What it does:
- Orders people to stay at home unless they are engaged in certain necessary activities.
- Outlines what businesses and activities are exempt from the order.
- Requires people to follow social distancing rules when going out for necessary activities.
- Requires people to self-isolate if they have symptoms of COVID-19
The order is intended to minimize contact between people to the greatest extent possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19. It also effectively limits the opportunities for people to come in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. These actions are necessary to slow the spread of disease, reduce the number of people who become severely ill or die, and protect our health care system.
What does it apply to?
The order applies to all people, activities and venues other than the ones listed in the public health order. Businesses and facilities listed in Public Health Order 20-22 are still closed. Those include theaters, churches, gyms and fitness studios, etc.
What does it not apply to?
It’s important for Coloradans to know the order does not apply to
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Police stations
- Fire stations
- Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
- Public transportation
- Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines
- Grocery and meal delivery, drive-through, and takeout options.
- Liquor and cannabis stores.
- Health care.
- Please see the order itself for the full list of exempted businesses.
Questions and answers
What does this order mean for the average person in Colorado?
- You must stay home whenever possible. You can leave your residence to do a limited number of specific things.
- When you go out, you must follow Social Distancing Requirements.
- People at high-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to stay in their residence at all times, except as necessary to get medical care.
- People who have COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate or have a negative test result [testing is still somewhat limited at this time] . How to Isolate[includes symptoms].
- All but necessary travel is prohibited.
What are necessary activities?
These are activities and tasks essential to your health and safety or to the health and safety of your family or household members, including animals. Necessary activities include:
- Getting medical care, medical supplies and equipment, and medications.
- Getting food and supplies for yourself, your animals, and your family, and your household members. That means the supplies you need to live a healthy life, keep a safe and healthy home, and get supplies you need to work at home.
- Caring for a family member, vulnerable person, or animals that are in a different location than your home.
- Walking your dog or feeding animals.
- Outdoor activities that you engage in by yourself or with your household members, such as walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, running, etc. Group sports or activities that would break Social Distancing Requirements are prohibited. You can’t, for example, gather with groups of friends at the park.
- Going to work or providing essential products and services for a critical business or critical government function.
- Getting materials for distance learning.
What are social distancing requirements?
- Keeping 6 feet between all people at all times. The 6-foot rule does not apply to your household members.
- Wash hands as often as you can. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Covering coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue, then throw the tissue away. Use your sleeve or inner elbow if a tissue is not available.
- Don’t shake hands.
What is necessary travel?
Travel from your residence to places you need to go to perform necessary activities, get food or necessary equipment and supplies, or work in a critical business or government function. If you aren’t absolutely sure you need or are required by your work with a critical business to do it, you probably don’t need to do it.
What does this mean for businesses?
- Critical businesses, listed in the public health order, can continue to operate.
- Critical businesses must take all steps possible to comply with social distancing requirements.
- Other businesses are closed to in-person work. Employers are encouraged to keep as many people working remotely as possible.
What does “home” mean?
It means the place where you live, whether that is a house, apartment, hotel, motel, or other place that you rent.
My employer says I have to come to work anyway. What should I do?
Businesses that are not critical businesses are no longer authorized to bring employees into the workplace. This is now the law in Colorado through April 11, 2020 due to the Governor’s order. If your employer does not operate a critical business, local officials can enforce closing down the business to in-person work, and if the employer fails to do so, court action may be filed. Contact local law enforcement or your local public health agency if you believe your employer is violating the order by staying open and requiring employees to come to work.
What about people who are experiencing homelessness?
We encourage people experiencing homelessness to obtain shelter, and we urge government and other entities to make as much shelter available as possible as soon as possible. People experiencing homelessness must also follow Social Distancing Requirements.
How long does this last?
This order starts at 6 a.m. on March 26, 2020 and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on April 11, 2020. It may be extended, changed, ended or replaced, so it is important to follow local sources of good information, like the website covid19.colorado.gov.
Is my business a critical business?
Read the lists in the relevant executive order and public health order to determine if your business is critical. If you are unsure, err on the side of protecting public health. If you still cannot decide, you may want to consult a lawyer.
I have a critical business. What do I need to do?
Implement and practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible to keep your employees and customers healthy. This means keeping people 6 feet apart from each other, practicing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently, and remembering not to shake hands. Take some time to understand what this means. There are many great resources on this website, in particular, on this page.
My city or county also has a stay-at-home order. Which one should I follow?
The most restrictive terms of the orders apply. So if the city or county’s order is more restrictive than the state order, follow the city or county order.
Is it OK to go outside and exercise or play?
It is physically and mentally healthy to be outdoors. Be outdoors at times and in places where you can maintain 6 feet of space between yourself and others. Do not gather in groups.
What about parks and playgrounds? Are they open?
State parks are open for walking, biking, etc., but all playgrounds, picnic areas, and other areas where groups might gather are closed. For city and county parks, check with your local government or parks department. At this time, if a playground is open, we recommend you do not use it.
Will I be fined or jailed if I don’t follow the stay-at-home order?
This Executive Order makes this the law, therefore breaking the order is breaking the law. Success depends on all of us doing our part to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately, save lives. We are calling for voluntary compliance by all affected, however, local law enforcement agencies have the authority to enforce this law. Enforcement of public health orders will be performed by local law enforcement, and state law enforcement will assist and support in any way requested, but our hope is that involvement by law enforcement is reserved only for the most aggravated circumstances. We are calling on people to individually do their part. Your employer may be fined if they are not following the rules outlined in this order.
I want to know more about enforcement of these orders.
Please see the guidance on the State Attorney General’s website.
How can I get medical care if I need it?
If you need medical attention, 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, stay at home and follow the guidelines on how to isolate. Do not call 911 or go to an emergency room unless necessary. Non-essential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, health care visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide or look at these options.
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 be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health or that of your household members, family, or animals.
Can I take a flight out of state?
Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential travel.
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. Call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or contact your local law enforcement agency.