March 24, 2020

Colorado COVID-19 State Orders Impacting Employers

Colorado has recently issued several orders impacting Colorado workplaces. Of particular interest to employers are orders relating to business closures, remote working and public gathering limitations. In addition, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment and the City of Boulder issued Stay at Home Orders for individuals in the City and County of Denver and in the City of Boulder.

Business Closures

Last revised on March 19, 2020, Public Health Order 20-22, issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), closed all bars, restaurants, theaters, gymnasiums, casinos, nonessential personal services facilities, and racetrack and off-track pari-mutuel wagering facilities. “Nonessential personal services” are broadly defined to be “services and products that are not necessary to maintain an individual’s health or safety, or the sanitation or essential operation of a business or residence.” Public Health Order 20-22 is in effect through April 30, 2020.

Public Gathering Limitations

Public Health Order 20-23 was also issued by the CDPHE effective March 19, 2020, and currently expires after 30 days. Public Health Order 20-23 prohibits gatherings of more than 10 persons and includes “community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, and any similar event or activity that brings together ten (10) or more persons in a single room or space at the same time in a venue such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, private club, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.” The Colorado Legislature and several essential services are exempted from the order (i.e., health care facilities, airports, bus and train stations, grocery stores, pharmacies). The order does not apply to offices with more than 10 people if social distancing measures of maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals is standard.

In-Person Workforce Reductions

Executive Order D 2020 013, issued March 22, 2020 by the Governor of the State of Colorado, orders Colorado employers to reduce in-person non-critical workforces by at least 50%. The order directs all Colorado employers to implement remote working capabilities to the extent possible and to stagger the schedules of persons reporting to an office location. The order exempts employers that can certify employees are no closer than 6 feet from one another during any part of their working day. This order is effective March 24, 2020, and is currently set to expire April 10, 2020.

Stay at Home Orders

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment issued a Stay at Home Order for individuals in the City and County of Denver ordering residents to stay at home, socially distance when “using outdoor spaces,” and leave their homes only for essential activities necessary to the health and safety of an individual or a member of an individual’s household (i.e., including care for pets and such activities as obtaining health care and groceries). Denver parks will remain open for outdoor activities though people must strictly comply with social distancing requirements. Outdoor spaces which are conducive to public gathering such as golf courses and playgrounds shall be closed. The Order is effective March 24, 2020, and is currently set to expire April 10, 2020.

The City of Boulder also issued a Stay at Home Order directing its residents to stay at home and to leave their residences only for essential activities, essential governmental functions or to operate essential businesses. Boulder residents are ordered to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from others when they’re outside their residences, and similar to Denver, the City of Boulder will close “areas conducive to public gatherings” including playgrounds, golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, and picnic areas. Among other social distancing measures, the Boulder Stay at Home Order directs residents to wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid shaking hands. The order is effective March 24, 2020, and will stay in place until April 10, 2020.

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