FAQ about Colorado’s stay-at-home order

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The order will take effect Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and is set to last through Saturday, April 11, 2020 unless rescinded or modified by further Executive Order.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 covid19@coag.gov if local law enforcement or a local public health agency is unresponsive.