With the current global climate, we are bombarded with ever-changing news stories and fluctuating regulations to match. Now, for the past month, we’ve been under a lockdown order in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Now, as the spreading has slowed, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis announced that our state may shift from its current “shelter-in-place” order to shift to a “safer-at-home” regulation, beginning on April 27. For an in depth look at what this means for us, read on.
What does “Safer-at-Home” mean?
While this mandate is a lighter version of the current stay-at-home order, it is in no means a return to “normal”. Currently, residents may only leave their homes for necessary errands, including trips to the grocery store or doctor’s office. This order expires April 26 at midnight and Colorado residents will technically be permitted to travel outside the home for nonessential tasks. However, the governor has left it up to counties as to whether or not they wish to lift or extend their stay-at-home orders.
In an effort to stamp out the virus and develop necessary protocol and procedures, Boulder County has extended its stay-at-home order until May 8. The county is joined by many other Front Range counties in this extension. It’s the hope of government officials that Boulder County can use this time to solidify its community outreach, gain access to testing, and minimize the strain on hospital staff.
How are businesses affected?
For counties who will transition to the “safer-at-home” order, certain retailers – like hair salons, dental offices, personal trainers, and pet groomers – will be permitted to open, but must maintain social distancing laws. Restaurants and bars will remain closed to on-premise dining but they may continue to offer take-out and delivery. Health clubs, gyms, music venues, and the like will not reopen during the transition to “safer-at-home”. Schools will also remain closed for the remainder of the school year.
On May 4, traditional offices may bring back half of their workforce but are encouraged to continue work-from-home efforts when possible. Business owners and staff may implement additional sanitization protocols, like requiring masks or temperature checks.
Boulder County’s residents will need to adhere to the current guidelines of its “stay-at-home” order, however, non-essential businesses are allowed to offer curbside pick up starting 4/28. Residents will also be allowed to travel to retrieve these items.
Can I see my friends and family?
Governor Polis has cautioned against a “free-for-all”, noting that vulnerable populations are still greatly at risk. Social distancing practices should still be implemented when seeing other people and group gatherings should not exceed 10 people. People should still only try to interact with members of their own household. According to the Denver Post, Governor Polis explained that, “…it’s not time to leave the house constantly and spread the virus, to take a vacation, to host or attend parties or barbecues, to play pick-up sports, or to hug or shake hands with people.” People should still try to wear masks when in public, wash hands frequently, and avoid physical contact.