Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Colorado, US, to lift stay-at-home order April 27, some business restrictions starting early May.

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 22 Apr 2020 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Colorado (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that officials will lift some movement and business restrictions starting April 27 as part of the state's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities will not extend the stay-at-home order, in place through April 26, though they will continue to recommend that all residents remain at home, except to perform essential tasks, and to avoid unnecessary travel. For senior residents, and those with underlying health conditions, the stay-at-home order will remain in place until further notice; a ban on gatherings of ten people or more will continue. Schools will remain closed. All residents should wear protective face masks whenever they leave their residences.

Officials will also lift some business restrictions starting the first week of May. Retail stores will be allowed to open for pickup services, while offices may operate at 50 percent capacity, with strict health measures such as temperature and symptom checks to employees. Officials still urge companies to allow telecommuting whenever possible. Businesses such as hair salons may reopen with strict precautions. Restaurants and bars will remain closed except for delivery and pickup services. Authorities plan to unveil further details and instructions for businesses in the coming days. 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 remain open. State parks remain open for residents living in their vicinity, but campgrounds, playgrounds, and ski areas are closed.

Local authorities may maintain or impose stricter movement and business restrictions if they believe it is necessary for public health.

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

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Colorado authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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.

Resources
WHO Coronavirus Knowledge Base: www.who.int

Government of Colorado - COVID-19 Updates: https://covid19.colorado.gov

Governor of Colorado - Stay-at-Home Order: https://covid19.colorado.gov