The original story can be read on Denver Business Journal, here.

Gov. Jared Polis has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which goes into effect Thursday, March 26 through April 11.

Polis said this means the public needs to stay at home, only interacting with members of their household. Essential facilities will remain open, including both grocery stores and liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries. Restaurants will also be allowed to continue offering takeout and pickup orders. But Polis said nonessential stores, many of which have been closed for days now, will continue to stay closed across the state.

The governor said people can leave their home for the activities they need to live by. People can go out for obtaining food and groceries, go to and from work if they are considered an essential employee, seek medical care, and are allowed to leave home to care for dependents, including relatives and pets. People are also allowed to participate in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance of 6 feet or more from other parties.

On March 26, the state exempted some additional critical businesses:

  • K-12 public and private schools for the purpose of providing meals, housing, providing materials for distance learning and providing other essential services to students
  • Postsecondary institutions, including private and public colleges and universities, for the purpose of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions (provided that social distancing requirements are observed) such as security, medical and mental health service, housing, food service and critical research
  • Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in-need of end-of-life services
  • Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing or use electronic platforms
  • Professional services, such legal, title companies or accounting services, real estate appraisals and transactions.

“All need to obey this public order,” Polis said. “The rule of law is the foundation of our society. This order is now the law, temporarily and under extreme circumstances and without any pleasure on my behalf for enacting it.”

But when it comes to enforcement, Polis didn’t discuss how the state would crack down, but made an appeal that people do the right, just as people did the right during World War II.

“We’re asking you to do the right thing because it saves lives and because it’s the law of Colorado and that is to please stay at home.”

In addition to the stay-at-home order, the governor has also asked that President Donald Trump name Colorado a major disaster area. This opens the state for additional resources, when they are granted. That includes resources for medical care, housing, unemployment assistance, crisis counseling, hazard mitigation and more. California, Washington and New York have received these declarations.

The Governor also announced that the state lab has eliminated its backlog and there will be new labs coming online at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado.

There are also two new members to the Innovation Response Team, the task force of private-sector leaders focused on innovation in testing, isolation compliance and other efforts to aid with the crisis. Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, will head up Isolation Services. The objective of that is to provide people who are in self-isolation and quarantine with critical services like food and access to health care, as well as ancillary services to make the experience more comfortable. Tim Miller, chairman and CEO of Rally Software, will head the Software Development Team, the objective of which is to build applications and websites for the government and citizens to manage all aspects of the crisis and provide the state with key data.

“I am issuing the stay-at-home-order to save lives,” Polis said during the press conference. “It could be your aunt or uncle, parent or grandparent; it could be your own life that is saved by the strong actions we are taking now. And by the way, when we are talking about saving lives, we are not talking about one or two, we are talking about thousands of Coloradans’ lives, perhaps tens of thousands of Coloradan’s lives saved by the actions we are taking today.”

The state follows Denver and its surrounding counties, which also have issued stay-at-home orders.