DENVER — Colorado entered a disaster emergency due to COVID-19 six months ago.
Executive Order 003, declaring the state of emergency and allowing Democratic Gov. Jared Polis powers given to him under the state's Constitution, took effect March 11, 2020.
In those six months, Polis has issued 177 executive orders related to COVID-19, and that's not counting what will likely be 178 when Polis extends the mask mandate this weekend.
The emergency declaration gives the governor power normally reserved for lawmakers.
He can unilaterally suspend state statutes and create new rules.
Executive orders expire after 30 days, so the 177 number is misleading.
About 40 of the executive orders are original. The majority of the executive orders either extend or extend and amend a previous order.
Here is a sample of some of the 177 total executive orders:
34: Health care
- Seven: elective and non-essential surgeries (first ceasing them, and then allowing them under certain conditions)
- Six: Suspend certain statutes to expand health care workforce
- Five: Suspend certain statutes to allow the operation of alternative care sites, in the event COVID-19 overwhelms hospital resources
- Colorado Convention Center
- The Ranch
- St. Anthony North
- St. Mary-Corwin
- Western Slope Memory Center
- Five: Suspend statues related to Medicaid and the Children's Basic Health Plan
- Four: Suspend certain statutes to expand telehealth
- Rules to conduct elections during a public health emergency
- One of Polis' executive orders allowing signature collection for ballot issues by mail and email was overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court
- Five: suspension of certain taxable property deadlines
- Four: extension of income tax payment deadlines
- Two: extension for filing and remitting of sales taxes
- Two: extension for filing and remitting of severance taxes
12: Levels of openness in Colorado
- Stay at Home order issued March 26 at 6 a.m. through April 11, extended on April 6 through April 26
- Safer at Home - limited reopening of certain businesses, in conjunction with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Public Health Order 20-28
- Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors - loosened restrictions, but still capped outdoor venues at 175 and indoor venues at 100, in conjunction with an amended CDPHE Public Health Order 20-28
- Protect Our Neighbors - only counties that have qualified for these looser restrictions are: Mesa, Gilpin and Rio Blanco. Capacity capped at 500 instead of 175
12: Criminal Justice
- Six: Reducing and managing the inmate population
8: Emergency Declaration
- Declaring the state of emergency and extending it multiple times after 30 days.
8: Education and Child Care
- Suspension of in-person school, and then extending the school closures through the end of the 2019-20 school year
- Increase access to emergency childcare for essential workers
7: Alcohol/marijuana sales
- Takeout and delivery alcohol
- Curbside marijuana delivery
6: (soon to be seven) Mask mandate
- Started as a requirement for essential workers
- Since July 16 has included everyone
4: Ski resorts
- Previously suspending operations at ski resorts
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