On Monday, April 20, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado will be moving to a “safer at home” model after the state-wide stay at home order expires on April 26, 2020. As of this writing, there has been no official order or guidance from the Governor’s office but there are a few things we can learn from his speech.
- Although the state-wide stay at home order is in place through April 26, 2020, local orders may last longer will remain in effect or even be extended, and employers must continue to follow them. For example, Denver’s stay-at-home order doesn’t expire until April 30, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has said that his order restricting large events and gatherings, including closing Denver’s bars and restaurants to dine-in service, will be extended past its current May 11 expiration.
- Retailers will likely be able to re-open with curbside pickup beginning April 27. After that, they may able to re-open to limited numbers of in-store customers on May 1, as long as they have social-distancing policies in place. There is no guidance yet as to what an acceptable policy would contain.
- Starting Monday, May 4, non-essential offices might be able to re-open with 50% of their staff coming back in, again with good hygiene and social distancing policies in place. He also stressed that telecommuting should continue where possible.
- Large workplaces may be encouraged to put temperature testing in place.
- Personal service providers and elective medical providers may be able to re-open with some precautions (such as hairstylists or tattoo artists wearing masks) on April 27, including:
- hair salons
- dental offices
- tattoo shops
- child care with strict precautions.
- Restaurants and bars will likely stay closed, except for curbside pickup, until at least mid-May.
- Schools will not re-open right away.
The Governor stated that if there is an uptick in COVID-19 cases, more substantial restrictions could be reinstated. He stressed that citizens should continue to stay at home when they can and that more vulnerable populations, like those over 65 or with underlying health conditions, should continue to isolate themselves in the same manner as they have been for the past month. Polis stated that testing and tracking the virus will be an essential part of helping the state re-open and that he is making efforts to increase the state’s ability to test. At the same time, he acknowledged that testing capabilities are still limited, so social distancing must continue even without a state order.
Currently, there is no official guidance on specific businesses that can open, when they can open, or how they can open. This is second phase of managing the virus, and the Governor’s office will be finalizing and releasing guidance before the stay-at-home order expires. Again, local governments may have longer or shorter dates. Employers Council will send alerts as guidance is available. Please call us with any questions.