Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Colorado, US, urge residents to stay at home through at least May 27; lift some business restrictions April 27-May 4.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Vail, Colorado
  • Aspen, Colorado
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Gunnison, Colorado
  • Pueblo, Colorado
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Lamar, Colorado
  • Rifle, Colorado
  • Salida, Colorado
  • Montrose, Colorado
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Avon, Colorado
  • Loveland, Colorado

This alert began 27 Apr 2020 23:06 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Colorado (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 27
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has issued an executive order requiring persons considered to be vulnerable individuals to stay at home until at least May 27 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order stipulates that residents 65 years of age and older, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women must remain at home, except to perform essential tasks, such as obtain basic goods, attend to medical issues, or go to work. The edict also urges all other residents to stay home to the extent possible through the same date and to wear protective face coverings when in public. All residents are still required to avoid nonessential travel and gatherings of 10 or more people. Schools will remain closed through the end of the school year.

State officials have also begun lifting some COVID-19-related business restrictions. Starting April 27, nonessential retail businesses can offer delivery and pickup services; moreover, elective medical, dental, and veterinary surgeries can resume. Starting May 1, nonessential retail businesses can reopen in-store services, provided they comply with social distancing guidelines and enhance sanitation procedures. Beginning May 4, noncommercial businesses may allow up to 50 percent of their employees to work from their offices; however, officials still urge companies to allow telecommuting whenever possible. Restaurants and bars will remain closed except for delivery and pickup services. Essential businesses and services, including pharmacies, grocery stores, fuel stations, healthcare facilities, media organizations, and those involved in maintaining essential services and utilities, such as manufacturing, security, and transport, will continue to operate. All other nonessential businesses must remain closed to in-person services, but employees may work by telecommuting, if possible. State parks remain open for residents living nearby, but campgrounds, playgrounds, and ski areas are closed.

Local authorities may maintain or tighten movement and business restrictions if they believe it is in the interest of public health. Restrictions may also be further loosened if disease activity continues to decline.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly keep additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures are likely to accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


 


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