Governor Polis on Monday announced his approach to reopening Colorado in May and moving into the next phase of living with COVID-19. He also announced that the statewide stay-at-home order will expire on Sunday, April 26. The governor’s announcement comes as several counties are also looking to relax their public-health orders, including Eagle County. That mountain county, which was hit early by coronavirus, submitted a request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment last Friday to wave some of the statewide requirements in order for the county to begin reopening certain non-essential businesses and activities.
In laying the groundwork for his decision, the governor discussed new modeling that shows the state will not need to extend the statewide order. CDPHE has worked with the University of Colorado to create a model to guide these decisions. The model indicates that the actual number of Coloradans infected with COVID-19 is between 65,000 and 70,000 and also notes that social distancing alone is not enough to keep the amount of infections below the ICU bed capacity in Colorado. According to the state, an approach that includes a sustainable level of social distancing, guidance to older and at-risk citizens to do more than regular social distancing, promoting mask wearing, and pursuing aggressive case detection and containment will get Colorado to the goal of opening back up while also staying within the capacity of the healthcare system.
When the statewide stay-at-home order lifts next Monday, Colorado will enter a “Safer at Home” phase, which will not be an order, but will be an “encouragement" to follow specific guidelines. The governor said that this phase will incrementally allow businesses and offices to reopen with smaller staffing levels, staggering shifts and strict precautions. Elective surgeries will be allowed again as well as personal services businesses—such as barbers and beauty salons—will be allowed to reopen. More importantly, individual real estate showings will be permitted to resume but open houses will still be prohibited. School districts and postsecondary institutions will continue to suspend normal in-person instruction until the end of the school year.
Restaurants likely will not be allowed to fully open until around May 15, once data is available to evaluate the effectiveness of the easing of other restrictions. Specific guidance on this will be forthcoming, and local governments will be allowed to modify the statewide standards in order to address localized outbreaks or hot spots.
Finally, the governor noted that Colorado could return to another stay-at-home order if there is a significant increase in cases or spread of the virus. The governor calls this phase a marathon, not a sprint.
REMINDER: Town Hall with Senator Cory Gardner:
The Colorado Association of Home Builders will host a Virtual Home Builder Town Hall with Senator Cory Gardner today at 1 p.m. Senator Gardner will inform our members about the federal response to the health and economic challenges with COVID-19. Please remember this call is off the record. There will be an opportunity for a limited number of questions after the senator’s remarks.
Colorado Association of Home Builders’ Virtual Town Hall with Senator Cory Gardner:
- Welcome from Colorado Association of Home Builders
- Remarks from Senator Cory Gardner
- Closing Comments
COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down
Last week, the National Association of Home Builders hosted a national COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down. The Colorado Association of Home Builders, our local associations and many member companies participated in the event. The event include a short break on jobsites to review protections against the coronavirus, including maintaining a distance of no less than six feet from others at all times, limiting the number of workers in groups to 10, wearing face covering, properly sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces.
Even though Governor Polis has begun to lift the statewide stay-at-home order, and some counties are preparing to do the same, our industry must continue to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities. The CAHB has several resources for jobsite safety available by clicking here. The NAHB’s jobsite safety toolkit is also available in English and Spanish to continue to address COVID-19 safety.