Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Colorado, US, extend orders requiring residents to stay home, nonessential businesses to close until at least April 26.

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 07 Apr 2020 14:47 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Colorado (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 26
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Colorado Governor Jared Polis extended orders requiring residents to stay at home, except to perform essential tasks, and nonessential businesses to close, until at least April 26, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The orders stipulate that residents can only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities without gathering and while maintaining a safe distance from others, and go to work at an essential business or services. Businesses and operations considered critical that will be able to continue functioning include pharmacies, grocery stores, fuel stations, healthcare facilities, media organizations, and those involved in maintaining essential services and utilities, such as manufacturing, security, and transport. State parks remain open for residents living in their vicinity, but campgrounds, playgrounds, and ski areas are closed.

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

Governor of Colorado - Extension of Orders: www.colorado.gov