‘When In Doubt, Just Stay Home,’ Polis Says As Counties, State Grapple With Safer-At-Home

April 24, 2020

In a Friday update on the state’s coronavirus response, Gov. Jared Polis again reminded Coloradans that the changes coming Monday are “in no way, shape or form back to normal.”

Colorado’s statewide stay-at-home order will expire on Sunday and transition to the state’s new safer-at-home order. At the same time, several counties have acted to extend their local stay-at-home orders into May.

“I think the first thing that Coloradans can expect to see this Monday is curbside pickup for retail businesses,” Polis said.

Personal services businesses will not open on Monday, as had been previously reported. Beyond that, the governor said that additional guidance for business and the public would come later.

Local authorities may enact “more protective standards” than the state’s order. But if they want to enact less strict standards, they must apply and be granted a waiver from the state government. Polis did just that in Eagle County this week.

“So there is a process for relieving certain restrictions and getting variances,” Polis noted. “Eagle County’s was the first to be granted in the state. Mesa County is expected to be granted soon, today or tomorrow or the next day, very soon.”

Others, like Boulder, Denver and Jefferson counties have already extended their stay-at-home orders through May 8. Weld County has released its own guidelines, but questions surround the intention of them as they appear to be less strict than the state. 

“As far as I know, we've not received a request [for a waiver or variance] from Weld County,” Polis said.

“They are very clearly not allowed to forego the kind of social distancing that needs to occur in businesses for them to be able to successfully operate and protect the public health.”

In terms of enforcement, the governor warned that public health officials are to deny coronavirus preparedness grant money to any place that implements measures less strict than the state’s if they don’t have a waiver.

Polis promised that guidelines and timelines on safer-at-home for both the general public and businesses, would come on Monday, but “when in doubt, just stay home” he said. “I mean, that's the safest thing.”

“We can put all the precautions in place in the world and we're going to work hard to enforce that where we can. But that individual responsibility element is so key,” Polis said.

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