Are Colorado residents taking new ‘Safer at Home’ order too far?
(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) Colorado's transition from the strict "Stay at Home" order to the new "Safer at Home" order allows for slightly relaxed restrictions as protection from the coronavirus pandemic.
But are people taking advantage of the situation?
On Monday, a KRDO NewsChannel 13 crew found brisk business at stores and big crowds at parks, but few or no people were wearing breathing masks that are still strongly recommended.
It was also common to see people standing closer than the required minimum distance of six feet.
Some people said they don't see a need to wear masks because they avoid getting too close to anyone else.
"We're being careful," said Amber Johnson. "But it's a nice day and we've been cooped up at home for a month. We've got to get out for some fresh air and exercise."
But Jason Parks expressed a concern shared by many others -- that people are using the new order as a reason to return to normal lifestyles and behaviors while contracting or transmitting the virus remains a risk.
"The worst thing that could happen is this leads to another wave of infections and we go right back to the stricter order," he said. "But it's like everything else with this virus, there's so much we still don't know. We'll just have to wait and see how this new order works out."
Some residents said they were surprised at the size of crowds at many attractions Monday, such as Helen Hunt Falls, where cars filled the parking lots, lined both sides of the road and traffic was heavy.
Yet some people, like Rudolph Martinez, of Pueblo, continue to be cautious.
"I think because we all have this modified cabin fever, people are excited to be out," he said. "But I could see that people are still apprehensive. And we have our masks with us if we need them."
Some apartment complexes -- particularly those with elderly tenants -- banned visitors and interior deliveries during the "Stay at Home" order, but one manager said she's willing to ease those restrictions under the new order.
"This has been a very difficult time," she said. "If people use common sense and continue social distancing, I'm open to whatever they're comfortable with."
In a related matter, the New York-based owner of the Citadel and Chapel Hills malls in Colorado Springs began allowing tenants and employees into those facilities Monday, and revealed a plan to eventually provide curbside retail service to customers.