COVID-19 UPDATE: State Stay at Home Order Transitions to Safer at Home April 26 April 25,2020

Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order detailing the Safer at Home guidelines today. You can read the order here. As a reminder, restaurants are not permitted to open their dining rooms for food service or public congregation of any kind under this order. 

Governor Polis has pitched the new Safer at Home guidelines as a more sustainable way of living for Coloradans while slowing the spread of the virus and allowing more Coloradans to return to work. The Executive Order is tentatively set to expire 30 days from April 27, 2020, but can be amended or extended at any time. 

The following is an outline of what we can expect under the Safer at Home order:

Monday, April 27

  • Retail businesses can open for curbside delivery. Real estate home showings can resume. Voluntary or elective medical, dental, and veterinary surgeries and procedures may resume if facilities are following required safety protocols.  

Friday, May 1

  • Retail businesses can phase-in a public opening if they are implementing best practices. (Note: this does NOT include restaurants.) 
  • Personal services can open if they are implementing best practices.

Monday, May 4

  • Offices can reopen at 50% reduced in-person staffing capacity if best practices are being implemented to protect the health and safety of employees. Businesses are encouraged to allow employees to continue telecommuting at higher levels if possible. Child care facilities can also expand or reopen if they are following Safer at Home requirements. 

Colorado is a diverse state and the Governor knows each community will have different needs. The Safer at Home order outlines the options local governments will have when it comes to slowing the spread of the virus and protecting their communities. 

  • Local governments can implement the guidelines of Safer at Home to match the State.
  • Local governments can go further than the State, including but not limited to stay-at-home orders or additional protective measures.
  • Local governments can relax guidelines more than the State. To do so, local governments will need to demonstrate proof of 14 consecutive days of decline of infection of COVID-19 in the county. They also must submit an application to CDPHE that includes a written COVID-19 suppression plan approved by the appropriate local public health authority, all hospitals within the jurisdiction, and elected leadership.

Governor Polis also announced today that Colorado has signed on to the Western States Pact. Other states included in the pact are California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. The pact will allow states to share information and ideas as the nation looks to the recovery period of COVID-19. You can read more about the Pact here.

As essential businesses, restaurants are still permitted to remain open for takeout, drive-through, and delivery services. Unfortunately, restaurants will not be permitted to re-open their dine-in services until the data points for the Safer at Home guidelines are gathered and analyzed. The Governor is hopeful that restaurants will be able to re-open for limited capacity dine-in activities around May 15, so long as the data does not show an increased spread of the virus following the implementation of the Safer at Home guidelines. 

You may have heard that local governments around the state have approved extensions of their own Stay at Home orders. So far we have heard from these local governments:

Stay at Home orders extended to May 8

  • Adams County
  • Arapahoe County
  • Boulder County
  • Broomfield County
  • Denver
  • Jefferson County 

The Governor authorized Eagle County to end their Stay at Home orders before the state, so they have already begun re-opening certain businesses. We have heard that Moffat County is also seeking this approval from the Governor, and will likely begin their re-opening soon. Additionally, Pitkin County will lift their Stay at Home orders on April 30. Again, regardless of when local governments decide to lift their Stay at Home orders, restaurants are still subject to Social Distancing public health orders and cannot offer dine-in services. 

We are aware that Weld County has issued its own guidelines allowing businesses to decide for themselves when they would like to re-open and which services they want to offer starting April 27. Local governments are allowed to apply to lift their orders before the state (such as Eagle and Moffat counties), but Weld County has not been granted this permission from the state. As a rule, local governments can issue orders that are more conservative than the state, but they may not issue more liberal guidelines without approval. If you are a restaurant in Weld County that’s considering re-opening for dine-in activities on April 27, please be aware that you may still be in violation of the state orders. 

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