Monday, March 23, 2pm, Denver Stay At Home Order in Effect from March 24 until April 10.
Mayor Hancock has just announced that all but essential businesses are asked to close. This takes another step beyond the Governor’s order (below) to cut business on-site staffing by 50%. Food, including groceries and carry-out, will stay open, as will medical facilities and pharmacies. Transportation, public, ride share and taxi will remain open as transportation is considered essential.
The city attorney originally determined liquor stores (including carry out) and marijuana dispensaries must close. But in a modification a few hours after the original Public Health order, the Mayor’s office announced that liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to stay open—but they have to enforce the 6-foot social distancing rule.
Physical exercise with social distancing in parks is allowed, but playgrounds will be closed and organized games are not allowed. More detail to come on what is exempted from this order.
The order will be in effect until April 10 and could be extended.
Sunday, March 22, Governor Polis Holds a Strongly Worded and Serious Press Conference that Should Get Everyone’s Attention.
Gov. Polis says we will need weeks to build a Colorado paradigm more like Korea and not like Italy. He reminds Colorado residents that it’s not the police who will be enforcing the social distancing restrictions—it’s the Grim Reaper. The reason to abide by the restrictions is the threat of death to you or your loved ones.
He issued an executive order that private companies are being asked to reduce their on-site workforce by 50% to create more space between people. The state will cut their on-site employees by Tuesday.
He repeated over and over the absolute importance of social distancing to stop the spread of the virus. It means people should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. People in their 70s or 80s or have health issues, should not leave their homes AT ALL. Polis asks friends and neighbors of those people to call and offer to leave groceries on their porch.
He says there is no supply problem with groceries—going only once a week will reduce the number of people you come in contact with and reduce spread of the virus. If you jog, go less often and go at a time fewer people are out.
He says a team has come together to work with private industry in Colorado to manufacture the equipment needed by health care workers. The government sent a shipment of 49,000 masks recently—but Colorado is using 70,000 a day. At the height of the virus, the state might need 7,000 more ventilators than it has.
He says the efforts of legislators and mayors in the state have been robustly bipartisian and they have been engaged and supportive of the state’s response.
But the theme of the press conference that recurred OVER AND OVER AND OVER was to take social distancing seriously and stay in your home as much as possible to slow the spread of the virus to give the state time to acquire the needed medical supplies to save lives. And he repeated the “Grim Reaper” reminder multiple times. It the threat of death to your loved ones, not the police, that is the enforcer of these restrictions.