[Update June 15 at 9:01 p.m.: Governor Jared Polis updated Colorado’s “Safer-at-Home” to now resume indoor and outdoor events among other updates. He also debuted the next phase of re-opening dubbed ‘Protect Our Neighbors.’ Go here for the complete update].
Monday, June 1, was the tentative end date for Colorado’s “Safer-at-Home” phase of coronavirus measures. In a press conference this past Monday, Governor Jared Polis outlined a new plan for the updated order, now named “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors.”
Polis also acknowledged the death of George Floyd and the protests going on in Denver and around the country. He said he is worried about the large gatherings and the spread of the coronavirus and urged anyone participating in protests and large gatherings to wear face coverings and keep a distance between them. Polis strongly encouraged anyone who attended protests to get tested for COVID-19 at the Pepsi Center or other testing locations.
To clarify the newest order, we’ve parsed out what you need to know.
- Mask wearing and social distancing are still important and heavily encouraged for all public outings
- At-risk populations should still follow social distancing and other cautionary measures including staying at home and in the vast outdoors
- Colorado is now testing 7,000-8,000 people per day and captured over half of symptomatic cases—up from 33%
- Colorado is doubling its epidemiology work and contact tracing with 800 new AmeriCorps and Senior Corps employees and volunteers assisting the state
For the General Public
- Organized youth and adult sports leagues can resume in groups up to 25 people
- Playgrounds and swimming pools can reopen beginning Thursday, June 4 with limited capacities and summer camps will be advised by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE)
- Colorado has millions of acres of accessible federal land, municipal parks, State parks, State and county open space, and other accessible areas where there are free airflow and a reduced risk environment but masks are required when approaching someone on a trail
- Polis advises checking with local jurisdictions on specific area guidelines and reopening rules
- Testing sites near you can be found at covid19.colorado.gov including self-administered testing sites and saliva tests versus the previous nose-swab testing
- If traveling outside of their community, Coloradans are advised to honor all restrictions and guidelines of their destination
- Gyms can re-open and limit indoor facilities to up to 25% capacity, or 50 people, whichever is fewer, per room, so long as people can stay six feet apart from each other.
- Outdoor sports facilities for individual/non-league use (i.e. tennis courts, basketball courts, pickleball courts, bike tracks, motocross tracks, fields) may be open to up to 25 people at a time per court or per field.
- Some short-term rentals including hotels and recreation who rely on tourism are reopening
- Churches and places of worship can now operate with limited capacities of up to 50 people indoors
- Businesses and government entities are strongly encouraged to continue allowing employees to telecommute and include exceptions for vulnerable individuals and those living with individuals
- CDHE will specifically identify businesses and activities that will remain closed at this time
Much like the “Stay at Home” order given by Governor Polis, a high level of public participating is necessary including practicing social distancing and mask-wearing in public spaces. “Coloradans should Stay at Home or in the great outdoors away from others as much as possible and continue to limit social interactions, remain at least six feet from others not in their household, and wear non-medical facial coverings in public,” the order reads. With the increased availability of “free, quick and easy” testing in Colorado, Polis hopes contact tracing will continue to help those who live with vulnerable populations and asymptomatic individuals.
“We’re in this for the long haul,” Polis said. He explained that we need to live in safe and sustainable ways to not have another spike that would overrun the hospital system and lead to unnecessary loss of life.
Currently, the new “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” order does not have an end date. We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.