COLORADO, USA — The statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect Thursday morning has elicited many questions about what folks can and can't do under the restrictions.
Gov. Jared Polis issued the order Wednesday afternoon in an effort to mandate social distancing to combat the growing number of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 cases in Colorado.
Polis said the state had to ensure people take “extreme steps” to avoid contact with others outside their household, as well as stay home as much as possible.
The order took effect at 6 a.m. Thursday morning and is set to last through Saturday, April 11. There is a possibility the order will be rescinded earlier or extended by further executive order.
The document below is the state's list of frequently asked questions, as well as what is considered an "essential business."
9NEWS also received many questions about what the order means for individuals' personal lives. We will continue to add to this list as we receive answers to your questions.
What businesses and public services will be open during the order?
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Police, fire stations
- Hospitals, clinics
- Garbage, sanitation
- Public transportation
- Public benefits hotlines (SNAP, Medicaid, etc.)
- Liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries
- Restaurants/bars (dine-in areas closed; pickup/delivery available)
- All non-essential businesses will be closed.
How will travel be impacted?
- Public transportation and ride-sharing will stay open, but it is recommended that you walk or drive yourself. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) will reduce service as they see a sharp decline in passengers.
- No roads in Colorado will be closed because of the order.
- Air travel should only be used only if “absolutely necessary.”
- You can still pick up people at the airport, and public transportation is still running, as are ridesharing and taxi services.
Can I still go outside?
- You’re allowed to go out and drive to get food.
- You're allowed to deliver supplies to loved ones.
- You're allowed to exercise outdoors. State parks and local parks will remain open, but playgrounds and picnic areas will be closed.
- You are allowed to go out of your home and go to work if you are a critical worker.
- You are allowed to leave your home at any time to get medical care.
What are some examples of critical businesses and services?
- Food banks
- Grocery stores
- Gun stores
- Childcare services
- Funeral Homes
- Pet supply stores
- Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing or use electronic platforms.
- Professional services, such as legal, title companies, or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions
- The list is long. Find the list of essential businesses here.
Will childcare facilities remain open?
- Childcare facilities will remain open under guidance from public health.
- The state is working to ensure essential workers have access to childcare services.
- Schools can continue to provide pick-up meals for students.
How will this be enforced?
- 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.
- Local authorities will work to educate people they see violating the order.
- The Colorado National Guard will not be enforcing this order.
Can you drive to do a child custody swap or should children with shared custody remain in one household during the stay at home order?
Governor's office: Yes, you can fulfill custody arrangements.
Can you have construction done on your house, like installing appliances or landscaping?
Governor's office: The public health order allows for services that are critical services for maintaining a residence. Anyone providing these services should be aware that social distancing and voluntary compliance are critical. We ask anyone that can defer these services to do so. What's considered critical? See above.
If you are planning to move out of a house or apartment, can you still move?
Governor's office: Yes. If you are going to hire movers we remind anyone providing these services that they should be aware that social distancing and voluntary compliance are critical. We ask anyone that can defer these services to do so.
Can someone go for a leisurely drive/motorcyclist go for a ride?
Governor's office: We need to conserve our public health resources to respond to these pandemic emergencies. To stop the spread of this deadly virus, Coloradans are encouraged to travel only for necessities like groceries, take advantage of the sunshine by taking a walk or a bike ride.
Can you drive to go out-of-state and return?
Governor's office: The federal government controls interstate travel. If you are going to work for critical business or to care for a family member, yes.
Can you be pulled over simply for driving?
Governor's office: Voluntary compliance is critical. This isn’t about what you can get away with, it’s about protecting the health and safety of your neighbors and community. It's also up to the local law enforcement agency.
City of Denver: We are not actively pulling people over to question their travel destination. If there is probable cause to pull someone over for a traffic infraction or other offense, that person may be asked about the reason for their travel. Simply explain your travel purpose to the officer.
Can dog owners take their pets to dog parks?
Governor's office: Coloradans should only be leaving their home for critical needs. Coloradans are able to go outside under the order, but must practice social distancing.
(With that said, in Denver, dog parks are closed.)
If marijuana and alcohol sales are allowed with social distancing/curbside, why are vape shops not also considered essential? Why is construction considered essential? Why are gun sales considered essential?
Governor's office: We have to balance the needs of the public with public health and safety. None of these decisions are easy. We ask that all Coloradans comply with the order to protect those most vulnerable.
Can counties override the state order?
Governor's office: Yes, if they are more protective of public health and safety.
(Essentially, a county order can add to the state's restrictions, but not take away from the state restrictions.)
Is the government really checking on if businesses are following the order?
City of Denver Joint Information Center: We were informed that two businesses were immediately ordered to close yesterday. They are not considered essential businesses.
What if I have more questions?
Coloradans can call 211, visit 211Colorado.org or text 898-211 to be connected with information and resources about COVID-19.
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