the permitted commercial, manufacturing or service activities.
Critical businesses that are permitted to remain open include but are not limited to:
- Grocery stores, including all food and beverage stores
- Farm and produce stands
- Gas stations and convenience stores
- Restaurants and bars (only for takeout and delivery)
- Marijuana dispensaries (only for medical marijuana or curbside delivery)
- Gun stores
- Hardware, farm supply and building material stores
- Hospitals, clinics and walk-in health facilities
- Dental care providers
- Behavioral health providers
- Research and laboratory services; medical wholesalers and distributors; home health care companies
- Veterinarians and livestock services
- Nursing homes
- Blood banks
- Utility providers
- Telecommunications and data centers
- Public transit and transportation necessary to support critical businesses
- Business and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services
- Any business critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain
- Hotels and places of accommodation
- Food processors
- Car rental companies
- Building cleaning and maintenance
- Child care services
- Self-serve laundromats
- Auto supply and repair
- Funeral homes
- Animal shelters
- News media companies
- Insurance companies
- Construction companies (and projects)
- Plumbers and electricians
- Snow removal companies
Child care facilities are also exempt from the order but must serve groups of 10 children or fewer each day, and they are not permitted to change groups or mix with each other. They’re also required to follow social distancing requirements.