COLORADO SPRINGS — Gov. Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that he has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that is now in effect through April 11. On Thursday, Polis updated the order, allowing houses of worship to remain open as long as they practice extreme social distancing, or use electronic platforms. To read the full order, click here.
Representatives from El Paso County and Colorado Springs say the Governor's order is law, yet local officials are looking towards voluntary adherance before getting law enforcement involved. Watch in the stream below..
This executive order means Coloradans should not be leaving their homes except for critical activities including:
- Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Cannabis and liquor stores will remain open
- Or participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of six feet or more from other parties
"Now is the time to stay at home," Polis said. "You have the chance to be a hero and save thousands of lives by staying at home. The lives of many Coloradans ... hinges on your ability to be able to stay at home for the next couple weeks to the most of your ability ... Now is not the time to die, and I will not let it happen on our watch."
Polis said all of the state's more than 5.7 million residents should only interact with people in their own households and should only leave their homes for essentials, such as groceries and medical care. Businesses deemed "critical" will be exempt from the order but will still be required to take social distancing measures.
The order states "local authorities are encouraged to determine the best course of action" when it comes to enforcement. If you do not comply with the order, you could be fined up to $1,000 or face jail time for up to one year.
News5 spoke with a handful of people who were visiting Garden of the Gods on Wednesday, and there were some mixed opinions expressed about the order. Some, like Brianna Roe, said it will be hard, but it's for the best. "At some point you have to remember it's not necessarily about you, it's about everyone that you could be affecting," said Roe, who has lived in Colorado Springs her whole life.
Meanwhile, others said this order violates our constitutional rights. "Everybody's afraid and everybody's willing to hand over all their freedoms... I think we've taken it way, way too far trying to prevent any risk, and it's impossible to eliminate risk," said Carinne Gee, who came down to Colorado Springs from Denver to get some fresh air.
These are the businesses that will be open:
Healthcare Operations, Including:
● hospitals, clinics, and walk-in health facilities
● medical and dental care, including ambulatory providers
● research and laboratory services
● medical wholesale and distribution
● home health care companies, workers and aides
● pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
● behavioral health care providers
● veterinary care and livestock services
● nursing homes, residential health care, or congregate care facilities
● medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers, including durable
medical equipment technicians and suppliers
● This does NOT include health clubs, fitness and exercise gyms, and similar facilities
Critical Infrastructure, Including:
● utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
● oil and gas production field operations
● public water and wastewater
● telecommunications and data centers
● transportation and infrastructure necessary to support authorized businesses
● hotels, and places of accommodation
● businesses and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, persons with access and functional needs, or otherwise needy individuals
● food and plant cultivation, including farming crops, livestock, food processing and manufacturing, animal feed and feed products, rendering, commodity sales, and any other work critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain
Critical critical Manufacturing, Including:
● food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
● medical equipment supplies or instruments
● sanitary products
● household paper products
● any business that produces products critical or incidental to the processing, functioning, development, manufacture, or delivery of any of the categories of products included in this part 3
Critical critical Retail, Including:
● grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
● farm and produce stands
● gas stations and convenience stores
● restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery only as defined in Executive Order
● marijuana dispensary
● firearms stores
● hardware, farm supply, and building material stores
● establishments engaged in the retail sale of food and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products
● Pet stores and gun stores
● Liquor and marijuana
Critical Services, Including:
● trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
● mail and shipping services, and locations that offer PO boxes
● laundromats and drycleaning services
● building cleaning and maintenance
● child care services (following the requirements outlined in exemptions below)
● auto supply and repair (including retail dealerships that include repair and maintenance, provided that retail activity ceases)
● warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
● funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries
● in-person pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end of life services provided social distancing is observed to the greatest extent possible
● storage for critical businesses
● animal shelters, animal rescues, zoological facilities, animal sanctuaries, and other related facilities
● other media services
Financial Institutions, Including:
● Banks and credit institutions
● Insurance, payroll, and accounting services
● services related to financial markets
Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
● homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
● food banks
● human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
● especially for housing and housing for low-income and vulnerable people
● skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
● other related firms and professionals for who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of residences
● Defense and security-related operations supporting the State of Colorado, local government, the U.S. Government or a contractor to either or all
Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and critical Operations of Residences or Other critical Businesses, Including:
● law enforcement
● fire prevention and response
● building code enforcement
● emergency management and response
● building cleaners or janitors
● general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
● automotive repair
● Snow removal
Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
● technology support for online and telephone services
● child care programs and services
● government owned or leased buildings
● critical government services
Essential services will still be open but not limited to:
● Grocery stores
● Gas stations
● Police stations
● Fire stations
● Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
● Public transportation
● Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines
For more information and how this impacts you, click here.
Many viewers have asked if they can go hiking, biking, and participate in other outdoor activities during the stay-at-home order.
According to the City of Colorado Springs: "Parks, trails and open spaces are open per the governor’s Stay-at-Home order. However, this does not mean you should use these spaces as you normally would. If you choose to participate in responsible outdoor recreation, please adhere to the following at all times:
• Playgrounds, pavilions and other gathering spaces are closed. These areas are considered high risk for increasing transmission.
• Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from other parties at all times. How far is six feet? It’s about the same distance as a pair of adult skis. Know what this looks like and practice it. In many cases, this may mean creating a single-file line. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
• No organized group activities or recreation. All gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason other than critical business or government functions are banned per the Stay-at-Home order."
For additional guidance, click here.
State officials Thursday announced 344 new coronavirus cases in Colorado, bringing the statewide total to 1,430. The number of coronavirus deaths also jumped by 5 to 24 total, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Colorado continues facing a shortage of resources in addressing this pandemic, which is why the Governor sent a letter to the Trump administration urging the president to declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado.
A major disaster declaration would free up resources for medical care, housing, unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, hazard mitigation and more. California, Washington and New York have received these declarations.
For the latest information on the coronavirus in Colorado, click here.