Effective March 26, 2020, Colorado has implemented new guidelines directing Colorado residents to stay at home in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The amended order from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requires all individuals currently living within the State of Colorado “to Stay at Home whenever possible.” The amended order overrules the previous executive order, D 2020 013, that required employers to reduce their in-person workforce by fifty percent.  Under the amended order, residents may leave their homes only to perform “necessary activities,” such as engaging in tasks that are essential to their health and safety, obtaining necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family members, caring for a family member or vulnerable person or household pet, engaging in outdoor activities that do not violate social distancing requirements, and performing work providing essential products and services for a critical business or critical government functions.

Critical businesses are exempt from the amended order and encouraged to stay open. “Critical businesses” include the following: healthcare operations; grocery stores; banks and financial institutions; news media; gas stations; marijuana dispensaries for the sale of medical marijuana or curbside delivery; laundromats; restaurants that are operating solely for delivery, take out, or drive-through; airlines, taxis, and other businesses providing transportation services necessary for essential activities; educational institutions for the limited purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions; and childcare facilities providing services that enable employees performing essential activities to continue working. Additionally, governmental agencies and businesses providing essential infrastructure such as utilities, transportation, and telecommunications companies may continue operations. Businesses operating with employees or contractors working exclusively from home may also continue to operate.

Critical businesses must comply with social distancing requirements at all times and implement telework or other strategies, such as staggered schedules or redesigning workplaces, to create more distance between workers, unless doing so would make it impossible to carry out critical functions. Critical businesses that serve the public (such as grocery stores and other retailers) shall comply with social distancing requirements at all times, including, but not limited to, when customers are standing in line.

The amended order will remain in effect until April 11, 2020. Any person who fails to comply with the order may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.00 per violation and imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.

Constangy attorneys are monitoring the status of measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep employers informed of any changes, including any challenges to enforceability. If you have any questions about this or other workplace issues, please do not hesitate to contact any Constangy attorney.

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