Here’s what you can and can’t do under the statewide stay-at-home order |

Here’s what you can and can’t do under the statewide stay-at-home order

Ron Thom picks up his takeout order from Harwigs in downtown Steamboat Springs earlier this week. The statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday does not stop residents from venturing out to local restaurants for take-out orders.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Gov. Jared Polis issued the sweeping order Wednesday for all 5.7 million Coloradans to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, many people had questions.

An updated stay-at-home public health order was released Thursday afternoon, laying out specific requirements that went into effect at 6 a.m. Thursday, March 26. It is initially scheduled to expire April 11 but could be extended.

The order aims to slow the rate of spread of COVID-19, giving the state’s health care and emergency management systems additional time to grow capacity. According to the order, having people stay home can maximize the number of people isolating in place, reduce the amount of people congregating in workplaces at one time and reduce the proximity of people in the workplace. This would enable the services, businesses and travel necessary to protect public health and safety and preserve the continuity of social and commercial life.

The main requirement of the order stipulates that people should stay at home, whenever possible. Individuals living in shared or outdoor spaces must, at all times and to the greatest extent possible, comply with ​social distancing requirements. They may leave their residences only to perform or utilize necessary activities.

Necessary activities are defined as engaging in activities essential to the health and safety of an individual, a family, a pet or livestock; obtaining necessary services or delivering those services or supplies to others; and engaging in outdoor activity.

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Permitted activities include but are not limited to:

  • Walking your dog
  • Feeding barnyard animals
  • Getting medical equipment or medication
  • Going to the doctor
  • Getting supplies needed to work from home
  • Getting groceries or sanitary products
  • Walking or running on trails
  • Riding bicycles
  • Skiing or snowshoeing
  • Visiting a state park
  • Getting mail

Activities that are not permitted include but are not limited to:

  • Going to a local playground
  • Staying at a local campground
  • Eating at a picnic area in a state park
  • Going to a mall
  • Working out at a gym
  • Going to see a movie at a theater
  • Going bowling
  • Getting your hair or nails done
  • Gathering in public or outside a residence

People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence at all times ​except as necessary to seek medical care. People with COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate in their homes until their symptoms cease, or they have a negative test result.

All travel, including but not limited to travel by automobile or public transit, is prohibited except for necessary travel.

Necessary travel includes:

  • Driving to get groceries or takeout meals
  • Going to a critical business that is open
  • Attending a critical government function
  • Receiving materials for distance learning
  • Getting meals or other services from schools
  • Coming home from outside the jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Nonresidents returning home

Critical businesses are exempt from the public health order, with certain limitations, and are encouraged to remain open.

Critical businesses are defined as any business, including any for-profit or nonprofit regardless of its corporate structure, engaged in any of the permitted commercial, manufacturing or service activities

Critical businesses that are permitted to remain open include but are not limited to:

  • Grocery stores, including all food and beverage stores
  • Farm and produce stands
  • Gas stations and convenience stores
  • Restaurants and bars (only for takeout and delivery)
  • Marijuana dispensaries (only for medical marijuana or curbside delivery)
  • Gun stores
  • Hardware, farm supply and building material stores
  • Hospitals, clinics and walk-in health facilities
  • Dental care providers
  • Behavioral health providers
  • Research and laboratory services; medical wholesalers and distributors; home health care companies
  • Pharmacies
  • Veterinarians and livestock services
  • Nursing homes
  • Blood banks
  • Utility providers
  • Telecommunications and data centers
  • Public transit and transportation necessary to support critical businesses
  • Business and organizations that provide food, shelter, social services
  • Any business critical to the operation of any component of the food supply chain
  • Hotels and places of accommodation
  • Food processors
  • Car rental companies
  • Building cleaning and maintenance
  • Child care services
  • Self-serve laundromats
  • Auto supply and repair
  • Funeral homes
  • Animal shelters
  • News media companies
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Construction companies (and projects)
  • Plumbers and electricians
  • Snow removal companies
  • The U.S. Postal Service and other mail and shipping services, as well as locations that offer post office boxes

Child care facilities are also exempt from the order but must serve groups of 10 children or fewer each day, and they are not permitted to change groups or mix with each other. They’re also required to follow social distancing requirements.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

COVID-19: Follow our coverage

Before immediately heading to the hospital, people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have several resources, including:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a phone line to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or email for answers in English and Spanish, Mandarin and more.
  • UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center offers Ask-A-Nurse, a 24/7 call line staffed by registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide advice on seeking care. In Routt County, Ask-A-Nurse can be reached by calling 970-871-7878.
  • Virtual Visits can be done from the comfort of your home and only require a computer or tablet with a working webcam, speakers and microphone, or a smartphone.
  • If patients are experiencing severe symptoms or having difficulty breathing, they should visit the hospital’s emergency department.

Take precautions in everyday life:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm but be prepared.
  • Employees at businesses and customers ​are required to wear a mask, according to a statewide public health order.
  • Limit distance between non-household members to 6 feet when indoors and outdoors.
  • The maximum group size for indoor activities is 10.

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