Colorado Gradually Goes Back to Work Starting Today

Today, the State’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order has expired, and in its place Governor Polis has issued a “Safer at Home” Executive Order which includes phases for the reopening of businesses in Colorado while asking residents to stay home as much as possible, especially vulnerable populations, and seniors. The Executive Order allows local governments to extend their “Stay at Home” orders, and some local governments including Denver, Boulder, Broomfield, Adams, Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties will do just that until at least May 8th. Employers and residents within those jurisdictions must follow the “Stay at Home” requirements administered by those local governments.

Below are the phases of the State’s “Safer at Home” Program which begin today:

Monday, April 27

  • All critical businesses and government functions can continue to operate with mandatory social distancing requirements and cleaning protocols;
  • Non-critical retail businesses can provide curbside delivery;
  • Real estate showings can resume;
  • Voluntary or elective medical, dental, and veterinary surgeries and procedures may resume but must follow safety protocols.

Friday, May 1

  • Non-critical retail businesses can allow for in-store customers but must follow social distancing requirements similar to those required of critical retail businesses;
  • Personal services can begin serving customers but follow safety protocols.

    Monday, May 4

  • Non-critical commercial businesses can reopen at 50% reduced in-person staffing capacity, but must follow social distancing requirements. Businesses are encouraged to allow employees to telecommute if possible;
  • Child care facilities can expand or reopen but follow safety protocols.

Requirements for Colorado Businesses:

A Public Health Order will be released by the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) that will outline the following requirements for employers:

  • Mandatory Social Distancing Requirements and protocols to be implemented by all employers, specific protocols for certain employers based on the nature of their work, and proper face and hand coverings to be used;
  • Protocols for critical businesses, critical government functions, non-critical commercial businesses, and non-critical retailers with over 50 employees in a single location to include: symptom screening and temperature check stations, closure of common areas, cleaning protocols, and mandatory social distancing requirements;
  • Operational requirements for non-critical retailers and critical retailers.

Continuation of Prior Executive Orders & Additional Directives:

The “Safer at Home” Executive Order includes continuation of existing safety measures as well as some new directives. All of which will be detailed in a Public Health Order:

  • Wearing non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth whenever in public;
    Limiting social interactions when possible, limiting travel to where a person works or lives, and limiting recreational travel to 10 miles from home;
  • Prohibiting public gatherings of 10 people or more in public spaces and private commercial venues;
  • Encouraging critical businesses and non-critical businesses to allow workers to telecommute when possible;
  • Directing the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) and CDPHE to create guidance on preventing workplace discrimination against employees showing symptoms of the virus or who have been in contact with a known positive case of COVID-19;
  • Amending the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules to cover individuals returning to work, and extend the paid sick leave coverage to a maximum of 2/3rds pay for 14 days if a worker has tested positive for COVID-19, has symptoms, or has been quarantined;
  • Issuing temporary emergency rules/guidance to ensure that workers do not lose unemployment insurance benefits if they refuse to return to work based on COVID-19-related demonstrable, unsafe working conditions.

Please find the entire “Safer at Home” Executive Order here.